Calm for the New Year

calm1As we look through the window tonight and see the new year which begins in just a few hours, I want to suggest that through all of our resolutions or lack thereof, we keep one thing in mind: stay calm. By the time you read this, you may have already taken some steps into the new year. You are already looking at the promise and uncertainty of the days that are stretched out before you. You have dreams and plans,  hopes and expectations, fears and concerns. Through all of this, let’s agree to do our best to do this one thing throughout the new year: Stay Calm. Staying calm gets us in position to receive all that God has provided for us. It is resting, trusting, and releasing our faith that He will take care of us. He has big plans for us, things for us to do, places to go, adventures to experience, people to love. As we ride this out, we may encounter ripples, waves, and sometimes turbulence. If we can stay calm, we can ride it out with Him and get to the other side with joy and the sense that it has been a year well-lived. Be strong and courageous! Here are three ways to do this:

1. Don’t let your mind run away with you. You must quiet your soul and clear your mind and emotions of everything that is upsetting.  Refuse to allow the lies of the enemy to permeate your thinking, for this will keep you from being able to walk and live in the Spirit. When you hear a piece of negative news or information, or if something upsets you or makes you angry, calm down. Take a deep breath. Remember Who is watching out for you. He will take care of you. God has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. If you are feeling that He has forsaken you, chase that thought away. It is not the truth. Calm down, and let Him be your life preserver. You can float on the promise that He will be with you always, even to the end of the earth.

calm22. Get on the other side of it. When something is trying to bother you, think about how you will feel when it is over. Experience the feeling of the positive outcome in your imagination. Let your imagination keep you right there until it is over, and you will sail through with calmness instead of having to deal with the rolling waves. You may feel as though your little boat will capsize. Pressure may come trying to get you to believe that things will not turn out well. It is really up to you whether you enjoy your ride or focus on the rocking of the boat. You will get to the other side. Stay calm, and ride out the storm. You are not alone in the boat. God is with you.

3. Take one thing at a time, one moment at a time. What is the one thing you need to do right now. Slow and steady, be calm and enjoy the moment. Each moment will unfold and before you know it, you are on the other side, and things worked out pretty well for you after all.

calm3Today’s Verse: Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6

Try this: When you feel upset, unhappy, down, angry, or blue, take a deep breath, meditate the verse above, and calm yourself. Everything will work out.

5 Things I Want My Children to Do Every Day in 2014

I could not be prouder of my children Rocky, Nick, his wonderful wife, Taylor, and Jay, They all love and serve God, and demonstrate His love in so many ways. Each has unique gifts, talents and personalities. God has given them purposes and plans, some that have not even been revealed to them yet. It is an exhilarating experience to watch them grow and flourish under His loving care.

The reason I want my children to do these 5 things in 2014 is because I believe these are the five most important lessons God has taught me in my life. None of these ideas will be new to them, in fact, they probably already do these anyway; that is why they are already so awesome and successful. I wanted to put this list together as a gift this particular time of year as we celebrate the birth of Christ, our love for each other, and our expectations for the New Year. I believe doing these 5 things every day will increase faith and will bring increased success, joy, and a closer relationship to God. God, and all of the forces of heaven will respond to their faith and cause them to prosper in 2014 like never before. This is what I want for my favorite people in the world, Larry, Rocky, Nick, Taylor, Jay and Emmerson.

Here are the 5 Things:

1.  No matter how difficult it may be, think about what you want, not about what you don’t want.

“Prosperity, wisdom, favor, abundance, plenty, joy, peace, love, health, friendships, soundness of mind, a closer relationship to God.”

2.  Meditate a verse of scripture every day.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

3.  Don’t let your thoughts take a negative pathway.

We create our lives by our thoughts. We want to get our thoughts in line with the will of God. “Thoughts, get back in line with the will of God.” “Lord, flood my mind with your thoughts.” You might have to say this often throughout the day, until a new pattern is formed.

4. Tell yourself how much God loves you and what a great day it’s going to be every day.

“God loves me. It is going to be a great day today!”

joy15. Take a word or phrase that you want more of in your life and embrace it by saying it over and over until it creates a pathway in your brain. This produces faith, and this is what God responds to. As you do this, you will get pictures in your mind of what this means to you. You may have conversations with God about what it means to Him, and He will give you greater revelation on His plan for your life. He will direct your path. He wants to know what direction you want your life to take. He will entwine your will and His will until His Perfect Will is produced in your life.

“Abundance, abundance, abundance.” “Health, health, health.” “Prosperity, prosperity, prosperity.” “Favor, favor, favor.” “Wisdom, wisdom, wisdom.” “Joy, joy, joy.” “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

I want these things, not only for my children, but for Larry, myself, and you to experience all God has for us every day. I know that He responds to our faith, and I know that faith is built by embracing the Word of God in our lives. The Word of God is scripture, but it is also a word that is representative of His Will in our lives like some of the words listed above. He will reveal those words to you, then you and I and our children can all prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers in 2014 like never before. Let’s do it!

