Be Brave!

Be Brave! - Are you tired of fighting battles that leave you crushed and defeated? There's good news for you today. You don't have to fight! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

The battle is always waging.

You may not be in the throes of the fight today. But there is always a battle to fight.

Your friend may be fighting cancer. Your neighbor may be struggling to keep her marriage together. Your loved one may be battling addiction. You may be doing all you can to maintain emotional and mental stability.

There is always a battle.

In the midst of our battles, the temptation may be to retreat, to run as far as we can from our problems or to ignore the struggles altogether. The thing about battles is you can’t outrun them. They will find you and eventually, the fight must be fought.

But here’s what you need to know:

The battle is not yours to fight!

You have an ally, no –

a WARRIOR

who will fight for you.

Check this out. In God’s Word, we read of an impending battle in 2 Chronicles 20. God’s people were terrified because of the size of the army headed their way. Wise King Jehoshaphat turned to the Lord for help. Listen to what God said to His people:

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them… Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.

(2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV)

No matter the battle you are facing today, God can handle it. So quit wasting your time and energy with the same old strategies that only leave you worn out and defeated. Your job is to trust the Lord and stand firm in the battle.

Yep. You do have to show up for the fight.  Showing up may mean many different things – saying “no” to bad habits, enduring difficult people and uncomfortable situations, facing truths about yourself you’d rather not know or making impossible decisions. But rest assured. When you show up, you never have to be afraid. God’s got this!

I don’t know what battles you are facing today but God knows.  He’s ready to fight for you.  All you need to do is

SHOW UP

and

BE BRAVE!

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Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS

 

Reason to SMILE #11: MORNINGS - Are you a morning person? If not, you may want to read this to discover how to appreciate each new day. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Have you ever met a morning person?

No matter how early, a morning person is always cheerful and ready to meet the day with vim and vigor.  This person sings, “Hello” to everyone she encounters and bounces across the room like a child running off to play.

It truly is disgusting!

As you may have guessed, I am NOT a morning person.  It takes me quite a while each day to get moving and when I do, I really do not mind if no one says, “Good morning” to me or even speaks to me at all.  The only things I desire in the morning are

COFFEE

&

SILENCE

Regardless of my aversion to mornings, I am grateful for each one.  Mornings are a gift.  They offer each of us a fresh start, a new beginning.  Yesterday is, well, yesterday.  The mistakes we made, the hardships we faced, the messes we created, these are all in the past.

In fact, each day is like our own personal “do-over” granted to us by God Himself! With each ray of sunlight that peeks over the horizon, God is saying, “Here you go.  Let’s try this again!”

Now that ought to make us SMILE!

Oh, sure, the troubles from yesterday may still continue.  We made the mess; we have to clean it up.  But each new day gives us the opportunity to make better choices, to rid ourselves of bad habits, to repair broken relationships, to do whatever was left undone yesterday.

I may not be a morning person but I thank God for the mercies He gives to me with each new day.  And as I drink my coffee in silence this morning, I cannot help but SMILE at the endless possibilities this day has to offer.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NIV)  

 

The Hope of Christmas

The Hope of Christmas | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

 

Unto us a Child is born,

unto us a Son is given,

and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace,

JESUS

for He will save his people from their sins.

 

Isaiah‬ ‭9:6‬; Matthew‬ ‭1:21‬‬‬

 

May each of you enjoy the blessings of Christmas and find the Hope, Joy, Peace, Comfort and Love that is wrapped in the gift of God’s Son.

Merry Christmas!

The Interruption of God

The Interruption of God - Are you willing to say “Yes” to God’s plans for your life? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

She didn’t plan to abandon tradition.

She didn’t plan to be the subject of whispers in the market place.

She didn’t plan to cause her betrothed shame or humiliation.

She certainly didn’t plan to become the mother of God’s Son.

But God…

His plan would turn her life upside down.

His plan would stretch her faith beyond its limits.

His plan would bring her blessings, joy and honor.

His plan would save, not only her, but the entire world.

 

To the revelation of God’s plan for her life, Mary answered, “May it be done to me according to your word.”

And what a plan it was!

Now, imagine the difference in your life if you would only allow God’s plans to interrupt yours.

So Much More

 

So Much More - Embracing the true meaning of Thanksgiving | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

More than a holiday.

More than a gathering.

