Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Faith and No Doubt

Today's Scripture
"So Jesus answered and said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt...if you say to this mountain, "Be removed and be cast into the sea," it will be done.'"
(Matthew 21:21, NKJV)

Speak to Your Mountains

We've all had seasons when the challenges of life feel overwhelming. 

During those times, it's easy to be tempted to talk about how bad things are. 

Maybe you received a bad medical report, or maybe you're facing a financial obstacle. 

The more you talk about something, the bigger it becomes in your mind. Instead, you've got to dig your heels in and say, "No, I am not going to give life to that defeat. 

I am not going to speak sickness over myself. 

I'm not going to speak lack. 

I'm not going to speak fear. 

I'm choosing a different report. 

I believe the report of the Lord which says that I am blessed. 

I am favored. 

I am prosperous. 

I am healthy. 

I am whole. 

I'm a victor, not a victim."

Remember, even if you don't see how things could ever work out, God does. 

You've got to speak to those mountains in your life and declare favor over those situations. 

Instead of talking to God about how big your problems are, talk to your problems about how big your God is! 

As you speak to your mountains, they will be moved, and you will move forward into the victory God has prepared for you!

A Prayer for Today
"Father, thank You for Your Word which is life to my spirit. I receive Your strength today and choose to speak to the mountains so I can move forward in the victory You have in store for me in Jesus' name.

From Today's Word  by Joel O

Stay Strong!

Monday, January 30, 2017

After the Storm

Apologies for the length of this post but I truly hope you who are in the midst of some storm today can soldier through it and that the message intended lends some comfort and strength until (and after) it passes!! 

And it ALWAYS passes!!

Stay Strong!! :) 

"During that storied final meal Jesus shared with his disciples, only hours away from all the torments that awaited him, there is an extraordinary exchange between Jesus and Peter. 

The truly remarkable thing is that this is just before Jesus tells Peter he will disown him. 

Sitting at the table, where the peculiar alchemy of wine turning to blood and bread becoming body was already at play, Jesus looks across the table at the fiery, well-intentioned disciple whose face was not yet shadowed by the guilt of betrayal. 

And he speaks words of heartbreaking tenderness to the man who says he will die for Jesus but will in actuality curse him by morning: 

"Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."3 

Satan has desired to sift you like wheat, says the man who Roman soldiers will carve up like cattle in just a few hours. 

But even knowing the physical and psychological torture that he will soon endure, Jesus' concern is for Peter—that he will not be able to live with himself after what he is about to do. 

He knows the storm of bitter tears, the stomach-churning agony of regret that will eat him from the inside for betraying the one he loved the most. 

He knows the sting of it could rend Peter's mind, the way the whip will soon rend his own skin. 

So he says, "I have prayed for you—that your faith may not fail." 

Objectively, conclusively, decisively—Peter himself will fail before the rooster crows. 

That is already established. 

But while Peter will fail spectacularly, on the surface of things, there is something at work in him that is deeper than his failure. 

The waves will overtake the man and his blustering ego, but in the depths of the sea within Peter is a stronger, more ancient current that did not originate from him—a current that need not be shaken by his failure on the surface - His Faith. 

I have prayed for you, Peter, that even though you will fail (in fact, be known for the most famous failure in the history of the church), your faith will not fail. 

The tsunami will come, and take your self-reliance and your pride; humiliation will wash over you. 

You will fail, but I have prayed for you . . . that your failure would not destroy your faith but deepen it. 

I have prayed for you that the very thing that was intended to kill you will make the faith already planted in the deepest soil of you even stronger. 

It is possible to fail, and not have our faith fail us. 

It is possible to lose our lives, and not lose our souls. 

The master teacher taught us himself that it is only in losing our lives—in their ego pretensions and posturing, in their careful image constructions and neediness—that this richer, deeper, below-the-surface life can be found. 

This is the life hidden with Christ in God, where almost anything can happen at the top of things without disrupting the grace that lies in the bottom of the sea in you. 

This is the place in the depths where you can be cut off from your very self (as you understood it), and from the name your father gave you, and from the place where you grew up, and from the tribe that gave you language, and from the story that gave you meaning—only to find that nothing -- NOTHING - can separate you from the love of God.

When the storm is still brewing over the waters, and the sky sickens into an ominous gray-black, and you feel the electric charge in the air in your very skin, inevitably the question comes: 

Will I survive this? 

Can I make it through the storm that is coming (whatever sent it here, and however it came)? 

And of course, there are many storms fierce enough to toss you, throw you, destabilize you, and scare you that do not result in shipwreck. 

Some storms last only for the night; some pockets of violent air are only turbulence. 

