Sharing Devotional – 01/30/20

“Do not be a dull axe

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

No one wants to be a dull axe. We want to be a sharp axe, effective in the hand of God. 

This will not happen if we’re apart from certain people in our lives. Wise people, godly people, humble people. People who care. We need people in our lives who love Jesus and love us.

We need people who will love us enough to challenge, affirm, and encourage us. We need people who care enough to listen to us and understand us. We need people who will pray for us and pray with us. We need people who will model what it means to passionately pursue Christ.

For example, if you want to love God more, it helps immensely to be around people who are great lovers of God. Or, if you want to be a better husband or wife, it helps tremendously to spend time with people who are great husbands or wives. We need to see the life of Christ incarnated in our midst. It’s just the way God has made us.

Furthermore, this sharpening does not happen at a distance. It does not even happen at arm’s length. It happens when people get close. It happens when we let people into our lives and into our hearts. It happens when we take a risk and get real. It happens when we let people get close enough to see our struggles and our fears.

Iron doesn’t sharpen iron from a distance. Iron doesn’t sharpen iron unless there are a few sparks along the way. It might even get heated at times.

This is not the easy way. If you want the easy way, don’t let people get too close. But you will never be sharp in the hands of God. You’ll never be effective for the kingdom. You won’t be all that God intended you to be.

So what can you do? Be intentional. Let people into your heart. Care enough to reach out to others. Join a small group and raise the bar in it. Find a mentor. Find someone to mentor. Be real. Open your heart. Take a risk. Invite people to speak into your life. Do life with other people. Love boldly.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.””

Victoria 💚

Sharing Devotional 01-26-20

Sharing my devotional today!

Read it and mediate on every word.

Allow yourself to hear the voice of God!

“”In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25, NASB).

Humanism is a man-centered religion running rampant in our world today. It is a theology that places more importance on an individual’s rational thought than on adherence to religious principle. Humanists embrace their own reasoning as the basis of their decision making. They may want God, but only on their terms and only if He doesn’t clash with their personal sense of rightness and happiness. They want the benefits of a relationship with none of the responsibilities.

Baalism was an ancient form of secular humanism, offering a god that catered to the needs of mankind. Baal and his female consort, Asherah, represented fertility and prosperity to the ancients and did not have a law book like Yahweh’s. Fertility and prosperity without rules? The Israelites were sold on it. So they sought to manipulate these idols for personal benefit. Yet as Israel suffered under continuous oppression, it was clear that Baal was ineffective. Year after year, their harvest was stolen and starvation soon set in. Baal was as impotent then as humanism is now.

We easily overlook the personal significance of Baalism. This kind of lifestyle can seem foreign to us. After all, we don’t use words like “idol” or “Asherah” in our everyday conversation. 

You’re probably thinking, “Priscilla, I’m not a humanist!” But consider this: Can you name a prior conviction you’ve abandoned or compromised, replacing it (even unknowingly) with a standard that’s more in line with the philosophies you hear on television or see in the world? Whenever we allow secular perspectives to set the guidelines for our daily consecrated life, we are living—in that one area, at least—a humanistic version of Christianity.

Only a return to Yahweh could change the tide of famine and humiliation for Israel. And only a recommitment to Yahweh and His standards can reverse the degrading epidemic of today. 

God is calling you and me to do our part in turning the tide.”

What distracts you

What distracts you ? Are you easily distracted? How long do you stay distracted ? What lead to the distraction?

Here’s a refresher…

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Distraction is anything that makes you lose focus on God and his plans for you. Many will call them detours. They call it detours because they were once on the right path. However with time they ended up falling on a few rocks, walking back to the start or just staying dormant. What was once their path is now many things to them besides the purpose of it.

Distractions are temptations to the spirit. It’s the need or curiosity of anything that doesn’t align with your spirit. Yes there could be positive distractions but that’s not the case at times. The enemy loves to distract you because if he can accomplish that; then he can deceive your discernment. Without discernment your bound to fall for anything.

Do not overlook the words within these two verses. “And God is faithful”, do you believe it ? “…he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”, do you believe it ? “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”, do you believe it? Now let’s go back a bit. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.”, do you understand it ?

