My Favorite Christian Books

I have been asked a lot of questions on what helps me keep God first. My reply is I pray and I put God before everything. YES EVERYTHING!

Now a couple years ago I could not say that. I chose to follow my selfish ways and did what I thought was best for me and not what God wanted for me.

Yes I make mistakes, yes I have set back, and yes there are days that I have difficulty being nice and patient with others.

But what really helped was meditation and keeping God at the front of every single thing I did. I took myself out of the picture and allowed God to have his way instead of me. I always tell people 2 things 1) God is not going to ask you about me. Which means is that I am held accountable for what I do in life, not what others do. 2) You have to get out of your own way in order for God to have his way. Meaning you have to do things God is asking you to do rather that doing what you think you need to be doing.

I had the absolute hardest time trusting God with my life. I continued to go down my own road and make decisions based on my feelings or greed or just plain felt I deserved it. And that got me absolutely NO WHERE! So how could I possibly go wrong with allowing God to lead me, I mean I was making poor decisions and I didn’t like how I was doing it.

Ok so the reason for the post, I’ve always enjoyed reading so this is a list of books that I have read that helped me get back on track to God and trusting him with my life.

  1. The Bible – now I know what you’re thinking, well yeah the Bible, but this bible is very special to me. It’s a parallel bible with the New International Version on the left side and The Message form on the right side. The message form is completely regular English for a better understanding. I have a hard time understanding the verbiage used, however this helps me without having to look else where.
  2. The Purpose Driven Life  – this is a 40 day bible study that gives you an idea of what God really wants you to do in life and how to accomplish them. I like this book because it adapts to the person reading the book. It’s a very good read and I highly recommend this book if you’re having difficulty figuring out what God wants you to do.
  3. Living Beyond Your Feelings – this book really opened my eyes on what not to do with your feelings. I used to make long term decisions based on short term feelings and it has always been a disaster. This book explains why it’s so important to know and rely on God and not man; to make decisions rationally and not emotionally.
  4. Change Your Words Change Your Life – this books is geared towards how you speak things into existence. We have to be careful what we say, the more negative we speak, the more we see our burdens not our blessings, and that allows the devil a foothold on us.
  5. Power Words – this book shows focus on our words. What we say can change your life. I sometimes have the hardest time believing that I deserve the best and what God has for me is for me, however after reading how words can effect your every day blessings, I knew I had to change the words I said or how negatively I spoke.
  6. Wisdom for Women  – this is a 365 day devotional that I completed last year but I still keep this book next to my bed for reflection. It helps remind me that I can do anything through Christ. I have highlighted several passages to refer back to when I’m having not so great days.
  7. Battlefield of the Mind – we are what we think, so if you think you can’t, you’re right. This book really goes into detail how important it is to focus and direct our thoughts on what God wants and how God gives us everything we need. I felt like I was having a hard time thinking so negatively all the time. I know it seems like we don’t but have you ever talked yourself out of something you really wanted. I have done this so many times, I began to believe I didn’t deserve it. This book helped me to get my thoughts on track with what God wants and to focus on what I have instead of what I have not.
  8. Listen Love Repeat – this book shows you what real love is. “Love thy neighbor.” It gives examples on how to love one another as God loves you. I did a bible study with Proverbs 31 ministry and it helped me to realize the importance of listening and loving one another.
  9. The Best Yes – the is a self help book based on making decisions based on God and what is best for you. I enjoy reading books that encourage me to put God first and it helps with my decision making life. This book helped me to understand that a “no” is an answered prayer too.

Please leave any book recommendations in the comments. I am always looking forward to reading material that helps me get closer to God and becoming a better person.

Blessings.

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37 for my 37th-Birthday Life Lessons

Today, I can’t thank God enough for blessing me with 37 years of life. I look back at how far I have come and I am really excited about what I have coming in the next year.

As I turn another year older, I can only think of all the things that I have learned throughout the years. So, here are a few things I’d like to share that I have learned over the years:

  1. Be kind even when others aren’t.
  2. Everything doesn’t have to be talked about.
  3. Health is very important.
  4. Gossiping really does lead to trouble.
  5. Put NOTHING before God.
  6. God is a God of second, third, fourth chances.
  7. Family keeps you strong.
  8. True best friends are hard to find.
  9. This is never the end.
  10. God uses everyone, know matter who you are.
  11. Circumstances don’t last forever.
  12. Help without expectation of something in return.
  13. Prayer works.
  14. Talk to God throughout your day.
  15. Spend time alone…like really alone.
  16. Travel more.
  17. Keep a prayer journal.
  18. Read the Bible everyday.
  19. “No’s” are answered prayer too.
  20. Save money.
  21. Watch your words.
  22. Control your thoughts.
  23. Everything always works out.
  24. Books help your mind grow.
  25. Taking chances help expand your limits.
  26. Being afraid is ok.
  27. Positive thinking overcomes negative thoughts 
  28. Being YOU is very much ok.
  29. It’s ok to say no.
  30. Ask God every morning “what should I do for you today God?”
  31. Forgive yourself and others.
  32. It does not matter what other people think.
  33. Give back more.
  34. Don’t waste too much time with negative people.
  35. Worry less.
  36. Trust your gut.
  37. When life knocks you down, get back up and go harder.