But some storms are more violent, more relentless, more exacting. 

Some winds will not be calmed; some floods will not be dammed until they have their way with you, until they walk away with their pound of flesh. 

And whether or not, again, the storm finds its origin in the undomesticated wildness of nature and of created things—or whether or not the storm originates in you—does not change the scope or scale or power of it. 

The storms that come will test us all, and it is entirely possible one comes to you that will end in your failure before the wind and waves recede. 

But the Spirit in the wind whispers the words of Jesus again, inserting your own name for Simon's: 

"I have prayed for YOU that your own faith may not fail—and even when you do . . . that your faith may even grow stronger through your failure."

From "How to Survive a Shipwreck" by Jonathan Martin


Stand Strong!

...Run in such a way as to get the prize."
(1 Corinthians 9:24, NIV)

Finish Strong!

Oftentimes, when we have a dream in our heart, we start off strong. 

We head down the path toward our goal, and we're so excited! 

But along the way, we hit some roadblocks and encounter some adversity. 

Many times, people will just give up and take the easy way out. 

But we have to remember, it's not how we start that counts; it's how we finish. 

Anybody can be fired up at the beginning, but I'm encouraging you to stick with it until the end! 

Have the determination to go all the way through. 

Don't stop at the halfway mark just because times are tough. 

Don't quit because you don't see anything happening. 

The scripture tells us not to walk by sight, but walk by faith.

Today, if there's a dream in your heart, something you're believing for—a relationship to turn around, a business opportunity or to overcome an addiction—keep pursuing it! 

Run your race to win the prize! 

Don't settle until you see the fullness of what God has placed in your heart. 

As you stand strong in your faith, I believe God will pour out His favor and blessing upon you, and you will see the victory He has in store for you!

A Prayer for Today
"Father, today I choose to stand strong in You. I set my focus on Your promises and choose to run my race with conviction. I let go of the past by faith today and press forward into the destiny You have in store for me in Jesus' name.

Stay Strong!!!

Friday, January 27, 2017


"And the fourth premise, any dominating desire, plan or purpose which is backed by that state of mind known as faith, is taken over by the subconscious section of the mind and acted upon immediately. 

That state of mind, ladies and gentlemen, is the only state of mind that will produce immediate action through the subconscious mind. 

And when I say faith, I don't have reference to wishing or hoping or mildly believing, 

I don't have reference to any of those things. 

I have reference to a state of mind wherein whatever it is you are going to do you can see it already in a finished act BEFORE you even begin. 

Now that's pretty positive isn't it. 

I can truthfully tell you that not ever in my whole life have I undertaken to do anything that I didn't do it unless I got careless in my desire to do it; and backed away from it or changed my mind or my mental attitude. 

I have never failed to do anything that I made up my mind to do and I'll tell you that you can put yourself in a frame of mind where you can do whatever you make up your mind to do unless you weaken as you go along as so many people do. 

Now let's get back to this fourth premise again. 

Any dominating desire, plan or purpose which is backed by that state of mind known as faith, is taken over by the subconscious section of the mind and acted upon immediately. 

I don't know for sure, ladies and gentlemen, but I suspect that there's a relatively small number of people in the world at any one time who understand the principle of faith. 

Who really understand it and know how to apply. 

And even if you do understand it, if you don't back it up with action and make it a part of your habit life, you might just as well not understand it because faith without deeds is dead, faith without action is dead. 

Faith without absolute positive belief is dead. 

I don't know how you're going to get any results through believing unless you put some action back of that belief. 

And incidentally if you tell your mind often enough that you have faith in anything, the time will come when your subconscious mind will accept that; even if you tell your mind often enough that you have faith in yourself. 

Have you thought what a nice thing it would be if you had such complete faith in yourself that you wouldn't hesitate to undertake to do anything you wanted to do in life? 

Have you ever thought what a benefit that would be to you? 

You know how many people there are that sell themselves short all the way through life because they don't have a right amount of confidence let alone faith? 

Give a guess as to the percentage. 

Well it's somewhere between ninety eight and a hundred percent."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Swiftly to Your Help

I am traveling today so i thought a "Twofer" would be appropriate. 

I meant to send this yesterday on his Feast Day but couldn't pull it off. My apologies! 

Now Stop Worrying and Stay Strong!! ;) 

Doing the Will of God


In short, for God's glory yield to his will completely, and never suppose that you could be serving him better in any other way; the best way to serve him is to fall in with his will for us. 

asaintCavallini-frescoHe wants you to serve him without joy, without feeling, with repugnance and revulsion of spirit.  

Such service gives you no satisfaction, but it pleases him; it is not according to your liking, but according to his.

