IN THE SECRET PLACE OF THE LORD

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I have a secret to tell you.

Since I have been sharing some of my book, Shadows In My Valley, I have been thinking about the importance of spending time in the secret place of the Lord.

 

As I look back, I can see that I was searching for that place all the way through the valley. But I wonder now if I really knew what that even meant. Yes, it is a place apart where we can talk to the Lord and wait for Him to answer us, a place of solitude and sometimes even silence. But I think the secret part entails more, much more than I could have realized at that time.

 

What does secret really mean? My Gage Canadian Thesaurus says that, in part, it is “confidential, discreet, hidden, secluded”. Shall we look at these individual words to shed a little more light on the subject?

Confidential. When I think of this word, I think of something which should not be revealed to anyone else. Someone tells us a secret. They make it clear that it is to be kept secret. In other words, we must never even hint at it to another person. If we do, we have broken confidence with that person. We may be the cause of hurting others. We may be labeled ‘untrustworthy’.

Discreet goes along with confidential. The one telling the secret must be very cautious about who he tells the secret to, and the one receiving the secret must also be very careful to act with discretion. These things are to be kept hidden.

What do these things have to do with being in the secret place of the Lord?

 

  • Sometimes the Lord speaks His secrets to us, for our ears only. I remember years ago listening to a radio program and the preacher made a comment I have never forgotten: If you reveal something too soon, it could abort God’s purposes. I know I do not want to be guilty of doing that.

  • It may be that the Lord reveals something to us through the Word about someone with a particular need. What do we do with this? We pray. The Lord will show us whether and when we should share it with the person involved.

  • The Lord may choose, by revelation through the Holy Spirit, through dreams or through visions, to use us, in prayer, to help another person in an area of difficulty. Do we immediately run to that person and tell them about it? Usually it would be best to pray about it in the secret place until the Lord releases us to share it. There may never be a time to reveal it, or it may be some time in the future. If the Lord indicates it needs to be revealed right away, He will show us in some concrete way that we should do so.

  • Sometimes a friend will entrust us with a personal prayer request which they wish to be kept secret. We must honor that and keep it to ourselves, not with not even a hint to others about it. 

  • We may discover something about a person through their actions, attitudes or words. Unless there is cause to report something which may be of concern regarding the situation  to church leadership, we should keep these things between us and the Lord. That person may never know we prayed, but that does not matter. What matters is our faithfulness.

  • Perhaps someone comes to us for counsel. What they tell us must be kept confidential. Think how we would feel if we spoke our need in confidence, trusting the person we shared with, only to discover it had been passed on or even hinted at to others?

We must keep these things in the hidden place. We speak to the Lord about them in the secret place as we spend time in prayer. We seek Him in the seclusion of our prayer closet for revelation as to how to counsel, how to pray for specific needs, how and when to share with the person involved.

What made me think about these things just now? Well, if you read my post “The Story Behind Shadows In My Valley”, you will remember the woman I called Mary. If you haven’t read it yet, click here for part 1, here for part 2 and here for part 3. Mary had a habit of telling me and others about how the Lord would wake her up in the night to tell her terrible things about certain people. She stressed the terrible part a little too much. She always noted that it was so she could pray, but I questioned her motives nonetheless. I did not need to hear anything about those things. They were secrets the Lord had shared with Mary, if indeed they did come from the Lord and not from her own knowledge or imagination. It always bothered me when she did this, but I did not have the boldness to confront her about it. I think it was a lot to do with her pride, some need to be looked at as holding some special position with God.

It did teach me a lesson, though. When I was a young Christian, I did not always use discretion by keeping things to myself as I should have. I had not learned that yet. Occasionally, I would ‘innocently’ share, usually with only one person, a prayer request intended to go no further than my ears. It seemed a good thing. After all, I was recruiting extra prayers for the person in need. It took me a while to learn my lesson, that the point was not to get others praying, but to be trustworthy in my lifestyle. But I did finally see the necessity to change. The Lord convicted me and I recognized that for Him to trust me with His secrets, I must be faithful to keep the secrets of other people. And I did want to be found dependable in God’s eyes. And so I learned to keep secrets. I learned, because of Mary, that it was not acceptable to even hint that a secret may have been shared with me. Nothing is gained by doing so, and trust and friendship may be damaged or destroyed in the doing. 

