All posts by LaurenEstella

Our Points In Heaven

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Today was an Ordinary day UNTIL something Extraordinary happened.  It started with a random call from an old neighborhood friend who reached out to me on Facebook.  He had reached out to me the week before and then contacted me by phone today.

He started the conversation, talking about how proud he was of me for my recent educational accomplishment and then started sharing with me something he said he wanted to share with me for years.   Well…that of course that sparked my curiosity and I was all ears.

He started by saying “Thank you for having a profound effect on my life”.   You know the pause you are to have in public speaking… it went on way too long… I was silent.  I was thinking  to myself that (1) I usually don’t have that effect on men lol and (2)  what on earth is this guy thinking…me having a profound effect on someone!

He went on to say that when he was younger he was very dark… almost pitch black in color.  Because of this he was teased by everyone, even his own race.  He said that one day, I walked across the street and said to him “You have the most beautiful skin and color that I have ever seen!  It is so smooth and silky!”  He said from that day on he no longer thought of his dark complexion as being bad and that his entire image of himself changed.

I tell this story to say three things:

  1. You never know what message God uses you to give to someone.
  2. Work on getting those points in heaven by doing good deeds that are of the heart.
  3. Be grateful for the blessing you able to hear about  concerning  your good deeds as some or stored and never revealed to you.

I end in a prayer…

“Thank you God for helping me to continue to send your messages to those in need.  Let me continue to realize that it is you that teaches me how to communicate to others.  Let me always remember that things and messages like these are not of me, but of you, and to always remember to give you heavenly father, the praise and glory!

~Estella

How to Keep A Purpose Driven Focus

Belief & Action Create Your Reality

Before a healing took place Jesus would often inquire about the time and intensity of their condition. Perhaps to remind us all that healing is not restricted by the longevity or intensity of the condition…when God says, “It is finished”.

As I paused for a moment under this magnificent tree this morning I asked, “So who told you when to bloom and when to remain dormant?” God’s divine intelligence woven throughout all of nature speak to this truth:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

There are no challenges in life only situations that invite us to remember our God given ability to come up with creative solutions…and move mountains.

Take it from the bulb in the dark throughout the winter months. If it ever forgot its natural state of being, to bloom in this world, it would have ceased to emerge out of the darkness into the light.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is ETERNAL.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

Facing Your Fear

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“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:2

Are you willing to step in the ring with your greatest fear?

Jesus faced  two of our greatest fears: death and rejection.

Fr. Robert Barron brings clarity to this face to face encounter Jesus took on for us: “Remember Jesus Himself said that, “No one can plunder the house of a strong man unless a stronger one comes and ties him up.” The strong man is death itself. No one will conquer death until a stronger one comes and ties him up. Jesus is the very strength of God now tying up the strong man of death.”

I remember being in the competition ring in Tae Kwon Do calming my racing heart, fueled by fear, so that I could remember and access the strength of my training outside of the ring. I trained 4 hours a day 6 days a week for the Colorado State Championship. Spiritual training has greater value than physical, what percentage of our time do we put in on a daily basis to expand our training for the spiritual battles we face?

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

3 Shiny Objects that Create Potholes in Life

 

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Do you ever have cravings, lust or boast in life?  Know that the fuel behind these emotional experiences does not flow from your soul’s connection with God but from outside distractions that cause you to forget that you are a spiritual being having a physical experience.

An unbridled desire to satisfy an unfulfilled emotional state of being or compromised self image will often manifest in the following:

 

Cravings: an intense yearning for something…a desire…a feeling that comes along with an unsatisfied state.

Lust: a self-absorbed desire for a certain thing, person or experience.

Boasting: to speak with exaggeration about yourself in a prideful manner.

 

Solution to the above unhealthy antics:

 

When we forget to spend time daily nurturing our relationship with God, along with the things that we will draw unto ourselves at the sunset of this life, we start to wander out into the world to experience quick hits of satisfaction that leave us empty handed and unsatisfied.  This unhealthy cycle causes us to crave more of that which can never fully satisfied: recognition, acknowledgment, status and material things.

 

Increase your experience with God each day by spending time focused on what you value and love most in life…these are the things that are void of the need to define, own, control or possess (exchange of love, watching a sunset, playing, laughing).  Life is created for us to experience and grow in our ability to love and be loved.

 

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:15-17

Because of His Love,

Lauren <><

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