More than a meal.

It’s an attitude of gratitude.

It’s choosing to count your blessings

instead of your sorrows.

It’s a way of life.

Always be thankful.

“Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:20‬

May the spirit of Thanksgiving fill your hearts and carry you through all of your days!

What a Relief!

What a Relief! - Are you killing yourself trying to be like everyone else? Take a look at what God says about that. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Hey, you!

Yes, I’m talking to you.

You do not have to be someone that you’re not.  Quit killing yourself trying to look like others, talk like others, act like others.

God made you to be – well, you.

You with your particular talents.

You with your unique skill set.

You with your one and only personality.

You with all of your quirks.

God doesn’t want you to ignore who He’s made you to be just so you can appear to be like someone else.  He doesn’t want you to throw away the talents and gifts He’s given you in order to fit the mold of the world.

God simply wants you to take what He’s given you and use it to point the world to Him.

Now, relax.

Be you.

And follow Him.


In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

Romans 12:6-8

I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.

Psalm 139:14a

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

 

Duck Walk vs. Dog Face: The Battle for Self-Worth

Duck Walk vs. Dog Face: The Battle for Self-Worth - Are you struggling with self-esteem issues? Learn how to fight back against what the world says you are and stand firm in who God says you are. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comThere she was, sitting with her face buried in her hands, tears trickling through her fingers and soft sobs evading her feeble attempt at concealment.  I looked on with mixed emotions.  I was frustrated with the boy who caused the tears, sympathetic of the girl who had been offended and completely overwhelmed by memories from my past.  The scene was all too familiar and it carried me back to my childhood, to a time when I was sitting where this child sat, a time that forever changed my view of who God made me to be.

I was there – completely broken, tears streaming down my face and spirit crushed because of someone’s careless words.  I still remember the hurt I felt as I heard that awful name spewing from the mouth of a teenage boy in front of the whole world, or so it seemed.  We were on the school bus but it might as well have been the whole world.  I was 9 years old.  I was different because of a physical disorder and all I wanted was to fit in, to be accepted, to be normal.   That day, this teenager’s laughter and mocking dashed any hopes I had of that happening.

I couldn’t contain my tears.  I couldn’t wait to get off of that bus.   I wanted to be at home.  I wanted my mom.  And my mom is just who I needed because the advice she gave me that day impacted my life in ways I could never have imagined.  I don’t remember everything my mom said that afternoon but I will never forget what she told me to do the next day on the school bus.  She told me to fight back, to retaliate the next time this teenager called me a name.  I was a tiny little thing and this boy was probably four times my size but my mom said to stand my ground.  It empowered me.

I know what you are thinking.  “Your mom actually told you to call that kid a name?”  Yes, she did and she even gave me the name to call him!  And being the good little girl that I was, I did exactly what my mom told me to do.  The very next afternoon, after I struggled up the bus steps and began walking down the aisle to my seat, I heard it.  The words “Duck Walk” pierced through the commotion of kids playing and talking and hit me square in the back of the head.  I turned, glared straight into the boy’s face and returned insult for insult.  “Dog Face!” I blurted.  He did not strike back.  Instead, he smiled, sat down and never called me “Duck Walk” again.

At age 9, I didn’t quite grasp the value of the lesson I learned that day or fully understand all that my mom was trying to teach me but today, I have come to cherish the priceless wisdom I gained from that experience.  My mom was reminding me of who I was that afternoon when she told me to fight back.  She was showing me that God does not make mistakes despite the opinions of the world and that I cannot let anyone tell me differently.  I cannot let anyone steal my joy, my happiness or my hopes.  That’s quite a lesson learned from simply calling a bully a “Dog Face”!

And so, I passed this lesson on to the girl who had been insulted, the girl who is picked on every day at school because she does not look like everyone else.  No, I did not tell her to call her bullies some silly name – I left that to her mom!  But I did tell her to stand her ground, to take pride in who God made her to be, to defy Satan in his attempts to steal her joy, and to hold her head up high.  God has a purpose for this precious girl and she’s going to be just fine.  She may not understand it now but one day she’ll be standing in my place passing on this pearl of wisdom to another little girl or little boy who needs to know that God’s Love is so much greater than any insult hurled by this world and that God does not make mistakes.

