Broken? The Lord Is With You

God’s Promises – I am with you in your brokenness. I am with you when your spirit feels crushed.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This morning my Pastor reiterated that the crucifixion of Christ was God’s demonstration that He loves us and sacrificed His Son to free us (paraphrased). Jesus was broken and crushed, not because he sinned, but to save us because we are sinners. Christ died to set us free. When we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were freed, ‘saved’ and filled with the Holy Spirit. when the Holy Spirit took up residence in us, we were given the right to walk in God’s authority and His power.

So what does this have to do with our being broken-hearted?

Broken-hearted is when we finally strip away our pride, our focus on self, and surrender to God saying, “not my will, but your will God.” It is when we stand up, crush our free-will, our worldly life, our flesh, and replace it with God’s Will.  It is staying ‘awake’ and corralling our carnal life, refashioning it to reflect the image of God who directs our paths.

Christ sacrificed his life for us and we, in turn, sacrifice our lives for Him. When we recognize the importance and purpose of His sacrifice for us, we are freed. Our Lord promised to always be close to us. He is with us when we are broken-hearted and when our spirit is crushed. We exist because of His righteousness.  We are never alone.

Images – Google Images

References – Bible.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Showing Goodness

As humans, we often become frustrated when the person on the other end of a business call cannot assist us. The reality is that we are not angry at the person but the representative of the company. The problem is that during work hours the person on the other end of the call is the representative, they are one and the same during working hours and are simply responding according to the company script.

Christ tells us to exhibit ‘goodness’ in all we do, that includes being kind to all people. The person on the other end of the phone does not deserve a curt response or defamed in any way. They, like most of us, are working to earn a living.

So, let’s agree that we can all do better. I can do better. Before speaking when we do not agree with or do not like what is being said, we should quickly think – would Christ respond in the way I am planning to proceed? The answer is an emphatic, ‘NO.’ One of the God’s gifts to us is goodness.

For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107:9 NKJV

O, my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
Psalm 16:20 NKJV

The Lord gave us ‘goodness’ so we could become more like him. Our responsibility is to [try to] purposely display goodness in all that we say and do.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Our goodness is connected to the Lord, it fills our soul. Without goodness, we are left with exhibiting meanness, and on occasion, wickedness. Absent goodness, we become hosts of evil residing in this world, and cannot proclaim ‘we are in the world – but not of the world’.

We can all do better, we can show goodness in our conversations, actions, and deeds.

Images – Google Images; LAB Photography

Scripture References – Biblegateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Wisdom

God has bestowed wisdom upon all Christians. According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, ‘wisdom’ is defined as understanding and prudence. As we mature as Christians, our spiritual wisdom also matures. We begin to discern situations differently, we can examine the environment of principality wars and how it impacts our lives.

Wisdom is affected by our desire to either apply free will, our own thoughts and direction, or to counsel with our Lord, and apply His Will to our situations or circumstances.

Wisdom also dictates our desire to apply the Fruit of the Spirit as our guiding or core principles to our lives, behaviors, and decisions. Wisdom is the ability to live life fully. Solomon, the author of Proverbs 1-29, scribbled Jesus’ words in 8:12-13:

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”
Proverbs‬ ‭8:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Or, the NKJV states it this way:

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs‬ ‭8:12-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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Charles Stanley explains these verses like this, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. As we grow spiritually, we gradually change from trying to stop doing the evil thing that we really want to do, to actually hating the evil thing so that we no longer want to do it.” (Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible)

 

The Fruit of the Spirit describes how we should govern ourselves. Wisdom frames our thought process during our transitional behavior, from hating our carnal nature to eliminating our sinful nature, to identifying when we are backsliding, to embracing the entrance into our new Christ-like nature.

“Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.”
Proverbs‬ ‭4:26-27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

As Christians, we sometimes find ourselves falling into sin, not intentionally, but because we are not paying attention. God calls us to stay spiritually alert at all times, which includes focusing on our life’s direction.

In closing, again we find ourselves pondering the principles of obedience, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, examining free-will, God’s Will for our lives, and His Promises that fulfill our life. Wisdom is the key to attaining God’s Will for our lives. Without wisdom, we have no vision (Proverbs 29:18) for our lives, and without vision we perish, choosing to live in cardinality and separate from the Lord.

