Don’t pray for life to be easy.

In my opinion, one of the biggest reasons people lose faith in today’s society is that they expect life to get easy as soon as they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But, I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen. Sorry to break the news.

As God’s children, we are watched over, no doubt about it. But, that doesn’t mean things will get easy for us. Think about your own children. How scary do you feel when you watch them get on that bike without training wheels for the first time? You know they are going to crash, but do you stop them? No. You let them fall. It’s all a part of learning to ride a bike.

Kids fall, but they get back up again. They have courage and strength in the knowledge they are not alone. Mom and Dad are there to help them, to pick them up and tend to them when they fall and get hurt. They have someone to guide them. They can trust that their parents have the knowledge to help them through what they are facing.

God works in the same way. He’s not going to take away all our problems, dilemmas, heartbreaks, or obstacles we face. That’s part of the lessons we’re here to learn. But, we will not be alone.

Life will NOT get easy with Jesus by your side, but I can guarantee that you will be able to handle whatever lies ahead. Trust the Lord to guide you, trust that He knows how to help you through whatever you are facing. Find strength and courage in knowing that you are NOT alone. You’re being guided.

Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the biggest part of faith. That is how you become saved. Trusting God to guide you through this life is how you find strength and joy. God wants you to be happy. Have faith in that.

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I
am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I
will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

A story about a very brave little girl.

I wrote this story for The Fincastle Herald in July of 2008 when a young lady in the county I lived in won a swing set from the local radio station. The reason I am sharing it now is that I saw this little girl at a carnival last month and she looked amazing. She’s still as brave as ever as evident by the very large, scary ride she was climbing on! : ) I wish her and her family the best!

We have another winner in our area for the “Three Wishes”
campaign sponsored by Q99 and AT&T. Leanne Bradshaw, 4, of Troutville was
delivered a Woodplay Swing Set on Monday July 14th in response to a
letter written by her mother, Kim Bradshaw, making a wish for her daughter.

 

Leanne was born with spina-bifida; a birth defect where the
spinal cord is not formed completely, leaving an opening. Though the opening
can be corrected through a closure by surgery, the damage caused to the nerves
by spina-bifida cannot be cured.

 

Specifically with Leanne, she has no feeling in her feet
because of nerve damage. Bradshaw was told to expect to see Leanne in a
wheelchair for the rest of her life. Opting for the best, physical therapy was
started at the preschool program at Greenfield
Elementary School in the
hopes that Leanne might be able to get around using a walker. To everyone’s
surprise, she thrived with a walker, but soon went straight to walking with only
the support of leg braces.

 

Her spark and energy can be seen in Leanne’s bright smile.
She loves life and loves to play – as any young child her age – with Hanna
Montana, princesses and mermaids. She also loves to swing, so much so that
Bradshaw wrote in to the “Three Wishes” program. The plastic and metal swing sets
were not a consideration. They are not functional for Leanne because they do
not offer enough support for her disability. The Woodplay set does.

 

Bradshaw is overjoyed to see her little girl doing so well
after such a long struggle, beginning with the pregnancy itself. When the
defect was found, doctors immediately advised terminating. Possible complications
with spina-bifida were described as including a child in a vegetative state
requiring help with every function in a worse case scenario. Such a child would
eventually need to be placed in a facility such as a nursing home. It was one
of the hardest decisions Bradshaw had to make. Marty Bradshaw, the father, was
equally torn. “We did a whole lot of talking, praying and crying,” Bradshaw
said.

 

Further complicating matters, Bradshaw was bitten by a
copperhead snake when she was five and a half to six months pregnant. Doctors
couldn’t offer anti-venom because of the pregnancy. She suffered greatly. Her
leg swelled up and turned black and blue. It was very painful for her. “I never
got to enjoy my pregnancy,” Bradshaw said. She suffered from depression and
constant worry.

 

Leanne came into the world prematurely, only weighing two
pounds. She faced a major surgery the very next day to close the opening in her
spine. She couldn’t come home for three months.

 

One of the biggest challenges Bradshaw faces now is watching
Leanne’s progressive independence without too much interference. “When she
falls, instead of immediately picking her up, I let her figure it out and
encourage her so she can do things herself,” Bradshaw said. Every mother’s
instinct would be to help and do it for her, but Bradshaw knows she must let
Leanne learn to be self-sufficient. The child that could have ended up in a
nursing home is capable of anything she wants to do. The world is hers.

 

So, what does little Leanne want to do? She wants to be a
bus driver. She climbed onto her new swing set and closed her eyes as she
pretended the motion of the swing was a bus and she was driving.

 

Another challenge when dealing with a disability is the
general public and natural curiosity. Bradshaw told a story about the first
time Leanne noticed the stares. They were in a checkout line at a store. A lady
turned around to stare, so Leanne smiled at her, turned her leg so the lady
could see the braces and the princesses put on the side as decorations and
said, “Aren’t they cool?”

 

This wish was for Leanne, but it was obvious that Bradshaw
was equally happy by the swing set. “Miracles do happen. Prayer really works,”
she said.

 

In her letter asking for the swing set, Bradshaw
wrote, “Thank you for your consideration. I know whomever you choose will be
deserving.” Yes, they were.

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

God Bless You

Published in: on June 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Knots Prayer

Such a
beautiful prayer…
Author Unknown…
cid:image001.jpg@01CA472A.16789440
Published in: on April 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Don’t Lose Hope

P—–pray

U—-until
S—-something
H—-happens

Keep hope. Keep faith. Stay strong.