Mirrors, Bags and Dancing Shoes: A Lesson on Desires

Mirrors, Bags and Dancing Shoes: A Lesson on Desires - Are the things you are seeking in life leaving you cold and empty? Maybe it’s time to take a serious look at your heart’s desires... | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

In a little village, there lived a man who had three girls.

To you and me they’d look the same – same smile, same eyes, same curls.

But each of these three daughters were as different as could be

And if you took a closer look, the differences were plain to see.

 

Sophia was the drama queen; she loved the finer things

And preferred to have an audience so she could dance and sing.

Sasha loved her mirror and the reflection that she saw.

She primped and brushed and painted – she did not tolerate any flaw.

 

Then there was sweet Sara whom her sisters thought quite odd.

She did not primp; she did not dance; she spent her time with God.

Though these girls were different, their father loved them all the same.

And in return, they shared his love each in their own special way.

 

Sophia entertained her dad – she loved to make him smile.

Sasha decked their entire house with her great sense of style.

Sara hung on every word and learned all her father taught.

These girls loved their father so – a greater love there was not.

 

One sad day, the news was brought that their father had passed on.

An accident out in the field – Oh how the girls did mourn!

But their father had a plan for the lives of these three girls.

He left behind instructions for them to go out in the world.

 

“Take your share of my estate,” his instructions did direct.

“Choose a path to follow – a new life you must erect.

To take along your journey, a bag for each I’ve left.

How you choose to fill it will be the measure of your success.”

 

“Success,” thought Sophia, “I like the sound of this great plan.

I’ll take my scores of music and I’ll take my shoes for dance.

My dream is to be famous and the richest of them all.”

So she packed her bag and set her course to answer glory’s call.

 

Sasha opened up her bag and sighed, “What am I to do?

This bag does not reflect my taste.  I’m not happy with its hue.

Beauty is my talent and I’ll use it to find true love.”

So brushes, make up, mirrors and more in her bag she did stuff.

 

Sara quietly packed her bag though she did not want to leave.

“I do not know your plan, Lord, but I’ll follow where you lead.”

She took along her Bible, some money, some food, some clothes.

She began her journey praying, “Lord, be with me as I go.”

 

Fame and fortune soon became Sophia’s dream come true.

Her shelves were lined with trophies and her name filled the news.

Each night the wealthy and society’s great were found within her home.

But each morning when Sophia woke, she was always all alone.

 

Sasha’s dream to find true love came easy or so she thought.

She used her dazzling beauty to ensnare a young man’s heart.

He doted and he showered his new bride with lots of stuff.

But each gift that he presented, he found was never good enough.

 

The path on which Sara trod was not ordinary by far,

Yet in the eyes of her sisters, Sara was no shining star.

While earning her degree, Sara worked in a little store

Where she never met a stranger – the needy had an open door.

 

Years went by and there came a day when Sophia was forgotten.

No more applause, no more awards, no hype to be caught up in.

Surrounded by great treasures, she found her life empty and cold.

She’d filled her bag to the brim and left no room for what meant the most.

 

Sasha, too, found life and love to be a disappointment.

Her husband left; her beauty waned – hers only for a moment.

Her time was spent reflecting on herself and her desires.

Her bag might not be empty if she had looked a little higher.

 

Now, Sara, she was happy; she found joy with each new day.

She saw no need to hoard and store; she loved to give away.

She helped all who crossed her path without thought of her own life.

As for her bag, she would always find the contents did suffice.

 

Late one night as Sara slept, she saw her father in a dream.

She was sitting at his feet; to him tightly she did cling.

“Oh, I’ve missed you,” Sara said, his hand tightly in her grasp.

“I’ve much to tell but first, I have a question I need to ask.”

 

“At the outset of the journey of my sisters and me,

You gave a bag to each of us to fill as we did please.

Sophia’s riches and Sasha’s matchless beauty I did not gain.

So why was my bag plenteous when theirs did not sustain?”

 

Sara’s father looked down at her face and wiped her tears.

Then he spoke these words that to this day Sara still holds dear:

“My child, the objects in the bag matter not in this life.

It’s the longings of your heart and the goals for which you strive.

 

“Your sisters sought to please themselves; they did not seek the Lord.

While you, my dear, gave all to Him, in you good things He poured.

Fortune, beauty, even love, can leave one empty and chilled

But the one who longs for righteousness, that life will surely be filled. “