Imagine that you are never going to be delivered of your anguish: what would you do?  

You would say to God: I am yours; if my miseries are agreeable to you, give me more and let them last longer.  

I have confidence in our Lord that this is what you would say; then you would stop thinking about the matter, at least you would stop struggling.

Well, do this now, and make friends with your trial, as though the two of you were always to live together.  

You will see that when you have stopped taking thought for your deliverance, God will think of it, and when you stop worrying, God will come swiftly to your help.

Stay Strong!!!

All Things ARE Possible!

Today's Scripture
"...with God all things are possible."
(Matthew 19:26, NIV)

Consider Your God!

I had a gentleman tell me one time that his business was very, very slow. It looked like he would go under. He owned a small manufacturing company with one main competitor in town, a national company that was bigger with more resources. 

With the economy down, it made it harder and harder for him to stay open. This man was flexible about what he should do next, but he really believed he was in the business God wanted him to be in. 

So, he kept praying, believing and hoping; and instead of considering his circumstances, he considered his God. And just when he thought he was going to have to close down, his main competitor had a change in leadership and direction and decided to pull out of this market. Now he's breaking all kinds of records.

Today I want to encourage you. If there's something coming against you, consider your God. 

He has a way to meet EVERY ONE of your needs. 

You may not be able to beat the competition in the natural, but God can simply remove the competition. He wants to give you His favor. 

He wants to give you the advantage for success. Trust Him and believe because with God, all things are possible!

A Prayer for Today
"Father, today I put my trust in You. I know that You are faithful and have good things in store for my future. Thank You for giving me patience to stand and see Your promises come to pass in every area of my life in Jesus' name! Amen."


Monday, January 23, 2017

In Weakness...

"I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong."
-  2 Corinthians 12: 7– 10

How many times in our lives have we felt weak, hopeless, lost and adrift at sea?

How often have we been at the helm of the ship and the crashing waves will not relent and the darkness will not seem to dissipate?

How many times have we been thrown into a storm that seems to never end and the thunder and lightning only seem to get louder as we move forward?

Well, this is life.

These storms are inevitable and every day will not be calm and sunny.

We were never promised smooth sailing or perpetually sunny days in our short time on this earth.

No one escapes the trials and challenges of life in this physical world of ours.

However!!!   No matter the storm you find yourself in today, not matter how long the darkness has been hanging over you, regardless of the damage your vessel has sustained in the storm or how vulnerable and weak you feel in your battles - know this and this alone - the storm will NOT last forever!

Although it seems impossible to you in the midst of your challenges that the sun will break through the storm clouds, they surely will and the seas will calm and all will be safe and well again!

Remember that even in the darkest nights you are never alone!! 

You are never abandoned and you will survive this strife and hardship - stronger  and wiser as a result.

Ask for help. Ask for strength. Ask for guidance.

The promise is that if you ask with a faithful heart, it will be granted to you!

Do not quit.

Do not give up.

Do not despair!!

Help is at your fingertips and all you need to do is ask for it! 

This too shall pass!

Stay Strong!

Show quoted text

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Unswerving Faithfulness

"Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? " (Psalm 10: 1)

God is . . . an ever-present help in trouble" (Ps. 46: 1).  

But He allows trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, so we may be brought to the end of ourselves.

Through the trial, we are led to discover the treasure of darkness and the immeasurable wealth of tribulation.

We may be sure that He who allows the suffering is with us throughout it.

It may be that we will only see Him once the ordeal is nearly passed, but we must dare to believe that He NEVER leaves our trial.

Our eyes are blinded so we cannot see the One our soul loves.

The darkness and our bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest.

Yet He is there and is deeply touched.

Let us not rely on our feelings but trust in His "unswerving faithfulness."

And though we cannot see Him, let us talk to Him.

Although His presence is veiled, once we begin to speak to Jesus as if He were literally present, an answering voice comes to show us He is in the shadow, keeping watch over His own.

Your Father is as close to you when you journey through the darkest tunnel as He is when you are under the open heaven!"

No matter the dark tunnel you find yourself in today, do not lose hope and know that with Faith this too shall pass!

Stay Strong!! 

You are never alone!!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Do Not be Anxious..about Anything!

"It is the same with genuine Faith.

It hands its circumstance over to God, allowing Him to work.

Psalm 37: 5 is a great confirmation of this:

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this."

He will never work UNTIL we commit.

Faith is receiving—or even more, actually appropriating—the gifts God offers us.

We may believe in Him, come to Him, commit to Him, and rest in Him, but we will never fully realize all our blessings UNTIL we begin to receive from Him and come to Him having the spirit of abiding and appropriating.