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Proverbs 4:7 KJV – Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 NIV – For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

James 1:5 NIV – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Colossians 4:5,6 NIV – Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

James 3:13 NIV – Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Daniel 2:23 NIV – I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.

Proverbs 13:10 NIV – Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Eph 5:15-16 NIV – Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

James 3:17 NIV – But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

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Resources – Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary; Charles Stanley, Life Principles Bible, NKJV (quotes and paraphrased)

Images – Google Images, LAB’s Personal Photography

Scriptures – Holy Bible, BibleGateway.com

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

 

 

 

God’s Will, God’s Promises, Part 2

My intention this past week was to move deeper into God’s Promises, categories for classification purposes, and how we apply them by yielding free-will to God’s Will for our lives. But after discussions about Free-will and Satan’s deceptions in our lives, it became clear that most of us do not clearly understand the magnitude of Satan’s scheme and deceptions, including me. I do not profess to know everything about them, but want to share what I do know  Why? If we cannot establish that his schemes exist, the magnitude of his deception, then we will never understand how free-will can adversely affect our lives or lead us to believe and accept God’s Will for our lives.

We live in layers of Deception

Deception is diabolical and innocent people fall prey to it daily, that includes you and me. When we fall prey, we fall into sin and thus temporarily out of God’s Will. I say temporarily because as we become more aware of Satan’s (schemes) deceptions, we are better able to stay in God’s Will and trust His Promises.

‘Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. ‘ Eph. 6:10-12 

Satan controls the airways and the things of this world. Eph 6:10, stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4, ‘Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.) I believe we can extend this to those who don’t believe and those that do not stand by the Word of God, those of us who acquiesce to the draw of this world.

Satan controls the way people think when we are not alert and focuses especially on Christians. How often have you become angered by a leader’s’ path that seems to have gone astray? Any leader, political, corporate, spiritual, or for that matter, anyone you know. When we are at odds with them, philosophically, ethically, or spiritually, we often become disgruntled by their intentions and perhaps, begin to hate their very existence. It is at this very point that we unknowingly are drawn into Satan’s camp.

Let’s unpack what happens when we hate

Many of us are or have become unsettled when our leaders, or those that impact our lives, seem to inspire behavior that we deem unacceptable. We dislike what we see, dislike what we hear, and we develop a hateful attitude and behavior that is inauthentic, misguided and perhaps even evil. When we allowed hate to dwell in us, we immediately separated ourselves from God’s Will. When we hate, we focus on the person and not what is guiding them. The adage, ‘hate the behavior and not the person,’ speaks to our failings as we find ourselves in the midst of the deception. Now, I’m not saying that we have to agree with the person or persons, I am simply saying that we have to discern who the real actor is manipulating the person, and most often it is Satan. Acting our of free-will is often Satan inspired. Yes, sometimes we humans act independent of the principality war, choosing to exercise our free-will rather than God’s Will, but regardless, we must stay awake and alert, our enemy walks the earth looking to devour us. He sets the stage to create chaos, battles, and war. He does not want us to examine ourselves. He wants us to exercise our free-will which leads to eventual destruction. We must be aware of the rise of destruction in our lives.

When lies, manipulations, bigotry, and hate become our acceptable norm, we fall from grace. We are no longer abiding by God’s Will. If we do not abide by His Will, we will not consider His Promises as Truth.

If we look into the heavenlies, we would see the principalities warring and would know that the above is counter to His Word which includes the Ten Commandments, the Fruit of the Spirit, God’s Will for our lives, and His Promises to us.

If we begin to naively believe the deceiver by accepting the deception, Satan has separated us from the Will of God. How does this happen? We feed the deception through our anger, our words, and our actions. Greed, access, control, and power cloud our thinking. We walk around with blinders on. We listen to the ‘nay-sayers’ and join the choir.  Our mind is home to spiritual warfare. When we relax, we open ourselves to the onslaught of the evil one.

