Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

I love watching movies. My favorites are comedies. Just stupid, silly, stuff, because I love laughing and these types of movies keep me lighthearted. But sometimes a line from one of these movies will jump out at me and make me think in real-life terms. 

In Tim Allen’s movie Galaxy Quest, he played a washed-up actor from a space themed TV show. As the captain of the ship, his famous saying was, "Never give up! Never surrender!"
Quickmeme

As I remember this line I begin to think, this is what God wants us to do. Never give up. And most definitely never surrender to the enemy. 

Think about that for a minute. How many times are we compelled to give up? When things get bad, the stress mounts, the drama doesn't quit, people continue to badger, manipulate, intimidate and bully. When the depression hits full force and the anxiety threatens to overtake us, that's when we need to stand strong and continue fighting.

Don't for one moment think that I don't have issues even now. God healed me five years ago. However the pressures of everyday life, the struggles with others, the drama with people who love nothing more than to spread malicious gossip and lies still exist. But there is a huge difference now in how I handle all of it.

For years I would get upset, cry, and feel helpless and hopeless because I just couldn't figure out why these things kept happening to me. I wondered, why wasn't God doing something about it? Why wasn't I getting any better? Why did people seem to always say hurtful, nasty things, or make up lies about me? Why do they twist words? I just couldn't figure it out. Maybe you can identify.

The pressure mounts. The anxiety gets so heavy that your heart even hurts. The depression gets so deep that you can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the hopelessness that you feel is so overwhelming that you truly wonder if you’re even saved. I’ve been there, too. For years I wondered, how could I be saved if I was feeling this down?

This, my dear friends is one of the most common attacks of the devil; to get you to question your salvation, your relationship with God. What a dirty, rotten, trick!

Ah! But God knows otherwise. When I wanted to give up, He kept my head above water. When I wanted to run, He kept me grounded. When people let me down, He showed me that He was still there. How? Through the grace, mercy, love, and understanding of true saints who were willing to take the time to show me and love me back to a God who was waiting patiently for me to just ask for help.

You see, I once lived in such a beat-up state mentally and emotionally that I couldn't function properly. I literally had to have someone tell me how to get better. Because I was afraid of everyone and everything, someone took me by the hand and said, "Do this, ask that, receive this..." on and on until the next thing I knew, I seemingly woke up. I walked out of the fog, the black hole, and the misery and intimidation of others, back into the land of the living, breathing the life that God wanted me to have!

I never gave up although I wanted to. I never surrendered although I wanted to. Now I’m here to encourage you;

Never give up! Never surrender!

Your situation may seem impossible. It’s not. People may try to tell you to give up. Don’t. Stand your ground. Put your foot down. Even Job had people come to him, trying to give him advice. None were right. Job stood his ground. Yes, he stumbled a time or two, but in the end God blessed him even more in the end than he was blessed in the beginning.

No matter what you’re going through, keep trusting God. Keep going to Him for direction, for healing, for comfort, for everything. Never give up on your situation. Never surrender to your feelings or to the well-meaning advice of others (even if they’re family) unless that advice comes straight from the Bible. Then still check it out for yourself. Read. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Let Him guide you.


Bottom line: whenever you are faced with an issue, when the pressure is on, when you feel as if you’re at your wit’s end, never give up and never surrender.


Blessings!
Shelley





** You can find more encouragement and inspiration in the books, Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information on upcoming books, new projects, free downloads and upcoming events, subscribe to my newsletter in the upper right hand column.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Get Back Up!

You’ve been in battle.  You have some scars.  You think you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel, or maybe you’ve hit the ground pretty hard and had the wind knocked out of you.  Life is tough sometimes.  Yet, you pick yourself back up because you’re not defeated.  You may feel as if you are, but you’re not.  You’re still breathing.  You can still walk.  Take a deep breath. You’re going to be just fine.

