Chelsea Crockett

JESUS | BEAUTY | LIFESTYLE | FASHION

Tag: faith

The W.O.R.D

I was browsing Pinterest the other day when I came across an awesome new way to study the Bible from TheFelcitybee.com called the “W.O.R.D” method. I am always searching for…

I was browsing Pinterest the other day when I came across an awesome new way to study the Bible from TheFelcitybee.com called the “W.O.R.D” method. I am always searching for new and fresh ways to dive into the Word. So, why not use the “W.O.R.D”?

  1. W: Write. While doing your daily Bible reading or studying, write down your daily verse or main point in a journal. Reading over the passage once you write it down will help you commit it to memory. Proverbs 3:1-3 says “…But let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
  2. O: Observe. Observe the keys to the passage you are reading and studying. This will help you understand what you are reading. One way to do this is to ask yourself the “five W’s” which are: Who (who is the author of the passage, who are they writing about, and who are they writing to), What (what type of story is this), When (when was the book written), Where (Where was the book written), and Why (why did the author write the book).
  3. R: Relevant. Ask yourself how this verse is relevant and applicable to your life today. How can you make this passage personal? How can you apply it to your daily life? Does this passage instruct, encourage, or correct? What changes in your life does this verse encourage you to make?
  4. D: Declare. Pray and declare the scripture over your life. In this last step, you pray the scripture that you have been studying over your life. Declare the changes you are going to make as a result of the verses you study. Pray that you are encouraged and learn as you strengthen your walk with the Lord.

As you go through the W.O.R.D method, keep your heart and your eyes open to what the Lord is trying to tell you. I am always a big fan of study methods like this one because they keep you focused and give you specific tasks. It is like a road map for studying the Bible!

Chels

 

 

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Laziness: It’s a Spiritual Problem

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be…

Laziness is no stranger to most of us. Even the most productive people have little ways that they let themselves be lazy. I sometimes give myself little excuses to be lazy or procrastinate and justify it as ok. But, as I am learning, laziness is actually a spiritual problem. We don’t consciously decide to set aside the things we are responsible for or not use the gifts God has given us. We don’t decide to be lazy out of nowhere. So, why IS being lazy a spiritual problem?

Laziness offends God. Yes, offends him. Diligence is a spiritual discipline, and when we refuse to honor our responsibilities and chose our own pleasures over honoring God, we cannot expect the other areas of our lives to flourish. This isn’t God punishing us, it is our own fault. If we direct our spiritual focus towards our goals, that will positively affect our time management which will affect our attitude and accomplishments. When you align your goals with God, laziness has no room.

Also, we were made to work. Not to be workaholics, but to do good work for the glory of God.  When God says that we need a day of rest, don’t mistake rest for laziness. Rest rejuvenates us and revives us. Laziness, and avoiding our responsibilities and goals, does not bring us anywhere closer to the Lord. God is always working on our behalf, so we should also be working on His.

Are you lacking motivation or feeling restless or useless? Don’t just wait around for those feelings to flee, do something about it. Start doing a daily Bible study focusing on your areas of weakness. Pray that the Lord will use this time to reveal in you the things that need improvement. He will lead you through it. Consciously chose to do things that motivate you to avoid laziness like volunteering or becoming a mentor. Don’t give up when things get hard, because it is inevitable that we will all face tough times. As we are diligent in our obedience to work towards our goals and be more disciplined, our lives become so much more fulfilling. Remember this – “…let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9). Your season is coming! Or, you may be in it right now. Don’t give up and let laziness rule your life! You’re stronger than that.

Chels

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Pray and Then Prepare

Prayer is easy. Anyone can sit down, talk to God, and present all their requests to him. I know for me, it’s like he’s my friend that I get to…

Prayer is easy. Anyone can sit down, talk to God, and present all their requests to him. I know for me, it’s like he’s my friend that I get to talk to whenever I want, every single day.