The Trap

Do you know who gets caught in this trap? Believers get caught in the trap. It was designed for us. Believers often feel that as God’s children, we are immune to the wiles of the evil one. We are subtly persuaded to let down our guard, accept a little white lie, accept something we have not rightfully earned, spew harmful gossip, become intoxicated by flattery, manipulate people to do our bidding, go along with what is expedient and lucrative, and slip and slide trying to avoid getting caught. We wear our disguise as believers pretending to hold fast to the Word, but in reality, we are so intoxicated by deceptive values we begin to believe our own rhetoric, the rhetoric of the evil one.

Crossing The Line

We unwittingly cross the line. For example – when I was a child, my friend said, let’s steal some candy from the candy store. (One kid in your neighborhood always tried to get everyone else to join him in stealing candy.) I refused for a long time, but then the other kids said it’s easy, you can’t get caught, we do it all of the time. You’re just a scary-cat. I finally gave in, or I should say, caved in. I knew it was wrong but was tired of being on the outside. I stole some candy, but during and after stealing the candy, I felt so guilty that I could not enjoy it. But I knew that it was morally wrong to steal. I knew God’s Commandment, ‘do not steal,’ and I was convicted. I couldn’t rest, so I told my parents. They reprimanded me. My father took me to the store to tell the merchant what I did. (My Dad had spoken with the merchant earlier and they decided to ‘scare me straight.’) I thought I was going to jail. But the merchant accepted my apology and my $.25. My Dad and I went home. I thought it was over, but to my surprise,  I was punished for a week. (Just like our parents, God often chastises us for wrongdoing to help us learn the lesson.) Now, suppose I continued at this pace, the guilt would have subsided and this would have become my new norm. I would have unwittingly fallen prey to the deception – no harm, no foul. Fortunately, Sunday School and my parents prepared me for battle, and while I slipped (ah, free-will), the Holy Spirit helped me self-correct. You see, the soft, quiet voice was alive and active, and most importantly, I was in tune and could hear His voice. What experiences have you had that when you look back, you’ve been suckered into immoral, unethical situations? Think about them and identify where you faltered.

The Soft, Quiet Voice Speaks

People who ignore the quiet, soft voice of the Holy Spirit eventually become deaf and stop hearing His voice. When we stop hearing his voice, They fall into layers of deception: the loss of self-control, gentleness, kindness, honesty, peace, joy, love, and faithfulness(the Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23) leaves the void that is filled with the desires of this earth. The void is filled with new norms – greed, access, control, self-righteousness, power and camaraderie with those sharing the same belief.

Responsibility

It is our responsibility, as Christians, to pay attention to everything going on around us, to stay in the Word, and by being alert, ‘stand firm.’ Oh, if it was only that easy. As humans, we relax and let our guard down. When discomfort overwhelms us, we completely cave in, or we come to attention, get back up and realign ourselves with the Word. Some are able to take immediate action, others awaken much later, and still, others remain in the catatonic state of deception, all the while believing the lie that they are faith-filled Christians. Do you know how to get your footing back?

We do not have the luxury of being naive. The world is filled with unbelievers, misdirected believers, and wicked people; to think otherwise is to fall into deception. Our world is in great chaos, and we must make a decision as to where we stand.  I for one will stand and share the Good Word. Now that I know that free-will is not free but can lead me into the lake of destruction I relinquish my will in favor of God’s Will for my life. I fear being enticed by the world, forgo praying, and letting Satan escalate his plans for my eventual destruction. What do you fear? On whose side will you stand?

We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by what we see or hear, remember the things of this earth below to Satan, and he intends to give this world an HD TV effect, brilliant lighting and effects. If we are going to discern the Truth, we must read and study the Scriptures in the Bible, pray and meditate on the Word on a daily basis. We must wear our spiritual (x-ray) goggles and view the deception for what it is, Satan’s failing attempt to kill, steal, and destroy.

In times such as this and especially in times of crisis, it is important to put on our battle gear, stay in prayer, and bombard the atmosphere with the Word, in the belief that we are the victors through Christ Jesus who died on the cross for us.

Websites – lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com; youngchristianwarriors.com;
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

God’s Will – God’s Promises, Part 1

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him, the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV

To understand God’s Will for our lives, we must know and accept His promises. This month our focus is on God’s promises and how they apply to our daily living.