And so I chose to be faithful to the Lord, to be one whom He can trust with any secret. I pray I will never disappoint Him in this.

I hope you have enjoyed my musings tonight. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below. Don’t be shy. I will respond to your comments. And if you are not already following me, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. I promise I will not overload you. I try to post one or two articles a week. Please feel free to share my posts on your social media and with your friends.

I pray that you will have a wonderful day and a great week. May the Lord bless you and keep you and give you great joy and peace.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

P1080917I can’t believe we are at the end of another year. It seems that every year longer I live that those years travel by me all the faster.

2018 has been, in some ways, a hard one. It has also been a good one in many aspects. God has blessed me in many ways. He is always faithful.

Many people make resolutions as the new year comes, but often they are all broken by the end of January. I find it a futile effort.

Our church will be starting the annual 21-day fast this coming Sunday. This is a wonderful way to begin a new year, to seek the Lord for His leading for the weeks and months ahead. Fasting can make us more aware of spiritual things, and provides us with more time to spend in prayer. That means more time to hear from God, too.

What will you do to begin the new year? Do you have any special plans for the coming year? What are your hopes and dreams for 2019?

I pray that you will all have a prosperous and healthy 2019 and that you will find great satisfaction in God and in what He has destined for your life. The happiest years we can have are those in which we are obedient to the Lord and learning to know Him better. The most satisfying years we can have will be in serving God and serving others in whatever capacity He leads. I pray for each of you the fulfillment of God’s plans for your life and a deep satisfaction in serving Him.

Thank you for stopping by. Please take a moment to leave a comment in the box below. If you are not yet following this blog, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. Have a wonderful New Year’s Day and may God bless you abundantly with His love, joy and peace.

WHAT DOESN’T GO IN CAN’T COME OUT

P1070059The ability to love and the need to be loved is inherent in every human being from birth. Like the baby bird waiting in the nest with its mouth wide open for the next morsel of food from its mother, so from the time we are babies our souls are wide open, waiting for that love to be poured in.

But what happens to that little bird if the mother doesn’t return to the nest? Quite obviously it will die in the safety of its home in the tree. The safe place cannot help keep it alive. So with humans. If love is not poured in on a constant basis, the soul withers. Something dies within. It happens in that place called home where safety and protection is expected. When love is wanting, life is wanting. Where love is not experienced, love cannot be given. As an empty glass is not a supply for a thirsty person; an empty soul cannot give out what it does not have within.

Where children are dearly loved by parents, an inner confidence takes root, a sense of completeness, a feeling of worth develops. When we are loved, we are able to love in return. What comes in can also go out. To love others brings great joy. To be loved is to be blessed beyond measure.Eddie and Mikey 2008 011

Is there hope for the unloved? Absolutely. Just look at scripture. There is not one person on whom the Lord does not pour His love. Whether we realize it or not, even if we are completely alone in this world, we are loved. But we have to open our hearts to this love if we want to benefit from it, if we desire to ‘feel’ loved. We must open our whole being to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to have the ownership of our lives. As His love pours into us, we can, in turn, pour out that same love to others.

Let love, the agape love of God, flow like a river into your spirit and out again. You will find fulfillment and satisfaction in healthy living by allowing His love to wash over you, fill you and flow out to envelop all with whom you come in contact.

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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my blog. Please leave a comment in the box below and let me know your thoughts on this subject. If you are not already following me, I hope you will take a moment and click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of future posts. I appreciate you taking your time to visit here. Please drop by again. Have a wonderful day. May you be blessed of the Lord.

