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

Does life feel like a blur …

Have you ever walked through a season where your life feels like a blur ~ like you have been running here and there, trying to keep up with the pace (whether real or perceived) ~ where you believe you can’t think anymore or handle one more issue of life? That series of days, weeks or months where the work schedules/demands, family commitments, church commitments, special holidays and milestone events of life feel as if they have drained you of everything?

When I get into that ‘blur’ ~ feeling like life is out-of-control and there’s nothing left within me, I inevitably realize that I have disconnected from my priority ~ God first!   Because I realize that in the craziness of life, I have left little room for quiet, refreshing time with my Father God. I may pray as I run, but I have forgotten to seek His guidance and wisdom. I am no longer in the shadow of His comfort, His peace, His love! And as things are falling apart around me, I realize how much I miss HIM!

That is when I STOP everything, and reset my priorities.

Praise God, HE loves us so much! When I stop, I can sit, breathe, share my heart and concerns with Him, for He listens and hears them all (1 John 5:14-15). And, when I take that time, I am refreshed, I find clarity and everything else in life falls into place.

Oh, I encourage you. The saying may have been ‘stop and smell the roses’ but I encourage you, stop, reset your priorities, and reclaim your peace, your clarity, and most importantly, your first love in God.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” Psalm 91:1 Amplified

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.  And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7

Be blessed,

Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

W-a-i-t-i-n-g …

Everyone reading this is waiting for something, right?  Whether waiting for our circumstances to change; the birth of a child … or a grand idea; waiting for something small … or a miracle … waiting is part of our every day life. 

And as you think about what you are waiting for … how often have you grown impatient, began to doubt or even given up hope? I know I have at times.  But then I remember …

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

I remember that He created each one of us with a very specific plan and purpose, and I take comfort knowing that in HIS amazing love for us, HE gives us the wisdom and the patience to wait for those plans to come about ~ for God’s perfect timing!  Here’s how …

“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and
let your heart be stout [brave, strong] and enduring …”
Psalm 27:14

Notice there is action required on your part ~

“Trust in the Lord and do good; …
     (lean on, rely on, and be confident)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and
     He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord
     [roll and repose each care of your load on Him];
trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass…

Be still and rest in the Lord;
wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;

fret not …”
Psalm 37:3-7 (Amplified)

So, I am waiting with expectancy for many wondrous things, as I know you are.  Seek and follow His guidance.

When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.”  Jeremiah 29:12 (The Message) 

God’s Love and Blessings to you and yours!
Michelle Lord Samples
coachmichelle@charter.net

 

Steal, Kill and Destroy …

For someone like me who is all about encouragement, the title ‘steal, kill and destroy‘ sounds a bit dark.  But as I watch and listen to what’s going on in the world, I can’t help but think of this scripture, which begins with:

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy…” John 10:10a

The thief, known more commonly as satan, ruler or the prince of this world, has a job description, and it is to steal, kill and destroy us.

You’ll find evidence of this destruction in the daily news ~ mall/school shootings; children killing parents/each other; terrorism; deadly addictions; cheating and deceiving in ways we could never have imagined before; weather pattern changes with destructive outcomes; and on and on the list could go.  And think of the violent movies, tv dramas and video games that offer even more creative ways to destroy or devalue life; the medication ads that tell us how sick we are, and how much sicker we’ll become while taking the meds; and listen to death/darkness and destruction in the lyrics of songs.

At times, we shake our heads in disbelief, and ask ourselves what is this world coming to? Yet I remember my dad asking that same question when I was a little girl.  Truth is that this destructive path has been with us ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, when they transferred their God-given authority (Genesis 1:26) over to the ‘prince’ of this world. But let me encourage you, for Jesus continued to say:

“… I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10b (Amplified)

Jesus came … to reclaim our God-given authority!  Jesus came to save us, to walk through the struggles of life with us; to fill us with His peace, joy and hope, here and now … and for eternity!  Think about this amazing gift in the midst of what we see and hear, knowing that satan is defeated.

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us, no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ,
like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son.
He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition,
entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity
in order to set it right once and for all.”
Romans 8:1-4 (The Message)

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

Resources:
Ephesians 1:17-23  [I, Paul] “pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ…”

Let your heart take courage …

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!
Psalm 31:24 (Amplified)

Psalm 31 starts out “In You, O Lord, I put my trust…”  To anyone walking through the storms of life, I encourage you to put your trust in God, and allow Him to help you!

Be strong and let your heart take courage ~
Let your heart … just like put (your trust) and allow  … all require action on your part.  It entails being dependent, trusting, and leaning on God, instead of pulling yourself up by your own boot straps, stubbornly trying to make things happen on your own ~ your way or the highway.  Instead …  let your heart take courage for God will strengthen your heart!   

Courage ~ the ability and willingness to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation,*” guided, enabled, and strengthened by the all loving and all-knowing God.

All you who Wait for ~ Wait, is to “hope, trust, expect, be patient, remain in anticipation**.”  Waiting in faith on the Lord, and trusting God always, for He heard your prayers, as you drew near to Him!

All you who Hope for ~ Hope is “confident expectation based on solid certainty… an extension of faith***”  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”  Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

All you who Expect the Lord ~ look forward to, anticipate, await, hope and watch for the promises of God to manifest in and through your life!

Do you see how Wait, Hope and Expect all interweave?  “… let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!”

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)

As the storms of life come and go, you may have moments when you take your eyes off of Christ, but take courage in and through the strength and love of God through Jesus Christ ~ refocus, grab hold of Him and stand up again victoriously!

“I [Jesus} have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence.
In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration;
but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident,
certain, undaunted]!
For I have overcome the world.
[I have deprived it of power to harm you and
have conquered it for you.”
John 16:33 (Amplified)

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

______________________________________________________________________

*  Wikipedia
**  Strong’s #3176 ~ Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong, LLD., S.T.D.
***  Strong’s #1680 and Word Wealth from New Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Bibles.

The most incredible gift ~ have you opened it?

From the Heart ~ Merry Christmas

Today is the day we recognize as Christmas ~ the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, humbly born in a manger and who dwelt ‘among us’!!

“Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel—which, when translated, means, God with us.”  Matthew 1:23 Amplified

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; …”  John 1:14 Amplified

Today is the day we recognize the most incredible gift we could ever receive ~ Jesus ~ born out of love from God ~ for you and me!

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 NLT

The most remarkable gift ~ a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  The most marvelous, unconditional, unwavering, unending LOVE ~ a free gift ~ just for you!

Today is the day we celebrate God, who sent Jesus to this world, to meet us right where we’re at, to forgive, love and guard us ~ if we will just receive and open His gift to us!  It’s personal, it’s real and and it’s available ~ God’s love through Jesus Christ, for you and me!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given…  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 TNIV

People ask ‘How do we walk through these troubled times?’  We do so, by opening this marvelous gift of love and hope through Jesus Christ.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
God loves YOU; He is with you; He is for you ~ not against you!

Today ~ and every day ~ I pray you and your families are blessed in all ways; and may you know the Love of God toward YOU this day and always!

Merry Christmas ~  God’s Love and Blessings
Michelle