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Gather to Win!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Facing challenges and obstacles can be frightening for those who are going through a battle. But to go through it alone is even worse. This scripture reminds me of the musk-oxen and how they protect their young. They form a circle with each musk-ox facing outward towards the enemy and then they place the little ones in the middle with all the others gathered around them. This should give us a picture of how we are to help those who are weak among us. We need to gather around them and fight for them as we stand strong through the battle.

The college course that I am currently taking is on prayer, not just on how to pray, but on how to fight spiritual battles for those who are struggling, weak and defenseless as well as how to defeat the devil when he comes against me in my own life. I am reminded of how important it is to have people around us to lift us up, stand in the gap for us when we are going through difficulties. God has given us strategic weapons to fight the battles and win! One of those weapons is the prayer of agreement. This is when two or more people gather together in agreement for scriptural prayers that the Lord has given them to fight a strategic battle in someone's life.

On a similar level, Spark People has given us the ability to gather together to encourage one another in reaching our goals, to share advice on techniques others have used to win, and to listen to frustrations and fears about the journey. I am thankful for the friends I have found on this site! Many of you have encouraged me even in the short time that I have been back here. I feel that I have a group of people that I can share with and likewise, encourage also.

Today I thank God that there is strength in numbers! Thank You, Lord, for placing people in my life to encourage me and offer suggestions for ways that I can improve my life's longevity. I pray that I might be a blessing to those around me!

And thank You, Lord, for one more pound gone!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 4/2/2013 11:51AM

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RELISA4HEALTH 3/16/2012 9:47PM

    Amen. The power to defeat the negitivity, frustration, feelings of failure and even lonliness, is love.
Your words share the importance of support and I am thankful for sharing your thoughts in this matter.
In life we all battle something, but praise God, as you so perfectly shared, we have the weapon of prayer to take hold of. I am reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14, '' If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I Will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
May God reveal through your college class the wonderful power you have as a believer, to call upon the precious name of Jesus in prayer and how to take hold of the word of God to tear dwon strongholds and speak life into those you minister to.
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BITTYGIRL51 3/16/2012 1:13PM

    Excellent blog. Thanks for sharing and for having an "attitude of gratitude". emoticon

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FREELADY 3/16/2012 11:19AM

    You are so encouraging. Thank you for the Scripture nudge!

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VINGRAM 3/16/2012 11:14AM

    I so look forward to your blogs each day. Sometimes I comment, sometimes not. But know that I ALWAYS read them!

Blessings to you.........vista emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 3/16/2012 10:06AM

    Thanks for a great blog. Every word is so true.
I'm glad that you also lost a pound.
Take care,
Kay

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ADJQUILTER 3/16/2012 9:20AM

    Avanell,
You are a great blessing to me! I truly appreciate all of your words of encouragement, and your uplifting blog messages. I thank God every day for all of my dear Spark friends, and pray that He will protect them, and give them victory.
Have a blessed day today, and enjoy your weekend!
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Light or Darkness?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."

Today my heart is heavy because I see so many friends and family being attacked through sickness and disease, financial problems, health concerns, emotional and relational issues and I can see that this certainly is unstable times. And yet, Jesus has assured us that if we will follow Him we will walk in His light. He has the answers to all of life's problems. He definitely is the way, the truth and the life and if we follow Him He will instruct us in the way to take to avoid problems and give us the solutions to get out of problems we may already be experiencing.

I Corinthians 1:30 says "But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption--". Jesus has become wisdom for us; He doesn't just have wisdom to give us, He is that wisdom. The more that we come to know Jesus the more wisdom we will have. Then we are told in James 1:5 that if we lack wisdom we can ask God for it and He will give it to us liberally and without reproach. God has made wisdom readily accessible to us for the asking. He has enabled us through our relationship with Christ Jesus to walk in the light of His wisdom rather than the darkness of our limited understanding in how to handle the arrows of the enemy that are constantly being fired at us to destroy us.

