Category Archives: Bible Study

3 Questions Worth Your Time

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How does your relationship with Jesus reflect in your words, thoughts, deeds and actions?

In what specific ways will you commit to showing up today that will make the presence of Jesus love recognizable to those around you?

How specifically am I committed to allowing these attributes of Jesus presence within me to shine forth?: (choose three specific character traits of Jesus that you desire to reflect today, for example: I am committed to shine forth love, patient understanding and gratitude) =>

1. _______________________________________

2.________________________________________

3._________________________________________

Tonight before you go to sleep pause and reflect on the ways you allowed Jesus presence within you guide the way you showed up throughout your gift of life.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

A Prayer at the Break of Dawn

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“Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18

A Prayer at the Break of Dawn:
Dear God, thank you for the gift of a new day of life to explore growing in the ways of loving and being loved…You, myself and those around me. Once again I release my grip on my need to know why things happen as they do along with my need to know how things will turn out. You are in control and that is enough for me.

I give you full permission to have your way with me in spite of myself, for I have learned on this short journey of life that as I have surrendered all to you, I am never left empty handed. Continue to release the shadows that distract me from living out the purpose for which I was created: to love and beloved.

Protect me from the need to own, control, possess, analyze, interpret, conclude; from attachments, assumptions, expectations and all sense of entitlement along with the antics of comparison, jealousy and envy… for nothing thrives in a state of war. The only thing I am entitled to know is that you love me completely just as I am and that you will never leave me or forsake me, because of this all things are possible for me.

Grant me a spirit of joy and laughter that I may light up from the inside out and may all those who come into this light feel refreshed and inspired. Use my life and my death for the sake of salvation of souls. Use this gift of teaching you have blessed me with to guide people back to themselves as connected to you, so that they may experience their fullest potential of being on earth.

You have revealed to me through my own dark night of the soul experience that you do your greatest work in the eye of the storm, through this knowledge resurrect within me a courage that far outweighs the momentary distractions of fear, doubt and worry. For you have brought about a greater good in spite of the darkness than had my personal trials never occurred. A glimpse into the mystical experience captured within one of your most masterful creations: the beautiful fragrant rose that emerges in the midst of the thorns. You have me, and I have you…I tremble with eager expectation as to the beauty we will create together as I step into another gift of life today.

What is your prayer?

Because of His Love,

Lauren

3 Tips to Take Back Authority Over Pain

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“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

After a strong workout last week, I found myself in fetal position after a simple cool down stretch rendering me couch bound for the last week.  

After crying myself silly in the car as I drove to the doctor because the pain was so acute I crawled my way to the restroom to get a grip on my emotions before entering the waiting room.  Thinking I was the only one in the bathroom I went into the stall to have a little chat with God and myself OUT LOUD while vigorously tapping on some stress relief points on my body: “Ok Lauren, get a grip come on now breathe, practice what you know.  God, right now I give YOU more authority than this pain.  Even though I can barely breathe because this pain seems like it occupies every room in my castle I give you more authority over this emotional and physical titlewave.”

After a few moments of complete silence I heard the toilet flush in the stall next to me which instantly flipped my mood into laughter.

God does his greatest work in the darkest moments in life….if we allow Him to enter into the eye of our storms.  Life happens, the sunshine and the rain sweep over those who pursue good and evil. Victory lies in our ability to give God more authority than our current stressful situation.  Stay awake at the gate of your thoughts. Slow the process down.  Next time a stressful situation pops up on your path explore the following 3 tips:

1. Breathe deeply take a mental step back, remember you have moved through difficult situations in the past and by God’s grace you will do it again.  Too often in the primal “I’m under attack” brain, we tense up and create more pain. Mentally we restrict the blood vessels in the frontal cortex rendering us less intelligent and incapable of tuning into options for solution.  90% of our biological energy (mental and physical) is oxygen fueled…it’s free and you know how to do it so kick it in when you feel threatened. Breathe in to the count of 7 through your nose, hold it to the count of 8 and then slowly exhale to the count of 7.

2. Talk to yourself as you would a friend who is going through the same situation. What would you say to them to encourage and uplift their mindset in the midst of the challenging situation.  When I was in the World Tae Kwon Do Colorado State Championship and I got knocked out, I could hear my coaches voice in the midst of the mental fog giving me encouragement and reminding me of the talent I had to bounce back in spite of the blow.  Be your greatest fan in the stands of life, you do it for others you love, do it for yourself.

3. Give God more authority than your perceived struggle.  Just as I talked myself down off the emotional ledge in the bathroom stall by giving God’s strength and presence within me more authority to handle my current situation than to the pain. Greater is the one who dwells in you, strengthens and comforts you than the one in the world. Claim victory with the Word of God with your voice: “I give you God more authority than this fear; doubt; worry; physical pain. Help me to remember that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength, that you have given me a spirit of power, love and self-control to overcome that which I feel has overcome me at this moment in time.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren

Want More Stress? Seek to Please People over God

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“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

OOOOOOH this is a good one and worth repeating on a daily basis as a touch stone to help us identify and adjust those behaviors and thoughts that are seeking the approval of people over God.

A recent study revealed that the majority of Christians would be willing to compromise their beliefs for the sake of a promotion. Oh come on, God will understand, He knows we need to put food on the table. Take time this week to read through proverbs and refresh your mind on the things that flow from God’s wisdom and those thought patterns and responses that flow from the Drug of Approval and the Disease to Please.