Prayer is not the hard part. Praying with faith and then preparing for God’s answer is the part that we could all use a little bit of work on. (I know I could at least!)

There are several passages in the Bible that talk about how we should respond to prayer. I’ve taken notes on these verses and it’s filled my heart with contentment and peace!

1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

When we have confidence that God will deliver what we ask for, preparing for it is so much easier. It’s easy to spend your days with uncertainty and “what ifs,” but when you grasp the true confidence God wants for you, everything else falls into place.

When you ask your mom to do something, don’t you assume that she’s going to follow through with it? Why don’t you act the same way toward God? The Bible says over and over again that God is faithful and will always follow through with his promises.

Take a look at Mark 11:24. It says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” There’s not much we can do besides prepare our hearts and minds for whatever God is going to do in our lives. As long as we have a faith-filled mindset, God will move in the midst of it.

There’s something beautiful in knowing that God always fulfills his promises. When he says he tends to the requests of those who have confidence in him, he always has and he always will.

One of my favorite things to do is keep a prayer journal so I can reflect back on what I asked God for and see how faithful he has been both now and in the past.

Whatever you ask God for, you need to prepare for accordingly. If you ask for God to reveal something to you, expect him to do just that! Don’t be surprised when God answers your prayers, even when it’s different from what you were wanting or expecting.

Prepare for adaptability. Know that how God responds to your prayers is what’s best for you and your life. His answer may be confusing and leave you questioning what he is doing, but never lose sight of who God is and never underestimate his power.

How will you start preparing today? Take the first step by writing down the things you need to pray for. Then wait with patience and confidence, and get ready for the great things God is going to do in your life!

– Chelsea

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He’s in the Waiting

“And so it was that he, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:15 Abraham and his wife Sarah waited a good long…

“And so it was that he, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised.” Hebrews 6:15

Abraham and his wife Sarah waited a good long time for their prayers for a child to be answered. I think we could all take a lesson in patience from those two.

Waiting for important emails, waiting for packages, waiting for the perfect job, perfect house, perfect partner, waiting for answers. The phrase “patiently waiting” seems like an impossible task. Life is full of waiting, so we might as well learn to wait well. Waiting allows us to look forward to the good things that are in store, and it is preparing you for what is to come. I think all of us could learn a few things about how to wait.

  1. Be practical: Use your waiting wisely! Keep your mind busy and it will make the time fly by. I know how it feels to feel paralyzed by nerves, worried and waiting to hear back about something life-changing. Don’t let your waiting make you distracted – let it motivate you to get things done! Keep your brain distracted and your hands busy. Volunteer in the community. Clean out your car and closet. Go to lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  2. Be spiritual: Spiritually invest in both yourself and in others during this time. Trust that the Lord knows the perfect time table and you do not. Use these times of waiting to dive deeper into His word. Journal, pray, read, and use your time alone with Him to find meaning in the waiting. His timing is perfect.
  3. Be invested: Live in the moment. Enjoy the season of life that you are in. Are you at a job you don’t like and waiting to see if you were picked for the new job you applied for? Invest yourself in your current job. Do your very best and enjoy the little things that you will miss when you leave. Don’t miss the joys of life that are happening right in front of you, and don’t forget to enjoy today by worrying about tomorrow.
  4. Be advised: Find someone who has been in your shoes. They can help walk you through the waiting. Find ways to grow and be mentored and advised in whatever is to come. Having someone who has been there and who can relate can be such a relief. They can show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Enjoy every step and every stage of the waiting. God is using this time to equip you for what is to come and is writing your story. Find Him in the waiting.

Chels

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What is the Grace of God?

Grace is a word that I’ve heard time and time again. But if you were to sit three people down and ask them to define it, you would probably get…

Grace is a word that I’ve heard time and time again. But if you were to sit three people down and ask them to define it, you would probably get three different answers.

A lot of people think grace is the same thing as forgiveness. Although it may be similar at times, there’s more to grace then just forgiving a person for something they did wrong.

