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.

 

Oh, To Be Set Free ..

Have you ever hungered to be set free … tired of carrying such deep wounds, anger, bitterness?  How often we feel a weight and don’t even know what to call it!  Is it a never-ending sadness, cynicism, bitterness, …  what is it in your life?

Free

There were years when I carried this huge weight of anger and unforgiveness. But, most of those years I was in denial ~ and though my actions may have showed rage ~ I was convinced I had life, and myself, well under control.  Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

 for I see that your bitterness has poisoned you and
evil has you in chains”  Acts 8:23 (CEB)

Others may well have understood I was poisoned by bitterness and bound, but not I ~ until events/circumstances brought me to my knees, and I made a choice to hand it all over to God ~ and with that, I received His unconditional love and freedom!  Oh, by God’s grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, I am free!

You can be too!!

When I see that deep hurt in others, I so desperately want to share how they can be free as well.  But often times … like I was back then … eyes are blinded, hearts hardened and not open to this gift!  (“…among them the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God…” 2 Corinthians 4:4 (AMP)

To all th0se hurting, whether by people, events or even church … please know there is help.  Know this to be true:

God loves you so very much, just where you’re at ~ no matter what is going on.  He is not angry, His arms are reaching out to you!  He simply wants your willingness to reach out to Him and ask for help!

God makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet … God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear (in awe of) him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103:6-18 MSG

I distinctly remember the day I began the journey of healing … oh, that you may allow His Love in, beginning today!  I encourage you to pray this prayer, and receive His pure love and freedom:

Dear God, I know that I’m a sinner and that my sin separates me from You.  I realize that I can’t do anything to earn my way into heaven.  I believe that Jesus took the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross and coming back to life. Today I accept Him as my Savior and Lord.  Thank You for forgiving me and saving me now. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

God’s Love and Blessings to you,
Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

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

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…”

Power … Wonder Working Power …

As a child I remember hearing this song “there is power, wonder-working power, … power in the blood of Jesus,” but never quite understood what it meant.

“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him … and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection
[which it exerts over believers]…”
Philippians 3:10 Amplified

We just celebrated the birth of Christ (Christmas). Think about it – because of Jesus … His birth, life and resurrection (shedding His Blood for us) we not only have salvation (forgiveness of sin), redemption, and eternity with God, but we have access to His Power – here and now!! Power – authority and influence – for the Glory of God.

“I also 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.”
Ephesians 1:19-20

But sadly, there are times we see ourselves or other Christians struggling under the burden of problems and wonder, where is that power? Truth is, we already HAVE that power within us as believers in Jesus Christ!

Mark Hankins says in his book “Taking Your Place In Christ,

“When you get born again, you get ‘in Christ-ed.’  Your spirit is joined to Christ … You share a common life, the same life, the same righteousness, the same triumph, and the same blessing.  When God looks at you, He sees you in Him, but your faith will not be effectual until you start to acknowledge, confess, and declare your identity in Christ…”

Stand up, remember who we are In Christ (because of who HE is and what HE did for us)!  No matter what circumstances surround us, we are victorious, we are redeemed, we are In Him and He is In us!

As this new year begins, and as a Child of the Most High God ~ loved beyond measure ~ see yourself through the eyes of God and walk in the power, wonder-working power of God through Jesus Christ!

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

Resources to help you grow in faith:
“Taking Your place In Christ, Understanding Your Identity & Inheritance In Him,” Mark Hankins, Mark Hankins Ministries, Alexandria, Louisiana

“The Power of the Blood Covenant,” Malcolm Smith ~ Uncover the Secret Strength in God’s Eternal Oath; Harrison House

Greetings

Time flies by so quickly.  Thanksgiving, our grandson’s birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve/Day, work and life ~ all passed in a flash, and the blog I’d planned for mid November, still rolls through my thought process.  And, meanwhile there are so many new thoughts, memories and ideas jumping on board.  So, first of all …Greetings!

Happy, Blessed, Healthy and Prosperous New Year
to one and all!!  

As I take a breath this morning, think back at the last couple months of blessings and joy ~ activity and accomplishments, I can’t help but be grateful to God.  To know how much He loves us, provides, and attends to all that concerns us!

Which brings me to my most favorite recent memory ~ Christmas Eve ~ the time when we are blessed with our children and grandchildren all together in our home!  Ahhh!

