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PRAY PLAN PROCEED

When our lives are in a whirlwind, where do we even begin? Over the years many people have told me that during times of trial, tribulation, or just plain confusion we do one of two things: turn to God or away from Him. Looking back, I can think of far too many instances where I threw in the towel

and turned my back on God. On the other side of things, there have been times where all I did in the midst of a storm was cling onto Him. When the going gets tough, where do you fall?

That’s the thing, it feels like more often than not I merely fall. I’m not falling to my knees like I should, I’m not giving my burdens to Him as 1 Peter 5:7 says.
We must remember that God doesn’t want us to aim for perfection before we go to Him. He wants us to come as we are. Yes, He wants our broken, imperfect selves. Next time your world has just been shaken and your mind is racing at one hundred miles per hour, start by praying to Him despite how other people see you, or even how you see yourself.
Laying whatever concerns plaguing your heart upon His feet doesn’t take away the situation you’re facing, however it does give you the peace and hope you need to keep going onward.
Next, you remember to plan and then you proceed in those plans. Now that you have peace –a peace that reassures you that no matter the outcome, He will always be there–how do you anticipate moving forward in this event? How can God be glorified throughout all of this?

Pray, plan, and proceed are three words to keep within your heart for the times that you’re facing a fork in the road.

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TRUE LOVE

A young boy sits next to his little sister in their bedroom. As she is hiding her face in his arms, he asks himself, what is love? He thought parents were supposed to love each other.

A teenage girl is lying on the bathroom floor. Through the tears she can barely see the razor, let alone the marks on her leg. She shouts to the empty air, what is love? She felt as if she had nobody to show her.
A woman is picking out another long-sleeved shirt to wear at work in July. She does it to hide the bruises that she has to face every day, bringing her to ask, what is love? She is beginning to believe that this is it.
It’s a question that seems to be as old as existence itself. What is love?
Many people spend their entire lives searching for it, turning up hardened hearts and crushed spirits. We expel all of our energy running towards material things such as money, clothes, or cars, hoping to find love in that. Matthew 6:19-21 advises us not to build up material things while we’re living on earth. They are merely temporary. Money runs out, clothes tear, and cars deteriorate. We also run to societal standards like status, beauty, or jobs. We think that maybe, just maybe, I’ll love myself and receive love when I’m this and I have that. Just as verse 21 says, we can’t take those things to Heaven with us. It’s not true love after all, and it shouldn’t be our priority.
Others beg for God to show them. When we fall upon the feet of Jesus, we see that He is love. It’s easy to become used to hearing about what Jesus did, especially during the Easter, as silly as that sounds. But it happens, and when you truly think about it–about the beating, mocking, loneliness, all of it–you see His love and His sacrifice. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Humans are the closest thing you can get to true love. We can love deeply and hard. Oh, how imperfect we are, though. Each one of us sins, makes mistakes, is selfish, the list goes on and on. However, we can look to Jesus, the end-all-be-all epitome of love, and make it a daily endeavor to be like Him.

At the end of the day, this age old question isn’t hard to find after all. All we must do is look to Him for a true love that will persevere. When you are down and out or simply need to be reminded, repeat these three sentences to yourself: Jesus is love. Jesus sacrificed His life for me. Therefore, love equals sacrifice.  

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MAINTAINING A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Just like our lives overall, our spiritual lives can easily be compared to that of a roller coaster. It seems that when we go to church on Sundays we are at our spiritual high, but by the time Wednesday rolls around we return to a spiritual low.

I’ve noticed that when I am experiencing a spiritual low, my days are harder, my mood is negative, and my self control fails me entirely. Whenever that hits me and I catch myself wallowing in my woes, asking why it’s happening, I fail to see God right there in front of me. Between everything that goes on in a day, unfortunately it’s all too easy to build a wall between ourselves and Him. Like I have far too many times, when things get rough we beg God to do something, to write a message in the clouds, even.
How long will it take for us to realize that He’s been there all along? Hebrews 13:8 reminds us of that very thing, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” He is there while we’re angry with Him, asking why me? He is there while we’re discouraged, pleading with Him to give you a sign. He is there while our heads are above water and we think we don’t need Him. He is there, He is there, He is there.
A few years ago I was on the spiritually low end of things. I was stressed at that point and quite frankly, fed up with how quickly a week could turn sour. The more I thought about it, was the brighter the light bulb turned on in my head. The same thing that sent me into a whirlwind on Thursday happened at the beginning of the week not too long prior, but I handled it differently.
I connected the dots and realized it had to do with my relationship with God. Of course the beginning of the week was better than the end, because I still had the Sunday message fresh on me. That is when I made it an intentional part of my daily schedule to have a quiet time with Him.
I was amazed by how incredibly a fifteen-minute bible study and prayer could transform my morning. And when it transformed my morning, it did the same with the remainder of my day. That definitely did not act as a shield, deflecting me from any stressful situations. They came about just as normally, but my response was what changed–for the better.
I noticed that by maintaining my relationship with God by having quiet time, I was removing a piece of the wall that I built between us. My conversations with coworkers and loved ones glorified Him more, and my actions tried to reflect Christ as must as I could.

