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Good Morning Grace and Mercy

"Edify, Encourage, and Comfort Me"

My Blog

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New Year's Resolutions/Life Long Resolutions

Posted on 31 December, 2011 at 12:40 Comments comments (0)
Philippians 3:10,I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death; (NIV)
 
Romans 12:2, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

Every New Year, many of us make vows to change AKA “New Year’s Resolution” to make changes in our lives for the better. Some of the most common New Year’s Resolutions are: lose weight, eat healthier, start a exercise regimen, get organized, get out of debt, save money, spend less, spend more time with family, quit unhealthy habits etc.
 
All of the above are great, and we should desire to enter into a new year carrying less baggage and making positive changes in our lives. It is reported, that after the first month of attempting to fulfill these New Year’s resolution, 50% don’t make it.  Although the thoughts were good and positive, most just don’t succeed.
 
Researchers have proved that it takes 21 days to create a habit.  So, if we continue in a pattern of doing things, whether good or bad, for 21 consecutive days, it becomes a habit.  Some of us, in our attempts to make positive changes in our lives, after the first couple of weeks we start slacking, lack persistence, perseverance and patience and before you know it, there goes the New Year’s Resolution we’ve vowed.  Then there are some of us, who make positive affirmations without doing something or even attempting to try. This is called wishful thinking. The bible tells us that faith without works is dead. We have to do something to get results, as well as, speak it.
 
Additionally, why most people fail in sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions is because there’re not really ready to make the change in the first place, also some make unrealistic goals making it impossible to achieve, therefore, setting themselves up for failure.
 
This year I’ve decided to take on a lifelong resolution that supersedes all New Year’s Resolutions I could attempt to make and will be the catalyst in aiding me to fulfill all individual positive changes, and that is to take on the heart’s desire of the Apostle Paul found in Philippians 3:10, I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
 
What a powerful lifelong resolution made by the Apostle Paul.  With prayer, perseverance, and persistence with patience, will undoubtedly help us to achieve positive changes in our lives.
Most of us are freely willing with the first part of the above scripture, but the ladder… fellowship in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, are not appealing words. But truth be told, this is why most of us don’t succeed in fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions; we don’t want to suffer… dying daily to our flesh desires is not easily achieved.  But with God all things are possible. But first we must want to make a change.
 
Through researching, I have found that some brain scientists and psychotherapists have discovered, through the use of MRIs, that habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior when you’re faced with a choice or decision. Trying to change that default thinking by “not trying to do it,” in effect just strengthens it. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking.
 
New Year’s Resolutions are not just speaking mere words (positive affirmations), but it is a made up mind, it is changing behavior patterns through our thinking processes. In other words, we must rewire our brain.  The Apostle Paul says it better in Romans 12:2, Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
 
THE CHANGE IS… “INSIDE OUT”
 
I am reminded that all things are possible with Christ.  Sometimes, we try to attempt to make positive changes in lives in our own strength instead of depending on the strength and power of Christ that dwells within us; it is the power of Chris’s resurrection, the power of His Holy Word  and our free will of wanting to change, that is, to conform our lives willingly and obediently to the Word of God. 
 
So, if you're going to make New Year's Resolutions/Life Long Resolutions, here are some tips I found to help you make them work:
 
  1.  Focus on one resolution, rather several;
  2. Set realistic, specific goals. Losing weight is not a specific goal. Losing 10 pounds in 90 days would be;
  3.  Don't wait till New Year's eve to make resolutions. Make it a year long    process, every day;
  4. Take small steps. Many people quit because the goal is too big requiring  too big a step all at once;
  5.  Have an accountability buddy, someone close to you that you have to report to;
  6. Celebrate your success between milestones. Don't wait the goal to be finally completed;
  7. Focus your thinking on new behaviors and thought patterns. You have to create new neural pathways in your brain to change habits;
  8. Focus on the present. What's the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?
  9. Be mindful. Become physically, emotionally and mentally aware of your inner state as each external event happens, moment by moment, rather than living in the past or future.
 
