You are Not Alone … 

Kari Jobe sings a song titled:   You Are Not Alone – Kari Jobe

And, as I traveled to Belgium this past week … alone … I kept remembering I wasn’t alone, even when I felt like I was!  I believed God was with me every step of the way.  But, because I felt a bit more vulnerable given world events, and as a flight was cancelled, another delayed, and yet another missed … I kept saying to my Lord and Savior … I need you, I lean on you, I trust you … for I know I am not alone – You are always with me, making a way when there seems to be none!  I had to consciously allow what I knew to get down into my heart, reassuring myself of truth, and in that I found peace and favor.

This trip reminded me how easily it can be to forget to invite God throughout our routine … cause, well … we got this one covered, we’ve done this before.  As I felt desperate, I noticed how consciously and quickly I ran to God!

Whether you are in your routine day or facing a great adventure or challenge of life, I encourage you to know and believe that if you believe in God, though Jesus Christ … He is with you, always!  He loves YOU!  As you open your heart to Him … developing the personal relationship with Him that He so desires, ask Him to guide your steps, to show you the way, for His ways are truly better than ours, as He knows our beginning from the end.

This little trip reminded me that challenges are not bad … they can be redirecting us into something better; they can help us grow stronger in our trust In Christ; they can open our eyes to things the Lord wants to show us … and on and on.  Truth is that God knows our needs and as we seek Him … He guides us down the path He has planned for us.  Jeremiah 29:11

Be encouraged, you are not alone.  No matter how dark it may seem, you are loved – He gave His life for you.  Ask and receive that love and guidance today!

God’s Love and Blessings, Michelle

Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear your voice and I will listen to you.

 

Child-like expectation …

Have you ever watched a child, excitedly sharing their stories with someone they love and trust?  They are filled with so much passion, expression and joy!  And, as we listen and respond, they hang onto every word we say!  Oh, that look in their eyes … that innocence … and that expectation!  Think about it for a moment …

That, my friend, is what God is seeking from us … that relationship ~ sharing our heart with Him, no matter what we are thinking/feeling; and then that childlike faith [trusting, humble, and forgiving] ~ hanging on to His every Word.  He longs for that openness and expectancy on our part ~ to seek Him and believe ~ to receive His perfect love, His perfect healing, His perfect wisdom, everything we need!

“unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives], and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving] … ” Matthew 18:3 Amplified

I have a friend who is inspiring me and why I am blogging today.  This young lady, a new believer, recently received a diagnosis of cancer.  To watch her faith grow exponentially, to see her ability to find joy In Christ, in the midst of reports of chemo and radiation; to hear her talk of the blessings, in the midst of this whirlwind … increases my faith, as I share God’s Word with her!!!

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”
Hebrews 11:1

What are we hoping for in that scripture?  As we read throughout the Bible, we find God’s promises for us, through Jesus Christ.  And, as we excitedly find out what He says …. we can stand in faith … the assurance of things hoped for … but not yet seen.

Take courage, whatever you face, God says HE is with you, HE will never leave you, HE is your refuge …. what are you hoping for that aligns with HIS Word/promises?

“… and the prayer of faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  James 5:15 Amplified

“But without faith, it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists, and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

Seek HIM with that child-like faith ~ expectation, anticipation … for HE loves you and will walk with you no matter how difficult the journey!

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle

“For as he thinks in his heart, so he is…”

From The Heart_4C

Given my recent heart health events, I’ve put some focus on scriptures regarding the heart!  Obviously there is reference to the heart, a physical organ in our bodies.  But mostly, there is reference to the heart, which is the “seat of the mind and will.*”  I’m not sure I ever thought about my heart as being my intellect, awareness, mind, inner person/feelings**, or inner yearnings***.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so he is…”
Proverbs 23:7   Amplified

What are we thinking in our heart ~ yearning for?  I read that our “actions follow the leaning of our heart.”  So, what “…we incline and devote our hearts [to] decides what we will serve and become****!”  Hmm … ponder that for a moment!

What are we inclining and devoting our heart to … mind, intellect, inner feelings or inner yearnings??

“For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”  Matthew 12:34b  New Living Translation

In the first lesson of my life group study, “You are God’s Masterpiece” I ask participants to focus on their spoken wordsinner thoughts and actions … paying attention to each aspect of what they are ‘saying’ to themselves and the world?  For often times we can verbalize wonderfully positive thoughts and concepts, but our actions or thoughts ~ deep within our heart ~ are saying something very different ~ defeat, unbelief, condemnation, bitterness, anger, etc.  Worth pondering!  For example, am I saying I’m the healed of the Lord, but believing in my heart all the symptoms I feel?

