Found on Josie’s Pinterest

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Many people have opinions that social media is a tool of the enemy, so they avoid it like a plague. 

I have  come to believe that Satan has no creative abilities, only those that may corrupt, pollute or distort something beautiful that God created, because I believe God is the almighty Creator- and that all things were created BY God and FOR God (Colossians 1:16).

No one person can ‘create’ something totally by scratch.  They can use the creative abilities bestowed upon them and inspired by God.  

However, in order to do so, they are using ingredients or supplies or materials…already created by the Creator.
It is humanly impossible to create something that never before existed, using a substance that they alone created, out of nothing.  
Only a Creator can do this, and only God is the true, one and only, Creator.
For something to be made, reproduced, invented, etc, something had to already previously existed or be created- then, using the creativity one possesses, an individual could potentially assemble something unique… using materials already created by the Creator.
Everything has potential to be used for the good, or to be used for bad.


Jesus said this:  ‘The thief comes only to kill, to steal and destroy, but I have come so that you might have life more abundant.’  (John 10:10)

We choose to use social media for either good, or bad.  
  
We can promote good (God) in all we do and say, or we can promote bad (Satan) in what we do and say.
I think you understand my point.
This morning, I read a post on Facebook from a friend.  

This friend suffered a tragic, sudden, unexpected loss of her beautiful, young, carefree, talented, full of life, full of God, daughter, 7 months ago. 
We lost our youngest daughter in a tragic, sudden, unexpected bizarre hurricane related accident 6 years ago next month from severe brain injuries when a tree fell on our van, but only for 6 minutes…somehow, supernaturally, God restored life and healing to our daughter…, whereas for my friend- her daughter’s death was sudden, complete- yet her daughter is complete, healed, restored, and alive as well, only living in Heaven.
So I can relate, to a degree, of the emotions a parent feels seeing their own child lifeless…& my heart still aches for my friend… Sonya… and for all of her family who each one is still affected by the shock, still grieving from the unexpected, so I am still covering them in prayers for God’s supernatural comfort.
But back to the post I read this morning on Facebook…

It simple said ‘found on Josie’s Pinterest’ and included a picture of a beautiful poem that brought my friend, this grieving parent, an unexpected positive memory… 
I’ve since googled this poem.   I wanted to read the whole poem, and to learn who penned it.
It’s called ‘After a While’ by Veronica A Shoffstall.


Simple.  Yet profound.  Healing balm to a wounded soul.

Intrigued by these beautiful words, I was prompted to research more about the poet, and this particular poem that captured Josie’s attention on Pinterest that my friend shared this morning on Facebook…

And in doing so, discovered the rest of the poem.


It’s called “After a While You Learn” and actually is part of the authors wordpress blog, copied below in the link.  
I encourage all to read, as it’s beautifully written and contains more gems of wisdom.  Here’s a link to do just that, if you’d like.

https://purenourishment.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/after-a-while-you-learn-by-veronica-a-shoffstall-1971/amp/



Social media was used in a positive way this morning.  It gave my friend a glimpse into the past of her precious daughter’s life- and shared a precious moment of a mutually appreciated poem…

Through Facebook, a Pinterest ‘like’ temporarily connected a departed daughter, now living in Heavens eternity,  with a grieving mother, still passing through life’s journey here on earth, in a beautiful God moment. 

All because of social media.  
Something God created to be used for good, not evil.  It’s up to us to choose how.   

Today, I choose for good.

