Adapted from Fearless for Life by Stephen Arterburn, Paul Meier and Robert L.Wise

Surviving the Storm
But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid”. – Matthew 14:26-27

Every day we are confronted by events that strike fear in our hearts. Headlines shout disaster, violence, crime, poverty and depravity—we live in such turbulent times. How do we stay afloat as the waters swirl out of control around us?

The Bible is filled with God’s pledges of divine intervention, but nothing is clearer than the Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1-7 NIV). Christians have the tools to turn back fear!

Rather than using these tools, we often want to live in a world free of fearful situations. When we don’t find this, we give up and exist in hopeless desperation. We may even turn away from God because we expected Him to keep us from harm’s way – something God never told us He would do.

Remember the story of the disciples in the fierce storm in Matthew, chapter 14. They watched him feed five thousand people with a few fish and five loaves of bread. They witnessed Him heal blind men and yet, when it came to facing their first crisis in the midst of the storm, they raised the bar of cowardly behavior to a new level. The bottom line of this story is this, Jesus knew of the pending storm and the struggle they would face, but He allowed them to get into the boat and into turbulent waters.

Here’s what we can learn from this. Sometimes there are valuable lessons that God wants to teach us in our difficult times – before He calms the storm and quiets our fears. God never promised us a trouble free life. He did promise to be there with us in the dark times and the stormy seas, to give us hope in spite of fear. This knowledge becomes the foundation for living free of fear’s chains.

Facing your fear is not based on the abstract idea of simply believing. It is not based on the nebulous commitment to positive thinking. It is based on the concrete promise that He will be there, in the midst of our storm. Whether He carries us through the storm or whether He simply calms it down, we have the guarantee of His word that He will be there. As believers, we cannot simply say no to apprehension. We must say yes to the Master of the storm.

There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you’ll stand firm if you stand on His love. – Charles Stanley

TODAY’S PRAYER:
Lord, I acknowledge that I have the truth of your Word which promises me that You will be with me in the midst of my storm. I stand firm in the truth that You will never leave me or forsake me. No matter how violent my storm might be, You are the Master of my storm. I will not fear. Amen.

Adapted from Fearless for Life by Stephen Arterburn, Paul Meier and Robert L.Wise

My Life Is A Mess

My Life Is A Mess

“The meaning of life, the wasted years of life, the poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.'”–Max Lucado

In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, with whom do you identify? The prodigal? The judgmental brother? The forgiving father? At one time or another in your life you will probably have been all three. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf’” (Luke 15:21-23).

What a great story to teach the Bible’s central truth that God’s grace is the force that transforms our lives–it changes his righteous anger into mercy toward us, changes our unbelief into faith, and changes our lives from selfishness to service. Grace is God’s unconditional love for those who don’t deserve it.

Just when you think there is no hope for you, his grace touches your heart. Just when words of judgment on another sinner start rising up your throat, his grace leads you to choke them off before you utter them. And when someone in your life says, “I’m sorry,” quick!–get a ring, a robe, and a calf.

What role are you playing in my destiny?

What is your role in this story of my life: Are you Abraham, Issac, the Ram, the Thicket, the Alter, the Knife, one of the two Servants or God?  In fairness, it would depend on what role I’m playing…I’m constantly changing… (Praise God)

In this season of my life I am being intentional in everything I do and purposeful in what I say.  As God deals with me and my fears, I am being bolder in my faith and in trusting Him with what He gives me to do and say.

One of my first stories from the Bible that I understood as a child is Abraham & Issac: the Testing of My Faith.  Each time I read it, I get something new.  I have been stuck on the “THICKET” for a while.  Just this morning it came to me…the thicket in my life are the people who I have allowed to dilute my dreams and poison my hopes. I have lived in fear of everything my entire life! I have held back from doing great things because I allowed other people’s fears and doubts of their life to shape mine.  I remember the first time I stepped out on faith and did something HUGE that someone said I shouldn’t do – I DID IT!!  That was 11 years ago.

Since then, I have accomplished things that were centered around my son. When it comes to him, nothing is impossible for me to do for HIM, in the past I didn’t have that same drive for myself…Until TODAY!

On this day, I will play the role of Abraham – I will do what God asks me to do.  My passion (Issac), I will offer it up to God, trusting Him with it…stay tuned to see how the rest of my story unfolds!!

