Category Archives: Uncategorized

Joy to the World -The Lord has come!

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Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. KJV.

This is my favorite  time of year because it makes life meaningful. If it weren’t for this event in history, we would be lost and not blessed with eternal life.

During the holiday’s we forget the true gift of Christmas, as we get caught up in giving to others and in self. I pray that we take to time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, which is spreading the gift of Gods ability to give us eternal life through our savior Jesus Christ.

I pray that we carry and share this gift throughout the year, and turn our attention to all the things that make his vision possible in the work we do and the lives we touch.

Blessing!!

~Estella

If I Can? Belief Makes it Possible

faith makes all things possible

 

I was reading the scriptures today from Mark 9:14-23. So imagine this scene: a bunch of people crowding around Jesus in awe and wonder. One man in particular makes his way into Jesus attention and speaks up:

“Teacher, my son is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

So I’m not sure at this point if any of the disciples this man was referencing happened to be overhearing this conversation. I can imagine though if I was in their shoes I would have felt a bit thrown under the failure bus…wouldn’t you? So here we stand in a moment of DOUBT. Can you relate?

There is also another element here worth exploring, that being robbed of the ability to speak, which was the case for the boy possessed by the evil spirit. Have you ever felt robbed of the ability to speak? Perhaps it’s simply around your ability to speak healthy boundaries into your life or speaking the truth in spite of negative reaction? Either way it’s obviously an area that an evil spirit can slither into and perhaps worth some self reflection.

The scriptures continue on with the scenario and Jesus response which I can only imagine the facial expressions that went along with it: “O unbelieving generation…how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”   Quickly the people ran and got the boy who was possessed and Jesus asks how long the boy was in this condition…perhaps to remind us all the healing from God is not confined by time or intensity, as is too often the case in human reasoning: “Well, it’s always been this way so this is the way it will always be.” Jesus is constantly beckoning to us all to step up and out of limited, self-defeating thinking.

The people responded from that below the line limited thinking as they shared with Jesus that the boy had been possessed since childhood and then went on to say, “if you can do anything take pity on us!” …Sound familiar? “Please God, please help me if you can do anything to help me, then help me.” I know those words flew out of my mouth during some dark moments in the midst of advanced cancer and divorce.

Again, can you imagine the facial expressions that go along with Jesus’ response to the above plea from the boy’s father: “If you can?..EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE for those who believe.” After saying these words Jesus’ commands the deaf and dumb spirit to leave the child and he is healed instantly. Compassionately Jesus then instructs the disciples as to the need for specific prayer needed to drive out this kind of evil spirit.

I have often laughed out loud as I imagine how many times Jesus has had the same response to my plea’s for help: “If I can? All things are possible for those who believe.” When you ask for those things in a surrendered state which align with the will of God for you in life: love; joy; peace; patience; self-control; godliness; kindness; goodness; gentleness; strength of character; wisdom; perspective; guidance; a spirit of courage and power to overcome that which you feel overcome by in your circumstances in life, then stand up tall and occupy the space of belief that YOU WILL RECEIVE THAT WHICH YOU ASK FOR.

God believes He CAN do all things in and through you…do you?

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Choose Your Attitude

 

Choose Your Attitude: You Have the Mind of Christ =>

You have the ability to choose your attitude.

Your attitude is the portal through which you process the events in your life.

Make it a top priority therefore to consciously choose the thoughts that fuel your attitude.  Want more love? Be loving? Want to be understood? Seek to Understand? Want to be appreciated and encouraged? Look for opportunities to appreciate and encourage those around you.

Creating a positive life-giving attitude often requires the gift of grace, especially in the midst of challenging circumstances.

The prayer below is based off a scripture I read earlier this week that caught my attention, I believe that what God calls us to is possible now:

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

“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 <><

Self-Awareness in Authentic Leadership

nothing has the power to define you unless you give it away

Edge God In Bible Study: April 18th: Leadership: Self-Awareness EQ

Self-Awareness => Self-Management

Social Awareness => Relationship Management

Focus for the study is on the first essential component of emotional intelligence: self-awareness. We cannot give out effectively what we have not given attention to within ourselves. Our ability to effectively manage our relationships with those around us is in direct proportion to our ability to manage our own perceptions and emotions. What does God say?

3 Questions to reflect upon when considering self-awareness:

  • Who Am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • What will it matter?

Who Am I? Scripture:

  • John 1:12: “To those who believe in His name are given the right to become the children of God.
  • Romans 8:15-16: I have received a Spirit of sonship…Abba Father, this spirit testifies that I am a child of the living God.
  • 1 Peter 2:9: I am part of a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people belonging to God.

