"The storms of life come to everyone — there is no greener grass.  Don't be surprised when trouble comes along — just be ready!" — Karen Jensen

Having a Bad Day?

The other day, I was having what felt like a really bad day. I got up late, missed an appointment, and things just started going downhill from there.

I was overwhelmed by everything that needed doing, the news of the day was depressing, and on top of everything else, the crises of some people I loved were weighing on me. It just felt like everything was going wrong and I have to confess, I started getting grumpy and irritable (hard to believe, I know).

But all of a sudden, I heard my own voice in my head. In my classes at Rhema, on the last day I used to leave my students with a little gem I call my “Bad Day Checklist.” Because, as I promised them, everyone was going to have a bad day, and here was a checklist you could pull out to remind yourself of the good stuff, and get that attitude back in line.

Ha! I needed it on my bad day! So I pulled it out. And you know what? It worked. So I thought I’d share it with you. Here are the things to ask yourself if you’re having a bad day...

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No Time to Pee

Life can get crazy, can’t it? Especially these days. It seems like being “busy” is our badge of worth. We’re sort of proud of it, like it makes us important. But it feels kind of like we’re on the hamster wheel of life, and we can’t seem to get off.

Personally, I think it’s all part of the devil’s plan in the last days – if he can’t make us bad, he’ll make us busy. Too busy for time with God. Too busy to get our daily assignments from on high, and to walk in peace and rest, just doing what the Lord leads us to do each day.

We keep saying “yes” to everything, and we find ourselves in our over heads. My friend Marie wrote me about this very thing last Thanksgiving, and I wanted to share with you what she said. You’ll laugh, you’ll identify, and hopefully you’ll get a better grip on your purpose and embrace some new ideas…

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3 Ways to Rally After a Wrong Decision

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made a wrong decision. Hello! We all have our hands up right now – some of us have two hands! Let’s face it – we’ve all made a wrong decision (or two…or more!) in our lifetime. Welcome to the human race.

The problem is, sometimes those wrong decisions paralyze us from trying again, or we feel like we have to pay for them the rest of our life. I meet a lot of people who are living by that old saying, “You made this bed, now you have to lie in it.”

But I can’t find that in the Bible! God doesn’t say, “Too bad, you goofed up, now you’re disqualified.” No! In fact I read in Ephesians 2:4 that He is rich in mercy and loves you greatly! He’s the God of another chance.

So what should you do if you’ve made a wrong decision?  Here are 3 ways to get “unstuck” and move forward into your divine destiny...

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9 Tips to De-Stress Your Mornings

Parents, do you have trouble getting everybody ready and out the door on time in the mornings? 

Join the crowd!  Mornings with school-age kids (especially if mom has to get to work too) can be the craziest part of a parent's day.

A good start sometimes really helps to make a good day! It does both you and your kids good to have things go smoothly and peacefully at the beginning of the day. 

Here are 9 quick tips for streamlining and simplifying your mornings...

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2 Ways to Get Out of God's Will

Are you afraid of getting out of God’s will? I mean, it’s always good to want to be in His will – I’ve been in and I’ve been out, and in is definitely better!

But I’m talking about being so afraid of making a mistake that you’re afraid to take any kind of step forward or make any kind of decision at all.    

Listen, it doesn’t have to be that hard.  I believe that if you’re earnestly seeking God about the decisions in your life, and consecrating your life to Him, there are really only two ways to get out of His will.

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Stuck in Indecision: One Woman's Story

I once talked to a woman, let’s call her Sheri (not her real name), who just couldn’t make a certain major decision in her life. She was stuck in indecision, and because of it she was miserable. We’ve all been there – maybe you’re even there right now, or know someone who is. If so, keep reading.

Sheri had been married to her husband for more than thirty years. It was a second marriage for both of them. Her first marriage had ended after thirteen years when her husband left her for another woman.

Sheri told me that she had had maybe two or three good years in this second marriage. The rest of them were awful. She didn’t tell me all the details, but she said, “I have every biblical reason to divorce him, but I’ve tried to hang on, hoping for a change. I’ve spent most of these thirty-plus years trying to decide to stay or go.”

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3 Things to Do When Everything's Falling Apart

Is it just me, or are there days when it just seems like everything’s wrong and nothing is right? Truthfully, I have had more than one day like that in my life. And here’s what I’ve learned over the years.

First, this too shall pass. Even though things seem to be crashing all around you, it’s all part of the devil’s plot to get your eyes off God and onto temporary life conditions. It’s a smoke screen! Today is not a life sentence, no matter what the devil says. If you are determined to stand on the Word and keep believing, this situation is temporary, subject to change in Christ.

Second, everything is not really wrong. I know, I know – it seems like it. But there are truly a LOT of great things going on in your life. Yes, right now! Take a moment to dwell on them. Write them down, even. Be thankful for the good things. It will help the bad ones fade into the background a bit.