After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.”  Genesis 22:1‭-‬5 ESV

Pray this prayer in agreement with me:  Heavenly Father, I am having trouble putting all things into your hands. I am having trouble trusting you. Things are unraveling right before my eyes and there isn’t anything I can do about it. How do I trust? How do I take all things and put them over to you? Do I just sit here and let things slide while I tell myself you will take care of things? I can talk to you but generally speaking you don’t talk back to me in an audible voice. You can see me but I can’t see you. Do I wait until there is nothing to be done? What do I do and how do I do it? I know I am rambling, Lord. Sometimes things pile up over me until I am gasping for air and I don’t know what to do. So, I need your help.
Like always, I need your help to trust you. Sounds pretty pathetic to tell you I need help trusting you. However, the really great thing is that I know you will help me.
Is this goofy or what? Already I am beginning to get one of those little moments from you.
Already I hear you tell me to use what I have for your glory. Already I hear you tell me to glory not in myself or be depressed about myself but to glory in You. As always, you are right. Thank you Lord. You never disappoint.  All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, Amen!!

Written by: Michelle while in the cocoon!

Walking into my destiny…OnPurpose!!

Happy Birthday to my son…Mommy Loves You, Kiddo!!

T I M E

Ephesians 5:15-17

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God’s guidance.

When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God.

Don’t let worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today.

Think about this: Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain. Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong…Galatians 4:8-20manage_your_time_or_it_will_manage_you

Pray this prayer with me:  Most Precious Lord Jesus, Gentle And Wonderful God, Truly Awesome And Ever-present Holy Spirit, Precious Lord Jesus, I love you.  You know how impossibly difficult things have gotten for me.  You know how my future does not look good at the moment.  In your love and grace, help me include you for just a moment in this present moment and in the moments of my future.  When the chaos and strife of the present time gets to me, help me include you for just a moment so I get a clear perspective on what is going on around me.  I do not leave you out of my life on purpose.  Yet, I am so bombarded by problems right now it seems like something or someone is driving a wedge between us.  So, for just moment, when I am in the store waiting to check out, place your angel on my shoulder and tickle my ear.  For just a moment, when I am eating and begin to think how things will never be better, pour down a little rain of your love and distract me from thinking in hopeless terms.  For just a moment, when I am watching television and I get to thinking how things will never change or how things will get worse, give me your vision of a time when all things in my life are made new.  All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my Mighty God, and my Ever-present Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely.  Amen!!

Written by: The “Butterfly”

Managing my time…OnPurpose!

To Do List: Twenty things to start doing right now

Ephesians 6:7-8 ~ 7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  8 Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.Untitled-1

I found this list from a few years ago when I had a Mary Kay Unit and thought it would be great to ignite the passion in me and possibly YOU!

  1. Be enthusiastic.
  2. Think big. Act on big and small opportunities alike.
  3. Learn to translate aspirations, needs and vision of the broader organization into tangible results you can deliver or facilitate.
  4. Discover aspirations, needs, and vision even if they’re not explicitly stated. See it before everyone else does.
  5. Practice corporate entrepreneurship; determine what the right outcomes are without regard to resources you have on hand.
  6. Connect and spend time with key decision makers and strategists within your organization. Ask questions about their plans, needs and aspirations. Listen. Learn.
  7. Organize your work life so that you spend time on what’s important, not what landed on your desk. Delegate in all directions.
  8. Demand that your team members bring you solutions to problems, not the problems themselves. The former motivates and empowers them; the latter are major downers for all involved.
  9. Solicit input of your team members on strategic directions. Even the act itself is motivating, and you will see a high degree of engagement when it’s time to execute the common vision.
  10. Encourage and empower your team member to decide how to go about their work within the guidelines and expectations you define.
  11. Develop the sense of shared meaning within your team.
  12. Communicate with your team members frequently and openly. Always take the time to explain strategic decisions.
  13. Notice and reward “positive deviance” – new practices that yield superior results.
  14. Pose challenging questions to your team. Notice and reward volition to find answers.
  15. Always be on a lookout for innovation in your industry and profession.
  16. Further, be aware that really exciting breakthroughs come from the cross-application of approaches and methods from other realms.
  17. Reward results, not the time, effort and cost expended. Too often, managers believe that their job is to generate action, whereas it is to create results.
  18. Take every opportunity to promote your team within the organization. Share results, lessons learned and new practices. Utilize internal publications, town-hall meetings, newsletters and so on.
  19. Position your team members as ultimate experts within the organization. Set up mentoring and communities of practice around their expertise.
  20. Become industry experts. Take leadership positions in professional bodies. Write in professional publications.

