Get Up. Get Prayed Up. Advance.

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Ever find yourself seemingly stuck in an endless funk? You feel as if you are held in a period of time where life seems to have dealt you a series of gloomy circumstances, in which your feet seem stuck in the drudgery of daily obligations.

The sound of your heart pangs instead of beating, your vision is clouded with the obscurity of worry and anxiety. The days appear to blur together and you simply feel that life is just too much to handle! So you sit down… and you stay there… You stay in a funk, stay tired, stay immobile, stay gloomy, stay unfocused, stay, worried, anxious and overwhelmed.

Time to get Steady: You are not obligated to remain in this season! You have a choice, to stay or choose to get up. Getting up means also mean looking forward. It is important that you remain to look forward, while moving forward.  If you are looking behind you, you will stumble.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because they trust in You (Lord).” – Isaiah 26:3

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze is straight before you.” Proverbs 4:25

Psalm 57:7 “My heart, God, is steadfast… ” This writer goes on to say that he will sing and even make music! His praise offers hope even in the midst of trial.

2 Thessalonians 3:5 “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

Get Ready: Focus on what is good. The best way to squash the two “Negative Nelly sound entrance ramps to your brain,” your ears, is to control what comes out of the exit ramp, your mouth!© Get ready to center your thoughts on what is going well, even if it is only ONE small thing. Now get ready for this, good news, given the world, a HUGE gift of perfect goodness, Jesus. Focus on Him.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” – Philippians 4:6-8

Get Up: Jesus gives strength when there is none. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Ask Him to give you a renewed hope to push past the dark days and move in the right direction with His guidance. Then get up knowing He is with you.

Get Prayed Up: Sometimes in your funk, things may seem so gloomy, you just may not know how to pray, so just start talking to God, just talk to him. He is always ready to listen to whatever you have to say, yes He even wants to hear your cries of pain, sadness, guilt or even disappointment! He loves you, He attends to the cries of your heart as well as the praises of your heart. Prayer is part a beautiful ongoing relationship with the Lord, that grows as you continue to spend time with Him.

Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Time for Advance: As you steady your feet, get up, and get prayed up, you’re ready for advance, to begin doing good works within your life and within the lives of others. Doing good works is also a work of self-discipline. You may not always feel like doing good things, yet the more you do things that are good the Lord equips and prepares you in advance to do good works! Wow, how amazing is that!

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Advance the kingdom in your home! What does that mean? Love your family like Jesus loves you! Find opportunities to do good things for your family. Forgive others quickly. Create a happy environment wherever you are. Bring a spirit of unity where there is division, just as Jesus did. Boldly show love even on days where love is the hardest emotion to show, that’s advancement!

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Steady

Ready

Get Up

Get Prayed Up

Advance

When God Reveals Himself Through Dreams, Visions and Unexpected Things

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When God Reveals Himself, well let’s just say it’s not always how one would expect.

Three summers ago I was feeling disconnected from God. I would not say that I was in disbelief that he was real. I wasn’t even questioning my own faith, salvation, or even grappling with believing the truth that he loves me, I suppose I just felt that he was distant. The cause of this disconnect could have been caused by many things: lack of reading his word, stress, fatigue, or illness. You name it, I’m sure I allowed it to affect my relationship and connection with God.

I did not like feeling detached from him and longed to draw closer in my relationship with God. In fact, I was growing quite depressed through this season. I began to pray daily for God to reveal his presence to me. Yet weeks went by and the feeling of depression deepened. One morning I woke up with a strange memory of something I saw in a brief dream. I saw a heavy-set woman, with brown skin, black hair in medium length braids, who was lying in front of a maroon car. The troubling part of this memory was that I also recalled this person had blood on her face and forehead. I said a short prayer, something like, “God help that person,” I then went about my day not giving it a second thought.

That afternoon, my husband called me and said he would be late coming home because he was pulled over at an accident. He then said that he didn’t think the person was going to survive and was praying for this young person.

