P is for Praise!

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoice; and with my song will I praise Him,” Psalms 28:7 KJV 

“Praise” is mentioned roughly 200 times In the KJV Bible. The book of Psalms is full of songs that praise our God. This emphasis on “praise” should show us just how powerful  it is.  David wrote song after song about the greatness of God. His heart was filled with praise for the Father. Even after committing murder God’s love for David did not falter.

Could it be David’s continual praise made all the difference?    

Praise was taken very seriously. There was praise before battle. There was praise after the battle was won. How much more could we find ourselves in God’s presence if we would intentionally praise Him beyond the church walls?

Praise is a mirror image of prayer. Our prayers tend to focus on us and our needs. Our praise glorifies the goodness of God!  

Praise is the “thank you” we give God for each new day. Praise is the song that acknowledges that yes, God, I know it was you that pulled me through difficult times. Praise is worship. Praise is the product of allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest inwardly within us and we in turn manifest outwardly the joy and peace that He brings.

Praise paves the way for progress. Praise is the power that pushes us through situations instead of keeping us stuck in them. Praise speaks to God our Father and reflects our love for Him. Praise speaks to our own spirit and is an outpouring of His love for us.

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Never minimize the power of Praise. It can open doors that have been shut for years. Praise can produce results you could never make happen!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” Proverbs 18:21.

What kind of life do you want to live?    

Don’t blame.  Praise!  Blame never produced one good thing. It is a negative reflection on a past you cannot change.  However, praise uses your voice to push you into position to overcome past failures and open up to new opportunities. Praise takes the emphasis off of ourselves and magnifies our Father with Whom all things are possible!

Praise God because of His goodness. Praise Him for who He is. Praise God for what has done for you!

Replace your complaints with praise and see what a difference it makes in your life. Praise is the fuel that allows you to fly high with faith. Allow your praise to raise you to levels you never dared believe you could achieve.

Praise God in all things!

P is for Praise!

BLSD BTFLY 5  “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalms 7:17 KJV

“Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.” Psalms 69:34 KJV  

Follow Through!

“Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” James 2:22 NKJV 

We often begin a task full of optimism and confident that God can see us through our challenges. It may be something such as starting a diet, a budget or a changing careers.

However, our good intentions are often derailed as soon as the path we have chosen gets a little bumpy, muddy, broken or narrow. Sometimes when we make a concerted effort to break specific strongholds, the more things seemingly come against us.

Good intentions are often interrupted by family obligations, emergencies, or other events.  A number of things can just “appear” right when we decide to make some serious changes.  This is the time when you must press forward with “follow through faith.”

This faith is different from the initial confidence that you can “do all things through Christ.” We often know what is possible, yet still fail to push through to that next level.

This faith allows you to pass the cookie aisle when you need to lose weight. It forces you to sign up for classes even though you seemingly don’t have the time. It pushes you to apply for another job, open a savings account or put into action those things that will promote the changes you desire.

We often pray to God for change but fail to do our part to produce the change. The first day or even week we often start out strong but then as time wears on and the task becomes harder we often fall back into comfortable habits that don’t push us to mature into all that we can become.

Follow through faith prompts us to do the things we don’t feel like doing. It pushes through fatigue and pessimism. It does not yield to complacency. It sees beyond the pain that will yield the eventual gains.

Follow through faith differentiates the believers from achievers. Achievers continue down the narrow path even as the pain sets in. Achievers are not afraid of failure as they pursue their goals. They simply learn from their mistakes and move on.

Follow through faith will push you forward when everything and everyone around you is a deterrent.

You can believe all things are possible, but are you willing to obey God and push yourself to turn the possibility into a reality?

What is God asking you to follow through?


***I’ll be “out of the office” until next week. I’ll respond to comments when I return 🙂



Unlike this butterfly struggling against the breeze, I spotted a hawk soaring high on those same winds. Hawks trust the breezes to lift them higher. No GPS or google maps, they just stretch their wings and go!

The higher we want to go, the more we must trust God to take us there.

Small things we can do in our small power. Larger missions, accomplishments and dreams of any real substance are all acquired with God.

Few people reach their full potential without that absolute trust. There are those who do reach certain heights in themselves, but eventually the burden of their pseudo-success becomes too much for them to bear. Most “self-made” people often collapse under the strain of relying on themselves for everything.