Last month the focus was obedience, dependence, and love. You will begin to see that they are the building blocks for applying God’s promises. He uses His promises to help move us from our current circumstances to a new place.  It is important that we must respect His Word to understand the validity of following His Word. If we are going to choose to follow His Word, we must know what it means. Otherwise, we will fall prey to the evil one’s mastery of deception.

Satan works overtime to destroy the faith of Christians. Paul says, “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11). Satan’s main weapon is deceit. He is described as the “serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev 12:9).

It is easy to deceive a person when they have no basis to understand the intent of the deception. Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary’s definition of deceiving is to cause to believe what is false, or disbelieve what is true; to impose upon; to mislead; to cheat; to disappoint; to delude; to ensnare. These are Satan’s tactics. His goal is to convince you that your free-will is exclusive to your desires to live life as Satan offers it, not as God designed it for your use. His purpose is to steal God’s promises for your life and send you to hell.

The requisite to understanding our free-will is knowing and believing God’s Promises to be the truth. Smith Wigglesworth once preached ” God wants to bring all of us into line with His Will. The Bible builds up our character in God, and through this process, we are changed by the Spirit from glory to glory and faith for faith, which comes by hearing by the Word of God”. (Romans 10:17) “The Word of God comes in to separate us from everything that is not of God.”The Holy Spirit molds us in God’s Will.”” [Smith Wigglesworth, by Faith, April 21, 1945, pp. 800, 801]

We must follow God and His Word in obedience, and He will shine a light on the path ahead (John 14:21). 

God gave us free-will because He wants us to think. Without free-will He would have to demand what he wants us to do; that does not inspire a relationship. He would prefer that we weigh our options and choose His Will for our lives. God is not a dictator. In governance terms, while Christians live in a theocracy, it appears much like a democracy, in that rules and laws are in place, but it is up to us to follow them. It is our choice and the consequences are in line with the action taken.

God’s Promises, God’s Will, Fruit of the Spirit, Free-will,
The freedom to choose

God’s promises are generally categorized according to the Fruit of the Spirit. This was an Ah-hah moment for me. I read, studied and wrote on the Fruit of the Spirit. I read and studied free-will and God’s Will, and when I began to read and study about God’s promises, it all began to come together.

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.

Free-Will, Water Cooler Talk, and Responsibility

We have free-will, but is it really free. God gave us free-will, the ability to act as we see fit, but it is not without responsibility. We have the freedom to choose to

live a Christ-like life or to live in the world allowing sin and self-righteousness to lead us down the earthen path.

But because Christ has risen, we have been given the gift of repentance. Repentance is not a free ’ get out of jail’ card. It does not mean that we can ask for forgiveness and then repeat the action over and over. It means much more. When we study the Bible, we learn the precepts instruct our daily lives. We repent to acknowledge our mistake before God and ask His forgiveness.


Christ has risen and we should not squander our birthright. Christ suffered the cross to save us from sin that was destined to doom us. Today we live a life that is afflicted by sin, but one that we can be redeemed from through repentance.
The sinful and wicked do not fear God. They flatter themselves to much to detect or hate sin. Their words are wicked and deceitful and they fail to act wisely or do good. They lay in bed plotting evil and commit themselves to a sinful course. They do not reject what is wrong, Psalm 36: 1-4 NIV. But for the grace of God, we can turn from our evil ways. Our free-will is like a two edge sword, we can cut away the evil sinful ways of the world and turn to our Lord. We can repent. The requisites of repentance is to turn away from evil and turn to the good. Our free-will gives us the ability to choose. (Read my Post, Pt.2, Wisdom Directs Your Steps.)

But what does that mean in our daily life? We must be diligent and listen to our thoughts and words in much the same way that you listen to your thoughts and how to verbalize them at work, school; to bosses, parents, leaders, associates and friends. Have you ever run free, doing as you pleased, and then looked around and realized you were running in circles – obstructing your ability to move forward into your destiny? How many times have you experienced doing what you pleased only to learn that the end result hurt or adversely affected your wellbeing? How often have you heard His quiet voice, or ignored His nudge only to wish you had followed His direction? As humans we often find ourselves in these situations.