Within these two verses we are reading facts ! It’s a fact that God is faithful. Take a look around and you will see promises completed all around you. Next we see something beyond amazing in content. Yes it’s true, God has more faith in you beating temptation, than you do in trusting that he will get you through it. God has faith that you can endure every temptation but your overly non- humble confidences, will cause you to fall because of your ego. That’s why God confirms that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.” Mankind has one major thing is common which is the battle between their pride and ego. Remember our spirit is willing but our flesh is not! Therefore no temptation can overtake you besides yourself getting in your own way!

The enemy will throw all types of temptations toward you. It’s up to you on if they will distract you or not. It’s up to you if you will allow the temptation to cause a detour in your path. It’s up to you, if you will allow the temptation to consume and weaken your discernment. For we can endure according to God, any temptation. If we have God guiding us we can not go wrong. But when we are overly confident and think we don’t need God’s guidance, that’s when we fall.

Be aware in what is distracting you in this season. Recognize it and cast it out ! Keep up the good works and stay aligned!

Victoria 💚

Motherhood 🤰🏻🤱🏻

Today’s devotional was a great reminder about motherhood. It was a great reminder to take things one day at a time while being your biggest fan throughout it all. I wanted to share the devotional to all my mommies and soon to be mothers 😊

“There are many changes brought about by entering into motherhood which are hard to grow accustomed to. Perhaps the hardest to handle sometimes is the change in our bodies as a result of having babies. Postpartum body image is a real struggle for all of us at one time or another.

What I love about the gospel, however, is that it is oh so relevant even to this area of our mama lives! Isn’t God good to provide us with an encouraging perspective for even this part of our mothering journey?

There are a few truths which are so helpful to remember when combatting the lie that our postpartum bodies “should” or “have to” look a certain way.

To begin with, God made us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14); we are a masterpiece in the hands of a good and wise, creative and loving God, and stretch marks, saggy skin, and extra pounds could never change that.

Furthermore, our postpartum bodies are a daily reminder of God’s love for us. Just as you can look at your stretch marks and scars and view them as a sign of your love for your children exhibited by your willingly giving up your very body for them, so, too, you can look at your scars as a tangible, daily reminder of the love of Christ for you. Christ has scars, too, and they are because of His infinite love for you, His child, which led Him to sacrifice His body and life on your behalf.

While our postpartum body struggles can also be a picture of the fall and how our bodies now get broken as a result of sin (Romans 8:20-25), they are ultimately able to be viewed as a picture of redemption, as well, not only pointing you to Christ and His scars, but also serving as a reminder of His amazing grace in the face of sin. In the midst of the fall and Adam and Eve’s grave sin, God nevertheless promised continued life down through the ages which would ultimately result in the birth of a coming Savior who would redeem them for all time (Genesis 3:15). That’s grace, my friend! That is amazing grace.

And that is truth that will enable you to face your postpartum body with admiration rather than disdain as it points you to the realities of the good news of the gospel and the gift of life.”

Some bible verses ro keep in mind.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ~ Psalms 139:14 NIV

“For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” ~ Romans 8:20-25 NIV

Victoria 💚

Social Media Chaos

Boy oh boy is this a topic that should be spoken about more! Facebook “ What’s on your mind?”. Then the venting is loose and many times with no filter. Does Facebook really care about what’s on my mind ? I know the way people type on it believe that it does.

“Oh but I only use it to update my family from far away. I’m barely on it. I don’t follow just anybody. I don’t post much. I barely put pictures on it.” If all these comments are true, why has it become almost impossible to put a limit to it. Why the need to look at Facebook the very first moment you wake up and the last when you sleep? Why is it now difficult for people to give you undivided attention and put their phone away? Why is it so hard to look for that particular family member and have a normal phone conversation. Instead of posting away on social media, hoping they will see it?

Social media has become chaos and have created people’s lives to be in chaos. It’s one of the top things that people do daily and don’t even realize that they are feeding their spirit with all the junk they see and hear. Little by little what started off as a good idea becomes a stronghold over their life. Strongholds are difficult when it’s expose but image the ones that are not seen and constantly in denial.

My word of advice about any social media this year…before you update your status; make sure you updated the Lord! Put a filter on and make sure what you share edifies whoever reads it. If you can’t check these things off then maybe you shouldn’t be posting. Learn to interact with real people and not just exchange thoughts through a comment thread. Learn the basic life lessons and be present to your now!