Today’s Verse: Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

A-Z New Year Goals

I’ll admit it. I love the alphabet. I love to alphabetize things, and I love to play games wherescripture key ring you give a word for each letter of the alphabet. On a side note, my favorite list of alphabetical gems that I have ever come up with is my list of A-Z scriptures that I have all on a ring. There currently is only one of these in my possession and the formatted version has been lost from my computer. It is a goal of mine to recreate the scripture ring, making them available for those who want them. I love everyone of these verses, as I have meditated each one many times. Now for an all new A-Z list!

wed1Taylor, recently did an A-Z list of random facts about her. I sure love that girl and could never have picked a better help mate for Nick! Her list inspired me to make a new list of A-Z right here, right now.

This is my list of goals for the exciting New Year soon upon us. I used the first word that came to my mind for each letter, so I will see what the Lord will show me as I attempt to fulfill each one. I believe he gave me a couple of ideas to get me started, but you should expect some blogs later on these goals as they develop.

new yearA-Ask Ask more questions about people I talk to so that I show I am interested in, and care about them.

B-Believe Take the limits off. Believe that nothing is impossible with God.

C-Create

D-Delight

E-Exercise

F-Finish

G-Go

H-Hawaii

I-Inspire

J-Jesusjoke

K-Keep

L-Laughter

M-Meet

N-Name

O-Organize

P-Prosper

Q-Question

R-Relaxrelax

S-Send

T-Trust

U-Understand

V-Visit

W-Win

X-Examine

Y-Yield

Z-Zip it.

Now that you’ve read my list, feel free to add your own A-Z list here or blog it. It can be your list of favorite foods, attributes, random facts like Taylor’s, or goals like mine. Jump in this bowl of alphabet soup and have some fun. And if you can’t give us all 26, at least favor us with a few. Happy New Year! 2014 will be awesome! God has a plan. I can feel it!

Today’s Verse: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Try This: Make your list and share it. Have some fun today. If you have a blog, please leave a link here.

When the Bad Feeling Doesn’t Go Away

Dr Sharon2“Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon! Dr. Sharon.” Bill rushes past the receptionist desk and into Dr. Sharon’s office where he finds her with her feet up, sipping a diet coke, with a book in her hand.

“Bill, what are you doing? I’m on a break between patients. Is this an emergency?” she inquires as she puts her feet on the floor, straightens her white jacket and smooths her hair.

“Yes, you’ve got to help me. Sorry to barge in, but I’ve been reading ‘Dare to Be Happy,’ you know the blog that everyone is talking about by Sharybary. The one from yesterday got me so excited. I knew I had found the answer! It was called, let’s see, what was it? The lion, the witch and the ditch? No, that’s not it. The hump, the bump and the barrel?”

“I read it,” the doctor replied. ‘The Bump, the Ditch, and the Cliff.’ Good reading. I think she may be onto something.

“Well, yes, that’s it. I thought so, too, but then I woke up this morning and I felt bad. Something at work was bothering me. It was just a bump,  and I tried to do what she said. I tried to think about Jesus, and relax and enjoy the day, but that bad feeling didn’t go away. I tried to figure out what I should do about this work problem, and I kept feeling worse. Why didn’t this work for me? If it didn’t work for this little bump, what’s going to happen when I fall off of a cliff.  It sounded so easy when she said it. As a matter of fact, all of this stuff sounds so easy. What’s wrong with me, Doc? Why isn’t it working for me?

hill1“Bill, sit down. The truth is, it’s not easy.” Bill’s faced looked glum, but she continued, “You see it is very easy to start sliding down a steep hill, isn’t it? You can land at the bottom in just a few seconds with no effort at all. When you turn around and look back up the hill, it’s not such an easy task to get back up there. You might even need some help. If you’ve got a friend that knows you’re down there, they could go for help, or throw you a rope, or send a helicopter. . The first thing to do when it seems too hard to get over the bump, or out of the ditch or to get help when the cliff looms ahead, is to realize you are not alone. Find someone to talk to, someone to pray with you and encourage you. Don’t just tell them your problems, but ask for help, and then listen, really listen, weigh it out, and if it seems right to you, follow their advice.

The second thing you need to do is put one foot in front of the other. Just do one thing to get you started up back up that hill. Like she was saying, you want to look to Jesus and take a step in the right direction. Your first step might be to smile, or find something to laugh about, or meditate a verse of scripture, or it might be to do something related to the problem to get you moving. Even if Jesus looks far away, you will do far better to look up to Him, than to look down at your feet, where you have landed. Remember, it is the resistance to get up the hill that strengthens your muscles. Are you understanding what I am saying?”

