Don’t Give Up

By | Food for thought | 5 Comments

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG)

“So we’re not giving up. How could we!” Wow! What powerful words and a powerful reminder of just what we need to do. We can’t give up! No matter what! I don’t know what you are going through. I don’t know the circumstances of your life, but what I do know is that you were not created or destined by God to give up or fail. You were created and destined by God to be a victor, an overcomer and a success!

Life can be rough, actually downright ugly, sometimes. But, we must remember where we stand, what our position is, in the midst of ugliness. We must always remember to shift our focus from bad to good, from problem to solution, from defeat to victory during the ugly times. You see – we live in a world where the devil is seeking to kill, steal and destroy our lives. We have to stay on the defense, ready to stand firm and attack against the evil works of the devil. When he comes at our lives, he likes to shift our focus (the primary thing we see) to the attack and all of its negative repercussions. Why? Because, he wants us to forget where we stand in Christ because he knows if he succeeds at doing so, he can win the battle as our minds succumb and let him advance.

The good news is that if we stay focused on the promises that God has given us in His Word, we can overcome anything and all that comes against us. Remember, you have been called by God an overcomer and a victor! You must purpose to focus on the goodness of God’s promises and His all-powerful grace. Even if chaos surrounds you, even when things look like they are falling apart –remember, God is continually making new life for you! There is never a day, not even a moment, when are without His all-powerful grace! Wow! Isn’t that amazing? So, no matter the damage I sustain, no matter the attack on my life, God is always in the process of creating new life because I always abide in His grace!

I love what II Corinthians 4:16-18 tells us. The hard times are small potatoes! I challenge you right now to look at your problems and choose to see them as nothing more than small potatoes! Oh but Shannon, you don’t know how big my problems are! It doesn’t matter! Your God is bigger! Your God says your problems are small potatoes compared to the lavish celebration that is coming your way! So, don’t focus on your problems! Don’t focus on the attack! Stand strong, and never give up! Allow your heart to be filled with expectancy, an expectancy of the lavish level of goodness and joy and victory that is coming your way! God has prepared all of these things for you! Focus on this promise. Rest in His grace, and take your eyes off the small potatoes!

I pray you are encouraged. You should be! Get ready for God’s lavish celebration!

Xoxo,

Shannon

Light For My Life

By | Food for thought | 2 Comments

With your instruction, I understand life; that’s why I hate false propaganda. – Psalm 119: 104-105 (MSG)

​By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. Ever feel like you are sitting in a sea of darkness, surrounded by chaos and confusion? Ever feel like you can’t possibly make a decision? Sometimes, life can be so overwhelming. In fact, it can even seem impossible at times. When you are going through a tough time, the pressure can cloud your thinking and it is easy to get off track and become consumed by the problems and lose sight of any possible solution. Even simple tasks can become difficult because our thought processes get clouded from stress and make everything seem daunting, even the things that are routine and simple. When you find yourself in one of these moments, you have to turn to your Source, your Maker. The answers to your problems, while possibly not seeming obvious, are found in His Word. In Psalm 119:104-105, God shows us that His instruction brings understanding to our life. So, when you are feeling confused and can’t comprehend what to do in your life, turn to the Word. God speaks to us through His Word. He gives us understanding and clarity through His Word. God’s Word is not just a book of Do’s and Don’ts for our life. It is meant to be our foundation for life. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says, “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”  God’s Word is necessary for our life and is meant to guide us and help us through everything and in every area, big and small, super important and insignificant. We should have daily, constant interaction with God’s Word; and we should desire it always. You see, God’s Word helps bring light to your life. When the pathway seems dark and you feel like you can’t see, God’s Word will light your way. When you are constantly studying His Word, reading it, meditating on it, growing to know it more and more, light will flood your life and you will be able to see the solution and right decisions. Now, you may be thinking, there are no verses that address the mess I am facing or speak about the specific situations in my life. Trust me, God has an answer and a victory for every possible scenario you are facing today and ever will face. It may not seem obvious to you in this moment; but as you search His Word, the answers will be revealed and the His light will guide your way. Let me encourage you today! No matter the level of stress you are under, no matter the size of the mountain in front of you – Run to His Word! And, run expecting to find an answer to your problems and light for your life! It is there! Trust and believe in that! Your answers and solutions will be revealed to you! Why try to figure it out on your own when God gave you His Word to guide you and light your way!

