B Moments, stain

Shame Stains Your Heart

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 8:28 (NLT)

This week, love is in the air, which means we can’t let shame stain our hearts.

Recently, we were talking about how great God’s love is and that it is more than enough to endure our poor decisions. Yet when I think about God’s love for me, I also think about how much I love myself.

I have been pretty open about my struggles with my self-worth, which, in my opinion, is directly linked to one’s ability to love oneself. Some of that comes from struggling with certain aspects of my past, even events that occurred twenty years ago.

What I’ve learned is that a failure to forgive myself can directly impact not only my ability to love myself, but also to love others and to be a good, loving example. In other words, shame from the past can put a stain on the heart.

Therefore, I’ve been working on self love, and I understand now that my past had a purpose. It’s important to embrace the beautiful along with the ugly. When we do that, we understand that it’s all a part of God’s plan for our lives.

This scripture has helped me on this path, so I cling to these words: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, release any shame that might be staining your heart.

B Moments, hidden

Watch for God’s Hidden Hand in Your Life

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 3:5 (KJV)

Transcription:

Today, I am reminding you about God’s hidden hand.

This is when you know for sure that an event or outcome of a situation was shaped by more than just chance. Esther’s story is a perfect example of God’s hidden hand. What is particularly interesting about the book of Esther is that it never mentions God by name, even though you can see His hand throughout the book.

Esther was a young Jewish girl in Persia who was chosen to replace Queen Vashti, who had recently been exiled. The fact that Esther was Jewish was a big secret; it wasn’t even known to the king.

However, not long after Esther was crowned queen, a decree went out to exterminate all of the Jewish people. This left Esther in a tight place. She needed to approach the king and make an appeal for the lives of the Jewish people without revealing her own identity.

During this time, her cousin Mordecai encouraged her to take some kind of action as he continually reminded her that she had been elevated to the palace for such a time as this. We see that even though God’s name isn’t mentioned, it is clear that His hand perfectly positioned her to not only save herself but also to save the Jewish people.

Esther’s story is a great reminder of how God is always at work on our behalf, working strategically behind the scenes and on multiple levels. Let us use this Scripture to show us what we need to do, which is: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 (KJV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, watch for His hand.

B Moments, act

Trust and Act: Your Two-Step Dance

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today I am thinking about how we must trust and then act. Think of it like a two-step dance. Trust and act. Trust and act.

Recently we’ve been focusing on those things that prepared Jesus for Calvary. Sometimes God is preparing you for greater, but you can’t see it. You might make snap judgments about a certain situation and want it to be removed from your life when God is actually using that very situation to prepare you for greater.

We also talked about how our spirit might be fully prepared to take the next step, but our flesh isn’t. Jesus teaches us that we overcome weakness by desiring His will more than our own.

Then, there may come a time when you are prepared, and your next move is to give all of you in that moment. I’m sure the woman who poured her expensive perfume over Jesus’ head had been saving it for some time, yet she couldn’t become trapped in the security of saving it. Instead, she had to trust and act.

When the woman gave all of herself in that moment, tuning out Peter’s remarks that she was being wasteful, Jesus responded by saying: “I assure you wherever the good news is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be talked about in her memory.”

What are you prepared to do, but are hesitating about due to the security of inaction? As you reflect on that, let these words inspire you: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, put on your dancing shoes to trust and act.

B Moments, towel

Don’t Throw in the Towel Just Yet

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about when you call it a wrap but Jesus doesn’t.

We’re wrapping up our series on our life’s purpose. In this series, we’ve talked about how being tested can give us greater clarity about our purpose as well as how ultimately, our purpose is more about serving others than about our own personal ambitions. Finally, we said that God will often push us beyond what is comfortable to do His work.

It is in those periods of testing and discomfort and disappointment that you might feel like calling it a wrap or throwing in the towel. This is what happened to Peter when Jesus met him on the shore one day.

Peter and some other fishermen had been fishing all night and had not caught anything. By the time that Jesus arrived, they were washing their empty nets and getting ready to pack it up and go home. In other words, they were calling it a wrap.

Jesus sat in one of the empty boats and began teaching the crowd. When he finished, he told Peter to go out where the water was deeper and to let his nets down again. Peter and the other fishermen were awestruck by the amount of fish they had in their nets. It was so much that their nets began to tear.

It was at this moment that Jesus told Peter, “From now on, you’ll be fishing for people.” It’s interesting that when Peter was ready to throw in the towel, Jesus blessed him abundantly and advanced him to the next level—fishing for people.

The next time you’re feeling the need to throw in the towel, remember that God may see things differently. As you think about that, hold onto my favorite Scripture: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you…” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t throw in that towel.

B Moments, Holy Spirit

Prepare for a New Season with the Holy Spirit

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: John 14:26 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about preparing for a new season.

Recently, I talked about the seasons changing and how we can sometimes feel as though we’re living between two seasons. This made me think about the proof we have that we are preparing for a new season.

For example, I live in Chicago, so in a few short weeks, I’ll be preparing for the fall season. My closet will be proof of that as I begin to move my winter garments and boots to the front of my closet while my summer clothes and open toe sandals fade to the back. If anyone were to walk into my closet, they’d see proof that I’m preparing for the fall season.

In the spiritual realm, we also have to have proof that we’re preparing for a new season. What I occasionally lose sight of (but was recently was reminded of) is the importance of inviting the Holy Spirit into our journey, especially when we’re embarking on something new or are on the cusp of change.

Sometimes, we forget to seek the Holy Spirit, but Jesus teaches us in John 14 that the Holy Spirit is sent as our Counselor, one that will never leave us and who leads into all truth. So, while we may get caught up in the newness of a new beginning itself, we might end up losing sight of what is actually important.