Water Cooler Talk

For example – What about gossiping by the water cooler? How many times have you gossiped at the water cooler, feeling guilty about it, but continuing on to discover the person you are talking about is standing behind you? We know we should not gossip but we do. When I was working I tried to stay out of the gossip circles, away from the water cooler during lunchtime and breaks, but from time to time joined in and found I shared private information that got back to the person that shared it with me. I heard the quiet voice telling me not to get involved in the conversation, was warned through the nudge not to say it and then I heard my voice speaking out anyway. It was quick and I did not take heed. I immediately felt guilty but could not take it back, the act created the consequences, and my relationship with the person ended as abruptly as when I spoke about them. Other times it created a sense of distrust and our conversations became matter-of-fact, no longer friendly or open. These were learning moments. I learned to think before I spoke. I learned how betrayal hurt the person that was the topic of discussion and me. I learned to avoid environments that led to my downfall.

As humans, we always stumble over our own feet. We are always learning from our mistakes and attempting to apply God’s values in our daily lives. Thus, I go back to free-will is not free, it comes with responsibility. God gave us free-will as a gift, and it is our responsibility to use our free-will wisely. It is a lifelong learning process.

The purpose of free-will is to allow us to experience how to use it to further Gods will on earth. We are his ambassadors on earth. Freedom is not free, it is a choice. Freedom permits us to follow God and spread the Good News because we choose to follow our Lord. Free-will requires denying or dying to self, (Read my Post – Dying to Self) and putting God first. It means following his instruction, not picking and choosing, not being selective, but following all of His principles. It means that while we are experiencing our attempts to follow the principles, we mature as Christians, and in the process when we make mistakes or err, we can ask God’s forgiveness.

When we repent, our sin no longer exists, we will no longer carry the weight on our shoulders. It has been removed from us. Living a Christ-like existence leads us down the path of favor. He will help us spend our lives humbling ourselves, choosing to lookout for others and putting ourselves second, helping us to build our Christ-like character in this life. We practice are denying ourselves and following the Lord. Though our decision to deny self, we become obedient to the God’s call on our lives.

This leads us back to obedience, dependence and love, our March focus. No matter what we do, we can never get to far away from being obedient or dependent upon the Lord. It is through obedience that we can exercise our free-will and live a Christ-like life, embodying the character of Christ. It is through dependence that we become aware of our actions, behaviors and outbursts and, it is through love that we have the strength to persevere.

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:23-24‬ ‭NIV

“But don’t just try to follow a list of rules or be a ‘good Christian.’ Following Christ means believing you have no righteousness of your own and choosing to trust and enjoy Christ, knowing He is all you need.

The more you seek after Him with all of your heart and follow Him fully, the more He will become your All in all, cleansing you, satisfying your longings, healing your wounds, and forming you into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:29, Colossians 3:10).” [Know God’s Power and See His Glory. Bible.com]

Free-will is a gift, but like all gifts we choose how to use it. We can stray from the word and live in this world subscribing to its values of selfishness, lust, hate, pride, greed, dishonesty, and trustworthiness or we can turn to turn God and live using the values Jesus demonstrated during his short time on earth. Please do not think that the sin we fear is always boisterous, it is generally subtle and subdued. It sneaks up on you when you are distracted from the Word of God.

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Peter 5:8 AMP

Christ has risen, we have free-will and the responsibility attached to free-will is our gift to live by. Becoming an intentional Christian and joining the body of Christ, is a joy; our salvation is our rock, as we follow the Lord who is our light and our way. Jesus said,

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 NKJV

Websites – Other posts on faith, hope, obedience and dependence, and more on lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com
youngchristianwarriors.com
biblestudytools.com

Scriptures – Bible.com, Biblegateway.com

Images – Google Images. Bible.com. LAB’s photo collection

Thank you for spending time on my sites, if you like what you are reading, follow me, lisasdailyinspirations.wordpress.com and receive the daily inspirations in your inbox, or visit my other site, youngchristianwarriors.com and subscribe.