Praying for you always!
Shannon

February – Let’s celebrate love!

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The entire foundation of our existence with God is rooted in love. Because He loved us and desired to share life with us, He created us and then sent His son to die for us so that we could live totally free and complete in Him. How important is His Love? Well, that’s hard to simplify into words. His love encompasses a power so grand and majestic that it erases all of our sins, delivers us from all of our shortcomings, heals us from all pain and sickness and infiltrates every fiber of our being with grace and strength.

We, as His children, the unbelievably fortunate recipients of His love, who are created in His image and called to live a life like Him, then also must be powerful givers of love. In I Corinthians 13:3, it says, “If I give away all I have, and I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” Even the most extreme form of sacrifice pales in comparison to the power and importance of living a life of love. So, I ask you today, are you full of love? Are you living a life of love? Do the people you encounter, people in your life, experience and receive love from you?

I am pretty confident I can say that we can all continue to grow in love and become better distributors and demonstrators of love. How do we do this? One of things I love about God’s Word is that He always spells out direction for us when He asks us to do and be something. If you go on reading in I Corinthians 13:4-8, it says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

So, how do I grow in my ability to love?

  • I choose to be patient.
  • I choose to be kind.
  • I choose to not be jealous or envious of others and what they have or accomplish.
  • I do not boast or brag.
  • I am not arrogant. I am always willing to learn and admit others may know more.
  • I choose to be courteous and not rude.
  • I listen to others, pay attention to their needs and desires and don’t always insist on doing things my way.
  • I choose to be happy, respectful and not irritable or easily annoyed.
  • I decide to let things go and not hold grudges. I choose to not become resentful or hold onto the past.
  • I choose to stay away from sin. I do not like it, and I do not celebrate wrongdoing. I celebrate righteous and truth.
  • I can bear all things because I am a victor in Christ Jesus, so no matter the current situation, I will overcome. (I Corinthians 15:57, Deuteronomy 20:4, John 16:33)
  • I can always believe because my faith is rooted in the 100% unshakeable and undoubtable promises of God’s Word. (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12, Acts 19:20, I john 5:4)
  • I can always hope because God’s mercies are new every morning, and He only wants the best for me and promises me good. (Lamentations 3:22-23, James 1:17)
  • I can endure all things, because I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
  • I can love endlessly, because God’s love for me never, ever ceases. It cannot stop! And, I was created to love just like Him! (Lamentations 3:22)

I challenge you to embrace these attributes. Work to live this way. Check your heart, your mind, your action and your responses and make sure they are based in love. Remember, without love, we are nothing! Each one of us has received the beautiful gift of God’s love; so, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
Xoxo​,​

Shannon

Where Your Treasure Is

By | Food for thought | 5 Comments

And, so it begins! Another new year is upon us! First, let me start by wishing each one of you a Happy New Year! This is such a special time of year, a time of new beginnings. How fabulous is it to know that we serve a God of new beginnings! He doesn’t hold things over our head. He is not concerned with our pasts, our “has beens”, our “should of beens”, or anything else. He is simply concerned with where you are headed and what you are doing today. In fact, His Word says that, “His mercies are new every morning!” (Lamentations 3:22) I love that!

During this time of year, many of us take a moment to focus on looking at our lives and think about changes we may or may not want to make. Whether it is January or not, God is always ready and willing to help you get better, grow more, and make a change for good. But, right now, as you focus your mind on New Year’s Resolutions, I want to encourage you to think about what I consider to be the checkpoint for everything in our lives.

Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

The word “treasure” in this verse is talking about the things that we value most in our lives. What is your treasure? What do you love? What do you carry in your heart? What do you consider valuable and important above all else?

As you look at your life and you strive to get better, you should ask yourself what is my heart in? What do I treasure? Where do I focus my energy, my finances, and the best of who I am on? Is your focus on earthly gains and things that only matter here, right now? Or, is your focus on the eternal, on the advancement of God’s Goodness, His Kingdom?