I was cooking dinner and said a brief prayer for what he was witnessing and for the person involved in the accident. When my husband arrived home I went outside to greet him. He said, “That guy didn’t make it,” I immediately felt a sense of sadness for what my husband had witnessed and for the family who lost a loved one.

Something prompted me to ask my husband for more details about the accident. I asked if the car was reddish maroon in color. He said yes. My heart began to pound within my chest. I then said to him, “This is going to sound strange and I’m not trying to freak you out, but did this person have black hair, chubby cheeks, braided black hair, and blood on their face? He said, “Yes, why, did they already have someone reporting it on the news?” I said no, and began to tell him about what I saw in my vision (dream) earlier in the day . (Although I was a bit confused because I thought I saw a young woman in my dream.) My husband replied very calmly with one word , “huh?” I believe he was left speechless by what I had shared.

I was shaken up quite a bit, so I walked back into the house and sat on my bed and began to immediately cry. I felt such grief for someone I didn’t know, then immediately felt an overwhelming guilt for not praying for this person’s salvation after seeing this in my vision, even not fully understanding it was a prophetic dream of something yet to happen that very day.

After a few minutes of not being able to stop the tears from flowing and calm my racing heart, I then called my friend Julie and shared with her what had happened. She reminded me that the guilt I was feeling did not come from God and for some reason he chose to show me this vision to bring him glory. She even went on to say that she thought it was “cool” that God showed me this. (I did not think it was cool AT ALL.) Then she prayed for me. I was thankful for her and also comforted by her intentions to console me, but throughout the night I experienced emotions of fear, confusion, and even anger that God allowed me to see this. I could not shake the image from my thoughts. I felt such a heavy burden for not praying for an opportunity for him to receive salvation earlier in the day that I couldn’t even sleep!

The next day I saw a news story on the television about the accident. They broadcasted a picture of the person who died and I almost fell to my knees. It was the person I saw in my dream. This young man was beautiful, his hair was in braids and he had sweet chubby cheeks. I guess the details I had remembered in my dream were so brief that I failed to notice the person’s gender.

The reporter went on to state that the deceased victim was an 18-year-old high school student who was the son of a local pastor. The young man had been highly involved in his church’s music ministry. They interviewed friends who knew him and said he loved the Lord greatly, was extremely gifted, and loved others well.

My heart was once again overwhelmed, but this time I wasn’t overwhelmed in fear, but thankfulness, for knowing that he was with the Lord. I knew that not only had the Lord shown me that this boy was His, but he also showed me that he would use this young man’s life and death for purposes far beyond his or his family’s understanding.

It’s been 3 years since this prophetic dream and revelation occurred and it feels as if it just happened yesterday. I am grateful that the Lord continues to reveal his presence and grace in my own faith each day as I seek him in continual prayer.

To know that God was revealing himself by the witness of how this young man lived was heart touching. I am not a perfect example of how a person should live, I am a Christian but know I fail God daily. I was reminded through this brief prophetic dream that the Lord does use our lives to impact others. I will push forward through each day with the thought that each action, each thought, every decision that I make has a kingdom impact. I never want to leave this earth leaving someone wondering, “Did she know the Lord,” instead, leaving others with no doubt exclaiming  that, ” Wow this Lady knew and loved The Lord!”  I feel humbled that God also showed me that he works and reveals himself in many ways. I look forward to the honor of seeing how He will reveal Himself to me. Even though God may not reveal himself to you in the same way, he will reveal himself to you if you seek Him.

When God Reveals Himself Is It The Same For Everyone?

Not at all. Many people ask, “How does God reveal Himself,” or “how do I know if I am actually hearing from God?” It is important to first understand who God is so that you can better understand how God reveals himself. These things are true about God:

God is the creator— “He (God) created them male and female, and he blessed them and called them “human.” (Genesis 5:2). “It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” (Jeremiah 10:12)

God has unlimited knowledge— “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit,” (Psalm 147:5).
God has ultimate authority— “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10)
God has absolute power (Ephesians 1:19)
Throughout scripture God exists as One, but is revealed as three “persons”:

God the Father
God the Son (Jesus)
God the Holy Spirit (“advocate, advisor-helper”)
“In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1), “Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” (1 Corinthians 8:6), “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7).