Why am I here? Scripture:

  • 2 Corinthians 5:20-21: To make God recognizable in this world. I am Christ’s ambassador as if God were making His appeal through me. For our sake He made Him to be sin who did not sin that I might become the righteousness (the excellence) of God.
  • 1 Peter 2:9: As a part of God’s child and a Holy Nation I am here to declare the praises of Him who called me our of darkness into light.
  • Galatians 2:20: I have been put to death with Christ on the cross so it’s no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me this life I live by faith alone in Him who died for me. I am here to live by faith and allow Jesus to live within and through me.

What will it matter? …when I prayed on this one I got: “why will it matter? It will matter in all of eternity for the sake of salvation of souls, your choice to live for me will end in life.”

What will it matter – What will it Matter?

It will matter because in order to truly have self-awareness and self-management you need to understand and ask yourself “How do I recognize my own emotions and how are they affecting my thoughts and behavior? “

You can know this by understanding your Strengths, Weaknesses and Self Confidence.

1) The scripture tells us how to recognize our emotions and know if they are affecting our thoughts and behaviors.

John 8:31-32 AMP, Jesus says: “ If you abide in My word … you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free”

Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your way acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”

2) We must know and understand our Strengths, Weaknesses, and have self-confidence to know what and why it matters to God.

  • Strengths come from God: Philippians 4:13 King James Version (KJV) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
  • Weakness are taken care of by God: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV) But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Self Confidence is given to us through the scriptures:
    • Philippians 4:13: ESV: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
    • 2 Timothy 1:7: ESV: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
    • Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV: Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

3) We must remember the saying “What would Jesus do?” to manage our emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
Because of His Love <><

Lauren & Estella

Flipped by Fear? Read This…

Father

So I was flipped into a small PTSD moment yesterday when I saw three missed calls from my doctor. Before I could even grab the tail of fear it had coursed through my blood stream quicker than my next heart beat. With shaky hands I picked up my cell phone and called back the Dr. whose words instantly calmed my entire biology as he said: clear blood work.

All too often we carry trauma from our past into our present and it only takes a small trigger to spin our biology into a stress frenzy…we can’t think, speak, breathe or reason. After I hung up the phone I said out-loud, “WOW God I fell asleep at the gate of my thoughts which gave way to a mini-possession of fear and anxiety. The next time I am tempted to give more power to something outside of me than I am to your presence within me, grant me spontaneous grace to lean all that I am into you before fear takes up residence in my interior castle.”

Two grab and go verses for this situation:

“Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5 AND
“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:7-9

 

Greater is HE who lives inside of me than he who is living in the world,

Lauren <><

Be Still & Know Refreshment

Edge God In

Refreshment flows in our choice to be still in the midst of life’s crazy demands. Knowing God’s refreshment flips to the front lines of our responses to life as we take time to pause in stillness before the One who knows how best to refresh our minds, hearts and attitudes on this journey of life.

Why is it that often times when we are overwhelmed we speed up? Our ability to access solution based thinking lies in our choice to slow down, breathe and pray in the attributes of God including wisdom and peace that passes all human understanding.

Today, focus on slowing down when you feel like your life is speeding up. Carve out for yourself mini-retreats that give you the opportunity to tune into God and allow the mind of Christ (as we are told we have 1 Corinthians 2:16) to flip to the front lines of your thoughts; words; deeds and actions. For the One who calls you IS faithful and He will give you the strength, wisdom and motivation to accomplish all that HE has called you into on this journey of life. Be still and watch how the refreshment you seek becomes your set point.

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Our Wonderful Counselor

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Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord , that shall stand.                                                         ~Proverbs 19:20-21 KJV

As we ponder on the right things to do in life and the right decisions to make, we need to first go the God for counsel.  We run to seek advice from friends, family, and therapist when the person with all the answers is right there… with you all the times.

Much of the problem comes from us being able to hear what he tells us, confident without uncertainty, that it’s his voice we hear.  This comes with strong conviction and dedication to your relationship with him. Through prayer and a continual building of a relationship with him, we are able to discern is voice, counsel, and instruction.

My constant prayer is that all of us are able to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the lord is talking, advising,  and consoling us in the right paths and choices we make.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!                             ~Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Lord, let us hear your counsel, and receive your instruction, so that we may be wise at the end!!

Dr. Stella

 

 

Oh Happy Day

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As I turned on my radio on this beautiful Sunday morning, the Sister Act’s version of  “Oh Happy Day” was on.  It is so refreshing to hear this song and remember the simple basics of God’s gift to us.  Edward Hawkins lyrics wrote that “God taught me how to watch, fight, and  pray.”  How did God do this?

  1. His blood on Calvary saved us from hell and we are now able to repent of our sins.
  2. We have strength through his spirit to fight the devil and evil.
  3. He teachings us in the bible  to pray at all times to Jesus.
  4. We are to watch for his return. Exciting!!!

Rejoice today and everyday knowing that no matter what we’re going or working through our worries about sin has been washed away.  What more do we need to feel good about on any given morning!