All posts by LaurenEstella

The Fame Game: Have You Played?

 

Speaking

The Fame Game: Keep Watch

 

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever

a man sows, he will also reap. For the one who sows

to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,

but the one who sows to the Spirit will from 

the Spirit reap eternal life.” 

Gal 6:7-8

 

St. Augustine reflected on mastering inner peace

and communion with God

and came to a simple conclusion: 

“I have learned the secret of interior success

over my fleshly responses to life

 and that being my daily

commitment to giving my Spirit permission

to guide my flesh into all things.”

 

Flesh in this case is linked to those

choices in life that flow from a self oriented nature 

in such a way that they drown out the whisper

of God which is constantly calling

us into our highest good & the good of

all concerned.

 

When our desire for fame exceeds our moral compass

or distracts us from the things that are highly

valuable commodities of the Spirit: love; joy; peace;

patience; kindness; goodness; gentleness & self-control we

render ourselves extremely vulnerable to

the world’s definition of success over Gods.

 

I speak from my own personal “mini-possessions” as I

have used up, on occasion, my time, talent &  energy in the

endless pursuit of the flesh: unbridled ambitions & 

worldly position and recognition.

 

This fame game is like a slippery serpent and will

often slither in our ambitions and motivation under

our conscious radar. We will know it is present

when we begin to put things above God & people.

 

Exploring the following questions will often

reveal the level at which you are engaged in the fame game:

 

Am I Ok without this accolade? (Do I feel loved, accepted?

enough?)

 

How does pursuing this goal make God recognizable in this 

world by contributing to the higher good of all concerned?

 

What is my level of attachment on a scale from 1-10 

(1 being not attached at all and 10 being very attached) 

to the success of this project?

(Remember, an attachment is an emotional state of

clinging due to the belief that without some thing,

person or situation you can’t be happy).

 

Does pursuing my goal or desired position take precedence  

over prayer/meditation time and service of others?

 

How high is my irritation level when my plans are thwarted?

 

Am I putting the success of this project above 

humble, kind & integrous responses to people?

 

Do I feel entitled to “it” (whatever “it” is)?

 

Am I comparing myself to another human being?

(feeling less than, envious, jealous?) 

 

The most wonderful thing about the fame game is this: as

soon as you realize you are playing it, the light of your

awareness offers you the opportunity to begin again with God

as you recommit to the practice of giving your 

Spirit permission to guide your flesh.

 

Dear God,

 

Help me to recognize the

interior discomfort when I am sowing to

please my flesh verses my Spirit.  Grant me the grace to 

flip back into the person you have called 

me to be during this earth journey. I

rededicate myself to the daily practice

of pursuing those things that expand your

presence on earth: love; kindness; humility; gentleness and

patience in my words; thoughts; deeds and actions.

May everything I do begin with your

inspiration and continue with your saving help.

Let all my work find it’s origin in you and through

you reach completion. 

 

Because of His Love,

Lauren

Praise the Lord

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February 3,  2015

I woke up this morning with my mind… set on Jesus…”praising” our Lord for all he is and does!

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever – Psalm 103:1

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised – Psalm 113:3

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord – Psalm 150:6

Let us not forget to praise God daily!  Praise him for giving us the breath of life… our family and friends… our blessings… the gift of salvation…and the gift of eternal life.

Praise is individual, personal, and is experienced differently for everyone.   No matter how you praise him… just do it….giving honor to our lord Jesus Christ.

He suffered died and was buried for our sins…

I just sent out a hallelujah. 🙂

~Estella

Tips to Help You Enter into God’s Presence

 

mother teresa

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

The presence of God is like a fish swimming in the ocean, as Mother Teresa suggested, no matter where the fish swims, it is surrounded by the water.  We are consistently surrounded by the presence of God and our ability to access this truth lies in our ability to slow down, be still and lean into God over the demands of the world. Jesus was masterful at this as he consistently found himself surrounded by questions, doubt, fear and anxiety.  He knew that the Father was in Him, around Him living through Him, in this space He lacked nothing and ALL things were possible.

How much of your day do you spend leaning into your to-do list? How many moments do you pause and remember you are like a fish in God’s endless ocean of possibilities and purpose?  Are you feeling overwhelmed by circumstances in your life? Unsure about your future? Remember that God’s omnipresence surrounds you, like a fish in water, no matter where you go, you are engulfed in God’s loving guidance.