“For as he thinks in his heart, so he is…”
Proverbs 23:7   Amplified

Praise God, HE knows the intent of our heart and loves us so completely!  I’m excited and intrigued by this search of the word ‘heart‘ and plan on writing about it in the next few posts.   Follow me as we grow together better understanding our heart, as we renew our minds in and through Christ!

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle Lord Samples
coachmichelle@charter.net

_____________________
*  New Spirit Filled Life Bible, commentary for Deuteronomy 6:5
**  Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible #3820
***  New Spirit Filled Life Bible, Word Wealth for Heart ~ Psalm 37:4
****  New Spirit Filled Life Bible, Truth-in-Action Truth #2 ~ 1 Chronicles 16:8-35; 22:19; 28:9

Where do you run?

When you were a child, did you ever hide behind a long drape at home or on the school stage? And, maybe even at times, grab the edge of the long drape and swirl around until you were completely enveloped by the drape, believing you were safely hidden? Or, did you ever run and hide around mom or dad’s legs in a shy or fearful moment?  As children we may have felt safe and protected in those hide-away places.

But now as adults, where do you run when sad, scared, angry, or inconsolable because of the challenges faced?  When you don’t understand ‘why’ something traumatic just happened to a loved one; when everything is out of your control, and you don’t know what to do or say?  Where do you run and seek safety, counsel/guidance and love?   Do you remember then, as always, that God is your true, constant and ever ready friend?

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty
[Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress,
my God;
on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
(Psalm 91:1-2 Amplified)

Dwelling in the ‘secret place of the Most High’, is spending time with God and sharing your heart with Him ~ talking about your dreams and visions, as well as everything that’s causing you pain or concern; and being able to ask those ‘why’ questions.  It is ongoing time with God in prayer, getting to know Him through scriptures, asking for and listening to Him speak wisdom, guidance and love into your life.

When you walk closely with Him, He securely upholds you, guides you and there is a tremendous sense of comfort/security!  Because you’re dwelling ‘under the shadow.’ If you think of a shadow, it doesn’t take many steps before you’ve stepped beyond the shadow, right? He’s asking you to stay close to Him always, and when you do, He promises safety/refuge!

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God!   Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!”
Proverbs 3:5-8 (The Message)

Staying close to God/developing a trust relationship with Him is personal, and requires time, just like developing any quality/true friendship.  It’s not a church attendance thing, it’s relationship building.  I am so grateful to God that when I look to Him, even in those doubting, questioning times, He is always faithful to show me truth, comfort me and answer those important questions, and I know He is there for you too … right now!
I encourage you to get to know your heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ!
And, if I can help you, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net.

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle

Faith ~ how to walk in faith?

It’s one thing to describe Faith, but it’s another to walk in faith when you’re the one facing the circumstances of life!  Let me share a couple of examples … from my heart…

Walking by faith testimony ~ if you’ll remember back in June, I blogged about the miracle of my husband’s heart attack.  My husband walked in faith by asking God for guidance; listening for, and following God’s lead; and, going to the ER without fear or dread.  Praise God, 48 hours later my husband was discharged, after they placed a stint in him to repair a 95% blocked vein!  When we think of all the things that could have been, we shout from the rooftop, Praise God!  I encourage you to share your testimony of walking by faith in the comment section ~ to encourage others as well!!

“No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.”

Still walking by faith ~ a month after my husband’s health event, I began to feel ill.  I sought medical attention, currently seeing a specialist, who is ordering this test and that to ascertain the challenge.  But, this week as I went through one test, inhaling radioactive gas and (yuck) having radioactive albumin injected into my vein, I recognized fear had crept into my thinking.  What am I dealing with?  What are they putting into me?  At that moment, I realized I had a choice to make.  I could follow the fear and let the unknown consume me, or I could hang on to God, and His truths ~ thus walking by faith!  I thought of all the encouragement I had given others over the last few years, and I recognized I too needed to stand on those same Godly truths.  At that moment, God brought to mind the young shepherd boy, David when he prepared to face the giant Goliath.  Before David stepped out to face (and conquer) Goliath.  He made a bold statement of faith:

“I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel … This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you…

I too, made a declaration.  I too, come in the Name of the Lord, and I declare my God loves me with an everlasting love, and will never leave me nor forsake me; HE has great plans for me ~ for good, not evil.  HIS will for me is to be healed and whole.  By faith, that unwavering confidence in God, through Jesus Christ, I am believing that God’s Word and promises are true, and I declare my God is greater than anything I may face!  It’s freeing to trust God when you feel vulnerable.  It also weakens the enemy’s grip on your life, for scripture says that every knee must bow at the Name of Jesus.