Whether you do it in the morning or before bed, we must not forget to read His word and talk to Him. We don’t maintain relationships with our friends by only going to them in times of need–we maintain them daily, regardless of the seas we’re sailing.

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WHAT IS BEAUTY?

What is beauty through Christ?
In the eyes of the Lord, we have always been told that we are beautiful regardless of what the world says and their standards. But do we really understand what beauty is through Christ? In the eyes of
the Lord the true beauty of a woman is on the inside and the outside. How a woman looks in the eyes of the God is more important because that is beauty that doesn’t fade nor ceaseThis is the beauty that every woman should work to keep. There are scriptures that give us the exact examples of what God finds attractive in us.
1 Peter 3:3-4 tells us, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” God wants us to be of quiet spirit. This doesn’t mean we have to be silent and not speak our mind. But it means that we should not have argumentative spirit. We should not be too quick to judge, argue or fight to have our way. We should be peaceful and respectful to others. The book of Proverbs talks about women who are angry and how difficult it is for others to live with them nor communicate with them. This is the kind of woman that is not attractive in the eyes of the Lord. 
An attractive woman in the eyes of God is one who doesn’t compete with men. She understand the strengths and value that she possess. A woman who fears God is also seen attractive to the Father. She has to put God first and strive to do what He has commanded her to do. She has to continue strengthening her relationship with Him so that she can grow spiritually. 
Proverbs 31: 30 reads, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.”
It is within every woman’s reach to become the beautiful woman God intended her to be. She should be beautiful on the outside, beautiful on the inside and, most importantly, weshould be beautiful to God. Remember God doesn’t see the way man does. I Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” God looks a lot deeper than the physical appearance. This scripture shows us just how God looks at us. 
A woman’s beauty is goes a lot deeper than just the physical appearance. Many women believe that physical looks is all that is required, and pay little attention to their inner beauty or how they look to God. They end looking nice, but in the long run have very little other value.
We should strive to be beautiful inside and outside. We should take care of yourself physically, develop and maintain your inner beauty, and most importantly, strive to look your best to God!

Top Raccoon Brand (Tank Top)Raccoon BrandInstagram @RaccoonBrandTwitter@RaccoonBrand
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LEARNING PATIENCE THROUGH GOD



Learning patience through God
Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV)

If you’re discouraged because God is delaying to answer your prayers, then you have to understand that the delay is NOT a denial. Just because the answer hasn’t come – YET – that doesn’t mean God is not going to answer or that he’s forgotten you or that he doesn’t care about you.
It simply means “not yet!” So you have learn to be patient. Not only once but for every minute you spend working to pass the test. Until you pass the test that God has given you, you will not see any changes in your life. But you have to be patience in your journey and you might not feel the pain of the wait. You have to let the patience be you, it should be a part of your life or rather your lifestyle. God tests you so that you could you can realise His faithfulness in all your trials. 
There is purpose in the process of your trials. Hebrews 12:2 says; waiting on God forces us to look to Him. We are forced to cast our eyes into Him as the source of our faith. It reminds us that Christ’s death and life is the reason we can be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Trials cause us to continue by increasing our knowledge of God and relying on Him on all that we do. Standing patiently when we wait on the Lord does not mean being stuck at a dead end or in the middle of nowhere. Ephesians 6 tells us to “put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then.” 
To hold ground by remaining obedient to the Lord while waiting is not being passive. Realise that the word stand is repeated three times. Patience is an act of the will to claim ground for the Kingdom of God, and is rewarded richly by Him. Revelation 3:10-11 talk about God’s care for those who persevere through the battle.
Whether we feel we lack patience to wait on God, or to continue to love those that may be hard to love, we do it knowing that we have access to all the patience we need. We can trust God to give us the strength to bear our circumstances and instead wasting time questioning Him and trusting in Him and His word.







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