Every day we face things that maybe we weren’t planning for.  Everyday life throws things at us, sometimes big things, trying to break us.  Sometimes we think we’ve been broken.  We may even act broken.  We have the scars to prove we’ve been in battle.  Those markings we carry are the physical signs that we have fought, been knocked down, yet we arose.  That’s one thing the enemy of our souls has to admit, quite grudgingly at that; 



We. Got. Up.

Of course we did.  We had a great Role Model who demonstrated the power of getting back up.  Jesus did it when He rose from the grave.  He showed us how to do it.  In fact, we win all those battles because He got back up.  It’s because of His victory that we have victory. 


We may not feel victorious, especially after a tough battle.  We may have lost a few sparkles in our tiara.  We may have a few smudges on our face and our knees.  Our tutu may be ripped in a few places.  But we can still get back up.

Our enemy is out there sweet ones and he absolutely hates us because we belong to a God whom he can’t defeat.  Therefore since we are King’s Kids the devil will bully us and pick on us as much as he can to prevent us from being all we were created to be.  If he can plant one seed of doubt in you, he will.  So we battle. We will come through with some scars. But we won’t lose unless we quit. 

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. ~Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

So don’t quit.

Life may try to rip us and shred us and we in turn may feel as if we’ve been ripped and shredded.  However, we won’t be destroyed... just roughed up a bit here and there. Don’t be ashamed of that. Don’t be ashamed of your scars. Those scars tell a story and your story could just be what God wants to use to encourage someone else who needs to get through their own battle. 

Stand tall mighty warrior princess! You are a victorious daughter of the Most High God. You are more than a conqueror. You, precious one, may be battle weary but just when you feel like giving up is when you are at the precipice of a mighty victory.

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. ~1 John 5:4 (NLT) 



Blessings to you!


Shelley






** You can find more encouragement and inspiration in the books, Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information on upcoming books, new projects, free downloads and upcoming events, subscribe to my newsletter in the upper right hand column.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fluff Your Tutu

We all have those days.  You know the ones.  The alarm doesn’t go off.  You’re running late.  Flat tire.  Car is out of gas.  You hit every red light.  Oh, there’s a train.  And when you get through with all that someone bombards you with negative words, accusations, and a whole lot of junk.

That can knock your tiara sideways and wrinkle your tutu.

No worries.  Every day has issues of its own.  Regardless of your position, stay calm, adjust your tiara, fluff your tutu and keep going.  This is life.  And life can be pretty rough sometimes.  But we don’t have to let the negative things and people pull us down.  We were created for more than that.

Yes, we have an enemy who would like nothing more than to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10a) and everything associated with us.  Ah, but dear ones we also have a God who is crazy in love with us who wants to elevate us to bigger and better things.

The Lord will work out his plans for my life – for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. ~Psalms 138:8 (NLT)

You may wonder; if God loves me then why is all this happening?  Well lovelies, it’s because we live in a fallen world.  We live in a sinful world.  This world is not our home.  We’re just in it.  But we don’t have to be of it.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~Romans 12:2 (NLT)


Every day we have a choice.  We can choose to let our tutu wrinkle and be like the world around us.  Or we can fluff that tutu, adjust the tiara, square our shoulders, hold our head high, and march right through the mud and the muck with our eyes focused on Jesus.  Because let me tell you, when you adjust your tiara and move forward, you are letting the devil know that he can’t touch you.  By keeping your eyes on Jesus, He will guide you right through all the garbage of the world and lead you to the big plans He has for you.

Oh yes, He does have great big plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and they’re awesome.  Even though sometimes we lose sight of that, His plans never change.  His promises never change, either.  They are always “Yes!” and “Amen!” 

For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory. ~2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)(emphasis is mine)

Let me explain that just a bit; Yes is affirmative. It’s affirmation. It is permission to move forward. It is positive, never negative. Amen means yes, so be it, let it be so. It is the period after a resounding yes, putting the icing on the cake. It’s another affirmation and permission to let the yes go ahead and do it.

