Not Being So Hard on Yourself

Summary: Being hard on oneself may sound spiritual (I.E. I just want to be more like Jesus!), but without learning to give ourselves grace, we can call fall into guilt, self condemnation and self hatred.

The past few weeks Jesus has led me to make time on my day off to “review the film” What went right, what went wrong and what can be changed.

As I sat down for the film session, I was ready to hear all the things that needed improvement.

As I closed my eyes, Jesus rattled off 10 areas where I did an excellent job and a whopping 1 area to improve upon. It helped to totally change my perspective of God.

I couldn’t help but laugh, here I was going into the film room with a mindset of what I was doing wrong and instead God flips the mindset into what I was doing right!

Totally God!

The more and more I understand God’s nature, he isn’t about berating me into make changes. He does it in a kind and loving way and it is for our benefit!

Romans 2:4 says,

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
Repentance simply means a changing of one’s mind. So in the example above about the film session, I repented of falling into self condemnation and hatred into loving myself and giving grace to myself right where I am at.

Prayer: Father I thank you for every reader. I pray that you help remind each reader of how kind and loving  you are. Holy Spirit, help us not be hard on ourselves for the sake of sounding spiritual . Help us to recognize where we are doing what is right and make note of it. And if we need a correction, you do it in a kind and loving way. In Jesus name! Amen!

Comments and Application:  Are there areas in your life where perhaps you are too hard on yourself? How can you show more grace to yourselves in those times. I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

A Look into a Balanced Day of Marc’s Life.

Summary: In a world that can pull people in many directions, I would like to share the wisdom God has given me and pass it along in maintaining a well balanced life.

There can be many things that try to pull for our attention. TV, Social media, entertainment, family, work, relationships, and yes even the church. How can we maintain a sense of balance in this world?

First, off I will say, it is a fight! There will be well meaning people that say things, yes even friends, that can create an unbalanced life.

The most important ingredient to a balanced life is a personal relationship with God! So, walk with me as we look into a day of my life over this past week.

1. This past Friday was perhaps the most balanced day of my life….and it all started with spending time with God the first thing in the morning. I do not have a set formula (too religious for me), but it something like, spending time in the Word, worship, praying in tongues and listening to Him.

2. After spending time with Him I like to move into exercise. With the amount of walking I do for work, I am keeping it pretty balanced. No more than 15 minutes of cardio.

3. Then comes eating a healthy breakfast (future blog post on the importance of eating healthy. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit!)

4. Then comes work! There are so many cool ideas God has given to me about work. First off I am able to set my own hours. Instead of working 5 days a week, and longer hours, I work six days a week and shorter hours. God did it in creating the earth and so am I!

I take short mental breaks every hour in a half that helps to keep me balanced spiritually, emotionally and mentally. It has created a much better flow to the day and more efficient at work. I get in the Word for lunch and pray in the Spirit as well. And when work is done for the day, I put work down.

Let me say that work is the one that can throw people off perhaps the most. The culture we live in has came a long ways from working 100 hour work weeks in the 1800s, but is still flawed. I would encourage people to find work where it doesn’t throw off the rest of your life.

5. Then I took shorter rest to regroup for the rest of the day.

6.  I will pray in the Spirit around dinner time and have a healthy dinner.

7. Then I went off to Cincinnati House Group, which is an amazing group of people that are so passionate about God. This week was combining all the houses. So there were about 100 young adults there. So exciting! We worship, do Bible Study and Ministry time. It’s a great place to form deeper relationships.

8. Then a friend and I went out to eat afterwards and just had an amazing conversation.

9. Lastly, I like to get in the Word before I go to bed.

And there you have it a well balanced day! It was so beautiful because I know I was walking in the Spirit. There was a natural flow to the day and not striving.

As you can tell it takes discipline live a well balanced life. It means saying no to some things (Excessive Social media, TV, etc), but with the power of the Holy Spirit, He will help make changes in your life to adopt a well balanced lifestyle.

Prayer:

Father, I pray that every reader is able to live a well balanced life spiritually, emotionally and mentally, and any other way out there. In Jesus name, I release patience, perseverance, discipline and grace to every reader that desires to live a well balanced life. Amen.

Application and Comments:

How do you maintain well balanced life, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Joy Despite Circumstances

Summary:

Today was a day where many trials were overcome with the help of God.  It felt like everything went “wrong”, but trials continue to remind me of the importance of us resting in our true identity in Christ!

Today was my first day back at work from Christmas as a canvasser with a pro life organization. The temperature was below zero.

Not a problem! Gloves…check. long johns… check. thermal wear… check. I’m ready to go!

Until I get to the vehicle and the car won’t start.

With help from family, was able to go to an appointment that was hoping to have. However, it took too long for the appointment because I had a doctor’s appointment because I am overcoming a cold (No, God did not give me the cold!)

As I went to get the prescription filled, the insurance coverage didn’t cover the medication. Whatever!

Finally, there was a sense of normalcy at work.  Then later I had a challenging talk with someone that would have crippled me in the past. I felt God’s power rising up in me!

In the evening was able to jumpstart the car, and drive off to a church event only to find out it wasn’t being held! So I got back to the car and the vehicle wouldn’t start again!

At this point I could do nothing but laugh and have peace!

I could tell my mind was being renewed.  James 1: 2-4 says,

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

Instead of resenting the trials, I am learning to embrace them. It’s part of our identity in Christ that says we  are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Long story short, in the past any one of these events could have caused me to drift, but as God continues to mature us, we not only win, we overwhelmingly win!

And when multiple trials get thrown at you and you keep on going, that’s an excellent sign that breakthrough is near!

Prayer:

Father, thank you for the amazing Dad that you are! We are so grateful! In Jesus name, I release healing and restoration every readers  mind and every part of us Restore us to our true identity of being more than conquerors. Also, in Jesus name, I release God’s provision to help everyone overcome challenges. Holy Spirit continue to help strengthen our inner beings with endurance to run the race you have for each of us. Amen.

Application and comments:

How do you rejoice when trials come your way? Please share about it in the comments below.