Vincent, who just turned 3 likes saying grace with Grampy and Grammy, ending with a resounding AMEN after he hears ‘in the Name of Jesus.’  Christmas Eve (and much to my joyful surprise), my daughter-in-law said that Vincent had been singing Happy Birthday to Jesus during the day.  So, Grammy … remembering she had a cake in the frig, asked the grandchildren if they’d like to have cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus!  They jumped for joy.  Little Emma ran to put the candles in the cake, and once lit and surrounded by the grandchildren, we paraded from the kitchen to the living room singing.  So innocent, so precious, so wondrously special to Grampy and Grammy ~ recognizing the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ ~ the reason for the season.

So as we begin this new year afresh, no matter what goes on around us, I pray your focus stays on your most precious gift  ~ Jesus!  The Gift that brings you unconditional love, forgiveness, salvation, restoration, peace, joy and eternity with God!  To really know Him!!!

“[For my determined purpose is]
that I may know Him
[that I may progressively become more deeply and
intimately acquainted with Him,
perceiving and recognizing and understanding
the wonders  of His Person
more strongly and more clearly],
and that I may in that same way come to know the power
outflowing from His resurrection..”
Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

A Personal Journey …

“[For my determined purpose is]
that I may know Him …”
Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

Personal stories often speak to me, so if I may, allow me to briefly recount my own journey to Know God.  During the first 18 years, I heard about God because my parents faithfully took me to church from week one of life.  Yet, my focus ended up being on the church/people, more than the lessons I heard about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I thank God that those subtle messages sank in and taught me the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)!  I received Jesus as my Lord, and I was baptized … but initially for all the wrong reasons ~ it was what one was supposed to do.

Once a newly married 18-year-old, I chose to walk away from church completely!   As I look back, I am forever grateful that God never walked away from me!  I did invite Him into my life, but I spent 25 years ignoring Him ~ not consciously seeking Him, and not listening to His guidance (and oh, did He try to help me!).  But despite my head-strong independent, angry times, and many ‘free-will’ choices that caused calamity, I can see where God was always there to pick me up!!   At the core, I can also see the Godly values and His tender heart that was deep within me, and in my son.  And, even though I raised my son to only see my perceived flaws of church/religion, instead of getting to know God and His goodness, God was always present with him too because God heard the prayers of the righteous!  (Proverbs 15:29; 1 John 5:14-15)  I praise God that HE loves us all so very much!!

For my determined purpose is that I may Know God … As I look back, I learned the character of God through my years in church Bible study, service and prayer, but I lost focus of ‘who is God.’  I allowed my eyes to focus on the church, the people, my family and friends ~ and my desires ~ all of us, so human and so flawed!  One day I was so desperate, and I remembered to seek God, as I needed a God-sized intervention! I remember the day I surrendered all of my will, fear and my son to the Lord.  And, I came back to God … slowly … learning anew about Him and His love, through Jesus Christ.  I remember finally coming to the Lord because I chose to, being baptized again because by God’s grace, I wanted my past washed away and to start anew.  Oh, to know this loving God who accepts us where we’re at and who brings us into His loving care.

Now, I can’t image taking a breath without God at the center ~ probably because too often I tried and failed.  But, as my husband and I walk through our own recent challenges, it’s been critically important to have developed an intimate relationship with God whom we trust as our anchor, a very real, loving, powerful, mountain-moving God, who is able to positively impact our circumstances as we draw near to Him!

As I think about God ~ forming, and breathing the spirit of life into mankind (Genesis 2:7);

As I think about God ~ and how nothing about me is hidden from Him, … how His thoughts of me outnumber the grains of sand (Psalm 139) ;

As I think about God ~ and how His plans for me are good, to give me a future and
a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

As I think about God ~ and how much He loves us, giving His only Son, Jesus, to give us life abundantly … and  to save us for eternity! (John 10:10 and John 3:16)

As I think about God ~ I want nothing more than to draw near to Him and to Know Him.

I pray that your determined purpose is to Know HimGod ~ Creator of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign, Almighty, Savior, Merciful, Redeemer, our Strength, our Deliverer, our Shelter, our Strong Tower, our Present Help in time of need, our Shield, our Provider, our Peace … our Righteous God who never fails or walks away.  To know God is to know true Love, for God is Love. “We love Him because He first loved us.”  (1 John 4:7-19)

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