Published in: on March 27, 2010 at 8:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Motivational Monday – Faith that is Alive

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

"…faith without works is dead"
(James 2:20, NKJ)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Did
you know that faith can be alive or faith can be dead? There are a lot
of people who are missing out on the abundant life. They love God, but
they aren’t overcoming their obstacles or accomplishing their God-given
dreams simply because they are not putting any action behind their
faith. Their faith is dead, and it isn’t activating God’s power.

What
can you do today to keep your faith alive? It doesn’t have to be
something big. Just simply obeying God and doing your best keeps your
faith alive. When you go to work every day and give it 100%, you are
demonstrating your faith. Sometimes just putting a smile on your face
when you feel discouraged, that’s putting action behind your faith.
Just taking time to go to church—that’s faith that is alive. That’s
faith that activates God’s power. That’s faith that opens the door for
God to move on your behalf. With faith that is alive, you’ll rise up
higher. You’ll overcome obstacles, and you’ll move forward into the
abundant life God has in store for you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

Father
in heaven, thank You for Your Word which is life to my soul. Show me
ways to put my faith in action. Guide my steps and keep me close to You
so that everything I do brings honor to You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Visit http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Index.aspx to sign up for a daily email like this one!

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Motivational Monday – Overflowing with Passion for Life

Overflowing With Passion for Life

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord"
(Romans 12:11, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Zeal
is simply another word for passion. I’ve noticed that too many people
today have lost their passion and enthusiasm for life. At one time,
they were excited about their dreams and got up every day with purpose
and passion. But now, because time has passed and they’ve experienced
disappointments, they’re not excited about those dreams anymore.
They’ve lost their fire.

Friend,
God wants you to live with passion! You weren’t meant to live a
stagnant, ordinary life. You serve an extraordinary God, and you are
called to be a reflection of Him.

The
truth is, most of life can be very routine. We have to work to keep
things fresh. We have to put forth effort to stay passionate about our
jobs, relationships, and our walk with the Lord. I believe every day we
need to stir ourselves up. Just like the apostle Paul told Timothy,
today I’m telling you to "fan your flame!" In other words, don’t let
the fire go out. Stay passionate about your life so you can move
forward and embrace the dreams God has placed within you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

"Father
God, thank You for Your Word which is truth that sets me free. Help me
to stir up the passion in my heart so that I can stay on fire for You.
Thank You for guiding and directing my steps so that I can embrace
every dream and promise You have for me. In Jesus’ Name Amen."

**This came from http://www.joelosteen.com. You can sign up there to receive these in your Inbox.**

Published in: on November 30, 2009 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thank you to all the veterans out there!

It’s raining so I can’t fly my flag today, but I want to say thank you to every veteran out there from the bottom of my heart!

Now, for a little something extra…

AUTHOR UNKNOWN –

If you don’t know GOD, don’t make stupid remarks!!!!!!

A United States Marine was attending some college Courses between assignments. He had
completed missions In Iraq and Afghanistan.
One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of
the ACLU.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the
ceiling and flatly stated, ‘GOD if you are real then I want you to knock me off this
platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 min.’ The lecture room fell silent. You
could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, ‘Here I
am GOD, I’m still waiting.’

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of his chair, went up to
the professor, and cold-cocked him, knocking him off the platform. The
professor was out cold. The Marine went back to his seat and sat there,
silently.

The other students were shocked and stunned, and sat there looking on in
silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the
Marine and asked, ‘What In the world is the matter with you? Why did you do
that?’ The Marine calmly replied, ‘GOD was too busy today protecting American
soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid stuff and act like an
idiot. So He sent me.’

The classroom erupted in cheers!

**Thanks for sending this to me, Shannon.**

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Motivational Monday – Retrain Your Mind

From Joel Osteen Ministries

Retrain Your Mind

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

"Do
not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted
to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by
the [entire] renewal of your mind…"

(Romans 12:2, AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Many
people today don’t realize that the reason they’re not happy, the
reason they’re not enjoying life is simply because they’ve trained
their minds in the wrong direction. They’ve trained their mind to
worry. They’ve trained their mind to complain. They’ve trained their
mind to see the negative. But just as we can form these negative
mindsets, we can retrain our minds and form positive mindsets.

One
of the main keys to developing a positive attitude is to learn how to
stay grateful. When you stay grateful, you are focusing on what’s right
rather than what’s wrong. This doesn’t happen automatically, you have
to discipline yourself to focus on the positive. You have to make a
conscious effort every single day until a good habit is formed.

Remember,
when you live with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving, you are
shielding yourself from the attacks of the enemy. The seeds of
discouragement cannot take root in a grateful heart. Neither can
bitterness, envy, or strife. When you have a grateful heart, you are
strong. You are empowered, and you can confidently enjoy the good life
He has prearranged for you!

**This message came from http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Index.aspx.**

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Motivational Monday – Get Your Fire Back

Get Your Fire Back

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…"
(II Timothy 1:6, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

I
believe that God has planted seeds of greatness on the inside of every
one of us. We all have dreams and desires, things we want to
accomplish; things we want to see changed. But so many times, life has
a way of stealing our dreams. We go through disappointments, face
adversity, things don’t turn out as we would like. Too often, we just
end up settling for second best. But God doesn’t want us to settle for
second best. He wants us to be determined, press on, and pursue the
greatness that’s on the inside. We should never let "good enough" be
good enough!

I
want to encourage you today to stir yourself up and get your fire back.
Start speaking victory over your future. If one dream has died, dream
another dream. Put yourself in a positive, faith-filled environment.
Get around people of excellence who live passionately. Fan the flame
that is in you so you can move forward into all God has in store for
you!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY

"Father
in heaven, I come to You today giving You my disappointments, setbacks,
hurts, and broken dreams. I ask that You restore my passion and vision
for the future. Let Your flame burn brightly in me now and forevermore.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen."

**This message came from http://www.joelosteen.com.**

Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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