- From "Days of Heaven upon Earth"


Dr. Payson, while still a young man, once wrote to an elderly mother who was extremely worried and burdened over the condition of her son.

He wrote:

"You are worrying too much about him. Once you have prayed for him, as you have done, and committed him to God, you should not continue to be anxious."

God's command, "Do not be anxious about anything"(Phil. 4: 6), is unlimited, and so is the verse:

"Cast all your anxiety on him"(1 Peter 5: 7).

If we truly have cast our burdens upon another, can they continue to pressure us?

If we carry them with us from the throne of grace, it is obvious we have not left them there.

In my own life I test my prayers in this way: after committing something to God, if I can come away, like Hannah did, with no more sadness, pain, or anxiety in my heart, I see it as proof that I have prayed the prayer of faith.

But if I pray and then still carry my burden, I conclude my faith was not exercised."

Enjoy the long weekend...Stay Strong!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

No Accident....

Stay Strong!!

Loretta Pehanich

car accident

It was the kind of day when everything was going wrong. I could recite a litany of all the mishaps and disasters. I knew I needed a lifeline by 10 a.m., so I phoned a friend, my sister, who is a Daughter of Charity and a powerful pray-er.

I had just shared (spilled) coffee with someone in a failed work meeting, so I sat in my car in the Starbucks parking lot as Sister Julie prayed with me and gave me a pep talk. I breathed in God's grace—more in faith than in feeling—and hung up. I felt better.

Backing out, hopeful for a better remainder of the day, WHAM! I backed into a woman backing into me. What? Are you kidding?

I got out and headed to her car. "I can't believe that just happened!" I said. Words of incredulity poured from me. She sat silent in the driver's seat, writing out her contact and insurance information. Following her example, I fell silent and wrote out mine.

When she tore the paper out of her pad, and I gave her my page, I said, "I notice you have a rosary hanging from your mirror. Are you a Catholic?"

Several others things also hung there. She hesitated. Was it because she wasn't sure how to answer the question? Was she having a crisis of faith? She finally said, "Yes."

"I'm a Catholic too," I replied.

Tears began to run down her cheeks. "I had breast cancer surgery last week," she said.

"Can I pray for you?" I asked. She nodded, so I put my hand on her shoulder and began the most impassioned, heartfelt, storm-heaven kind of prayer I could think of. I guess I was feeling mad at God that this woman was getting hit with cancer, and hit by me, and I started to demand miracles for her.

Now this was not the first time I've prayed over someone. And sometimes, I can feel a person cringing under my hand on their shoulder, as if they can't wait for me to stop. But this woman reached up, gripped my hand, and held it there. I don't know if my prayer was too long or too short. Whatever it was, it was full of faith. And when I finished, she thanked me.

"I will pray for you all day," I said and meant it.

And then she hugged me. "Have nice holidays," she said as we parted.

As I walked to my car, I looked at the paper with her name and insurance information. Preprinted at the top was: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say: Rejoice! —Philippians 4:4."

What just happened to me? Did I run into an angelShe wished me happy holidays?

That accident was a few weeks ago, and still I pray for the woman in the other car. I've asked friends and family to pray for her too. "God, bring good out of this," I pray.

"It's no accident you ran into her," a friend said. I laughed out loud. With God, nothing is mere coincidence.

What holy incidents and happy accidents have occurred to you?

Stay Strong!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why Be Afraid??

"Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
PSALM 139:7–10 

One of the greatest of all the promises in the Bible is this: 

"I am with you."

Jesus said it to his disciples (and to us) at the end of Matthew's Gospel: 

"Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

If the Lord is with us, what do we have to fear? 

What do we lack? 

How can we lose? 

The same Lord who walked on water, healed the sick, and rose from the dead is saving us, watching over us, guiding our steps. 

Knowing this, why don't we dance in the streets and throw more parties? 

Why do we sometimes act as though God is not only not with us but that he is nowhere in the vicinity? 

There may be many reasons why we feel God's absence in our lives. 

One of these is surely that our "spiritual sensors"often don't work very well. 

We are like malfunctioning radar that can't spot a supersonic jet flying straight overhead. 

But another common reason is that we are the ones who go AWOL, not God. 

Consider Peter. One day Jesus climbed into Peter's boat, telling him to row out into the lake and cast his nets out despite the fact that 

Peter had been up all night fishing with nothing to show for it. 

But this time when Peter threw out the nets, he caught so many fish that his boat began to sink. 

Instead of jumping with joy, Peter fell down and implored Jesus to leave him, saying, 

"Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"

There's something right about Peter's response. 

Jesus is holy and sin is his implacable enemy. 