Why can’t we have it both ways? Why can’t I try to please people and be a servant of Christ at the same time?

Personally I have found that when I enter a situation with hidden agendas to be seen, acknowledged or approved of in a certain way by the people around me I set myself up for a huge fall from imaginary greatness. The more I muck around in a people pleasing mission, the more vulnerable I become to rising and falling emotionally depending on how the world judges me at that time.

Truth being, if God were to cease to think of me, I would cease to exist.  I am on His time, not mine, for His purposes, not mine. God does not value what the world values, He uses the things that are often over looked and even looked down upon to shame the wise. Example: Jesus forgives a woman caught in adultery in front of those who gripping stones of judgement where brought to a place of humility with the invitation that continues to echo throughout all of time: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  Shazam, Jesus does it again.

A worthy contemplation this week perhaps in light of the conflict of serving people over Christ comes in the form of three questions:

Why do I do what I do?

How does it further the great commission (God’s presence on earth through Jesus, making disciples of all nations)?

How much of my mind space, time and energy is taken up wondering how people will respond to what I do or create in this world or why they don’t respond?

“It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

The truth of the matter is simple: you can never fully please people because the only thing that leads to complete contentment in this life flows from God alone, it’s like trying to squeeze lemon juice from a banana…why are you looking for the living among the dead?

Click Here to Explore 48 Bible Verses on Pleasing God rather than man.

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Would love to here your insights on this post. Why do you think it causes more stress if you seek to please people over God? 

Edge God in with Forgiveness

February 13, 2015

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I forgave an enemy today and I feel empowered, relieved, and ready to move on!!!

The bible speaks a lot about forgiveness and what is expected of us.  I do know it is hard to forgive as our approach to forgiveness is sometimes done in the  flesh and not in the spirit.

When someone has a grudge against you and you against them, it shouldn’t be expected that when you are ready to forgive, that they are ready.  Also, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation with the person that hurts you, or condoning of their actions.

What I do know is that there is a peace that happens along with the assurance that you have been obedient to Gods word and his expectation of us.

Here are some scriptures on forgiveness that  empowers me.

Matthew 6:14 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you don not forgive men for their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

Mark 11:25 – And when you stand in praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Edge in forgive today

~Estella

How to Slay the Serpent of Future Fear

 

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The doctors told me at 38 years old that they were focused on getting me 5 years of life.  This conversation happened after being diagnosed with advanced cancer one week prior to my final divorce court date with 3 young children.

I had a simple daily practice (which I still implement to this very day) when the suffocating weight of the future attempted to rob me of the fullness of life Jesus died to give me.

Staying awake at the gate of my thoughts with sword in hand was my greatest place of empowerment; catching the negative serpents of fear, doubt and worry by the throat when they tried to slither into my thoughts with the intention of rendering me in a place of mental and physical paralysis.

The Word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword and pierces the deepest parts of mankind, equipping him/her for victory when it comes to the battlefield that exists between the two ears. Below are a few powerhouse scriptures that came to my aid in the midst of the mental attacks fueled by future fear:

“Commit your works to the Lord and your thoughts shall be established.” from Proverbs 16:3

“The Lord will fight your battle, you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

“There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat of by day; and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.” Isaiah 4:6

“I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit’ says, the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you, nor forsake you; do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

“There is surely a future hope for you and your hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:18

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13

“It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, stand firm then and do not allow yourself to be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.” Gal. 5:1 (slavery to future fear and anxiety).

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” 1 Thess. 5:24

Give more authority to the power of God’s word stored in your heart to slay the serpent of future fear.  Remember, when Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert, he rebuked him each time by proclaiming the word of God:

“Get thee behind me future fear serpent, I give more authority to God’s Word than to your lies and accusations in my life.”

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

The Ultimate Power

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There has been a lot of discussion around power animals and their breakthrough power.  The origin of such animals comes from the shamanic belief that everything alive carries with it power and wisdom.  Power animals are helping spirits which add to the powers of shaman and are essential for success in any venture undertaken by the shaman.

I feel that God gives all creatures  purpose and power, but I also believe in the order of things… God… Man… Animals.    It is important for us as believers in Jesus Christ, to be knowledgeable in all matters of Christ and know what he says about ultimate authority and power.

Man holds the “power” over animals – God the fathers, has dominion (ruling or power) over his creation and has delegated the authority of mankind (man) to have dominion over animals.                          Genesis 1:26 – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.  And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping things that creeps the earth.”

God has the “ultimate” authority God is the ultimate authority and only he appoints power.                                                                                      Romans 13:1-3 – Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

He (GOD) “delegates” it (authority) to whomever he will (keep in mind it says men not animals)                                                                                       Daniel 4:17 – The sentence is by the decree of the watchers (angels), the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living my know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

There is only “one” God                                                                                                    1 Timothy 2:4-6 – For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.  

 All creatures “recognize” Jesus even these power animals                      Revelations 5:8-13 – All creatures recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world and praise God right along with redeemed men.

Go to the “thrown” for all your needs                                                 Hebrews 4:16 –Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.

Food for thought!

~Estella

The Fame Game: Have You Played?

 

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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

 

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“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.