And finally, if and when you slip, don't let the slip hold you back from working at your goal.  Be Prayerful, be Persistent, and Persevere with Patience.
 
 
HAVE A HAPPY, JOYFUL AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!
 
P.S. The young lady in the photo on this page is by beautiful daughter. She's a professional model.
 
 

Entering into the New Year 2012

Posted on 30 December, 2011 at 17:33 Comments comments (0)
James 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (KJV)
 
James 1:2-4,Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (NLT)
 
We are now closing out 2011, and entering into a brand new year 2012.  For many of us, 2011, has been a very trying year; job issues, finance issues, rent/mortgage issues, family issues etc. Know that in all you have been through in 2011 were opportunities to test you faith in Christ… in His Holy Word. The test and trials you have been through were pruning you, transforming you, and strengthening you to enter into 2012 stronger, better and wiser to continue in the race of faith. Making you ready and equipped to handle the new exciting endeavors God has for you.
 
In spite of it all, you have experienced the goodness of God in 2011 and shall experience new heights and depths in God in 2012. This does not come without cost, (tears, frustration, feeling of loneliness, persecution, misunderstood mistreated, talked about etc.) but it does come with the Lord being your front and rear guard, protecting you, His Holy Spirit teaching you and talking to you, walking with you and when you get weak – carry and strengthen you.
 
“To walk in the anointing of God is not free, it will cost you something, but if we hang on in there, the good reward from the Lord, in this life, is greater and better than all our struggles.”
 
There are some test and trials in life that we don’t understand, but must experience to be able to fulfill the plan and purpose God has predestined for our life. I’ve learned that without the test and trials (testing of my faith) I will not be equipped to carry out the predestinated (destiny) divine plan for my life.
 
Surly our test and trials are not over, but what we have experience in 2011, seeing what God has done for us, and bought us through will undoubtedly be the catalyst to sustain and keep hope alive in us in 2012 to fulfill God’s divine purpose in us and through us.
 
Be mindful of who you keep company with in 2012, some whom you have kept company with in 2011 may not be able to keep company with you in 2012, but continue to show them Godly love.  Where God is taking you everyone can’t go. Do not let anyone or anything hinder your growth, relationship and ministry in Christ Jesus; in all things Pray, be Persistent, and Persevere with Patience.
 
Let this be of consolation to you: the grater your struggles and hurt, the greater God’s anointing will flow through you touching the hearts of many and ultimately draw them closer to your father which is in heaven that they too may glorify your heavenly father giving them the light of hope. So, let your light shine brighter in 2012, that people may see it and glorified your father which is in heaven!!!
 
 
HAVE A HAPPY, JOYFUL AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!
 

God's True Fast

Posted on 30 December, 2011 at 7:30 Comments comments (0)
                                     Isaiah 58
 
Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. Why have we fasted,’ they say,‘ and  you have not seen it?  Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
 
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.  Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself?  Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
 
Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 
Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.  If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
 
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken.
 
****************************************************************************
We all desire for God to hear our prayers when we seek His face and call upon Him for help. Fasting is a sacrificing, very humbling and intimate way in calling upon and seeking God.  God is requiring for us (believers) this day a “True Fast” not just a fast that we deny ourselves of earthly pleasures to show God that we are serious in hearing from Him and seeing His divine intervention on our behalf, and then afterwards, we return to our own pleasures and our own way of doing things.  This is what the Lord was saying to the ancient Zion in the biblical days, and now today, the modern branch of Zion. The Lord says, “this is not the kind of fast that I desire for my people; but rather, the kind of “True Fast” whereby you humble yourselves (deny yourselves) daily as you seek my face and call upon by name: forgive your offenders, be kind and just to one another, feed the hungry, help the homeless and those whom are less fortunate than you, and do not forsake your children (family).
 
This is the kind of "True Fast" that the Lord desires for His people in Isaiah 58:6-7,
as it relates to the modern branch of Zion today:
 
6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 
Today, God desires for every believer to live in a constant state of a “True Fast”.