So, in light of all that, in what areas do you need wisdom? I was thinking about preventing health concerns yesterday and how the choices that I make regarding what I put into my body affects how my body deals with illness. Some foods build up the immune system and some tear it down. I can choose Ritz Fudge crackers, two for 80 calories or I can choose a banana for approximately the same calorie count. One will fuel my body and the other will feed my emotions. Which would be better for me? I have heard that since our taste buds are in our tongues, the only thing that our stomachs know is "am I full or empty?". In that case, for the most part, we feed our taste buds and our emotions. The stomach will send the signal to the brain that it is satisfied when it is filled. It doesn't know the difference between being filled with good food or empty calories. It is then that as I pray for wisdom, study the resources of those more knowledgeable than me in the area of nutrition and apply what I learn that I will be successful; that I will walk in the light and not in darkness.

Today I choose to walk in God's light, to seek His wisdom and to eat to live and not live to eat!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 4/2/2013 11:49AM

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BITTYGIRL51 3/16/2012 12:20AM

    Great blog. I love reading blogs of "like minded" individuals. Keep on keeping on - you are doing great!

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FREELADY 3/15/2012 10:05PM

    Wow, I love your calorie count comparisons!

I have a daily reminder pop up, on my iPod, "Nutrient-poor food does not satisfy."

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ADJQUILTER 3/15/2012 3:44PM

    That is why Spark People is such a blessing, providing all of that free and useful information,
and a wonderful place for us to get together and share our experiences. It's such a blessing to be in community with Christians who understand what a struggle it is to lose weight, and obey God's teachings. By choosing the foods we eat wisely, we honor Him by taking care of the temple of our body.
Thank you for the Scriptures and your wisdom.
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He's Still Working On Me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Psalm 138:8 NLT The LORD will work out His plans for my life--for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for You made me.

This scripture verse reminds me of the old song "He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be. It took Him just a week to make the Moon and Stars. The Sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars. How loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me." The part of the song that stands out to me this morning is "how loving and patient He must be, He's still working on me."

Have you ever thought about the patience of the Lord? How much He has to work to straighten out the messes we have made! Most of the problems that I have encountered have been of my own making and yet the Word tells us in Romans 8:28 that "all things work together for good to those who love God". He takes the messes and makes messages out of them and the tests He uses for testimonies. And I am reminded of the pain and heartache that I've encountered and the times that He has comforted me in my pain and know that as I reach out to others that are hurting, He uses my experiences to bring comfort to them. How loving and patient He must be to still be working on me!

Today I know that whatever I encounter He has already gone before me into it. I can count on His loving kindness to carry me through the disappointments and I can rejoice in His ability to take those disappointments and turn them into something good. Most of all I can know that He never gives up on me. He's always for me and never fails to give me another chance when I mess up. He's still working to bring to completion the plan that He has for my life. And if I will cooperate with Him I will see the fulfillment of all that He has promised to do in me, through me and for me!

Thank You, Father, for continuing the good work that You have begun in me! I rejoice that today there is nothing that will come to me that hasn't been filtered through Your fingers, Lord! Thank You for Your love and blessings on my life, Father. To You be all the glory!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 4/2/2013 11:30AM

    I know God has patience b/c He's still working on me. It's so amazing how, no matter what you go through, God never gives up on you. He is so faithful!

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FREELADY 3/14/2012 6:53PM

    Amazing faithful Creator! My one hope in this life and the next.

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ADJQUILTER 3/14/2012 4:16PM

    I thank God that He has the patience to continue working on me! That's how I consider myself... a work in progress.
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VINGRAM 3/14/2012 2:04PM

    That is the little song I sang when I gave my testimony at Christian Women's Job Corps!!!! I love and believe this song.............


Thanks again.......you are the absolute best! vista emoticon

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Disappointments!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

Well, today was my weigh in day! And what a disappointment! The scale still says the same as it did last week. But I am not going to let that get me down. I know that it could be close to dropping another pound, but just not close enough to register on the scale.

Disappointments in life can often cause us to throw up our hands and quit. God's word says that when we hope for something and it doesn't happen it makes our heart sick, but when it does happen it is like finding the tree of life. I remember when I lost my husband the Lord told me to not allow the disappointments of life to shipwreck my faith. If ever there was a time that I could have given up, it was then. I had to really fight to keep my faith in God and continue to fight the good fight of faith.