As I read through this list – I could see many biblical principles & scriputes…Can you tag a scripture reference to the ones your recognize?

Pray this prayer with me:

Precious Lord Jesus, I love you.
What is my future, Lord?
What is to become of me?
I have a past steeped in many mistakes and in many kinds of poverty.
In addition, I have had little chance of escaping my past.
Do I have a future of any kind?
Although I ask these questions I already know the answer.
I know, as I am in your arms this minute, my future is bright in your eyes.
I know, as I am in your arms this minute, my past mistakes can be erased, undone, and made to be of no consequence.
No matter what I face in the next hours, days, or years, I know you are with me.
As you assure me you are with me, we shall walk this road together and your strength will be my strength, your vision shall be my vision, your direction shall be my direction, and your wisdom shall be my wisdom.
You are the one who enables me to move beyond my present circumstance.
You are the one who gives me the ability to make progress.
You are the one who comes to visit me when I am in prison.
You are the one who comes to sit next to me and comfort me when I am sick.
You are the one who comes to me when I am lonely and downhearted.
I praise your name with my words.
May my every thought and action also praise your name. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!!

Written by: The “Butterfly”

Being enthusiastic…OnPurpose!

 

Live!

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10
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We all know how to die, but God wants to teach us how to live. We know how to crash, but God wants to show us how to soar in Him. Maybe you don’t know what a real life in God looks like for you. What does freedom look like when you’ve been bound for so long? What is a prosperous life when you’ve been broke for so long? What does a happy life look like when you’ve been sad and depressed for so long? And what is true love when you’ve been abused since you were a little girl.

Maybe you’ve never experienced life as God has it, but that won’t stop Him from giving it to you. His divine will is that you experience life and life more abundantly right here on earth. Abundant means superabundant in quality or superior in quality—the best life.

There is far more to life than what you’ve been experiencing. There’s more to see, more to do, more to partake of and enjoy. Don’t refuse the life He wants to give you just because you’ve never had it. He wants to fill your life with good things! He is good, and you have to trust in His goodness and love for you.

It is the divine responsibility of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you into all truth. He will shatter every lie the devil has told you. He will reveal His heart and will teach you how to live!

My mother finally started to live the life God wanted her to live.

Then one day she woke up and died before the end of the day…

That was the day I became the “Butterfly”…I have my wings…
5/18/15
Rest in paradise, Lawanda J. Roberts

LIVE…OnPurpose Today!!

Pray for me!

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

2 Corinthians 12:9, (ESV)
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. MS Dana

Now – Resting comfortably. Smiling. 😄

EVEN IN THIS ~ AND FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS – I KNOW THAT ALL THINGS ARE WORKING TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD. (Romans 8:28)

I’ve nothing but gratitude for where I am in life, today. I’m living my best and greatest life NOW! Every single day, every single second, minute, and hour. Whether things are up or down, great or disastrous, I’M CHOOSING MY RESPONSE – CHOOSING HOW I AM SHOWING UP, WITH OR WITHOUT… AND CHOOSING TO BE AND STAY GRATEFUL, BECAUSE GOD HAS BEEN SO ~FAITHFUL~ TO ME.

-Exhausted beyond belief, but no complaints and no regrets. Did everything I was meant to do, this week. Spent time with many of my loved ones in both good and not so good settings. Still we count it ~ALL JOY~

I am sooo glad the Lord is my Strength. God has me. He’s my Gentle Friend, my Provider, my Faithful Lord, -He’s my Everything. My mother is my Rock, my Caretaker, my Accountability Partner, my Prayer Partner, and overall – MY BEST FRIEND, and my Beautiful, Kindhearted, and Very Concerned Gurlz are my 2 very courageous Strong Anchors. Feels sooooooooooooo good to be loved, thought of well, supported, and cared for.