Is your mind consumed with worldly thoughts, with plans for your own gain? Or, are you thinking the thoughts of God? Are your actions consumed with material and financial gains here on earth? Or, are they submitted to what God outlines as pure and profitable for your life? Are you meditating day and night on what His Word says about your life? Are you submitting all that you are and all that you have to His Word, making sure that the foundations of your life are working towards building up spiritual blessings and rewards in Heaven?

The beauty of this check point is this – when we submit our lives to the Word, God assures us an unshakeable life of blessing and prosperity here on earth. You see the plans God has for us are for good. He wants us to prosper and experience good health in all areas of our life. These promises and plans are not just for our eternal life in Heaven with Him. They are for right here, right now!

When the treasures of your life and who you are stay focused on the things of God, your life gets better! Yes, you give of yourself and your resources; but what you get in return in much, much more than what you give away! Let go of the fear of totally submitting every area of your life to God. Let go of the fear of giving whatever you treasure to God. Quit trying to figure out your own way to do things, and start doing things God’s way, which is most definitely the best way! This way is guaranteed to work and bring your life success both here on earth and for eternity.

Believing with you for the greatest year of your life!

Xoxo
Shannon

Words That Carry Great Meaning

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The other morning I was getting dressed and watching the morning news show. They were talking about the legendary Maya Angelou, one of the most profound writers of our time who recently passed away. What the host said got my attention. In speaking of how the great Maya Angelou would be remembered, she said “Her words always had such great meaning.”

Do your words carry GREAT meaning? When we speak, our words carry meaning. Yes, no matter what, the words we speak have power. We choose whether they carry great meaning or negative meaning. We choose whether are words are helping us or hurting us. We choose whether our words create life or death.

The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit – you choose.” Message

The circumstances in your life are subject to what you speak to them and about them. The people in your life are affected and changed by what you say to them and about them. Our words are so significant. They can create and they can destroy. Now, this may sound overwhelming; but with discipline, our words can be one of our most powerful and effective tools to successfully living the abundant life, the life that God wants us to live.

I caution you to think before you speak! Be conscious of what you are saying. Only speak good and positive things. Now, this does not mean you will never have a bad thought or a negative feeling; but you do not have to verbalize either. In fact, you should only verbalize the opposite. The promises in God’s Word are always for us. They are always “Yes and Amen.” Choose to speak them over your life because they carry GREAT MEANING. Speak words that give life to what the Bible says about you, about your life and about your circumstances. Speak words that give life to what the Bible says about those around you and those you love.

Let me give you an example. Maybe you are having some issues with your child. Don’t speak negatively about your child. Don’t verbalize your child’s weaknesses or struggles. Say what the Word says instead! Give life to the promises of God which say your child is blessed, chosen and highly favored. Give life to the promises of God which say your child is healthy, whole, well, has the mind of Christ and is destined for success.

Maybe you are struggling with a physical attack on your body. Don’t speak about the sickness or disease. Don’t claim the diagnosis as your own. Instead, give life to the promises of God for your body which say you are redeemed from the curse and you are healed by the stripes of Jesus. Give life to the promises which say your body was created in God’s image and no weapon formed against you can prosper.

Be aware of what comes out of your mouth! Make sure what does carries meaning that is helping and enhancing your life not hurting and destroying your life.

The legacy of Maya Angelou – The greatness of her Words! What a great way to be remembered!

May we each be remembered this way! Love you! Shannon

New Year. New You.

By | Food for thought, One Sisterhood | No Comments

It’s that time of year when we all start taking inventory of our lives. We consciously think about how we can improve ourselves, our life in general, and the lives of our family. We call it making New Year’s resolutions. Over the weekend, I was thinking about these things myself, in regards to my own personal life. Of course, there are things I want to improve. I made a list full of the “usual’s” – new fitness goals, new spiritual goals, new financial goals, new plans for my little one, etc. And, of course, the number one New Year’s resolution of all – Follow through on the resolutions!

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Thanksgiving

By | Food for thought, One Sisterhood | No Comments

So, the holidays are upon us, and oh how excited I am! This is absolutely my most favorite time of year; and this year, I have a little one to make it even more fun! Up first is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is about so much more than turkey and football. It should be a time to give thanks. No matter what the circumstances of your life are, you should always be thankful. If you are honest with yourself, there is always much to be thankful for.

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