“Yes, ma’am. So it’s not as easy as it seemed when I read the story?”

step4“No, Bill, often times it is not easy. I don’t think she really meant to imply that it is. She just likes to be all upbeat and everything to get people’s minds off their problems. It’s a pretty good place to start, but she really knows it’s harder than it looks.  God has so much for us to do, more hills to climb. She kind of gets excited about telling folks they can live a happy, and successful life, so they don’t stay in one place any longer than they have to. She doesn’t mean to minimize the pain, or the struggle, or the value of it.  She knows the meaning of adversity, and she knows God has brought her through many things. She feels the more we can focus on the solutions and God’s power working in us, the sooner the victory comes.”

“How is it you know so much about what she was trying to say?” Bill asked.

“I know Ms. Bary personally. We have had long talks in the middle of the night, Bill.”

“So what’s your advice, Dr. Sharon?”

“Bill, keep reading the stories she writes. It’s good stuff. And even though it’s hard, get your eyes on step5the Lord and off of your problem; trust Him for the answer. That’s a good word for anyone.  And don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Just like you did today.”

“Okay, Doc! Thanks. I think I understand, now. I can do this. Thanks for encouraging me. Hey, if you’re talking to Ms. Bary, please give my regards.”

“I’ll do that, Bill. and would you send the next patient in, please? Have a nice day!”

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The Bump, the Ditch, and the Cliff

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

bump ditch cliff1This morning I was talking to God about finishing this blog. I love the title. It gives us a visual about the difficulties we face in life. Bumps can be a bad cold, an unpaid bill, or an argument with a spouse or in my case not booking a tour at work. Ditches, of course seem more serious and the cliff, well no one wants to go off a cliff. I will leave the specifics to your imagination. One thing I know for sure is that when we face a bump in the road, God will help us over it and back to the smooth road again. If we are in a ditch, He will help us out, and should we fall from a cliff, He will catch us and set us back on solid ground.

As I listened in my spirit for what He would say to us about daring to be happy, about bumps, ditches, and cliffs, and about John 16:33, this is what I believe He said. Of course, you will realize that some of this sounds like me, but I believe that His Voice of Truth is in what I heard. There is great joy in conversing with Him and learning to hear His voice. As you read, I know you will be able to discern exactly what He is saying to you and leave everything else for another reader.

bump ditch cliff2“This is what I am saying to you so you will dare to be happy. In your life, you will face bumps, ditches, and perhaps a cliff or two; but go ahead be happy because I have all of the wisdom, the answers, and victories that you need. I’ve already taken care of everything. Stay in Me and be of good cheer because you trust me; I will see you through every thing you face. In fact, I will not only see you through each one, I will bring you through stronger, better, wiser and closer to Me.

bump ditch cliff3Each day in your life, keep your eyes on Me. You don’t even have to look at the bump, the ditch, or even the cliff. Just look at Me. you can picture Me taking care of it. You can picture how you will feel when it is resolved. Think about having the money you need and more. Think about having the relationship you desire. Think about having a closer relationship with Me. Think about when your children have returned to Me and are serving me wholeheartedly. Think about health fully returning to you. Think about being the bold and confident person that you are. Think about the ministry that you desire. Think about Me and how much I love you.

Yes, go ahead and dare to be happy today. You have everything you need to be happy because I have taken care of everything. I did that so you would be free to enjoy Me and have fellowship with Me and have freedom to build relationships with other people. That is what I really care about.

It is the enemy of your soul that throws these things in your way. I wouldn’t do that to you, but when he does this I laugh because I take every bump, every ditch and every cliff and use it for your good. He tries to slow you down with a bump. He puts pressure on you and tries to push you into a ditch, or he may try to lead you to a cliff and urge you to keep walking, but My greatest joy is to take the things he has put in your way and turn them into the very things that make you strong. These are the very things that will enable you to help others and bring glory to my name. These are your greatest treasures. They will open the door to all that I truly want to give to you. That is why I laugh so heartily at the enemy, and you should, too.

For the trying of your faith worketh patience. Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:3,4

laughing JesusSo let’s face the day together. You relax and have fun with me, laugh with me and watch how I deliver you. See how I help you over the bump, pull you out of the ditch, and catch you if you should fall from the cliff. When you live your life like this, it may seem as if you don’t even have the problems and challenges that others do. With your focus on Me, you will go over the bumps so easily, you hardly know you went over it. You are out of the ditch so quickly, you barely even knew you were there. And the cliff? You didn’t know you were falling until I caught you. Be of good cheer, dare to be happy, because I have overcome the world.”

More Scriptures on Adversity

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