Pep talk 

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Don’t let anyone else determine who you are or determine your value. 
You are fearfully and wonderfully made and created for a purpose.
You have unique qualities,  special talents and possess a precious personality. Your life has value and you matter!
What other people think of you is none of your business. 
I know that’s a tough statement but the more you think on it the more true it will become. 
As believers in Christ, our business is God’s business-what He thinks of us is what matters- 
His value is the true value-
Just like God said when Jesus was baptized and came up out of the water “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” before Jesus did the very first miracle or began his ministry, God determined His value because He, Jesus, is God’s son-God determines our value the same way… 
It’s not based on what we have done or what we are doing. It’s not based on what we look like or what we don’t look like. 
Our value is not based on what other people think or don’t think about us. 
Trying to please other people and trying to own up to other peoples expectations is stealing our joy and our peace. 
It is a distraction. 
It’s much better to spend time with our Creator God and determine our value based on who He says we are and what He thinks about us, because that’s when Peace comes to us…when we realize our true identity is found only in Christ.
“I got revelation that I AM Jesus’s gal’ the gal He loves” and found out who I am the same way Jesus did- from the scriptures.  This is how iamjesusgal ministries came to be!

Iamjesusgal
Blessings to you!

#iamjesusgal #iamjesusgalministries #peptalk #motivation #womensministry #africa #missionary 💗

I Don’t Care!

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Before we can be exalted under the mighty hand of God, we need to clothe ourselves in humility towards one another- THEN cast all our cares, anxieties, worries and concerns before Him… God doesn’t want us to worry about ANYTHING. Trust Him. 
What does worry look like, anyway?  Well, if you were to ask me this question 12 years ago- I’d say ‘let me open the window of my mind for you to take a peek!’ 



I used to worry chronically.  Truth be told- worry was my number one sin.  I wasnt trusting God.   I was trying to figure it all out on my own… ‘it‘ meaning life, and the problems of life presenting themselves to me constantly.
Child rearing.  Finances.  Job.  Marriage.  Family.  Health issues.  Yep, I was a chronic worrier.
But it didn’t get me nowhere but more worried, more stressed, and more sick.


I’m thankful to God that His Word has since came alive for me!  The light of God’s truth came on through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

By the Word, and the Spirit- and leading how to apply it to my life and learning how to live by faith- I’ve learned how to cast my cares, and refuse to worry…
I love journaling in my Bible, don’t you?  I love it when God’s Word speaks to me!  Making notations, and dating my thoughts within my Bible helps me track my spiritual development as well as my testimonies!

By the looks of this portion of scripture in 1st Peter chapter 5,  it’s evident I’ve spent much time here.
God’s Word IS alive, and ymrhiugh it never changes- it has the power to change us!
Thoughts come to each and every one of us.  Something within us attempts to steers us to hit the rewind button in our minds, when what we should do is hit the fast forward button!!!
So many times, common pleasantries say “take care”  when parting ways… but this saying is not scriptural!  

God tells us the exact opposite!!!  He wants us to say “I don’t care”.   
Not about people- never does He tell us not to care about people.
He does want us to love people and help care for those in need- that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m referring to what we should do when the wrong thoughts come to us… 

Don’t let your mind become the breeding ground for worry or anxiety…  don’t take caresCAST CARES!


One of the most repeated phrases in the Bible is “do not fear” or “do not be afraid.”    

Fear is opposite of faith.
Make a decision to cast worry, fear and anxieties down.   Trust in God.  His provision.  He promises He will provide all (ALL) your needs!
Fill your thoughts and mind instead with the Word of God!  Let it filter through into your heart.  Begin to dwell there.  Meditate there.   Begin to rejoice!  Grow thankful!  Stand in the Word of God!
The moment you pray, believing– your answer is on the way!
So laugh, refresh yourself in the Lord, and lighten up!  Think yourself happy!


And one more thing- once you’ve determined to cast your cares and start talking back to those wrong thoughts by saying “I don’t care!!!  I refuse to worry, I refuse to fret, I refuse to have anxiety about anything!  I cast them to Jesus!” , make up your mind to leave them there!!!


DONT TAKE THEM BACK!  Don’t go back to crying and worrying-admit you were concerned and worried (God knows, anyway!), and continue meditating on God’s Word long enough until it’s gone!

Once you’ve given it to God,  refuse to take it back!    You’re not supposed to be the pack mule for the devil!