We must grow larger spiritually and mentally into a wider wing span, stretching ourselves, daring to go higher than we ever thought possible if we are to soar as God intended us to do.   DSC_8762 (2)

Likewise, we must have a keen eye just like a hawk. These birds aren’t flying blind. We shouldn’t either. Large fowl can spot the smallest of opportunities/food from their great heights.  God gives us this same vision and discernment when we ask Him, trust Him and have faith enough to actually follow where He leads.

Now, I’m not keen on going anywhere and not know where I’m going. Yet, this same reluctance can cause us to miss out on some of our largest blessings. Admittedly, I’ve gone a few places in life with my eyes wide open (or so I thought) and that didn’t turn out well at all!

So…I’d rather go blindly with God than move forward eyes wide open, but aimless and with no direction!

Besides, my tiny little wings can only take me so far. But with God…    DSC_9010 (2)

Technically, bumble bees can’t fly. Their bodies and short wing spans defy the laws of physics. But God creates those “laws” and breaks them as He deems fit. Man will never understand all of God. We see only a glimpse of His Majesty. That’s why we must trust!

All things are possible to him who believes!  

Jesus, said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth,” Mark 9:23 KJV

Will my hopes and dreams come to fruition? Only God knows. But knowing that they are indeed possible is enough for me to spread my wings and try to fly just a little bit higher.

What about you?

What Do You See?

Sometimes it is not a failure to let go of the past that prevents us from moving forward. Instead, a lack of vision for our future prevents the preparation necessary to manifest our innermost dreams.

Dare to prepare for opportunities that lie ahead. Your greatest victories await if you have faith for what God can do for with you!    DSC_8425 (2)

“Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.” Proverbs 29:18 NKJV

“Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer,”  Proverbs 30:25 NIV  DSC_8422 (2)

“But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” And it will be said: “Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.” Isaiah 58:13-14  NKJV  


How Do You View It?

perspective a) a specific point of view in understanding things or events b) the ability to see things in a true relationship, Webster’s Dictionary

The majority of the frustration and anxiety we face is not necessarily due to an “enemy attack.” The mental chaos we sometimes experience stems from failing to view things in the proper perspective.

Psalms teach us to “Magnify the Lord.” However, many Believers who magnify the Lord at church services obsess about and magnify their problems when challenges arise.

We sometimes fail to appreciate just how great our God is and His omnipotent power. Instead, we may talk (repeatedly) of our problems, struggles and daily aggravations.

If we would put the same effort into acknowledging the greatness of our God as we do reiterating our circumstances, we would realize how inconsequential most of our “problems” are in comparison to Him.

God is larger than your “situation” or whatever you are dealing with. You must have faith that what you can’t do, God can do for you!

When we continually moan, gripe and complain the only thing we do is enlarge our “thing” in our mind’s eye. Our negative words distort our vision. We can find faults where there are none and create major issues out of minor annoyances.

The wrong perspective is akin to viewing life in a carnival house of mirrors. What we see is distorted and warped, not at all reality.

The right perspective guides us away from poor decisions. The right perspective eliminates stress and allows us to live blessed.   DSC_8501 (3)

P is for perspective. Changing how you view it might just get you through it!  

Meek not Weak!

“Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth,” Matthew 5:5 KJV

Meek is not a virtue most people seek or regard highly in Western culture. The term is usually identified with someone who is timid, fearful, submissive and lacking courage. However, one definition as defined by Webster’s is “enduring injury with patience and without resentment.”

The instinctive nature of most people is to escape injury, let alone endure it. Furthermore, most of us are swift to retaliate against anyone who causes us pain or upset. It takes an extraordinary amount of strength and determination not to lash out and trust God.

As “Christians” we claim to “follow” Christ yet very few of us are jumping up and volunteering to actually “suffer” for Him.

Christ was very well aware that His followers would suffer. He did not tell them how to escape suffering but taught them instead how to endure it. (See John 16:22-33)

We must push through our injuries and struggles if we are ever going to inherit the best God has for us. Inherit means “to come into possession of or to receive as a right or divine portion.”

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace,” Psalms 37:11 KJV

This Old Testament verse reaffirms what Jesus spoke in His sermon. Furthermore, this verse promises an inheritance of “peace” which is far more valuable than any material object.

Our God does not direct us to do anything He has not given us the ability to do. By His power we are able, even when our situation looks hopeless. Our inheritance comes after we go through whatever “injuries” life throws our way.

We often strive (and pray) to get out of our circumstances instead of trusting God to get us through them.

God provides the strength, faith, and power necessary for us to obey His Word and become meek. This requires that we recognize God will fight certain battles for us. We don’t have to prove how strong we are.