MOANING AND MOURNING

Copy of P1070930You know the type. Woe is me! They moan and groan that nothing works for them, no one ever does anything for them, they’re so ill-used and nobody understands how they feel. I’m sure you’ve met them. Nothing is ever right. The world, in their opinion, owes them something and is not handing over what it owes. Complaints are the main course of dinner, and for dessert there’s criticism sometimes topped with a few expletives. These people do little and expect much in return.

After “dinner” comes the mourning. They mourn lost opportunities, past failures, unfulfilled dreams. These folk specialize in negative words, probably know more of them than the average person. Death spews out of their mouths like water out of a fountain. Selfishness and self-seeking and ownership issues are at the root of it. And often just pure laziness.

The wisest man that ever lived said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (King Solomon – Proverbs 18:21). If only they knew it, these ‘downtrodden’ souls are killing themselves. Their words bring death every time they open their mouths. If only they could see things as they really are! From God’s viewpoint. Then they would say with David, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end Copy of P1100028that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent.”

We need to be constantly on our guard where our mouths are concerned. If we recorded our conversations, I wonder how often we would catch a negative statement or even just a word. How many times would a negative attitude be evident? I cry with David, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

Instead of mourning what can never be or what has been done in the past that can’t be undone, let’s make a decision to live this moment with a positive attitude, think positive thoughts, speak positive words. Let’s mourn for our past negative attitudes, repent and put them behind us, then get to work making a permanent change. Let’s determine to bring life, not death, wherever we go–to ourselves and to others.

It’s never easy to overcome negativity. I know–I’ve had to do it myself in some areas of my life. For years I lived with an inferiority complex. I thought I would never feel any other way, but with the Lord in my life, it has been conquered. I think less and less in the negative, more and more in the positive. It’s freedom! It’s believing God who will never fail rather than myself with all my failures.

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With a positive attitude, we have the whole world in our hands.

Now I don’t look at those failures. They’re in the past. Gone. Done deals. Can’t be changed, so I’ll leave them there while I extract the lessons I have learned. Not to say I’ll never fail again, because I will, but I don’t focus on the possibility of failure. I have this new, fresh moment to live and I will live it for the Lord. My health and happiness depend on my positive attitude. I desire to live unselfishly, giving to others, giving to God without looking for anything in return. In this is blessing. And in this, in the long run, there will be great return. The ROI (return on investment) is out of this world. I’m looking forward to claiming it, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to each new moment the Lord gives to me. My mourning has been turned into dancing. No more moaning; no more mourning. Just dancing, singing and praise. (Actually, the dancing is just in my spirit. I have never been an actual dancer though I love to watch others dance.) We will have the world in our hands. Now that’s what I call a recipe for a healthy lifestyle!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit. You are most welcome to come back any time. And I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below and let me know what you think about the post. Do you have anything to add? Anything to share? I would love to hear from you. And if you are not already following my blog, I hope you will take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. I have been busy getting my books published over the past month or so and have not written many new posts. They are now both on Amazon just in time for Christmas giving. I will try to be a little more consistent again. I wish you joy and peace and love every day, but especially during this Christmas season. May the Lord bless you abundantly in every way.

REACH FOR THE SKY

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Get a new perspective. Looking down is often not very inspiring.

Have you ever come to the realization that you are underachieving? Perhaps you don’t believe you can do better. Or maybe you do know, but you simply don’t try. Who knows why? It’s probably a different reason for everyone, but the result is the same. I believe most of us can do much more than we have done and perhaps more than we think possible. So let’s quit underachieving and start living to our full potential.

Maybe it’s time to get ignited again. Find a new interest to re-energize. Try new ways of doing things to renew interest. Make ourselves accountable to someone who will keep us motivated. We need new confidence, new reasons for doing and being. One good way to do this is to encourage others in their endeavors. As we build up those around us, we might just find ourselves being edified. As we give to others, we receive in return.