Still the Lord didn't leave Peter. 

Instead he stayed and transformed his life. 

And that's what Jesus wants to do with our lives. 

We make a mistake when we let our sin drag us down and away from the One who has promised to be with us. 

Instead of running to him, we let a cloud settle over us. 

Finding it hard to pray, we move farther away. 

In a thousand different ways, we say, 

"Depart from me, O Lord!"

At times like this we need to recall the words of Psalm 139:11–12: 

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 

If you are troubled by some persistent failing, by some entrenched sin, don't run away from Jesus. 

Instead express your sorrow and ask for his forgiveness—and then receive it. 

After that try praying this famous fourth-century prayer known as St. Patrick's Breastplate: 

"Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, King of my heart; 

Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part. 

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ all around me, shield in the strife; 

Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising, light of my life. 

Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, King of my heart; 

Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part."

From "Praying in the Names of Jesus"
By Ann Spangler

Stay Strong! :) 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Victory in Defeat

Happy Monday, All!  

Mondays seem to present the biggest challenge to our overall positivity and outlook for many reasons. 

However, we cannot allow a single day to overwhelm our optimism and distract us from all the amazing blessings we have been given!!

It's just a day afterall and we must remain focused on all the good that this single day can bring us -  IF we stay focused and put everything in perspective!

So throw the "Monday Blues" out the window and smile and go take on the day with Faith and Trust and Joy!!  

Even in the depth of a storm we must RELAX, take stock of all our blessings and know that despite the challenges- the storm COULD BE WORSE and know that the sun will shine again and all will be ok!  :)  


Stay Strong!

'God wins His greatest victories through our apparent defeats.

Very often the enemy seems to triumph for a season, and God allows it. 

But then He comes in and upsets the work of the enemy, overthrows the apparent victory, and as the Bible says, "frustrates the ways of the wicked" (Ps. 146: 9).

Consequently, He gives us a much greater victory than we would have known had He not allowed the enemy seemingly to triumph in the first place.

The story of the three Hebrew young men who were thrown into the fiery furnace is a familiar one.

There was an apparent victory for the enemy. It looked as if the servants of the living God were going to suffer a terrible defeat.

We have all been in situations where it seemed as though we were defeated, and the enemy rejoiced.

We can only imagine what a complete defeat this appeared to be for Daniel's friends. They were thrown into the terrible flames while their enemies watched to see them burn.

Yet the enemy was greatly astonished to see them walking around in the fire, enjoying themselves. 

Then King Nebuchadnezzar told them to come out of the fire. 

The enemy "crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them . . . for no other god can save in this way" (Dan. 3: 27, 29).

This apparent defeat resulted in a miraculous victory.

Suppose these three men had lost their faith and courage and had complained, saying, "Why didn't God keep us out of the furnace!" 

They would have been burned, and God would not have been glorified.

If there is a great trial in your life today, do not acknowledge it as a defeat.

Instead, continue by faith to claim the victory through Him who is able to make you "more than conquerors" (Rom. 8: 37), and a glorious victory will soon be apparent.

May we learn that in all the difficult places God takes us, He is giving us opportunities to exercise our faith in Him that will bring about blessed results and greatly glorify His name."

From "Life of Praise"

Stay Strong!

Photo Credit P. B.-  Thank you!!

Friday, January 6, 2017

In Our Storms

When Jesus encountered two men on the road to Emmaus who were despondent, he employed passages from the Old Testament to console them, evoking in their minds the promises of God and the memory of his faithfulness.

Passages like these, the ones that comfort me by putting me in touch with the person of God include:

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34: 18

"I will fear no evil, for you are with me."
Psalm 23: 4

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age".
Matthew 28: 20

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Hebrews 13: 5

I also encounter the person of Jesus in Mark's telling of Jesus' disciples banding together against the gales of a storm.

Jesus has pulled away from the crowds to be with his Father, sending his disciples across the lake in a boat.

When he sees them struggling, he walks out onto the water.

Thinking Jesus is a ghost, they cry out in terror. Jesus' words of comfort to his disciples?

"Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid."

And I love the verse right after that:

"Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished"
(Mark 6: 51 NASB).

I love that Jesus went out onto the sea, in the dark of night, in the midst of the storm.

It wasn't the disciples looking for Jesus, but Jesus looking for the disciples.

He didn't call to them from the safety of the shore; he put himself in their storm.

And came to their boat.

Which to me is the message of the incarnation (see Matthew 1: 23, "And they shall call His name Immanuel, which translated means, 'God with us'" NASB).

As you turn to the Scriptures for hope and comfort, Immanuel is the one you seek.

Stay Strong!