 Therefore, if God has given you a vision, a mission, a word to get up and go, then never let anyone tell you any different.

Keep calm. You belong to the Most High God.  Fluff your tutu dear lovely and go dance!


Blessings!

Shelley


** You can find more encouragement and inspiration in the books, Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For more information on upcoming books, new projects, free downloads and upcoming events, subscribe to my newsletter in the upper right hand column.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Safe!

I need you all to know something right now: You. Are. SAFE!

No matter what you’re going through, what you’ve been through, or where you’re at this moment, you are safe and can be safe if you’ll run to God.

Though our circumstances and our very lives can seem to be out of control, we can rest assured that God has us right where He wants us. It may not feel like it. However, when we feel overwhelmed, scared, tense, stressed, hurt, angry, anxious, ill, or even threatened, we can run to Him and He promises to shelter us, even to hide us, beneath His wings.


“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” ~Psalm 91:4 (NLT)

I know that being sheltered can mean a lot of different things to many people. However, to me it means that my God not only shelters me, but He keeps me protected. His promises never fail. He never goes back on any of them. He can be trusted for everything. Every little itty bitty thing in my life, God cares about. The same is true for you too, my lovely friend.

Let’s face it, there are a lot of ugly things going on right now in the world. It can get stressful. It can get ridiculous. It can play on our minds and get out of hand if we let it. Or we can turn to the One who never changes, Who is always steadfast, always anchored and allow Him to anchor us as well.


“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.  Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” ~Hebrews 6:18-20 (NLT, emphasis mine)

I find great hope in Him because He never changes. So I never have to worry about Him changing His mind on protecting me, saving me, healing me, or helping me. He promised He would and that will never change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” ~Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) He’s never mad at me or you, even in our worst times. I can back into something in my car, dent it pretty good, get out and utter a curse word, and God is still not mad at me. He still loves me and He is still protecting me. Of course, He does like it when I go to him and apologize (that’s called repenting). When I do, He is quick to forgive me and forget the incident, for which I’m even more thankful.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. ~1 John 1:9 (NLT)



 The point is that with Him I am safe. I am safe from everything and everyone who comes against me for whatever reason. And right now in my life, there are many things coming at me. The dent in the car was one of the minor ones.

God wants to protect us. He’s our Daddy, why wouldn’t He want to? Maybe that’s difficult for some to believe. Maybe your earthly dad wasn’t there for you. Maybe instead of protecting you, your earthly dad harmed you. For many, the earthly dad caused you to have a distorted view of the unconditional love of your heavenly Dad. It’s hard to imagine a God Who promises never to hurt you when your earthly dad did. I get that. So how do you get past it?

Here’s my suggestion:

Start reading God’s Word (the Bible). Use a translation that you can understand. I use the New Living Translation (as you’ve seen above). I also bounce back and forth between other translations like the New King James Version, the Amplified, the Message, and my most recent find, the Passion Translation, which reads like a beautiful love letter. Read whatever touches you. Just read! My recommendation is to start reading in the book of John (New Testament) and also the Psalms (Old Testament). You get a little bit of Old Testament and New Testament at the same time.

Whatever you do, be sure to let it soak in. Let it speak to you. Read a couple of verses and then think about what it’s saying. Take notes. Write down your thoughts. Write down His thoughts. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you about what He wants you to know in that passage.

 Everyone gets something different out of reading Scripture. I don’t know how it happens other than to say this is God’s Word, His Love Letter to you and me. It will say whatever He wants to say to YOU. And that’s the most beautiful thing about it.

He wants you to know right now that with Him, you are safe. From everything. Yes, we will go through some hard things. Tough things. Things that will cause us hurt. But through it all, He is there, He hurts with us. Yet, He is also teaching us something so pay attention and learn while you’re there because down the road He will have you use what you’ve learned to help someone else. I know this from personal experience.