A lot of people think grace is the same thing as mercy. Once again, although it may be similar, grace is more than simply showing mercy to someone who may not deserve it.

If you want the dictionary’s definition of grace, it defines it as “the free and unmerited favor of God.” In other words, God’s free, unearned, undeserved favor. What’s more beautiful than that?

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

In other words, we have been saved by Jesus Christ because God had favor on His children. He loves us so much that he sent his son to save us. We have his divine favor that is given to us as his perfect gift. According to the verse, we can’t be saved through pointless works and deeds. We can only be saved through our faith in Him! 

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 

After knowing the true definition of grace, these verses make me smile. God, the creator of the entire universe, gives us His favor. This verse from Corinthians is one of my favorites because it explains that even though we are weak, through Him we are strong.

We can boast about our weaknesses because we have God’s favor and power over us, which is far greater than any weakness that tries to bring us down.

There’s a quote about God’s grace that has always stuck with me. It says, “You may not think that you’re good enough, but God’s grace and love are bigger than who you think you are.”

We are so undeserving of God’s grace, but he gives it to us freely, without thought, especially when we don’t deserve it.

With the grace of God, we are unstoppable.

Think of what this means for you. Knowing you have God’s favor over your life, where will you go from here? Take note of the weaknesses in your life and remember you have the power of God resting in you. Let the grace of God lead you into something great.

– Chelsea

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Prayer Road Map

Have you ever gotten stuck in a “prayer rut”? Do you feel like you don’t have the words to say when you pray, and your prayers fell empty? Many of…

Have you ever gotten stuck in a “prayer rut”? Do you feel like you don’t have the words to say when you pray, and your prayers fell empty? Many of us have felt like that at some point in our walk with Christ. We could all use a few tips on how to have more effective prayer lives, and God will show you if you just ask. He doesn’t need fancy words or long monologues, He just asks that we come to him with our hearts ready. He is always listening.

Luke 11 tells a story of one of Jesus’ disciples who came and asked for Jesus to teach them how to pray. Jesus gave them an example and gave us guidelines for what we should be both asking and thanking Him for. Even the disciples had trouble knowing how to pray sometimes! “Jesus said, ‘This is how you should pray: ‘Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come soon. Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.’” (Luke 11:2-4).

So, let’s break that down into a prayer road map to follow:

  1. May your name be kept holy: We should give the Lord the honor and glory that He deserves. We should begin our prayers by praising him!
  2. May His kingdom come: Asking the Lord to return soon reveals the eagerness in our hearts to be with Him in heaven someday.
  3. Give us the food we need each day: We ask him for the things we need to get through each day because we know that He is our provider.
  4. And forgive our sins: By admitting we fall short and need God’s grace, we humble ourselves and show we know that we need him.
  5. Forgive those who sin against us: We should be merciful towards those who do us wrong.
  6. Do not lead us into temptation: Pray that he will keep you strong and guard your heart from giving into temptation.

Our prayers should be like a continual conversation between you and the Lord – because talking to Him every once in a while is not enough! There is nothing too big or too small for Him to handle. Sometimes the answers to our prayers will be a yes, sometimes a no, and sometimes a “maybe.” But, you will always get an answer. He hears and he cares. Never stop talking to your Father in Heaven.

Chels

 

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“Beloved.”

Think of who you are and what makes you, you. I’m guessing several different characteristics and adjectives popped into your head. Maybe you think of yourself as a straight-A student…

Think of who you are and what makes you, you. I’m guessing several different characteristics and adjectives popped into your head.

Maybe you think of yourself as a straight-A student or a varsity athlete. Maybe you think of yourself as the class clown or a perfectionist. There are so many little things that make us who we are.

For me, I always want to do the best in all that I do. My head gets consumed with the thoughts of “am I good enough?” “am I smart enough?” “am I athletic enough?”  We get so caught up in what we think about ourselves and forget about what the creator of the universe thinks about his children.