Even when I have days/moments I can’t return the favor. It’s just nice to know I’m safe and they really are for me and the improvement of my health. I HAVE THE MOST AWESOME, AND GREATEST MOM/DAUGHTERS IN THE WORLD. I LOOOOOOOOOOVE MY FAMILY!!! ~RELATIONSHIPS MATTER MOST~

Also sending up praises to God who is my Covering. He blessed me to receive the medication which is designed to help me in regaining my ability to walk stably again and maintain balance. Started my treatment, today. Yitideeeeee!!! I thank God for all my doctors, my neurologist, the supportive Bioservices pharmacists/staff, MSLines, MSAA, my nurse and all the MS Ambassadors who have reached out to encourage me through their own stories. -And a whoooooooole host of loved ones who are praying for and rooting for me – believing with me in that TODAY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS, I STAND HEALED. What a wonderful club I have been inducted into. The Faith Walker’s Club. Truly, makes life worth living, seeing, and experiencing EVERYDAY.  I’m taking it all in. ❤️❤️❤️ #noregrets #livingwell #livingwhole #fearlesslyandwonderfullymadeinGod

Soon we’ll be in our NEW BODIES. Looking forward to the Day we see Jesus face to face and kiss Him, fall to our feet, and thank a Him for all He’s been to us, done for us and given us in this life and in our next life – spending eternality with Him and His Father in heaven. Soon we’ll be home with our Lord and Savior. #notofthisworld #sufferwell

Shalom!!

Blessings, Dana

A prayer for you: I love you, Lord Jesus.  This physical pain is tearing away at my heart, mind, and soul.  I can’t think straight.  I can’t feel any emotion except depression.  I know you are real but whatever presence you had in my heart isn’t there at the moment.  Although I cannot sense your presence right now, in what little faith I have, I proclaim you as God of the universe and as my Lord and Savior.  In all the power you have, help me put a wall between the pain and what the pain tries to do to my heart, mind, and soul.  In your power of grace and love, help me put a wall between this pain and my depression. In your power of grace and love, help me put a wall between this pain and my lack of motivation and inspiration.  In your power of grace and love, help me put a wall between this pain and my soul aching for your healing hand.  May the evil power causing my pain be forever shielded from me.  May I be able to laugh, live, and be free, even in the dark moments when this pain may try to take me down.  By your power I refuse to lose and let this pain do anything to me.  By your power I refuse to lose to this pain.  By your power I refuse to lose contact with you because of this pain.  By your power I refuse to lose and knuckle under to this pain.  By your power, love, grace, and will, help me see you, Precious Lord Jesus, Precious Father God, Precious Holy Spirit, Precious Blessed Virgin Mary, and your wonderful earthly father Joseph.  As a group, standing all around me, may all of you please place your hands upon me and infuse the healing power of your love into my heart, mind, soul, and body.  All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my Mighty God, and my Ever-present Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely.  Amen!!

In case you don’t know – Read about MS

Dana is Living with MS…OnPurpose!  You are COVERED by THE BLOOD!!

Are We Loving One Another?

(Matt 6:12-13) …forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

This scripture is a request for the grace of The Lord. We know how easy it is to ask for God’s mercy, but how merciful are we to our fellow man?

In our quest for God’s forgiveness, we must ask ourselves, how forgiving are we to our neighbor?  It speaks of our own accountability and of our being responsible. Secondly, we know that God does not lead us to do wrong; however, He may allow us to be tested. Temptation is a strong force, but our God is even stronger. We must continually ask for His discernment to identify all temptation at its onset and then His power to overcome that lurking beast that’s just waiting to devour… We need His Holy Spirit, for we cannot do it without Him.

Written by: Anonymous

Pray this prayer with me:

Almighty Master, Show us how to better love one another.  Show us how all love comes from you.  Show us how everyone who loves has been born of you and knows you.  In hope, we live for a bright tomorrow surrounded in love.  In hope, we are never disappointed.  In all we say, in all we do, in all we think, place all our hope in you because we know you pour your love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. In love, because you love us, we are not slaves to fear of death. In love, we received from you the Spirit of being your child. In love, we cry to you “Abba, Father” for you are our true Father in heaven. Show us how we must love one another because we are all your children. Remind us anyone who believes in you as the Son of God has the testimony of love in their heart.  We believe you are the Son of the living God and we believe the testimony given to us by God the father.  We love one another because we know you love us.  We love one another because through your blood we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of your grace.  We love one another so in the coming ages you might show us the incomparable riches of your grace, expressed in your kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  Because you loved us, we shall love one another.  In Jesus’ matchless name, AMEN!!

Loving One Another…OnPurpose

love one another

A tribute to Dad’s & My Father ‘AB

A Father [‘AB] of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation…Psalms 68:5
ABBA.jpg

I am very blessed!  I had the pleasure of knowing Albert, my dad’s grand-dad; Ray, my dad’s dad; Herman, my mom’s dad; Turner, my dad;  Mike, my son’s dad and Michale, my son (who now at 24 years old…thinks he is my dad.)  All of these relationship’s have added value to my life in one way, shape, form or fashion…I Am Just BLESSED!!