Be bold about it!  Stand firm!  Be sober!  Be vigilant!  Your adversary the devil is seeking to devour you- but resist him!  Stay firm in YOUR  own personal faith, and know it’s been handled.
Follow the link in my profile for website and please follow my blog. I pray the words encourage you and would love to hear from you! 😇

 #god #faithful #castingcares #iamjesusgal #iamjesusgalministries 

Don’t Let Wrong Thoughts Park in Your Mind

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Ever wake up and instantly have thoughts flood your mind, in your face, demanding your attention?   Thoughts that attempt to lure you into worry or fear?  Know this:  

  “a thought  unacted on remains unborn.” (Pastor Debbie Morgan) 

Yep, everyday.    Everyday thoughts come to us.  Thousands of thoughts. Literally.
According to Cleveland Clinic and Wellness, 

Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts a day! That’s one thought per second in every waking hour! Amazingly, 95 percent are the same thoughts repeated every day. On average, 80 percent of those habitual thoughts are negative.

Whoa.  Our minds are like a filter between our soul and our spirit.   It’s up to US to activate our filters, by turning on the switch of positivity.
It’s up to us to guard our eye gates, and our ear gates…we are responsible for what we see, and what we hear… and ultimately, for what we think…and it’s vital to our wellbeing…
Our thoughts will direct our action.  If we think wrong, we will act wrong, leading us to live wrong.
If we think right, we will act right, leading us to live right.
Our eyes and our ears-they are the doorway to our heart, and out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks.
And let me tell you about the power of our words!!!!  
Oh. My. Goodness!!!
We ARE what we say we are.  

“Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Yep.  Words matter.  Just ask a bullied child.  Or ask someone who just ran a marathon who almost gave up, but for the cheers and encouraging words of the crowd.
So what do I do?
When I awake, I deliberately open my eyes and seek God.

“Look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face, always.” (Psalm 105: 4)

I greet Him, ‘good morning, Lord.  Holy Spirit, take over my life today” I say.
When thoughts come, and they attempt to bombard me with this worry, or that doubt, full of lies from the father of all lies (John 8:44), I have to do something.
I can’t let wrong thoughts park in my mind…
Too often, too much of the ‘world’ tries to force itself in.
No.  Faith requires action…  and I have to act my faith…
I have to hold the wrong thought captive, and run it by the Word of God.
God gave me eyes to see, but it’s up to ME  to determine where my gaze falls.   
I am the steward of my thoughts, and I determine what I think upon.
If I let my thoughts take over, I could give place to the wrong thoughts which could give place to the devil.
So- I do what the Word of God says to do:
I fix my eyes on Jesus. 
I look to the Lord, and seek His strength.  I seek His face.  I seek His thoughts towards me.  I seek His direction and leading for me.
And I choose to praise Him, regardless of circumstances. 
Why?
Because, regardless of circumstances (which are temporary), God is worthy.  God is praiseworthy. 
 And I am here to praise Him.  I am praising God that JESUS is THE WAY, and my eyes are fixed on Him 💗     

I am not an ‘option b’

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I refused to be an option, a ‘plan b’ in someone’s life, when I realized that I could be someone’s priority. 
People who don’t value you will never validate you.
“People think that the most painful thing in life is losing the one you value. 

The truth is, the most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of valuing someone too much and forgetting that you are special too.” (Dr Jennifer Johnson)
This resonated with my soul… doesn’t matter where you are in this world, God chose to add your life during THIS time era. 
Here’s the GOOD news!
God chose to create you, uniquely you, with a plan and a hope for good. YOU are special and unique … 
Remember, the privilege and honor of a lifetime is NOT being someone else, but being who YOU are.
If people can’t see the amazing person you are, or value the amazing gifting God deposited in you- don’t let their opinions define yours. 
Only God’s opinion matters.
Truly. 
 God set your value through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, which is how ‘iamjesusgal’ came to be my identity… 

I realized that even if others don’t see the ‘me’ God created to be, it’s ok. ‘I am’ JESUS’s gal, His favorite.
 I am His masterpiece and am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Truth is, so are you! 

Iamjesusgal  

Faith…we all have it. Don’t we?

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Make up your mind!

Make up your mind!

We ALL have faith in something.