Our God is stronger.  DSC_7572 (2)

With Him we are stronger than we ever thought possible. We are strong enough not to take the bait that would draw us into an argument. We are strong enough not to have the last word. Or, belittle other people.

To be meek is not a weakness. It is strength enough to know your “injury” is only temporary. It does not define you. You can endure it. You can be patient through faith that your situation will be okay. No matter what it looks like right now.

You can endure with a promise of peace yet to come.

Christ endured the cross and inherited a place at the right hand of the Father. If He who was free from sin had to endure, how can we expect anything less?

Blessed are the meek, the patient and the enduring, because our God promises a reward well worth the journey.

A is for Anger Management

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm,” Psalms 37:8 NKJV

Anger management is an important tool for living. The Bible is very clear about anger’s destructive potential.

Anger spreads quickly like a spark igniting dry brush in the wild. Like fire, it spreads far quicker that it can be extinguished. It is the emotion that leads people to make hasty decisions, regrettable mistakes, and to speak words that can never be taken back.

Anger is easily fueled, grows exponentially, and wreaks havoc in people’s lives. Instead of giving in to feelings of wrath, don’t speak or act in haste. Be silent and be still. Allow God’s Word to dictate your behavior.

Anger management isn’t always easy. In fact, it is rarely so. You may have every right to be angry. Disappointment, betrayal, and a host of injustices can evoke this primal reaction in almost everyone. However, feelings are often deceptive but the Word of God is true.

If you are serious in pursuit of the best life possible, get a grip on your anger by giving it to God. Allow Him to extinguish your wrath and propel you above your emotions. If you have anger management “issues”, pray on it. Don’t stay on it.

Learn to manage your anger before it manages you.

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city,” Proverbs 16:32 NKJV

”The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression,” Proverbs 19:11 NKJV

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV

Faded Flowers

“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” Psalms 71:9 KJV

As I was looking at the remnants of my hydrangeas, one in particular caught my eye. The flower was no longer the fresh sweet pink it had been upon blooming many weeks ago. Instead, it was faded and speckled but still it had a beauty all its own.

It made me reflect on how many times we casually toss things aside or fail to appreciate people after the “newness” has worn off. The joy and excitement of new love at its onset often fades as years wear on and relationships weather everyday routines and obligations.

We often don’t appreciate things and people in their “less than new state,” failing to recognize a different beauty that has changed from what was to what it is now. How is it that the blessings we ask God for and receive, we so can easily make the last of our priorities or quickly dismiss in search for the next new “thrill?”

The excitement of parenting quickly gives way to the responsibility and time required to do the job properly.  Friendships are often neglected when the fun times are few and far between. When the butterflies of new-found love are long gone, can you appreciate the great qualities, faithfulness and reliability of your significant other?

Relationships are never perfect as they are composed of imperfect people, but often our flawed (not destructive!) relationships are more satisfying than having none at all. Too many times we stare at the flaws instead of being in awe of the perfect people for us that God has allowed in our lives.  DSC_0022

I challenge you today to look at the people and relationships in your life with a fresh perspective. Even though things and people may not be what they once were, they may still be beautiful in new and different ways.

Appreciate the home you have as if you’d once been homeless. Appreciate the people in your life as if you almost lost them. Make a deliberate choice to appreciate the blessings you have now instead of looking back on what once was or even what can be…

View that same old job with a gratitude that it’s still there! Look at the house in need of repair not with disdain but as a place you really can call home. Your kids may not be perfect (and who is) but at least you’ve gotten them this far!

Like a car when the new shine wears off, dependability should be celebrated instead of longing for that new car smell. Love the people and things in your life for getting you where you need to go, coming along for the ride, or for simply being available and being there.  Why wait until a time of loss to appreciate what you have right now?

New isn’t always better. There is more to be said for faithfulness, dependability, and long-lasting love than for the glitz and glamour of the latest and greatest whoever and whatever!

Contentment doesn’t necessarily breed complacency; it can instead allow you peace and joy for where you are now, your personal journey and the people and things you’ve been blessed with along the way.

Family, friends, good books, and wine. Some things are better with the passage of time.

“To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

Work Wise…work to live or live to work?

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Proverbs 16:3 NIV

“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.” 1 Corinthians 3:8 NIV

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:17 NIV

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” Isaiah 32:17 KJV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 12:28-30 NIV




Big Ears

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19 NIV

“for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,” Psalm 95:7 NIV

“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.”
Psalms 143:8 KJV


**The Elephant Ears featured above are on display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.