So, whatever mountain(s) of challenge you face today ~ no matter what it’s called [sickness, financial distress, loss of a loved one, family drama/dysfunction, job loss, disappointment, etc.] you can walk by faith as an overcomer in Christ ~ despite what it looks like or feels like at the moment!  You walk in faith by prayerfully presenting these concerns to God ~ an open, honest conversation between you and God.  (Remember you are speaking to a God who understands and sympathises with your circumstances (Hebrews 4:15).  God’s not asking you to deny what you’re facing or feeling.  But, by faith, He’s asking you to believe, without wavering, that His promises are true and that HE is greater than anything you face.  Declare HIS truths in the face of your challenge, thus walking by faith.

Jesus said “…Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 5:37)

“if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.  (Matthew 17:20)

I encourage you to share your testimony in the comments to encourage others … your walk of faith in God!  And, if you need help knowing God’s truths for you in your current circumstance, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net (fromtheheartlifecoach.com)

Faith ~ unwavering conviction

Recently I was asked about Faith, and as I thought about it I recognized that faith can be a complex word, loosely used and with diverse meaning to any one individual.  The word ‘faith’ can be a safe term used to imply a belief in God or higher power; faith or confidence in a person, a theory, a code of ethics, an innate object, or a religion ~ a complex word all of its own!  What does faith mean to you?

To me, Faith is a very powerful word.  It’s an unwavering conviction, an inward confidence, trust, belief, reliance, assurance in a Sovereign God ~ and all that He says through the Word of God.  Biblically, faith is described as:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”  Hebrews 11:1

Faith is personally believing the promises of God are real for you, in your life today; believing with assurance, before you even see them come to pass with your five senses.  By faith ~ though we may not see the outcome this minute, we know deep in our spirit, the promises are fact because faith is Now.

I once asked a friend if anyone or anything could convince her that she did not love her precious grand-daughter?  Unequivocally she said NO! Faith is when we unequivocally believe ~ nothing or no-one could convince us otherwise ~ in a God who, through Jesus Christ, forgives all our sin, heals all our diseases, redeems our lives from the pit and corruption, beautifies, dignifies, and crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercy!  Faith is believing in all God did for us and all He has promised us, without doubt!

Faith is NOT intellectual understanding!  Faith is NOT what we’re feeling!  Faith is NOT hoping, praying and crossing our fingers, for that is doubt.  Faith if NOT knocking on wood.  Faith is knowing with unwavering conviction …

“beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.”  1John 5:14-15 (The Message)

What is your faith in? What are God’s promises?  If I can come alongside you, help you become acquainted with what God says about you and promises you, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net  Next time we’ll talk about Faith in Action.

Your free will …

We were created with free will … the freedom to make choices every moment of every day!  We can choose to see the glass half full or half empty! We can choose to live bound, broken or defeated, or we can choose to live a fulfilled and blessed life because God promises us an abundantly victorious life in and through Christ Jesus!

Sadly, many Christians choose to live defeated lives!  Why?

Why?  Because every day we have a choice to make as we face hurtful memories or today’s unsettling circumstances.  IF God’s Word isn’t real to us every moment of every day ~ deep within our hearts, we make choices to focus on, and empower … the family history of defeat, the tragedy that occurred; the unemployment, devastation of divorce, the lack of love and support, or the lies we were told.  Remember, satan’s job is to kill, steal and destroy.

Even though we hear that we are new creatures in and through Christ; even though we sing songs and we read scriptures about how Jesus took our sin, sickness and disease, pain and suffering on the cross for us; even though we know these truths in our head … we haven’t truly received and believed in our heart, in our newly created Spirit, that:

~ God truly forgives and loves us unconditionally;
~ G
od has the ability and the desire to heal our deepest wounds;
~
God has plans to prosper and bless us;
~
God can move the mountains in our lives;
~ God chose us
!

The truth that sets us free is that we can change our focus, make healthy choices ~ all empowered by the Spirit of God that dwells within us!  Because Jesus gave His life for us, no matter what our background, what’s going on around us, or what people have said about us, we can choose to begin anew ~ not in our own power and might, but In Christ.  This does not mean our past tragedy or our current circumstances aren’t real, BUT In and through Christ, by His Power within us, we can make new choices to see life through God’s eyes and believe what HE says ~ for we ARE victorious ~ and if we allow it, HE will show us the way to that victory!  

 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy-seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”  Matthew 17:20 (The Message)

God sees you as His Masterpiece.  Who do you see?

God says He is with you always, never leaving your side;
God says HE will light your path, showing you the way to truth, peace, joy and fulfillment … do you truly believe this or are they just words?

Are you willing to trust Him, to yield the past pain/hurt, or the current concerns/fears ~  allowing Him to heal your wounds and move the ‘mountains’ in your life?

If you are ready to break away from defeat, see yourself in a new light and let go of the old way of thinking and acting, feel free to contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net.  Let me come alongside you, encourage you in how God sees you and what He promises … so you can choose each day to live victoriously In Christ!  From the Heart, www.fromtheheartlifecoach.com