These may seem like two very opposite disappointments, one small disappointment in the reading of the scale verses the loss of a mate and that is true; one minor and the other a major loss. But they are disappointments, none the less. Disappointments whether large or small still have an impact on our ability to stand strong. The important thing to remember is to keep our focus where it should be. If we focus on the disappointment, the ability for our God to help us overcome that disappointment becomes small. Whatever you gaze at will become big in your own mind. But if we gaze at the Lord, the ability the disappointment has to defeat us lessens and becomes smaller in our minds. Whatever you hold before your gaze will become the largest.

So, today my focus is on the Lord. I choose to magnify the Lord in my life and not the minor disappointment of an unchanging weight. I will continue to make right choices to effect change in my life so that when the desire is fulfilled, it will be a tree of life, in full bloom! Thank You, Lord, for this day! It is a good day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 4/2/2013 11:28AM

    Fantastic! I could really identify with this one as I really had a hard time a few years ago when I lost my Mom. But the Lord helped me through it.

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NELLJONES 3/13/2012 6:47PM

    It can be hard to feel good when what you want is measured in units that don't show up that week. Matt Kenseth won Daytona this year by I think 1/100 of a second. Imagine the technology required for that! Someday we'll have a scale where we can celebrate 1/100 of a pound, but for now, just assume it and keep on going.

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CYCLINGSANDY 3/13/2012 3:50PM

    Oh, how I needed to read your blog today. My day was filled with stress and I could feel the heaviness in my chest driving home tonight. I have praised, read SP blogs, and Psalms too.
Thank you for ministering to me tonight. My focus is the Lord, and so is yours. He is emoticon

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Be Happy! Don't Worry!

Monday, March 12, 2012

There have been so many things running through my mind the last few days; the health of loved ones, broken relationships that need reconciling, goals awaiting achievement, etc. All these things have a tendency to weigh me down and take my eyes off the One that I know sees all, knows all, and takes care of all. So this morning as I was praying the Lord reminded me that if I would cast my cares on Him He would take care of all that I am concerned about. He reminded me that if I would release these things to Him I could be free from the weight of the negative emotions.

How often do we carry around problems that we can't do anything about? These things weigh us down and keep us emotionally agitated so we can't think and do the things that are within our control. The stress of carrying around unnecessary burdens affects our ability to focus on the things that are important that we can accomplish. I'm so thankful that my Heavenly Father is the One that I can look to for freedom from fear, emotional distress and the need to solve the world's problems! The word says in I Peter 5:7 AMP "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

Today I choose to cast my cares on the Lord and live free from anxiety and fear. I will walk through this day happy and worry free, knowing that He is taking care of those things that are outside of my control!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARRIORGIRL121 4/2/2013 11:23AM

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ADJQUILTER 3/12/2012 5:17PM

    God is so much more capable than we are of handling any problems. He knows the past and the future, and His plans are perfect. Thank you so much for an uplifting message. It reminds me of the hymn "What a Friend we Have in Jesus".
"Oh what peace we often forfeit,
oh what needless pain we're to bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer."
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Comment edited on: 3/12/2012 5:19:03 PM

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FREELADY 3/12/2012 1:18PM

    I wish you knew how what you wrote blessed me today. I felt you were talking right to me, as if I could hear you sweet voice speaking.

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AVANELL 3/12/2012 12:15PM

    My Pastor often tells us at the start of pre-service prayer that we should unload on God whatever we've brought in with us, the cares and concerns that we have, so we can be vessels that He can flow through in prayer and ministry to those around us.

Nell, you've said the same thing, just in a different way! Thanks, everyone, for your comments and encouragement!

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NELLJONES 3/12/2012 11:20AM

    I remember a wonderful sermon from long ago (amazing how we remember these things). The priest told us that when we passed the basket for the offering, money was certainly welcome, but to put all our troubles and worries in the basket, too. When you offer them to God they also are a gift when we give them to Him.

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SCTRACKER 3/12/2012 11:00AM

    Thank you,

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VINGRAM 3/12/2012 10:47AM

    Me, too.....very appropriate for me today. I have been worrying needlessly about a situation I have no control over concerning my 20 year old grandson.
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WELLNESSME09 3/12/2012 9:34AM

    Thank you so much for sharing, I needed to here this today... I have come to understand that I have to do the very same.
The end of your blog says it all.

Wishing you a very blessed day!!!

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