Recently, while I was flipping through my Bible, a certain word stuck out to me: beloved.

Beloved is a word defined as “greatly loved; dear to the heart.” What I like even more than its definition is its synonyms: cherished, precious, sweet, darling.

When we think of God calling us beloved or His beloved, He is also calling us cherished, precious, and much more. The beautiful thing about this is that in the Bible, the word “beloved” is almost always used when addressing His children.

1 John 3:1-2 says this: “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does no know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now…” Beloved is such an endearing term and I love the way this verse puts it.

Look at 1 John 4:7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” Then again, look at 3 John 1:2: “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

This word shows up over and over again in the Bible. It gives me so much comfort knowing that I am called beloved by the God who made the planets and sent His one and only son to save the sins of His people.

We need to stop thinking of ourselves as the star athlete or the class valedictorian. Although these things are great things to be, we need to remember who we are at the end of the day. We are solely God’s children and He calls us His own. He calls us His beloved, His darling, His precious, His cherished.

Next time doubts and insecurities pop into your head, remember who you are in God’s eyes. The boy you’ve been crushing on or the peers you’ve been trying to impress may never see your worth, but your father who holds you so dearly always has and always will.

Find comfort in this, find peace in this, and find joy in this. We are His beloved and that is something to be so proud about.

– Chelsea

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Believe in What You Pray For

When you pray, do you believe that God will answer you? When you lift a problem, person or situation up to God, do you believe that He hears you? Do…

When you pray, do you believe that God will answer you? When you lift a problem, person or situation up to God, do you believe that He hears you? Do you believe that He can grant your request?

As Christians, we need to believe in what we pray for. The Bible tells us that we are not just to pray, but to pray believing. If God’s word specifically tells us to believe when we pray, then it goes without saying that sometimes we can pray and not believe. Not all prayers will bring results. God hears us when we believe that He has the power to answer us. And God will always answer us with one of three responses: yes, no, and wait.

James 1:6-7 says “But let him as in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.” Every religion in the world asks its followers to pray. But, it is only the Bible that requires us to believe what we pray. It requires that we actually trust God. That is how we maintain our relationship with Him. Mark 11:24 says “Therefore, I say unto you, whatever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”

Believing in your prayer takes the emphasis off the prayer itself and puts it all on God. The focus is all about God and His faithfulness. In the Bible we are taught to not only rely on prayer alone but to rely on Him. Your faith and belief must be in your heart before the prayer comes out of your mouth.

When crisis strikes, bad things happen, or we want something, our first instinct should be to lift it up in prayer. For some of us, our answers come quickly, and God either tells us yes, no, or wait. Other times, the answer is unclear, so we wait. And wait. And wait. And during this waiting, we begin to lose faith. Did God hear me? Has he forgotten about me?

He does hear you and will never forget or forsake you. He may be teaching you a lesson on patience or may even be reminding you that you must believe in what you are praying. Maybe He wants you to set your worldly desires aside and be humbled. In these situations, I remember Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Everything happens for a reason. It is our job to believe that God will deliver us from our situation and bring us out stronger on the other side.

XOXO, Chels

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Prayers for Your Relationship

When you are in a relationship, whether it be a dating or marriage relationship, you want what is best for the other person. You want to see them happy, see…

When you are in a relationship, whether it be a dating or marriage relationship, you want what is best for the other person. You want to see them happy, see them thrive, and see them live their best life. In my experience, the best way to see these things come to be is by praying for them. Christ’s love and power can intervene and that is the best thing that could happen for your significant other. Here are some of the prayers I continually pray for my boyfriend.