God reveals himself to us through grace found in Jesus.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9).
If we walk in the light . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7).

If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us. (2 Timothy 2:12).
If we draw near to God, he will draw near to us. (James 4:8).
God reveals himself to us primarily through scripture.

God is revealed to individuals through active interaction with God’s word, reading and studying the scripture. Scripture, which was written thousands of years ago reveals God’s plan for humankind, and is God’s guidebook on how we should live. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 shows that God has revealed His will to us primarily through His Word. It says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The writings in the word of God are God inspired or “God breathed;” He purposely moved the prophets and scribes to write the words down. So it was not by their own initiative, but God instructed them and it became his communication to us.

God reveals himself through people and their life stories.

Throughout time there has been the unfolding story of how God relates to people and how people relate to God. God has never left us without a witness. He instructed those who he had revealed himself to, such as prophets, judges, and disciples, to write down what he said. Some of God’s revelation was revealed through dreams or visions.

For those that seek him, God is still active today so they can have a relationship with him. God may communicate through dreams or visions even today, but we need to carefully check any such guidance we receive with Scripture and godly counsel to be sure it is from the Lord. It is important to know that anything, which contradicts Scripture, is not from God. Our minds and even Satan are capable of producing great deception in such subjective areas.

How do you know it’s God?

As a Christian our decisions, words, as well as our character, should never contradict the Bible. For example if you have a thought or hear a voice saying, “Jesus didn’t die for you,” there’s about a 0% chance that it’s from God.
True revelation or inspiration comes from God. Trust that after seeking him in prayer about the matter that God will reveal whether it’s an idea or word from him. Usually there is confirmation through scripture, conversation with another Christian, or events that line up with the prophesy that God is revealing to you. It is my prayer that as God reveals to you who he is, his love for you and his plans for you that on the days you feel distant to God you will continue seeking him every day. Not only will he reveal himself to you he will bring about his provision in how he will use this revelation to grow you for his glory.
-Christina Calk-

Lead Me On Level Ground

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 Photo Credit: Felicia Sundgren

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!” (Psalm 143:10) This petition to God is very heartfelt. The author (David) wrote this verse as an appeal to God, asking Him to be taught how to be led by God as well as have a safe and ordered passage in which to be led. Why did he use the term, on level ground?” To be on level ground can be compared to land, such as a far reaching plain, with no valleys or crevices. Level ground would be peaceful and without obstacles to hinder the journey.

How can you teach your children to seek God’s will? First and foremost approach seeking God’s will as something modeled in your home through daily reading God’s word. Second, receive God’s word as truth and obediently seek to honor him in how you parent your child. As you carry out daily routines and chores find teachable moments where you can share the will of God in everyday life.

My family recently visited the gulf shores of Texas, as we walked along the beach I began collecting trash in a small bag I found on our path. As I picked up various items found along the beach I explained to my child that this world and everything in it belongs to God and that we should take care of his creation. The tide rolled in we noticed a green plastic wrapper in the water. Without missing a step she began towards the water to retrieve the item, she told me that the ocean also belonged to the animals, which God created, so we had to do our part to keep them healthy as well. My heart was full, knowing that I had taught her a simple lesson with a lifelong impact.

Our children are looking to us to lead them on level ground; we must do our part and know God’s will so that we can model it for our children. Their mindset and desires are deeply rooted in the culture in which we raise our children; they will likely never seek the will of God if it is not taught at home, it will simply seem unnatural and unimportant to them.

So pray the Psalm 143:10 prayer. Petition God’s will within your life and your home. Seek level ground and peaceable moments in which the Spirit of the Lord can move greatly within you and your children.

Psalm 103 Proclamation

Psalms 103! Wow what an amazing word to start off a new year! As you read every single word of this chapter know the Lord provides, forgives, and blesses.  Know that He models goodness and He is goodness, He is compassionate, and will transform you through His grace, forgiveness, selfless sacrifice and mercy.