And, there’s two types of faith:

“Natural Faith”, and “God-kind of Faith.”

Truth is, we CHOOSE what we have faith in by what we put our attention to, and the more attention we give to something, the more faith comes…

“Natural Faith” comes by our 5 senses, what we see, feel, touch, hear and smell.

“God-kind of Faith” comes by the Word of God, by hearing and hearing and hearing, and by meditating on the Word. (Romans 10:17, Joshua 1:8).

When problems come, (and they will. The Word of God tells us they will) the devil uses them to distract us, to trap us, and to lure our minds into worry, anxiety, panic, fear. IF WE LET HIM. IT IS OUR CHOICE WHERE WE PUT OUR ATTENTION TO.

God tells us to ‘hold every thought captive and bring the into the obedience of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5). BUT HE WON’T DO IT FOR US.

But do we?

God also tells us ‘NOT to worry, NOT to fret, NOT to have anxiety over anything’ (Philippians 4:6-7) but to ‘cast ALL our cares to Him, for He cares for you effectually’ (1 Peter 5:7)…

But do we?

God also tells us WHAT to think upon “whatever us TRUE, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ON and weigh and take account of these things (FIX YOUR MINDS ON THEM)” (Philippians 4:8 AMP)… BUT HE WON’T DO IT FOR US.

But do we?

And, what is “US?” What is “WE?” The REAL us? What is REAL?

We are a 3 part being, made in the image of God. We ARE a Spirit, we live in a temporary, physical body, and we possess a soul (our mind, reasoning, emotions, intellect, memory.)

We can never meditate on this truth long enough-

When we are born again, we become a new creation, with a BRAND NEW SPIRIT. “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old things are passed away; behold, the new have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

Our SPIRIT is made new, but our flesh is the same, and our mind is the same-they weren’t born again-and they are where we get entangled in the web of lies and sin with the devil…

God tells US that WE have to guard our heart (Proverbs 4:23), to avoid ‘ungodliness and worldly, sinful lusts of the flesh’ (Titus 2:11-13) and to ‘not conform to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds’ (Romans 12:2).

I have to remind myself often that when I got born-again, I lost my mind! (And gained the Mind of Christ!)

And, we are told to do this DAILY.

Because, you see…we ALL have faith in something…
And, there’s two types of faith:

“Natural Faith”, and “God-kind of Faith.”

Truth is, we CHOOSE what we have faith in by what we put our attention to, and the more attention we give to something, the more faith comes…

So, what ARE you thinking on? Where has your mind wandered to? What are you ALLOWING your thoughts to linger on, to dwell on? Are they bringing you peace, or are they bringing you havoc? (this is a good self-check to see which faith you are in-and we ALL waver between the two…)

Faith ACTS!

Hope arising-Sunflower miracle

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Every time I see a sunflower, I smile.  It reaches deep into my soul, and takes me back to a time where I was filled with despair, heartache, and anguish over the death of my beloved Great-Aunt Zippy, but how faithful is my God who hears and heals the brokenhearted!    What does this have to do with a sunflower?  With Hope arising?  With a miracle?

I’ll tell you.  Growing up the oldest of three, and the only girl, and as a military child was difficult for me.  My younger brothers had each other as playmates regardless of where we moved to, but I never seemed to fit in.  My Aunt Zippy, who lived in Charles City Iowa, had a soul connection with me.  Though I didn’t get to see her often, the times we did get to visit were so instrumental and profound, the memories of our visits boosted me.  She always had a way of making me feel special, even long-distanced.  She seemed to read my mind, and know when I was struggling.  Sometimes, I’d get a letter in the mail from her, in her curly old-fashioned handwriting; always ending with “Aunt Zippy loves you!”  Other times, I’d get a phone call from her, with her saying “Aunt Zippy just needed to hear your voice dear. Is every thing OK?” And all of my troubles would spill out into her listening ear.