This past year has been one that I will definitely remember. It has thrown me for a loop and a lot of unexpected things have happened. BUT GOD! 

I know that there will be more difficulties ahead, but its all about how to react to them. With God, I can do anything and I know he will be right there with me for the next 37 years.

I count my blessings not my burdens. I look at what I have, not what I have not. I have stopped comparing what I have with what someone else has. Plus it’s a waste of time.

Everything has a season in your life, and although you may feel like this isn’t your season in life, believe that there is a reason you are going through certain things in life and know that you will overcome anything that you maybe going through.

My birthday wish is that whomever is reading this is blessed tremendously. Know that God is right there with you and you can do anything through Christ.

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct they path.

This is the bible scripture I have meditated on daily, sometimes several times a day. It has helped me realize so much about my self and my relationship with God. He knows that I am not perfect, and he continues to forgive me, even when it’s hard for me to forgive myself.

Life is a blessing!

 

~Forgiveness~

Today at church, the father told a great story about forgiveness. He spoke of a man who never wanted any gifts from anyone, he never wanted help from anyone, he never wanted anything. He was so angry. This story really touched me.

During Hurricane Harvey, this particular person’s house flooded and he required the help of others, and everyday they showed up to help, and everyday the man was mad. Finally the father talked with him and the male told him of a story. He told the Father when he was 15 years old, his mom bought him everything he needed for baseball. The bat, glove, etc. The young boy loved it, he was so excited about it, he couldn’t believe his mom had done that for him. When his dad got home, the mom told him what she had bought for their son, which made the dad extremely upset. It made him so upset, that he pushed the wife and made her head bleed. From that point on, the young man never wanted anything from anyone and did not forgive his father for hitting his mom.

The male, now older, spoke with the father, and told him how he wanted to be forgiven for the way he has been acting towards others that were trying to help him, and he wants to forgive his father. The father stayed and prayed with him and told him that Jesus asks us to forgive the same way he forgives us. That day a weight was lifted off of the man’s shoulders and you could see the relief on his face.

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Could you imagine holding on to so much pain for so many years, what that could do to your body? What it could do your life? After listening to that, I realized that I too have difficulty forgiving those who have hurt me or forgiving those who have wronged me in some way. I’m sure my friends will tell you my attitude wasn’t the best, and I was always so negative.

God wants us to forgive others, not for them, but for YOU. When you hold on to anger, hatred, meanness etc., those don’t effect the person you’re angry at, they effect you and how you see life, and how you treat others.

Life is meant to be enjoyable and a blessing, but when we have these negative feelings, it hinders us to living the most amazing life. It also doesn’t allow you to work for God the way he needs you to work for him. Remember we are here to spread God’s love to others.

Let today be the day you let all the hurt feelings go. Forgive the person or persons who have done you wrong or talked about you. Release these negative thoughts so that you can let the positive vibes in.

PRAY – FORGIVE – LIVE

God wants you to enjoy every part of life and to enjoy life to the fullest. You can’t enjoy life with feelings of hate or trying to find ways to get back at someone. Pray, give it to God, forgive and watch how God changes your life.

Blessings.

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Matthew 18: 21-22 (21)Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22)Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

31 Days of Scripture

“If you are feeling inpatient, irritable, bitter, forgetful, disorganized, & disconnected from God, it’s time to tend to your soul– Grab your Bible, Get alone with God” – Courtney Joseph

I came across this the other day and knew that it was speaking to me. With life, it can be hard to just keep going and going, however you have to tend to yourself before others. What good is it to not care for yourself? Have you ever tried to care for others when you haven’t cared for yourself? It very hard to spread the love of God if you’re on empty.

I have put together 31 Days of Scriptures for anyone who could use a refuel on their self, as well as grow deeper in God. I’ve learned that if I continue to put God first, he will help take care of me.

So I have taken 31 topics to focus and pray on each day. Start on what ever day you choose, however, the sooner the better. Remember to mark your calendars for the next 31 days with the time to meet with God. Make this extremely intentional.

(the Bible translation is New Living Translation)

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Day 1: Hope – Psalm 39:7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

Day 2: ForgivenessLuke 17:4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Day 3: Love1 John 4:9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.

