Choose

So, I have this new habit of listening to training videos and podcasts when I’m driving hither, there and yon. As a new small business owner, I have tons to learn, and my time in the car is a great time to squeeze in some nuggets.

This evening, I listened to a gal named Chelsie Kenyon about a simple trick we can use to help us make better decisions in this new year. She said to pay attention to how often we say “I can’t” and to change it to “I choose.”

For example, instead of saying, “I just can’t seem to resist chips and salsa,” we should say, “I choose to eat the chips and salsa.”

Or, rather than saying, “I can’t get up early to exercise. I’m not a morning person,” we should say, “I choose not to get up early to exercise.”

Well, you know what? She’s right! There really are few true can’ts in life.

I mean, I can’t lift 1000 pounds no matter how hard I try, but I choose not to lift the 10-pound handweights gathering dust out in the barn.

Life’s all about choices. Choices that elevate us and choices that sink us.

Here’s the irony. I was listening to Chelsie’s “choose” video while turning into the Southern Maid Donuts to cheat on my keto diet. As I turned into the drive-thru, I actually said outloud, “Yep, I’m choosing to order and eat two cream cheese-filled, chocolate-covered donuts even though doing so will make me feel like crud and gain weight.”

And I did. Sigh.

I’ve been a little off my A-game the last few days. Old insecurities I thought I finally defeated have been trying to make a comeback. Honestly, I think the enemy is a little worried about all the time I’ve been spending with God. My 2018 journal is filling up fast with all my ramblings to Jesus, and the evil one’s lashing out.

I need to put my warrior boots on and make the choices necessary to keep moving forward in freedom! These past few days have felt like sludging through knee-deep mud, but I’m still standing.

So, with donut glaze on my shirt, I choose to talk to Jesus. Prayer is always the right choice.

Lord,

“Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple” (Psalm 65:4 NIV).

Help me choose to use my time and resources wisely.

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27 NIV).

Help me choose to use food for fuel…not for emotional support.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

Help me choose to keep my eyes on You and not on myself, other people, or my circumstances.

“[I] do not know what to do, but [my] eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV).

I choose You, Lord. Your love. Your grace. Your truth. Change my heart, so it will never settle for anything less.

In the name of Jesus, who CHOSE to die for me, I pray, AMEN

 

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A Prayer for the Dreamers

Something tells me Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech was one of the top Google searches this week. I love teaching my students about what he stood for and how he impacted the world.

MLK was a dreamer, but he was unwilling to keep the dreams confined to his head and heart.

He took courageous action.

He recruited partners of like mind.

He was a world changer.

I have a few dreams hidden in my heart, but they’ve been buried by layers of disappointment, loss, and a history of giving up when the going gets tough. But I find myself in a new, more hopeful place in life! I’m ready to try again. I’m ready to start dreaming again and to do the hard work to see those dreams become reality. The leg work and the “knee” work. When God births a dream in your heart, He’s the most important one to talk to about it!

Has God conceived a dream in your heart? If so, this prayer is for you.

Lord,

Thank you for the dreamers. Those beautiful souls who balk at the thought of just going through the motions of life. They want every single day to matter. They want to go as far as You’ll take them. They want to leave their fingerprints on this world.

When a dreamer’s dreams are conceived by You, miracles happen. The dreams You birth in the hearts of Your children are the stuff world change is made of.

Dreamers need courage.

Give your dreamers the courage of Joshua and Caleb. When the rest of the Israelites were quaking in their sandals, Joshua and Caleb were positive they could possess the Promised Land.

The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them (Numbers 14:7-9 NIV).

On the glorious day when Joshua and Caleb’s dream came to fruition, You challenged them to “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NIV).

Give your dreamers the courage to take productive steps forward, even when no one believes in them. Give them the courage to keep going when the obstacles seem too great. Keep the goal, their own land flowing with milk and honey, instilled in their minds. Your courage has a beautiful way of making the “giants” shrink before their eyes.

Dreamers need kindred spirits.

Joshua had Caleb. David had Jonathan. Paul had Timothy.

Give your dreamers a network of people who “get it.”  As You give them endurance and encouragement, give them the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice they may glorify Your name (Romans 15:5-6).

Even Jesus had friends who supported Him, served alongside Him, and shared in His suffering. From Lazarus and his sisters to Peter and John, Jesus received the blessing of camaraderie.

Dreamers need Your power to change the world.

Renew the strength of your dreamers, Lord! Increase the power of the weak. May they mount up on wings like eagles; may they run and not be weary; may they walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31).

Beautiful God of hope,  fill them with all joy and peace as they trust in You, so they may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

May their dreams be fulfilled by demonstration of Your power so the praise will go to You and not human wisdom and ingenuity (I Corinthians 2:4-5). May Your power be made perfect in their weakness (II Corinthians 12:9).

“I pray that the eyes of [their] hearts may be enlightened in order that [they] may know the hope to which [you have] called [them], the riches of [your] glorious inheritance in [your] holy people, and [your] incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength [you] exerted when [you] raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:18-20).

What a cause for awe, Lord, that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is working in your dreamers to bring your divine purposes to completion! Your power, no one can fathom!

“[You] can do anything, you know—far more than [we] could ever imagine or guess or request in [our] wildest dreams! [You do] it not by pushing us around but by working within us, [your] Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20-21 MSG).

Lord, give them courage, give them kindred spirits, and give them supernatural power to live out the dreams You birthed in their hearts.

 May this world be changed by dreamers who bear your name, including me.

In the powerful and precious name of Jesus I pray, AMEN

 What dream has God given you to live out? I’d love to pray for you!
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