One definition of omnipresence is to be present everywhere simultaneously. God is omnipresent. He meets you in the present moment; wherever your present moment happens to be. Your great­est peace always comes when you remain present to the moment of life in front of your face.

The power of God’s presence in nature calms the soul/body instantly when you are present to it. Choosing an inspirational verse or saying and repeating it throughout your day creates enough of a mental distraction to keep you present; safe from the fog of the future or regrets from your past.

Want to know peace? Know God. Want to know God? Practice stillness within your day. You will find strength in quietness and trust. Do animals ever fret over whether or not they will have enough grass to eat tomorrow? No, they simply enjoy the grass that is available to them today without any thought of lack in the future.

How to Let Go & Let God

no hair still ok

 

“Faithful is He who calls you and He will bring it to pass.” 1 Thess. 5:24

When I was diagnosed with advanced cancer one week prior to my final divorce court date this verse kept popping into my head. I began to memorize the scripture when I first fell in love with Jesus and His teachings when I was a teenager. 1 Thess 5:24 was one of the first scriptures I memorized, not realizing at the time that it would come back to me in the midst of the dark night of the soul to strengthen me from the inside out. I remember giving more authority to what God said in this verse than to my circumstance when I felt my emotional ship sinking.

God promises to give us the necessary resources to walk through deep waters and climb the high mountains of life. I remember one particular moment when I was bald and breastless looking at image  in the mirror and saying to myself, “I don’t even recognize my physical appearance.” In the weight of that moment I heard another verse that I had memorized as a youth, “For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outer appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

It continually amazes me how many times the Word of God pops into my mind sometimes years after I stored it in my heart to remind me of what my soul always knows: God is omnipresent and will never leave me nor forsake me; I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

This week take time to read God’s word, I first started with the Gospel of John when I first picked up the Bible as a teenager. Write down a scripture that supports the person you desire to be in this world and memorize it.  Give God’s Word more authority in your life than fear, doubt or worry.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

How To Edge God In to Worry

full rainbow steamboat

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33-34

What are all these “things” that are added to use when we Edge God In over all of the shiny objects and demands of the world that flare up worry? Simply put, it’s one main thing: the ability to do life without worrying.  Worry is to simply give into the challenges in life as we give them more authority to define what we are capable of than to the presence of God within us which flares up internal anxiety.

Jesus speaks of this prioritizing in response to his observation that we tend to worry a lot, about many different needs in our life: What do I wear? What should I eat? Where should I live? What will other people think? What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t get the promotion? What if something happens to me or someone I love? What if I don’t have enough money to pay the bills? What if don’t say the right thing?  Jesus references the word worry six times in 9 sentences.

The next time you feel spun into the worry war of the mind explore using this prayer:

Dear God I give you more authority to comfort my heart and mind in the midst of this perceived challenge than I do to worry and this internal anxiety that is fueled by the thought: I won’t be able to handle this situation successfully. Grant me the grace to remember that whatever you call me to that you promise to provide the resources to make it all happen. You call me out of worry into the ability to Edge You In to all of it. You are the Prince of Peace.  Grant me the grace to step out of worry into You. Help me to tune into the solution with a peace that passes ALL human understanding. More of you, less of me.  Help me to remember that you have already overcome all that I feel has overcome me.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

The Peace of the Lord

 

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Philippians 4:7 -And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

How powerful is this scripture!  To know that God will give Peace to all we think, do, and say and Calm our hearts is so awesome!

We must all remember that no matter how difficult the challenge only Jesus can provide the peace we need in our hearts and minds.

But know that this can’t be realize  alone…  Stay in meditation, prayer, and fellowship so to Edge God in.

True believers, abiding in Christ, realize this promise and make peace happen even when faced with life challenges.

My prayer for each of you is to cultivate and maintain a personal relationship with Christ, so that his promise of peace is comprehended.

God Bless!

~Estella

The Greatest Multi-level Marketer in the World

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God is the greatest  Multi-level marketer (MLM) in the world. Jesus put forth the spark that set His initial downline on fire when He spoke forth the Great Commission in the Gospel of Matthew 28:18-20:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Isn’t it wonderful to know you are a part of the initial great commission on earth? I remember when I was 17 and I saw something in a group of people who loved and followed Jesus Way in this world and I wanted that for myself.  This is why encountering the love of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is so contagious, there is nothing like it in this world and it keeps getting better with time as we allow His love and forgiveness to override the shiny objects in this world that often evoke the serpents of fear; doubt and worry.