  1. Pray that he will love God with all his heart (Mark 12:30). We should love God first and others second. When he loves God first, he loves me as Christ loves the church.
  2. Pray that he will find joy in his work or job (Ecc 2:24). When he is fulfilled in his work and feels needed and important, he can feel peace and joy in everyday life.
  3. Pray that he will be safe from temptation (Matt 6:13). We all face temptation. Pray that he stands strong in the face of it.
  4. Pray for his health (3 John 1:2).
  5. Pray you are the partner he needs you to be (Proverbs 31:10). Pray that you are able to help him through the good and the bad, and that you have his back. If he needs a cheerleader, pray that you will be more affirming. If he needs a confidant, pray that you have ears to listen and wisdom to give.
  6. Pray that he will grow in his faith (Ephesians 3:6-19). This goes along with number 1. When he understands his faith and understands how to love as Christ loves, your relationship with strengthen. You will also be able to see God’s hand in his life and be able to see the blessings he has been given because of his faithfulness.
  7. Pray that, as a couple, you will be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19-20). Words can be damaging. In an argument, it can be tempting to try and get the last word in. But, we should watch what we say in the heat of the moment because those words can wedge themselves into our minds and eat away at us.
  8. Pray for his genuine happiness (Ecc. 3:12-13). When he is happy, you are happy.
  9. Pray that, as a couple, you will be content (Heb. 13:5-6). Wanting more and more is a vicious cycle. Try to be content with what you have and be happy with the blessings that have been given to you.
  10. Pray that we will both love God with all our hearts.

 

Praying for your boyfriend/husband/significant other shows them that you genuinely care about them and want to see them thrive. You can also ask them “How can I pray for you this week?” and help share their burdens. Prayer is powerful, y’all!

XOXO, Chels

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How to Start Reading the Bible

Sometimes I find myself staring at my Bible, knowing I want to study God’s word and be challenged by it, but not sure where to start. A few years ago,…

Sometimes I find myself staring at my Bible, knowing I want to study God’s word and be challenged by it, but not sure where to start. A few years ago, I figured I would start at the beginning and read Genesis. After a short time I lost interest with that approach. Typically I will find a good study and use that to guide my reading, but sometimes you just want to pick up the Bible and let it speak to you. The problem is, where do you start?

The Bible is so big that it can be overwhelming. Some Bible reading plans lose me because they assign so many chapters a day that it looks like too daunting of a task. Why isn’t reading the Bible easy all the time? Shouldn’t it be?

No. Reading the Bible does not require you to feel comfortable and know where to start. Yes, there are times when God guides you to the passage that you need to hear at a time in your life, but some/most of the time, reading the Bible is all about being open to hearing God’s truth. We can’t expect our Bibles to fall open to the right passage. But, we can start small. Dip your toes in, and then you will be able to full-on swan dive into the deep end. Do some research on the people in the Bible. See if there are stories that have lessons that you are interested in pursuing.

I did this and learned a ton about Esther and her obedience and diligence to God’s call for her life. She became a huge inspiration to me. Another story that I pursued was the story of the wandering Israelites. It reminded me of how much we need God. While dipping your toes into the Word, you may just fall deeply in love with it. If this is what you are searching for, then keep reading! Here are a few tips on how to start reading the Bible so it doesn’t collect dust on your shelf and instead becomes the source of your wisdom.

  1. Start with a short book of the Bible. Some of the best books are the shorter ones. Those small doses can pack in a lot of wisdom.
  2. Seek understanding each time you read. The Gospel is so full of beautiful life lessons that we need to really pay attention in order to comprehend them all. Try and gain a deeper understanding of God’s love and grace when you read. Whether you read one verse, one chapter, or a whole book, find the wisdom in it. It is truly life-changing.
  3. Don’t compare your walk with others. Your walk with Christ is completely different than your friend’s! Don’t let the comparison trap distract you from what God is trying to teach YOU. Give yourself the time and patience to figure out what reading the Bible looks like for you, because it may look completely different from what others are doing.

There are also tons of online resources that help you learn to study God’s word. I know that my love for the Bible has grown tremendously ever since I began spending time in it. I learn something new each time I go to read.