Live out 2017 knowing that this is a new beginning for you and that Jesus loves you! 

-Christina Calk-

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Psalm 103 New Living Translation (NLT)
A psalm of David.

1 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
7 He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
15 Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
16 The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
17 But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
18 of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
20 Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
22 Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
New Living Translation (NLT)

Finding Your tribe & Finding Yourself, by Christina Calk

Parents who are raising children with special needs, including those with physical, learning or emotional challenges, may find themselves feeling overwhelmed. The importance of pairing up with other families who are facing the same difficulties cannot be understated. No one understands the stressors better than someone who is going through the same or similar experiences. Schedule play dates, meet up for lunch or plan dinners together. Your children will benefit from social interaction and your family can develop a bond through sharing trials or what you have overcome through difficulties you each have faced. Another important aspect of parenting special needs children is taking time out for you. Far too often parents feel guilty for participating in hobbies or outing without their children, yet planning time for yourself is a very healthy choice and can reduce stress. Additionally caregivers need to make time for themselves in order to keep their self-identity as an individual strong. Building your identity through your hobbies, such as playing an instrument, writing, painting, running, making crafts, volunteering at a church or community organization, etc. can help you pass on a legacy of strength through trial. Not giving up on your passions can even show your children that you are an individual who is not only their parent but a healthy person.

Christina Calk is the Author of Perseverant Parenting, and Board certified Biblical Counselor.

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Help Lupus Warrior Win Her Battle

teacher-2016https://www.gofundme.com/bone-marrow-for-a-teacher-hero?utm_medium=wdgt

Source: Help Lupus Warrior Win Her Battle

Christina is hard working Mom, Wife, Special Education Teacher, Published Author, Christian Speaker, Ordained Family Minister, Board Certified Biblical Counselor and she also serves in a local church helping families in need. Christina has an autoimmune disorder called Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE). Several rounds of failed Chemotherapy, long term medication, including medical infusions and numerous treatments have slowed the progress, yet SLE continues to wreak havoc on her joints, bones, skin, heart and many other systems body.There is Hope, A Bone Marrow Transplant: or “Restorative Therapy,” provides Stem cells that are be found in the bone marrow. Bone marrow stem cell transplants can be used to infuse healthy stem cells into the body to stimulate new bone marrow growth, suppress the disease, and reduce the possibility of a relapse. However insurance will not cover this lifesaving procedure. Stem Cells and Lupus Research: A stem cell transplant can be used to infuse healthy stem cells into the body to stimulate new bone marrow growth, suppress the disease, and reduce the possibility of further joint or tissue damage as well as reduce a relapse in the disorder. This process is usually repeated in 6 months to boost the immune system and keep the body from rejecting the healthy tissue. Stem cell research through bone marrow collection has shown to accelerate the pace of therapeutic benefits.These cells possess the potential to develop into many different types of healthy cells in the body. They actually serve as a repair system for the body. Mesenchymal stem cells are found in mature tissues that have already developed. The body uses these cells to replace damaged cells that die off throughout the normal course of life. As mesenchymal cells they are NOT collected from fetal tissue, these stem cells do not have the same ethical concerns or restrictions that embryonic stem cells do. Adult Stem Cells (Mesenchymal stem cells) or (MSC) are derived from bone marrow and are anti-inflammatory (stops the process of Lupus and damage from chronic painful inflammation and low blood counts).These anti-inflammatory cells have unique properties that make them attractive as therapy for autoimmune diseases. Unlike with other stem cells, MSCs lack the properties that enable the immune system to detect them as being foreign. Therefore: Donors and recipients do not have to match for treatment to be successful, reducing the risk of rejection. Recipients do not need to ablate (remove) their cells with chemotherapy, MSC treatment has been found to be effective and only minimal side effects reported and minimal infections have been reported after the treatment. Thank you for your donation of any amount and for helping Christina kick this autoimmune disorder (Systemic Lupus Erythematous) which will help renew her body, ease her pain and get her strong enough so that she can continue making a positive impact on the lives of those around her!