I want to take a moment and celebrate and honor each of these men…on earth as it is in Heaven…I thank GOD for each of you, the legacy you left behind, the memories you created with & for me, the love you taught me, the courage you instilled in me and the gift of life that you showered me with!!  Thank you!  I love you! I am grateful for you!

I realize not everyone has had the benefit of knowing their dad…some may even feel blessed that they don’t know him or have a relationship with him.  I get that!  I can tell you not all of my experiences were GREAT, WARM & FUZZY with the dad’s of my life.  But there is a FATHER that you can HEAL, LOVE, GUIDE and PROTECT you, right now.

‘AB [ABBA], a father to the fatherless and a defender of those in need.  Sometimes our earthly fathers abandon us or don’t know how to be there when we need them, but ‘AB will rise up as our true Father.  He will fill the gap and bring comfort and guidance to each of us who seeks His face as FATHER!
‘AB [ABBA], God, Creator, Holy, thank you for not leaving me as an orphan.  I release my earthly dad of the prison I have been holding him in and I run to you Lord.  I accept that he could not be everything I needed in a father because he is human and no human being is perfect, except Your son Jesus.  I receive that You are perfect, and only you can provide me with all the loving, gentle care a daddy can give.
‘AB [ABBA], as I go into this Father’s Day weekend, help me to understand what it means to live my life in the fullness of joy, hope, love, peace and abundance which come from trusting in YOU as my FATHER.  I seek your wisdom in my choices instead of rushing to a dead-end.  Guide my every step, fill me with your power to be an example to a dying world, to my community, to my own child/children, to my church family and to my friends.

You may be a dad…read this again – release yourself of the pains of life, your choices you made, your disappointments in what you did or didn’t do and receive the love of Jesus, right now!  God’s mercies are new everyday…if you are reading this…it’s NOT TO LATE to become the dad God created you to be…Just ask God to come into your heart and allow Him to lead you…He is just one sentence away…YES, Lord – I want you and I need to be LORD over my life…

Written by: The “Butterfly”

Pray this prayer with me:

God our Father, in your wisdom and love you made all things. Bless those fathers, who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of parenting.  Bless those who have lost a spouse to death … or divorce who are parenting their children alone.  Strengthen them by your love that they may become the loving, caring persons that YOU intended for them to be.  Grant this through Jesus, Christ our Lord and Savior. ~Amen!

Speaking LIFE over Fatherhood…OnPurpose

Being Michelle…OnPurpose!!

Coffee break with Ms. Kim…

coffee break

You know God is so good in spite of all of the trials we face in this life.

I am learning to watch the words that come out of my life as they surely have power.

The enemy is roaring like a lion, trying to rob, kill and destroy…but he is a liar and a fool because he is already defeated.

My God is ALL powerful and there Is no trial without a test and all of this is based on my faith and trust in ABBA Father.  He is the only way!!  The truth and life is only in HIM not the tangible things I see smell taste and touch.

Victory is already won for true believers and repentance is a daily act that must be done.

We are truly winners in everything if only We believe.

Well that sums it up for me this fine day.  And for you my anointed sister,  continue to follow HIS will for your life.  You are a blessing to the body of Christ and I am so grateful our paths have crossed.

God is so good He hooks us up with like kind for His glory and for our preparation for His kingdom…  Love you, Ms. Kim

James 1:2-3 – Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness…

Written by: Ms. Kim

Pray this prayer with me:

Let me meditate all day long upon your love, upon your righteousness, and upon your sure judgments.  I am battered and beaten as I walk this narrow road, but in you I find strength, courage, and a sure hand reaching down to help me.  When I am distracted by the world, instill in me the desire to take a break from the rush and crush of life and think about you.
When I am faced with difficulties too big for me to handle, remind me to think about you rather than myself.  When worries and doubts infect my thinking, remind me to take just a moment and think about your power flowing through every moment.
When I get caught up in myself, in my life, in my goals, in my issues, in my job, in my pain, in my joy, and in all the selfishness of the moment…help me stop and think for just a short time about your grandeur, your love, your compassion, and your presence in my life.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.  I love you, O Lord.  I adore you, Precious One.  AMEN!!

Counting it ALL joy…OnPurpose