Remember, it is okay to feel overwhelmed with studying the Bible. All you have to do is dip your toes in. Eventually, you will be able to dive in and uncover God’s truths and promises for your life! They’re waiting for you.

Chels

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“I Will Not Be Shaken”

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My…

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” – Psalm 62: 5-7

Psalm 62:5-7 gives me endless comfort and strength throughout the hardest days of my life.

It’s a passage from the Bible that gives me a sense of power, pride, and security in God, our rock and our refuge!

There are so many different characters from stories and parables in the Bible that show an amazing display of strength and refusing to let the devil shake them.

If we think of the story from the Bible of when Jesus calmed the storm, we see a beautiful display of faith by Peter, one of his disciples. As Jesus calmed the wind and the waves, he walked on water and called Peter out to do the same.

Peter walked toward Jesus but began to sink due to his fear of the storm around him.  When his faith was shaken, he sank, but when he listened to Jesus and put his trust in him, he was able to walk on water alongside the Son of God!

This is a perfect metaphor as to how we should live our lives, as well. When our faith falters, we sink and drown in our own worries and fears. But when we put our trust in God, we can walk on water right alongside him.

Let’s take a look at another example of a fearless leader and devoted Christ follower.

David, Ephrathite’s youngest son from Bethlehem, faced a 9-foot giant named Goliath and was face-to-face with his sword and spear. David carried just a sling and a stone and faced the giant with full confidence that the Lord would deliver.

After killing Goliath and winning the victory for his people, his faith in the Lord was proven steadfast and unwavering. David declared, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.” He had God on his side and was able to face his battle knowing God would fight it for him!

What do these two stories have in common?

Faith.

These two people would not be shaken due to their unwavering faith in God.

When I go through a hard time in my life, I oftentimes lean too much on my own control and not enough on God’s control. God is our mighty rock, and we shouldn’t forget that he’s always there to pick us back up when we fall!

When we need a friend to lean on and go to for help, make that person your heavenly father. When your faith grows stronger, your fears grow weaker.

So… stop holding back! Put your trust in God and watch him fight your battles for you. At the end of the day, let the world know that you will not be shaken because you have God on your side! 🙂

– Chelsea

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Leave It, Then See It

God’s timing is perfect. It is never early, and never late. We may not always agree with it, but it is divinely appointed and we can’t argue with it. Patience…

God’s timing is perfect. It is never early, and never late. We may not always agree with it, but it is divinely appointed and we can’t argue with it. Patience is something I, and I think most people, struggle with. We want things now, and we want them just the way we like them. Stress tells us that we need everything right this second and we need it to happen now. Faith tells us something different. Faith reminds us that everything will happen when God says that it will happen.

I saw a quote the other day that said “Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.” So, to shorten that quote, I say “Leave it, then see it.”

I am good at giving things to God. I cast my cares on Him. I share the anxieties of my heart and the worries on my mind with Him. I am good at giving things to Him. But, that doesn’t mean I am good at leaving them there. I have a tendency to want to take things back and do them my own way. I have never regretted giving anything to God. I have regretted taking things back.

Isaiah 41:9-10 says I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This verse describes us as the Lord’s servants. We have been chosen by Him. We have no need to be afraid or dismayed because He strengthens and helps us. He loves us and upholds us. Why wouldn’t we leave everything in His hands?

What are you holding on – or trying to take back- from God? Is it career choices, financial struggles, health issues, relationship trials, etc.? Put your fears, doubts, questions and anxieties in the hands of the One who knows every hair on your head. He knows yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He can calm the seas with a single word. He gave sight to the blind. He made the lame to walk. What makes you think he can’t handle your worries?

I am still learning, and will be for a long time, how to trust the hands of the One who created the universe. He will give you peace and security. He will give you clarity. And, best of all, He will give you joy. Leaving everything in His hands means you can see His hands in everything.