The only difference in language that perhaps more accurately fits God’s MLM would be this:  instead of referring to the people who live in the freedom of knowing the One who died to save them as a “downline” it’s an UPline on all levels! As we surrender UP our needs, plans and purpose to His sovereign will for our lives we get to participate in the freedom that Christ has set us free for, that ultimately leads to the fullness of life.

Enjoy your gift of life and making God recognizable today in your words, thoughts, deeds and actions.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

What We Ought to Be

 

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January 19, 2015 – What We Ought to Be

As I reflect on what I ought to be, I can’t help be thankful for individuals who have blessed the world in which we live. Today, we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr., not just for his contribution to civil rights, but also for his walk with God.

 Martin Luther wrote, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be, until I’m what I ought to be”.   I have heard this said in different ways many times before and mainly by God serving men and women.

 God says in Romans 15:1, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves”. This obligation encompasses the mental, physical, and spiritual help we can give to one another.  God gave us the ultimate sacrifice his son, and others like Martin gave their lives.  Let us all reflect on what we can give this year to help others be “What They Ought To Be”.

~Estella

Your Attitude is Your Closest Friend OR Worst Enemy…

stressed out image

 

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Phil 2:5

Your attitude is your closest friend or worst enemy and you get to choose it. It is essential to understand the support we have woven within us when it comes to seeing the presence of God throughout the circumstances of our daily life.  As you read through the gospel of John focus in on the attitude that Jesus had, especially in the midst of conflict.  He was a solution seeker no matter what surrounded Him.

Jesus also avoided getting emotionally spun because of the opinions of people around Him, He lived outside the “Drug of Approval” and maintained a consistent space of wisdom and love…now, He had the “Son of God” thing going for Him which many have said makes showing up with a positive attitude a lot easier, however, we are also told in scipture that we have the same Spirit that rose Jesus Christ from the dead dwelling within us (Romans 8:11) AND we are told we have the very MIND of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), two powerful resources to pull from to help fuel a positive, life giving attitude in life.

“God, I want the very mind of Christ as I go through another gift of life today.

May I see, as he did, You in every face I encounter.

Give me Jesus’ thoughts that were not imprisoned by the yoke of slavery to unbridled ambition for status or the unquenchable desire for approval.

I want to choose love & compassion as Jesus did, over fear & judgment.

I want to think and respond as Jesus did: to love for the sake of love alone, untainted by hidden agendas or crevices of lack & scarcity.

Break my heart over the things that broke yours as you walked the earth.

I want to seek to understand over being understood, free from attachment to certain responses.

To be able to respond to criticism with even more love to make up for the lack of it in those moments.

Jesus existed above compliments & complaints, grounded in the purpose for which his heart beat: to be a missionary of love no matter what…I want that same energy and laser focus today so that my God given ability to create beauty in this world flows without restriction & reflects a focused sense of purpose.

God, I believe this is my natural state of being so as you answer this prayer of mine my joy will be complete & my peace will be profound.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Fill Up Mind-Space Gaps with God

Jesus Peru

 

Do not worry about anything but pray about everything…this verse from Phil. 4:6 holds some HUGE promise. If we flip it perhaps it would sounds like this: Pray about everything and you won’t worry about anything.

Easier said than done; however I have been doing my own little internal practice with this using a small prayer to fill in the gaps between focused task mind-space (the mind space that occurs between tasks that require focused attention). A christian brother of mine share a simple prayer that I have made my own.  It is a prayer that has been used by many Christian warriors to help take captive each thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) through out history:

“I love you Jesus; I pray for the salvation of souls and I turn my will over to you.”

It is in the gaps between tasks when our mind is prone to wander into those thoughts that come from the serpents of fear; doubt and worry.  We are told that the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  We are also told in 1 Peter chapter 5 that when we resist him, standing firm in our faith that he will flee. Our greatest battle occurs between our two ears, this is also the place of our greatest small victories in life that fuel bigger ones.

This week let’s focus on Edging God In to our thought life by choosing a simple small prayer that keeps our mind-focus & thoughts fixed on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith.

Edge God In to your thoughts, words, deeds and actions today,

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><