In the Book of Proverbs, King Solomon said that “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. What kind of language do we use on a daily basis? Are we speaking words that keep us from achieving our potential? Cultivate positive thoughts and you will speak positive words that will bring new life. If we develop the habit of daily affirming ourselves and others, we will aspire to better things.

Jesus said He came to give us life more abundant. Let’s take Him at His word. Let’s live fully now so we have no regrets when we stand before Him. No more underachieving.

Reach for the sky!

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I hope this has been an encouragement to you to take a step of faith and do what you think you cannot do. Give it a try. When you reach for the sky, you may not arrive in the upper heavens, but you will certainly reach a higher level than if your hands are hanging down in discouragement or complacency.

As 2019 approaches, let’s agree to reach higher in the new year than we have ever tried before. Let’s make this coming year the best we have ever had.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope you will leave a comment in the box below. I always enjoy my readers’ thoughts about the topic at hand. If you are not already following me, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of each new post. I don’t usually write more that a couple per week, so you won’t be inundated with e-mail from me. I hope you have enjoyed your time here. Have a glorious week. And may the Lord richly bless you today and every day.

WORDS OR SWORDS?

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Take time making decisions.

Making decisions on the spur of the moment without taking time to reflect in silence can be a dangerous move, unless it is an emergency situation that needs an instant response. Otherwise, it signifies lack of planning. It’s a careless action that often reaps a disastrous reaction. And if we don’t take a little time to reflect in silence, we cannot judge wisely.

When something unexpected happens we often react to it in confusion, frustration, anger, rather than act with an intelligent response. When we react in anger we don’t use reason, and we take the chance of flinging out words that bring death rather than life. If you take “WORDS” and switch the “S” from the end to the beginning you have “SWORD”. Hasty words can kill the spirit just as easily as a sword can kill the body.

Don’t risk destroying life for the sake of saving time by making quick decisions.

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Death or life?

Take time to think over and plan around the circumstances you face. Spend some quiet moments in intelligent reflection before you act. And don’t be afraid to listen to godly advice from those you trust.  It may mean the difference between living your dream and having to bury it.

We are getting very close to the beginning of another new year, 2019. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I think a good decision we could all make would be to take time to think before we take action. Make sure our decisions are sound. Make sure our words will not bring harm to the people in our lives. The Bible talks about turning swords into plowshares. I say let’s turn our sharp words (swords) into gentle words that bring life and joy and healing.

I thank you again for taking the time to stop by and read my thoughts. I would really appreciate it if you would leave me a comment in the box below. And if you are not yet following me, please consider clicking on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of each new post. Have a wonderful day filled with God’s blessings.

BACK ARROW

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Looking back over your life

Do you ever wish there was a ‘back arrow’ for our lives like there is on the computer? How simple just to click on a button and go back to the previous page, delete the whole and start over, or fix mistakes we have made. But unfortunately (or should I say fortunately?) life doesn’t work that way. Once we make a mistake, a wrong choice, speak an unkind word, make a foolish decision, we can never turn the clock back. We are stuck with the consequences.

But is this necessarily a bad thing? Mistakes are never good things in and of themselves, but nevertheless good can come out of them. If we use them to improve the future by learning from them, then they can lead to improvement in our lives that we would not otherwise have the benefit of. Better still is to take care when making decisions, when opening our mouths, when making choices and to first sit down and count the cost. Wishing that we had made a different choice will not change things after the fact.

I think it’s a good thing to have a back arrow on the computer because it makes

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Wishing does not work

things much easier and quicker, but I’m glad we can’t do this in life. We would miss some rich learning experiences if we could just go back and opt out of the consequences of our actions. And I’m convinced that even if we could go back we would probably make the same choices all over again. Better to move forward into new things with what we have learned and use them as stepping stones to the future.

I hope we all have been able to learn from past mistakes so we can move forward with better choices in the future.