XOXO, Chels

 

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When You Can’t See God’s Plan

I am a planner. I like to plan my days, and even months, out. I like to know that I have a solid agenda scheduled out. It helps me feel…

I am a planner. I like to plan my days, and even months, out. I like to know that I have a solid agenda scheduled out. It helps me feel like I have my life under control and, hopefully, prevents chaos. Nothing could possibly go wrong when you have your life planned out, right?

Wrong. The times when my plans didn’t turn out the way I had envisioned are the times when my faith is tested the most. These are also the times when I learn the most about myself – how I respond to crisis, how I react in uncomfortable situations, and how I recover. But why would God let this happen? Why would he disrupt your perfectly thought-out plans? Where is God in the midst of your situation?

The answer is simple to hear but difficult to understand: it is part of His plan. I recently went through a situation where I had planned months and months for something, and when the event finally happened, it was not what I thought it would be. I felt anxious, afraid, sad and confused. Why would God allow this? When I prayed about this and planned for it and searched for His will every step of the way? I am learning right along with you, friends.

James 1:2-3 was a verse quoted to me during my trial. It says “Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” I didn’t want to hear this at the time, but it was the truth. It is what I needed to hear. I am supposed to feel joy in the midst of my crippling anxiety? Yes. I am supposed to feel joy when I am paralyzed with fear? Yes. How? Think about the end result.

Focus on the end goal. Remember that nothing worth fighting for was ever easy to achieve. Those trials will make the end success even sweeter. Knowing you pushed past your weaknesses and overcame your doubts is euphoric. Being on the other side and seeing the lessons you learned and the new things you found out about yourself helps all of the pieces fall in place. Everything begins to make sense, and God’s purpose becomes clearer. When you are in the middle of the trial, facing it head on and feeling as though you will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, it can be hard to understand why God would make you go through what you are going through.

Don’t let your situation cloud your vision. Keep your eyes on God. Keep your mind on His purpose and trusting in His plan, even when you cannot see it. Scripture tells us that God’s plan is not meant to harm us but to give us hope for the future. God made us and He loves us. He wants to see us succeed. That doesn’t mean he is going to make it easy. Who knows, maybe you are going through this trial because God wants you to be able to relate to others going through the same thing. Maybe He wants to use you to minister to others.

How you choose to react in trying times is so important. Your choices can either bring glory to God and be a testimony of your faith, or they can harden people’s hearts and turn them away from Him. Find God in the hard times by choosing to trust Him and find your hope in Him, even when you cannot see the way. Turn your pain into praise. Your heart will be filled with peace. And, trust in His plan. It may not be easy, it may not be pretty, it may not be anything you envisioned it would be, but His plans are greater than anything we could come up with on our own.

XOXO, Chels

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Verses to Help You Be Wise With Your Words

I think I speak for most people when I say that when we are feeling irritated or short on patience, we can be harsh with our words. Often times, the…

I think I speak for most people when I say that when we are feeling irritated or short on patience, we can be harsh with our words. Often times, the people we love most are on the receiving end of the harshness. Sometimes, the words come out when we feel hurt because “you hurt me so I am going to hurt you.” As my pastor always says, hurting people hurt people.

As we get older and wiser, we learn how to keep our emotions more in check, which (hopefully) leads to controlling the words that come out of our mouths. I am not always good at this. Sometimes harshness slips through the cracks of my control and it often gets taken out on the people closest to me. This sucks the fun and joy right out of life and is not biblical. We are supposed to have self-control and be kind, which includes watching the words that come out of our mouths. If only it were as simple as it sounds. Only Jesus can help us with this, as James 3:8 would say “no human being can tame the tongue.” We have to give our words to God and guard our tongue. Here are some verses I pray when I am feeling particularly irritable or out of patience.

Colossians 4:6 – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Ephesians 4:29 –  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Romans 14:19 – Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Praying these verses really helps me become slower to respond or say harsh words impulsively. Building others up instead of tearing them down or being critical is what we should be striving for. When you are in a moment of annoyance, instead of venting your frustrations using damaging words, keep in mind what impact your words could have. You can edify and encourage someone with your approach instead of embarrassing or hurting them.