Don’t shift your whole life according to what you see in social media. Don’t spend your days or nights desiring others life. Their life is filter, it’s not real! You will never know the real because you don’t live in the homes of the people and things your desiring to have. Remember the same way you look at one thing, there is someone else looking at your life the same way. Someone else is desiring to have your life, family, job, home and etc. You also look desirable to other people. Remember that majority of the people only expose the beautiful and perfect image. Stay focus on your life and what God is doing in it! Stay focus on what is real which is the Lord! For what he starts he will finish. He came for we can have life and have it abundantly. He (God) focused so much on you and made sure to plan out everything he wanted to give you and do for you. Don’t waste all your blessings on focusing on other people and their blessings. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy your blessing, for worrying more what you want to post and share with the whole world. The blessing can pass quickly and you won’t notice. Trust, you will complain that you didn’t have enough time or didn’t notice it. Look up and stop looking down!

Victoria 💚

Alone Time

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” ~ Luke 5:15-16 NIV

I don’t know about you but every year I catch myself saying the same sentence. “Ok this year I will allow myself to have some alone time and not feel guilty for it.” I literally say this every year to myself in front of the mirror. Of course, every year this fails. I use to think it wasn’t God’s will for me to be alone since it never happened. It caused me to go through periods during the year where I was beyond my exhausted point. Exhausted to every extend. Exhausted in spirit, wife, mother, teacher, student, minister and so forth. I will stretch myself so thin because saying yes was more important to me. I didn’t want to ever be the person to say no especially to God’s work.

Oh the guilt shame and all it did to me mentally and physically!

But enough is enough. It’s very important for You to have You time. It’s important to have a moment of rest and disconnect. It’s important to be able to be still and just be with God. If you are constantly saying yes to everyone and being every where; when will you have time to rest ? When will you recharge ? How do you expect to continue to give your best to the Lord if you haven’t gotten a moment to get filled up again?

Remember God created the earth in 6 days and on the 7th He rested!

The verse above…while many wanted to get healed after seeing Jesus heal many, He decided He needed time in isolation with just God!

While the fulfillment of Jesus’s purpose was about to be completed, He once again went alone. He was with his disciples but separated himself to go and talk with His father!

God doesn’t remind us to be still in Him for us to have an overdose of panic attacks. Being still is resting! It’s trusting on the Lord that everything is under control.

Many times we think if we just keep working and keep trying that it will get us closer to whatever we are asking. Sometimes that is the case but many times it’s not. Many times since we keep on that particular thing we need or want; we actually delay the time of receiving! After works are done, God wants us to rest and just wait for His perfect timing.

What a great reminder now that we are starting a fresh year and decade. Alone time is a must! Don’t idolize however your own time but do make it a priority when you can. Get that time in with the Lord alone away from everything and everyone. Get the alone time to refocus where you are heading and what’s to come. Get the alone time to recharge your perseverance to get through the good race of the faith. Allow yourself a moment to just breathe and absorb everything beautiful that God created right in front of you.

Victoria ❣️

The only expectation I have for this year, is for Jesus to get into the room !

What is the room ?

The room represents that area in our life that we make prohibited to the outside world. The room is also the place that many people can be in but their presences is not what is needed. The room could be that place within us that is holding on in complete desperation. The room is where God shows up face to face with you!

What is that room for ? What does the room look like? How does that room feel ?

There are a couple of good examples in the word, where Jesus gets into the room and in an instant everyone in the room is marked and changed!

Jesus got into the room with Jarius and his daughter (Matthew 9:18-26).

Jesus got in the room with Peter and his mother in law (Matthew 8:14-15).

Jesus got in the room with Thomas (John 20:24-29).

Jesus got into the room with Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11:1-44).

Jesús got into the room with his disciples (Luke 22:7-23).

Do you believe and trust that could be you ?

That He can perform in you a miracle!

That He can make what was once dead, alive again!

That He can comfort you and meet you exactly where you are!

That He can answer your prayers!

“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” ~ John 11:40 NIV

Let’s remember that we must believe! We must believe that the Lord can do it for all of us once again! Let’s not be so cheap in believing, for what does it really cost us ??? What will we lose if our belief in Him and His power becomes radical in our life ? WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT EVERYTHING TO GAIN!