Day 4: PatienceColossians 1:11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy

Day 5: Sickness Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.

Day 6: HealthIsaiah 38:16 Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!

Day 7: MoneyPsalms 112:5 Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.

Day 8: EnvyEcclesiastes 4:4  Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

Day 9: GreedProverbs 28:25 Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity.

Day 10: JealousyProverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

Day 11: Your wordsJames 4:11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.

Day 12: FriendshipsRomans 5:10 – For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

Day 13:  Understanding – Proverbs 2:2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.

Day 14: ThoughtsEphesians 4:23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Day 15: Husband/Wife1 Corinthians 7:4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Day 16: Relationships2 John 1:9 Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son.

Day 17: ParentsProverbs 15:20 Sensible children bring joy to their father; foolish children despise their mother.

Day 18: Children – Colossians 3:20 Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.

Day 19: KindnessProverbs 11:17 Your kindness will reward you, but your cruelty will destroy you.

Day 20: Lust2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Day 21: DeceitProverbs 12:20 Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace!

Day 22: OccupationEphesians 6:7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

Day 23: SiblingsPsalms 103:17 But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children

Day 24: Your churchRomans 14:19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Day 25: Priest/Preachers2 Timothy 1:11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.

Day 26: GovernmentRomans 13:7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Day 27: NeighborsPsalms 101:5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

Day 28: Pets –  Genesis 1:25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

Day 29: LifeJohn 6:48 Yes, I am the bread of life!

Day 30:  Blessings – Dueteronomy 28:2 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse!

Day 31: Humble – James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

As a recommendation, you may want to keep a journal when you’re praying for the next 31 days. Write all your thoughts , desires, short comings, accomplishments down so that you can reflect on your journal at the end of your 31 days. To see how far you have come and what you have worked on in these 31 days is a sign that God is still working and helping you.

These days of scripture are to help with your every day life and accomplishing anything you put your mind to. I try to do this 3 times a year. This gives me the chance to really focus on what is important to me and what I need to improve on and how much I have grown . I also like to do this because it has brings me closer to God.

Hope you enjoy the 31 days of scripture.

God bless.

 

 

After the Storm – Goodbye Harvey

As we watched the news track the Tropical Storm Harvey and know that it’s headed this way but are unable to actually fully prepare for something like this has really shown the pride of the Houston and surrounding areas. Harvey then turn into a Hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast with a bang.

I’m sure you have all seen the news reports and pictures of how Houstonians really came together to help each other, but to actually experience this is something no t.v. news story can cover. To watch our community get crushed by rising flood waters and the thought that maybe we not recover from this is a haunting fear for all.

This storm not only rocked our world, but for most, crushed a spirit that was once thriving and vibrant.

Once the storm passed and the rivers continued to rise, we saw the devastation of what a flood can really do. The waters continued to rise on to the smaller cities near the Houston area. From Richmond to Rosenberg, from Wharton to El Campo to Glen Flora , Boling, Iago and the the rest of Wharton County,  these small towns were hit just as hard. Homes were lost, a lot of people were left to stay in parking lots and sleep in there vehicles or on tailgates of trucks.

I think I can say that no one is sad to see Harvey go. GOOD BYE HARVEY!

Just so all my readers know, HARVEY WILL NOT PREVAIL.

I evacuated to Wharton thinking that this would be the safest for me, my son, and my dog. The area I live in floods when there is a lot of rain, so I knew that I would be flooded in so I left. When it was clear for me to go home, that’s when I left Wharton to head back to Katy. However in less than a day, the Colorado river rose and the West Side of Wharton was over taken by river water.

The water continued to rise and began to take over the North Side. My son spoke with his grandfather and he said that the water just came so fast and before he knew it the water was in his house and he had to leave. He grandfather said “he had to know that God was looking out for him because he really doesn’t know how he made it out.”

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Wharton, TX

To see the stories of all my friends and others of the community of Wharton take such a hard blow, makes me also realize that our small city sticks together and helps each other. Once the word was out that flood had began, shelters were immediately opening for those who were already seeing high water. People continued to bring items needed. I was following all the action via Facebook. This community put together teams to help rescue with boats. It was people helping their community.

Following all my friend on Facebook, they have so many people helping others. They are currently having a food drive and cooking for those who aren’t able to go back home. This city has really shown how to stick together! To see people stepping up and leading the way to help out was a true blessing. #wearewharton

Wharton will RECOVER! 

I say that with extreme confidence! Our small town was built on determination and Tiger Pride. The citizens there are quick to defend their town and will do so at all cost. I do ask for your continued prayers for our town. Its small but its STRONG!

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