Thank you for taking time to read my post, especially as we are getting so close to Christmas with all the hustle and bustle that comes with it. I wish you a wonderful Christmas celebration and the best of New Years to follow.

Please leave a comment in the box below and I will respond. If you are not already following my blog, please consider clicking on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. Have a wonderful week. God bless.

IMAGINATION

Your imagination can focus on ugliness, distress and failure, or it can picture beauty, success, desired results. You decide how you want your imagination to serve you.

—Philip Conley—

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What I saw in a laminate floor shows imagination at work.

Have you checked your imagination temperature lately? How does it measure up? Is it high from all that negative thinking you have been doing, bringing disease, or should I say dis-ease? Or is it healthy, productive, positive?

Imagination is a strange thing. We tend to have more of it as a child, but I don’t believe that needs to be the case. What you use, you don’t lose. Exercise your imagination and it will continue to work for you all your life.

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A child’s imagination

But you must be careful how you use it. As Philip Conley says, you have a choice, a decision to make. How often do you picture disaster, failure, bad luck, trouble? If it is most of the time, it’s time you made some changes in your life, because what people imagine they often speak, and what you say is often what you get. Speak enough negative words into your circumstances and there is little chance that good will come to you. Think and speak positive words and great things will begin to happen in your life.

Imagination: conception, creativity, inventiveness, vision, idea, image, ingenuity. According to this list of synonyms, imagination involves creativity. Operating in a negativity mode is tantamount to choosing poor quality tools and materials to build with. What can you hope to construct with rotting wood, tools that are falling apart, rusty nails? But a positive attitude can lead to great inventiveness and wonderful creations. Think of Edison’s light bulb, Stephenson’s steam engine (yes, he was evidently one of my ancestors), the unknown pre-historic man who created the wheel. They never said, “I can’t.” They never declared that nothing good would ever happen to them. Their imagination was

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Keep your imagination alive.

channeled in the right direction–beauty, success and desired results.

Where is your imagination focused? How does it serve you? You decide.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope your imagination was stimulated a little as you read this post and viewed the photos. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Please leave a comment below and let me know how you are using your imagination. If you are not already following my blog, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top and you will receive e-mail updates for new posts. Please browse while you are here to see if there are any other posts that you might find interesting. And do come back soon to see what is new. Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to stop by. Have a glorious day. God bless.

DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?

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Beautiful peacock

What picture breaks into your mind at the mention of the word dream? Does it bring dread at the thought of nightmares you remember as clearly as if they had really happened? Or perhaps you recall a dream that ended all too soon it was so beautiful. Do you think of your greatest wish in life, your dream home, dream car, etc.? You might also think of daydreams, fairy tales you have woven in your imagination that you know will never come true.

People need dreams to survive in the often harsh circumstances they live in. If there is nothing to hope for, there is nothing to live for. If you’re as old as me, you might remember the line in the song Happy Talk from South Pacific: You’ve gotta have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, then how ya gonna have a dream come true? Good advice! Do you have a dream?

Gage Canadian Thesaurus defines ‘dream’ as a verb: build castles in the air, conjure, daydream,

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Dream-like scene

fantasize. It can also mean think, visualize, imagine. ‘Dream’ as a noun has a number of interesting synonyms: ambition, aspiration, beauty, heart’s desire, goal, hope, vision. This is the dream to which I allude.

What is your heart’s desire? To what do you aspire? Are you working toward a worthy goal? Or one perhaps not so worthy to chase after. More money, perhaps? A better job? Fame? Power? Happiness? Throughout the ages people have followed their dreams, some to a disastrous end, others to marvelous fulfillment. What makes the difference?

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An elusive dream?

Often a person dreams of things far too lofty to be attainable in comparison to his willingness and ability to work towards it. Want to be a famous singer, but not willing to practice for hours every day? The result is predictable. No fame. Is your desire for wealth proportionate to your consistency in putting a plan into action? If not, poverty or mediocrity may continue for the rest of your life.