Well, the day came when she passed away.  When my mother called me, and said she had to tell me something that was going to upset me, suddenly in my heart, I knew.  “Is it Aunt Zippy?” I asked.  And mom confirmed.  A part of my heart stopped beating at that moment, and I fell into a depressed, numb shock. NOOOOOOOOOO!  I screamed silently.  It couldn’t be true!  I wasn’t ready for her to die!

We weren’t sure how we were going to afford driving to Iowa for her funeral.  Our available cash was non-existent. At the time, I was selling Longaberger Baskets, and had a large amount of the collector baskets, and a few avid customers who loved deals.  I decided to bundle a bunch together and offer a grouping too irresistible to refuse, and was soon able to exchange a truck load of baskets for the cash we needed, and we were on our way, with our 3 children in tow.

We were asked to sing at her funeral.  Our son plays the guitar and sings, along with the rest of us.  We decided we would sing “I Can Only Imagine”.  I couldn’t imagine being able to sing, when I wasn’t able to talk without crying, and breathing was difficult.  I kept praying for the Lord to give me strength.

Aunt Zippy’s favorite flower was the Sunflower.  Due to a drought in the area, it was difficult  finding sunflowers for her funeral.  Her son, my cousin Paul, was able to get a few ordered for her casket.  Seeing her like that was the hardest sight I ever witnessed.  I missed her so much!  I was consumed with the deepest anguish, and struggled to find peace.

You see, only a few weeks before her fiftieth wedding anniversary, her husband, my Uncle Red, passed away following complications with heart surgery.  She was so angry at God!  She felt cheated.  When I would try to talk with her about it, she’d clamp up, and I sensed the bitterness that was settling in, mixed with her heartache.  I knew she was raised in a church, and knew she was a member of the local church in fact; but didn’t know for sure she’d given her heart to Jesus, and received Him as her personal Lord and Savior.  The uncertainty of her eternal rest was eating away at me, and was the source of my agony!

Desperate to know, I cried out to God.  On our return trip home, still numb with grief, still in shock, still searching within, I asked God “Father God, You know where she is.  You know how much she means to me, and how much I am hurting.  I know all things are possible with You.  I ask that You show me a sign dear Lord, that she is with you in Heaven.  I need a miracle dear Lord.  Please let it be, In Jesus Name, amen.”

My head against the window, looking out at the roadside, tears streaming down my face, Iowa corn fields passing by us as we traveled, all of a sudden, I see the most amazing sight!  There on the right side of the road growing wild were several beautiful, tall sunflowers!    I jumped up, and exclaimed to my family “Look!  Did you see that?  There were 2 or 3 large sunflowers right there!  I know God placed them there as a sign for me that Aunt Zippy is alive in heaven with Him!”  My husband laughed and teased me, “Mommy must have had a dream kids” he said.  They laughed a bit too, while I insisted I wasn’t dreaming, and that I knew what I saw. I even suggested my husband turn around and go back to see it himself, but he didn’t.

I guess I must have dozed off, but shortly after I was awakened by my children hollering “Mommy!  Look!  Look!  Look out the window!  Look at all of the sunflowers mommy!”  I looked and couldn’t BELIEVE what my eyes were seeing!  The entire roadside for about a mile or so was FULL OF SUNFLOWERS!  Amazing!  I couldn’t believe it!  They were soooo beautiful!  God is so good!  He answered my prayer, and tears were flowing, as I was knowing…my aunt Zippy was in heaven!  God is faithful!

I called my cousin Paul and shared with him.  I just wanted others to have the peace that was flooding my heart in knowing she was with God!    He seemed subdued, and a little skeptical, but was happy for me.  I can’t describe to you the depth of my joy!  I was thrilled my children and husband witnessed it too.  WOW GOD!  And just like God, when we finally pulled into our driveway of our Virginia home, after 2 days of driving, guess what was there at our front door, welcoming us?  Yep.  You guessed it.  The biggest, largest sunflower bloom you ever saw, growing in our flower garden next to our front steps, with its petals wide open.  I’ve never planted sunflowers there before.  It wasn’t growing when we left.  It was heaven-sent, with arms wide open, welcoming us home.  Our sunflower miracle!

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