Friday, July 28, 2017

God, don't you have something more for me?

Are you content where you are at in your life or do you have a desire for something more? 
Do you ever think, "Is this it? Is this all there is for me in this life? This can't be where God intended for me to stay."

www.shiningwithsparkle.com


You are not alone. Even if you do not know what your future holds, God has a great plan for you! He has given you gifts, talents, and even relationships that He will use to take you down a path that will ultimately lead to your Purpose. 

That path may not be an easy one. Sometimes the Lord takes us through trials to prepare us for the work He has for us to do. The storms of life make our faith stronger. The fire cleanses us and removes things that don't need to be there. The rough, rocky roads make us trust Him even more and the mountains reveal God's glory. 

Whether you can see it right now or not, you have a destiny to fulfill! God has placed before you opportunities and responsibilities that are covered in divine significance. He has given you that desire that is in your heart. The talents he has given you and the experiences you have had, will all work together to be used on behalf of the kingdom. You WILL be more, You DO have a purpose, You ARE a part of God's bigger plan.

God is with you in the very place you are right now. If you are reading this form your desk, your living room, or your car; He knows where you are and He is with you. 

He DOES have a plan for you. That "thing" that you are passionate about - he put that compassion in you for a reason. It is not a coincidence. Now, what can you do to move forward? 

www.shiningwithsparkle.com


Find a way to work toward that desire in your heart. It doesn't have to be a big step or cost money. If your passion is to help the homeless, but you do not have the financial resources to fulfill your vision, start with what you can do. Maybe you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate items to a homeless shelter. If your desire is to help young people; sign up for a mentoring program or volunteer to help with the youth at your local church. 

Think about your desire and then find a way to take a step toward it.

Doing something, even a small something, will encourage you and make you fill better. Ask God to open doors for you and then look for those opportunities to happen. They may not appear in the way you would imagine, so be aware and be open. Trust that the Lord will reveal His plan to you.


Friday, July 21, 2017

How full is your Pitcher? Taking time for self-care...


Imagine with me for a minute that your day starts out like this Mom's:

Your blessing of a child is frustrated, "Mom, I can't find my track shoes. Today is the track meet! Can you please help me?" It takes you two seconds to find the first one and 10 minutes to find the other one. As you rush to finish getting ready for work, your husband comes to tell you bye. "Honey, could you pick up my dry cleaning on the way home? Please don't forget, I need it for tomorrow." "Of course," you reply as you add it to your mental list in RED letters and say a quick prayer, "Lord, please don't let me forget!" You finally get out the door with no time to spare. No Starbucks today, and you really need coffee. On the way to the office you go over your top priorities for the day and take a deep breath. It is Thursday...tomorrow is Friday...then the weekend (Happy Dance). As you approach the office door, you see your boss is already there and seems to be in a panic. You walk in cautiously and he turns to you, "Oh good your here!" You soon find out that the project that wasn't due until next week is due tomorrow. Someone had a miscommunication and it is this Friday not next. And who suffers.... you do! It's not your fault but the work load falls to you. You roll up your sleeves and get to work. You end up having to work late but you get it done and head home. As you pull into the driveway you remember the dry cleaning. By the time you get to the garage the tears start to fall. You have given all you have and now your just empty...

Okay, so maybe your day isn't exactly like this Mom's, but you get the picture. We all face days like this and get overwhelmed with everything we must do. We give, and give, and give until there is nothing left. We become dry and empty.  

www.shiningwithsparkle.com


I had a friend who used to tell me, "Your pitcher is getting empty. Come on, let's go get our nails done." She saw that I wasn't taking any time for myself. My first thought was no I don't have time for that. But I soon realized that I was happier, more energetic, and just felt better if I just spent a little time each week on ME. 

Take some time this week to do something that you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Get up early and have some alone time to pray or read
  • Call up a friend and have coffee or go to a movie 
  • Make an appointment to get your hair or nails done
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Go to the library and pick out a book
  • Go for a walk
  • Sign up for a yoga class

Seriously, right now, pick something and put it on your calendar! The sooner you do, the sooner you will feel better!



What works for you? What do you do to fill your pitcher back up so that you are ready to give more? Your idea might be just what someone else needs to hear! Share in the comments below.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What is Bloglovin and do I need it?




I used to wonder how do you even follow blogs? Do you just have to remember their website and go back and check if they have posted anything new? I had no idea how this worked...

Well, you can always sign up to get emails when new content is posted, which is a great way to "stay in the loop" and be a VIP. (My VIP email list gets all the news first, extra info about me and my life, links to free downloads, and much more!)

www.shiningwithsparkle.com

Now days there is an app for everything! So here it is... the Bloglovin app. It is a great tool for keeping up with all the blogs you are interested in. You can sign up with facebook or an email and "follow" blogs that you like. New posts will then show up in a news feed fashion. When you click on a post, it will take you directly to that site so you can leave comments and the blogger gets credit for your page view.

Once you have installed the app, search for "Shining with Sparkle" and Follow Me!

www.shiningwithsparkle.com


If you want to be on my VIP email list sign up here. It would be an honor to visit your inbox!

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Do you allow time for breakdowns?