The next time you feel you are on the cusp of change or something new, invite the Holy Spirit in and remember these words: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember the Holy Spirit.

B Moments, in between

Treasure the Moments in Between

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about remembering to treasure the moments in between.

Recently, we talked about how the next move to make may not be ours, but instead may belong solely to God. Sometimes when I feel less in control, I can go back and forth between feeling hopeful one day and doubtful the next.

I may also sense that something brand new is on the horizon and that my current situation will work itself out. Therefore, I become so preoccupied with what’s next that I overlook my here and now. I stop pouring my energy into other things because I’m waiting for the one big thing to happen. In the end, I miss the chance to treasure those moments in between my life’s chapters.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I look at how David spent his time. David was a master at using his time constructively while he waited on God to make the next move in his life. While we know David to be a warrior-like king, he was also a very gifted harp player and a good dancer. He even spent time honing his archery skills and found time to strengthen his relationships with his family and friends.

David teaches us how to treasure all the moments, whether they are the defining moments in our lives or the little moments leading up to the defining moments. I have learned from experience that the situation always works out and that the new chapter always begins. However, we can’t get back those precious moments we waste not appreciating the present.

As you think about your own situation, let us remember these words: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, treasure all your moments.

B Moments, in motion

Your Future Blessings Are in Motion Today

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how God puts His blessings in motion long before we experience them.

In this series, we’ve been focusing on God’s intimate relationship with us. We also talked about His three key attributes. He is omniscient, which means he knows everything about you. He’s omnipresent, which means He goes everywhere with you. And He is omnipotent, which means He has the infinite power to answer your prayers.

David makes this even clearer in Psalm 139 when he says, “You saw me even before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.” This idea caused me to reflect on how God will put a blessing in motion long before we experience it.

Recently, we talked about Joseph’s life, and this was surely the case for him. When we read Genesis 37, we see that Joseph was sold into slavery and ended up in prison. Yet by Genesis 41, just four chapters later, Joseph is no longer enslaved or imprisoned. He has been elevated to the role of second man in charge of all of Egypt, and he sees the country through a seven-year drought. Joseph’s position would also lead to him being reunited with his family.

Sometimes, when we experience a blessing from God, we think about it when we receive it, in the here and now. We miss that God is so intimately connected with our life’s path that the blessing we experience today was put into motion long ago. Embrace that idea by clinging to these fitting words: “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that your good for tomorrow is being put into motion today.

B Moments, evolved

Take the Time to Remodel Your Prayers

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Today, I am reflecting on how our prayers have evolved.

In this series, we’re focusing on our before and after. Imagine you’re watching HGTV and you see the before and after images of a house that has been remodeled. The same can be true for our spiritual growth.

For example, I can remember the days when my prayers were very “me” centered. I would get on my knees and would sometimes even pull out a writing pad to put my prayer requests in writing just in case God missed my verbal request.

I was so absorbed in my own needs when I prayed this way. I spoke my prayer requests as if I was rattling off my Christmas wish list. The tone of these prayers was always “me, me, me.”

While Scriptures such as Mark 11:24 teach us, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you,” they also teach us that we should continually mature in our spiritual walk.

Therefore, I have since learned the importance of kneeling before God and worshiping who He is before I engage in any type of request. I’ve also learned to pray for things beyond my immediate needs and the needs of my family and friends. Finally, I’ve learned to give thanks before asking.

What is the before and after picture of your prayer life? Can you see how it has evolved over the years? As you think about that, reflect on these words: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t let your prayers be too “me” centered.

B Moments, past

The Past Has No Power Over You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how it’s time to release the past for good.

Recently, we talked about the difference between an adventure and a quest. An adventure is about you while a quest is about something greater than yourself; more specifically, a quest leads you to help others, and you are redefined in the process.

When I look to the Scriptures, I realize that the apostle Paul was on a quest. Paul teaches us in Philippians 3 that when we’re on a quest, we have to have the courage to forget some things.

For example, think of Paul’s past. He was a self righteous man. He was also a murderer. Many would have even seen him as a terrorist. Yet as awful as these things were, once Paul repented, he released the past. He saw himself as worthy to take upon the assignment that God had put before him.

Sometimes we struggle to fully embrace being on a quest because we’re still allowing choices from our past to have power over us. Today, it’s time to release all of that. Whatever you’re holding onto, repent again if that will make you feel better, then release it. As you do so, cling to these words: “…I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, no longer let sins of the past have power over you.

B Moments, event

One Event Doesn’t Stop God’s Will

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today I am thinking about how one event doesn’t stop God.

Recently, I was reading about the dispute that Barnabas and Paul had about John Mark. While they were traveling on their first mission trip, John Mark abruptly decided to leave. However, as they were planning their second mission trip, John Mark decided he wanted to rejoin the group.

Paul was dead set against John Mark returning; however, Barnabas disagreed with him. They saw the situation very differently, so they decided to part ways.

Without Barnabas, Paul was very concerned about the mission losing momentum. Paul couldn’t understand how he would be able to cover all of the territory he needed to by himself.

Oftentimes we can view a single event as a pivotal moment and assume things will only get worse. This is especially true if we see these events only in the natural.

Yet what’s important to remember is that one event, or even a series of events, doesn’t stop God. His will and purpose will ultimately prevail.

Therefore, when Barnabas left, God sent Silas and Timothy to Paul. Together, the new group covered more than 3,000 miles of territory, spreading God’s word. Instead of this event causing them to lose momentum, they only gained it.

Let us be inspired to know that one event doesn’t stop God and let us cling to these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, remember that one event never stops God.