Oh, how much you are loved right now, dear friends. It’s not a hoax. God is not a hoax. He is very real. He is very much in love with you. Whatever you’re going through right now, don’t allow the enemy (the devil) or someone who is nay saying to keep you from turning to the One True God who loves you more than life itself. After all… He gave His life once, then took it back up again to defeat the devil, death, and hell… All for us.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." ~John 16:33 (NLT, emphasis mine)

Blessings to you!

Shelley

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Field of Hope

Have you ever felt as if you’re smack in the middle of chaos? You know, nothing seems to be going right. Everywhere you turn, things fall apart. Something you were waiting and hoping for just fell through. Regardless of the situation or what is going on, you may feel as if your life just took a nosedive. You feel shattered. Yeah, I’m right there with you.


However, though we may feel as if our lives are out of control, they really aren’t. Oh sure, it seems that way on our end, but from where God is looking everything is going along right on schedule and He sees the beautiful outcome. Personally, I sometimes wish He would let me in on what He sees so I can maybe not feel so much tension and stress… know what I mean?

You know, what I’ve learned in these situations is that it’s not for me (or you) to know or even understand. These situations where the stress and tension are high, the heartbreak can give a large reading on the Richter Scale and someone just turned off the oxygen supply in the room where you’re sitting are just exercises for us to lean more heavily and more prominently on the LORD. These are for us to learn to trust Him in every aspect of our lives.

Yes, it feels as if your heart is going to shatter into a million pieces. Yes, it feels as if no one understands and maybe they even voice that to you, which breaks your heart even further. Yes, you are starting to wonder if even God loves you or even remembers you’re still here waiting for Him to do something… anything! Yet, He seems silent.

Trust me… God is anything but silent.

Oh, dear lovely siblings, God is right where He’s always been and you and I are right where He wants us to be. If you’ll stop for a moment with me and look around and even look up, I know we will find that He has led us straight into a field of hope where He is whispering to us, “Wait.”

That may be the hardest thing for any of us to do. Yet it’s what He has asked us to do. Wait. He is working everything out for each of us. He is making sure things are going the way He planned. And the beautiful thing about it all is God has us stalled in the field of hope so as to keep us safe. Oh, maybe we don’t feel safe; we feel battered, bruised, abused, neglected, hurt, shattered and hopeless.


What in the world would God have us doing out in a field, out in the open where we are like sitting ducks, where the enemy can take pot shots at us and we have no cover? Actually, while we are in said field, our hope is in the LORD. While we pause to wait on Him, He has us covered with His wings, protecting us, hiding us. The enemy is confused because we ran out into a field… then stopped. However, he can’t touch us because we are protected beneath the shadow of the wings of the LORD. 

Sounds like a fairytale doesn’t it? It’s not. Though we are in battle, we have found refuge. Like when playing tag… we are on Base and It can’t touch us.

In this time of battle, whatever it is we are battling, though we are a bit knocked around, scratched up, cracked, bruised, a little bloody here and there, we are still upright! Lovelies, we are still standing! So while we pause here in this field, catching our breath, it’s time to stand still… and wait.

Wait on the LORD. For in the waiting is our Hope. Remember, though the battle is real it is not ours. The battle is the LORD’s! He will fight this battle, whether He has us run headlong at the enemy, or whether He has us stand and wait. HE will fight for us and He will win the battle, therefore making us more than victorious over whatever situation we find ourselves in. Whether we caused ourselves to be put into the situation, or whether someone else threw us into it, GOD fights our battles and wins for us. And like I said, we come out victorious as well.

No matter what you’re going through today, look to the LORD for your refuge. Stand in the field of hope knowing the battle is already won and…


Wait.


Be Blessed,
Shelley



Shelley Wilburn is the author of Walking Healed and the Walking Healed Companion Bible study. You can find these books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Shelley also loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with Shelley through various social media, available at the links in the right margin, or email her at shelley@shelleywilburn.org.

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