Recently, on the radio I heard a story about a businessman whose car broke down in a small town on a Saturday afternoon. He was frustrated and angry. His first miracle was finding a mechanic on this particular afternoon. As the gentleman told his story he said, "God allowed" me to breakdown. It was not his ideal situation but God had planned a divine appointment for the mechanic in that small town on that day. The businessman experienced a second miracle when given the opportunity to tell the mechanic about Jesus and he accepted Christ as his Savior. The man left with his car fixed and was filled with joy and peace.


www.shiningwithsparkle.com


If he had stayed frustrated and angry he might have missed the opportunity to share Jesus with the mechanic. He didn't let his unfortunate situation ruin his day. In fact, it Made his Day! 

Things happen that end up disrupting our plans. When those things happen, I encourage you to be observant and look around you. Did God put you in this place right now for a divine appointment?

Is there someone you need to witness to? Maybe someone you are going to encounter needs prayer or just a smile or a kind word. It might be someone you know or a complete stranger. It could be that you see a need that you can meet for a mom or her children. Your appointment could "show up" in many different ways. The important thing is that you be obedient when it does.  

We can get so caught up in our schedule and what we need to do next that we miss opportunities that the Lord places in front of us. 

Be willing to let God use you today. If you see an opportunity in front of you don't be in too big a hurry to Shine the Light of Jesus! 


www.shiningwithsparkle.com


Do you believe in divine appointments? Have you experience a divine appointment in your life?
Comment below↓

Friday, July 7, 2017

Three Steps from the Wilderness to the Prominse

*This post contains affiliate links.


God's Plan for Your Wilderness

Are you going thru a really difficult experience? Do you feel like God is not hearing your prayers? Are you feeling lost or ready to give up?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in the wilderness. We have probably all experienced some type of wilderness in our lives. From feeling like you are in a dry, desolate place to experiencing burnout in your ministry.


I have good news for you...
the Wilderness comes before the Promise.

www.shiningwithsparkle.com



God took the Israelites to the promised land by way of the wilderness. However, what should have been approximately an eleven day journey turned into one that lasted forty years. I don't know about you - but I don't want my wilderness to last any longer than it has to.  


And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. Deuteronomy 8:2 NKJV

Rejoice knowing you are in the place God has chosen as your testing ground! God wants to strengthen you and prepare you for the future he has planned for you. On the other side of this growth process is something great for your life!


God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the promised land. That's the same pattern He uses in our lives today when He wants to lead us into something wonderful. (The i Factor)

Out of Egypt - Your Egypt might be a situation, a financial struggle, an unhealthy relationship, or even depression. Any type of bondage or tough situation you might find yourself in.

Through the Wilderness - A time when you feel uncertain or lost. You may feel like God has left you or doesn't hear your prayers. This time might feel like that old saying, "you stepped out of the fire and into the frying pan". 

(Hang on - It WILL get better)

Into the Promise - The moment that God shows you the place you are headed. This will be different for everyone but often it will feel like freedom. Your promise may be freedom from addiction, freedom from financial struggles, or freedom from a situation. Maybe your promise is physical healing, a relationship mended, or salvation for a family member. 


www.shiningwithsparkle.com


So, how do you get out of the wilderness?
#1. Do NOT give up. Do not let this place destroy you. This is not your end!
#2. Trust that the Lord will get you through this. God has a plan for your life. Ask Him to reveal it to you and then watch for it. It will likely come in a way you do not expect. Watch for opportunities to be placed in front of you.
#3. Realize that this is a growing experience. Humble yourself and truly seek God's will for your life. You may not feel like you are growing but sometimes a plant must be pruned so that it can grow to its full potential. If God is removing some things from your life, don't chase after them. Look for the new growth to start happening.

*excerpts taken from the The i Factor 7-Day Reading Plan.  To participate click on add this to my reading plan.  

To get the complete book or small group study guide see below.


                                              

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Greatest Freedom of All!

* This post contains affiliate links




Each year we celebrate our Independence as a free nation with 
fireworks, cookouts, and family get-togethers. This year, take time to remember just what you are celebrating....FREEDOM. Many people have suffered and died so that we can experience the freedom we have today. Nations across the world know American as "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". Regardless how you feel about our government right now...you are still blessed with a free nation. 

You have the freedom of religion, speech, and press. You have the right to bear arms and protection of rights to life, liberty, and prosperity. I could list the the whole Bill Of Rights here but that is for another day.  I just want to encourage you today to stop for a moment and remember what Independance Day is all about. 


I can't talk about freedom without mentioning the greatest freedom of all, and that is freedom from sin. We have all been born into this world with the choice of living a sinful life or repenting of our sin and experiencing forgiveness and freedom. 

Sin is like slavery, it traps you and keeps you longer than you want to stay. It takes you places you never thought you would go and once you are in so deep, it can feel like there is no way out. Well, I have some good news for you today! Just like our soldiers died for our freedom, Jesus died so that we would be free from sin. He will deliver you from the bondages of sin and set you free! 

All you have to do is accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Admit to God that you have sinned. Believe in Jesus Christ as God's son. Confess your faith in Jesus. (share with someone else the decision you have made) If you would like to read more about this click here. If you would like ask Jesus into your heart you can pray this prayer. 



"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves 
be burdened again by  yoke of slavery. "
Galatians 5:1 NIV


When was the last time you celebrated your freedom from sin?
What does freedom mean to you?

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