The difference between winners and losers, those who realize their dreams and those who don’t, usually has nothing to do with ability or circumstances. Losers say, “If only I had…”, or “If only that hadn’t happened”, “If only my parents had…”, “If everything wasn’t always against me.” On the other hand, winners say, “I can and I will”, “No matter if this or that happened in my past. I will overcome those obstacles.” Winners will use those roadblocks as stepping stones to the next level of achievement.

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Stepping stones

It’s a matter of mind.

It’s a matter of discipline.

It’s a matter of persistence.

It’s a matter of passion.

It’s your choice. Will you live your dream?

Thank you so much for dropping by to visit my blog. I hope you enjoyed your time here. Please leave a comment in the box below. I am interested in what you think about this article. If you are not already following, please click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mails with my updates. I do appreciate your taking time to visit. Take a few moments to browse some of my other posts to see if anything might interest you. And I would also love to hear your thoughts of any topics you would like to see posted here. Have a wonderful day. God bless.

ARE YOU A WINNER?

“The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.”

Denis Waitly

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Are you on the positive path of a winner through beauty to a place of possibilities?


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Or are you walking the loser’s drab negative path to nowhere?

Down which path are your thoughts taking you right now? To the winner’s prize or the loser’s slump? Is it time for an attitude check?

It’s a matter of the mind. As the above quote says, the thought life of a winner differs vastly from that of a loser. The mind is a powerful tool that we can use to create either productivity and prosperity, or we can use it to our own destruction. What good can possibly come by concentrating on what might have been, what we should or should not have done? “If only…” thoughts waste energy. We cannot turn back the clock. We cannot relive past situations. All we have is this moment. We get to choose how that moment will be used. If we do not make a conscious choice, we make one by default. Energy given to negative thinking will wear us down, drain us of all ambition and reason to live, but energy given to positive thoughts will lift us up out of the ordinary into a place of possibilities. It’s all in what we feed our minds.

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December rose in London Ontario

We all have limitations, but why dwell on those when we can concentrate on all the things we can do? However limited we may be, there is something we can do, and if we work at it, we might even become an expert at it. Why self-destruct when we can live out a dream?

The rose in the photo above is proof that even what is limited can burst boundaries and do what seems impossible. I live in London Ontario where we have cold, usually snowy winters. I found this rose bush blooming in the garden of the apartment building where a friend lived at the time. Roses never bloom in December here, but nonetheless here is that rose with a fresh bloom, one now past its prime, and one that was at the end of its life. If that rose could beat all odds and bloom in December, only a couple of days before Christmas, in a winter climate, why can we not overcome obstacles and do what we thought we could ever do? But it will not happen with a mind full of negative thoughts. We may need to change our mental diet from the loser’s junk food to the winner’s healthy menu. Many people are starving for healthy, positive thoughts and are so bogged down by the negative they cannot see beyond the end of their nose. Let us not be like them.

Let’s determine to monitor our thoughts closely. When those “If only”, “I should have”, and “I can’t” phrases pop up, let’s be ready to shoot them down with positive words: “I can”, “I will”, “It is possible”. Guard your mind at all times. Put up an inner shield against the negative–the enemy–and open up a clear channel for the positive–our champion.

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Another brave little December flower defying all odds–with snow on the leaves and petals.

Thought for the Day: You can. You will. It is possible. Life is good. You are a winner. Period.

Prayer: Lord, help us to see beyond those things that have become bondages and barriers to our moving forward in our lives. I pray that we would feed our minds and spirits from Your word on a daily basis so we are not undernourished or even starving for that which will take us on the path to great possibilities. Help us to choose Your way, Lord. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Thank you so much for dropping by to see what is new here. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment in the box below and tell me what you thought about this post, or tell me about yourself. If you are not already following me, please take a moment to click on the “Follow” button at the top to receive e-mail notifications of new posts. Again, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read. Please browse the site to see if there are any other posts that might interest you. And please come again soon. Have a wonderful day. God bless.