I am nowhere near perfect at this. I am not guaranteeing you that if you pray these verses a few times a week or even daily that you will never say a harsh word impulsively again. But, I can tell you that it helps. Would you rather be known as someone who reacts to conflict or annoyance with severity, or with grace and kindness? I know which I would rather be.

Chels

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How to Pray for the USA

It is hard to live in the times that we do, where the news is always reporting critical stories and everything seems to be going down the drain, and not…

It is hard to live in the times that we do, where the news is always reporting critical stories and everything seems to be going down the drain, and not worry about the state of our country. I try not to get too wrapped up in it, but sometimes it can be overwhelming and discouraging to listen to what is happening in our cities and our country at large. If you are concerned about the beautiful country that we live in, pray for God’s Kingdom to come and His will be done. Here are a few verses to pray that will help you lift our nation up.

  1. Pray for God to heal our country and forgive the sins of our nation.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
  1. Pray for the government’s leaders and for Godly leaders to step up.
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-4 – “I urge, then, first, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Pray for our leaders to know and serve the Lord. Pray that God would give them the wisdom and godly council they need in order to stand boldly and courageously in the face of opposition.
  1. Pray for the lost to be saved and the Gospel to be shared.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:1 – “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.” God wants us to be on fire for Him. Pray for Christians everywhere to seek Jesus with all their hearts and get back on track with His plan for them. Also, pray that others would come to know the Savior through the example set by their peers.
  1. Pray for unity in the country.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:10- “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Your prayers make a difference. God loves when we talk to Him and share our hearts with Him. Join me in lifting our nation up in prayer so that we can be a prosperous, peaceful country. We are it’s future leaders, after all.

Chels

 

 

 

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Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear

One of the worst things in the world is feeling like your faith is being overpowered by fear. It’s a feeling you never want to experience. You start feeling hopeless,…

One of the worst things in the world is feeling like your faith is being overpowered by fear.

It’s a feeling you never want to experience. You start feeling hopeless, sad, and alone.

As for me, I consider myself a person that is very strong in their faith. I always try to lean on God for direction and strength, and he is faithful every time.

If you need a reminder on how to keep your faith bigger than your fear, keep these 3 verses in mind.

  • James 1:6 says, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

When you ask your friend for a favor, do you automatically assume they’re not going to do it?  Most of the time, you trust that they’re going to answer your request.

Without thinking, we should do the same with God. If we ask him halfheartedly for something, why would he answer our requests? He wants us to be on fire for him. Not hoping he’s working in our lives, but knowing he’s doing amazing things.

We “must believe and not doubt.” This is where we have to take a leap of faith to strengthen the foundation we stand on.

  • Matthew 17:20 says, “You can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Think of the mountains in your life. Maybe it’s your boyfriend? A big test coming up? A dishonest friend? Whatever the situation may be, God will move in the midst of it.

If you ask God to move your mountains, watch the beauty of prayer unfold before your eyes. You’ll never truly experience the power of prayer until you pray with faith, through faith, and in faith.

  • Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Faith is a word with many meanings. For one, Hebrews puts it perfectly. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We don’t pray with wavering thoughts, we pray for certainty that God will heal our brokenness and fear.

There is one last verse in particular that speaks to me every time I read it. John 13:7 says, “Jesus replied, ‘You don’t understand now what I am doing. But someday you will.”

He knows we don’t always understand his plan. He knows we have mountains. He knows we can be people of little faith.

Jesus was fully man and fully God. He understands our struggles and disappointments. But more importantly, understands the one that’s in control.

We may not see it now, but one day God will reveal his plan to us in all its glory. We just have to be willing to put our full trust in Him.

Let your faith be bigger than your fear, every single day.

– Chelsea

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