Now, take a couple of deep breaths, and get proactive in the middle of all the H-E-double-toothpicks going on around you. Here are three things you can do when everything’s falling apart:

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Are You Afraid to Make a Decision?

Have you ever made a wrong decision in your life? Man oh man, I sure have! When that happens, it’s easy to beat ourselves up over it, or even worse, to be afraid of making any more decisions. That’s what I call being “decision challenged.”

If you’re trying to decide something today but all you can remember is when you blew it the time(s) before, I have some good news -- God wants to help you and get you back on track! And He knows just how to do it.

There was a time in my life when I was afraid of making the wrong decision. I was trying to decide about moving back to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The year was 2000, and I had been pastoring our church in Boise, Idaho, for about four years since my first husband (the founding pastor) had died. I felt like the Lord was leading me to turn the church over to my associate pastor and move back to Tulsa. But I was scared.

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How to Stop Worrying

Ok, ok….I think we all know we shouldn’t worry, right?  I’m sure you’ve at least tried to stop worrying – lots of times! After all, we know that God doesn’t just suggest we stop worrying – the Bible is full of commands that tell us not to do it.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says worry is “to afflict with mental distress or agitation; make anxious.” Our loving Father doesn’t want us afflicted with distress or agitation! He knows the cares and troubles that we face are very real, but He doesn’t want us in bondage to them, which is where worrying can take us.

So, that leads us to the 10-million dollar question: How do we stop worrying, for crying out loud?

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How to Know It's Really God

BIG NEWS, HOT OFF THE PRESS! We wanted you to be among the first to know -- Charisma magazine is featuring this article from my book “How to Make the Right Decision Every Time” in this month’s April 2016 magazine! If you’ve ever wondered how to recognize the voice of God in your life, then this article is for you.

Does the Lord speak out loud to you? Can you really “hear” His voice and follow His leading? This article can help you know! Feel free to share this link with others who may need to know, too.

Click here to read the article....

 

How I Used to Fight God - And Why I Don't Anymore

I used to fight God. There, I said it. It was long ago, when I was a pastor’s wife, and I resisted that particular role. I just never thought I was very good at it. I didn’t like it, I wanted to get out of it, and I argued with God about it regularly.

But then my husband died, and I had to take over his job, becoming pastor of our church by myself. I learned right then that God will provide grace in every situation of life if we’re willing to follow Him. Overnight He gave me what I call “a dumptruck load of grace” to pastor the church – because I needed it so badly.

And I realized: “You know what? I have a feeling that the grace to be a pastor’s wife was always available for me too, but I fought it. I complained and thought wrongly about it.” That’s when I realized that God provides grace for all of us, for whatever we’re going through. We just have to yield to it and expect it.

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If Anyone’s Coming Out on Top, It’s Going to Be YOU!

We have a saying in our family when trouble comes: “If anyone’s going to come out on top in this situation, it’s going to be us!” It sounds audacious, but we believe it’s true!

I’ve read enough of the Bible to know that God thinks we’re coming out on top – and He thinks that about you too. His Word says He always causes you to triumph (2 Cor. 2:14). God knows how to take horrible things that have happened to you and make them turn out in your favor, if you’ll keep believing and obeying Him.

Romans 8:28 is one of the theme verses of my life: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Yes, all things. Notice, it doesn’t say all things are good. It says that God knows how to take even the horrible things and work them out for good. If things aren’t good yet, then the story just isn’t over!

The key lies in the first three words of the verse, “And we know.” You have to know (believe) that God will bring you out of your troubles and you will come out on top. You get that knowing from His Word. Here’s one example in the Word that will help...

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You May Not Be a Princess, But You Have Access to the King!

One thing I love about God is how accessible He is to His children.

I mean, really – He’s God! He doesn’t need anything. Especially from a bunch of flawed humans. But He loves us. Oh how He loves us! Not because we are good, but because He is good!

And because of that, He gives us royal rights. He gives us access to His throne room 24/7. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

I think that’s amazing! You don’t have to crawl on your belly into the presence of God; rather, He tells you to come boldly because you have access right into His throne room.

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7 Proofs That God Loves You

Everywhere I go I meet Christians who, for one reason or another, aren’t sure that God loves them. But He does! Here are seven proofs from the Bible. Meditate on these until they become real to you:

#1: Before He lived in you He longed to be closer to you. Under the old covenant, God’s presence on earth lived in a box (the ark of the covenant - Ex. 25:10-22) in the center of their camp. He lived among His people – He wanted to be close to them. But it wasn’t close enough! When He was planning the new covenant, He said, “I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jer. 31:33). Today His presence on earth lives in you! How amazing is that?

#2: He knew you would never deserve forgiveness, but He saved you anyway. God knew that you would never be good enough on your own and that you could never earn your way back into fellowship with Him. You could never do enough to attain admittance to heaven. So He sent Jesus (Romans 5:8).

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