~ Victoria 💫

Strong in my weakness…

Strong in my weakness…

”And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” ~ 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭

I remember when I wasn’t a Christian how narrow my thoughts about this walk was. I honestly believed that people became a Christian by pressing this invisible reset button. It was so easy to see the obvious but not to understand it. It was so easy to say that they ran to Christianity because they had no one else to run to. In other words it was too easy to judge, yet so difficult to understand. Yet understanding something unknown is easier to accomplish when your willing to understand it. For many years I just didn’t want to understand the why, but always knew the “who” they were following. 

Fast forward to the present I will be lying if I told you that since I pressed that reset button in my life, that it’s been easier. There has been many low points in my life even after I said yes to Jesus Christ being my savior. Within those low moments anger was a familiar emotion. I couldn’t fathom the reason I was still hitting rock bottom when I served a God who has the power to prevent such life events. Many times I thought that my decision to follow Christ provoked me to fall even more than when I didn’t have Him as the center of my life. Many times that anger cause me to separate myself from Him. I’m grateful now for His grace and love for me. For too many times I walked away from Him, but never once has He walked away from me. 

During these low moments in my life I felt just like everyone else, who had struggled in life. I felt shame, depression, pain, suffocated, confusion, belittled, low self esteem, and weak. There’s nothing worse than having everyone against you and being your worse enemy as while. All these situations and emotions caused me to feel such a high level of weakness. A weakness that I grew to despise. A weakness that didn’t allow me to sleep at night yet had me sleeping all day (insomnia). It took away my hunger and made me physically sick, every time I will force myself to eat. It caused me to isolate myself because having to be around people was too much to handle. Having to repeat myself numerous times caused me to have to relive everything I was trying so hard to to forget. 

Maybe for many people looking from the outside my situation didn’t seem like a huge deal. This is the beauty of processes though, no one has the power to judge it and tell you your wrong. It’s “your process” for a reason. Only God can stop it, continue it, speed it up, or slow it down. It’s hard to remember this at the moment because control is the last thing we have when we are living out these moments. However remember who has the final say over everything in your life. God has the final word. He’s the one you will need to explain yourself to and no one else. 

The most beautiful lesson I learned in every process is how strong He made me throughout my weakness. I know when people think of strong they picture Wonder Woman but that is wrong in so many ways. Being strong could be forcing yourself to get up today and not sleep in. It could be saying one positive thing about your life or situation. It could be smiling when you believe you have no reason to. Being strong is taking that one step forward that seemed impossible the day before. That’s a milestone. That’s a huge reason to rejoice. That’s God showing you His grace upon your life. Celebrate that milestone !! Give thanks for that one step you took. That one step can change everything for the better. 

The best part of these moments when I saw myself weak was being able to feel God closer to me. In Psalm 34:18 the Lord remains us that He is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are weak in the spirit. Many times in our lowest we crave for true affection. That one person who can just come from nowhere and change everything around. That one person who can save us from ourselves. We get caught up on finding that physical person, that we forget that there’s a God who is dying to save us from all of our devastation. 

It all made sense to me one day! The second I saw my weakness as a step forward, and not a step backwards. It was in that moment I was ok feeling like I had no control and even more ok knowing that God will solve all these problems. The strength that the Lord could provide no human walking the earth could provide. The weakness that all humans experience and see; is the same weakness that the Lord takes to plant a new seed of blessings in your life! 

There is strength in the weak !
Repeat out loud this prayer if you feel the need to!

Lord here I am broken and weak. I stand in front of you the same way you see me, as myself. I acknowledge that you are the Lord of all lords and King of all Kings. I know everything you allow has a greater meaning that my temporary emotions. I believe that I must walk through this process to reach closer to all the plans you have for me. I don’t understand but I know I’m in your hands. I know where I stand. Help me remain steadfast and find comfort in Your word. If this is Your will then align and finish what You have started in me. I know Your a father who keeps His promise. Lover of my soul keep staying with me and molding me to Your perfect image. In Your name I find strength, in Your name I can resist the enemy. In Your name everything that is not from You must flee. Thank you Father. Amen.