15 Things to Give Up in the New Year

As we move into 2017, here are 15 Things to Give Up in the New Year.  If you give up these 15 things you will experience more joy and fulfillment than every before.  Take time to prayerfully reflect on letting these 15 things go forever. Here’s a guide to help you take a spiritual retreat for the New Year.  Click Here to Download

Things to Give up

1. Doubting yourself

To doubt is to plummet into a sea of uncertainty where you lack conviction. If you allow this uncertainty to grow it will cause you to hold back, to hesitate and procrastinate.  Doubting will paralyze you and keep you from obtaining the fullness of your destiny. Your indecision will cause you to lack the confidence that you need to move forward into the New Year in faith.

2. Negative Thinking
A Pessimistic view will skew reality and put you in a bad mood. If you change your thinking you will change your world view. If you have a gloomy attitude heading into 2017, you will not be able to accomplish much. Negativity steals the joy out of life. As you go into the new year think on these things:

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT.

When you think on the positive of your identity in Christ your future will open up to you.

3. Fear of Failure

The Fear of Failure can sabotage your success. Fear is an unpleasant emotion that causes worry and anxiety. You begin to feel uneasy about your future. Let go of the fear of failure and ask for help. Embrace the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Be at peace with yourself and stop trying so hard. Do not let the fear of failure control whether you say “yes” or “no.” Joyce Meyer says, “Just because you feel fear doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Do it afraid”

4. Destructive Relationships

As you go into the New Year do not allow destructive relationships to control you. When you experience daily injury from another person through violent behavior you need to be safe from harm. Hostile relationships do not help you walk in peace. It’s important not to let go of our covenant relationships easily. Conflict can be an opportunity for greater intimacy. However, when a relationship has become detrimental to your health and well-being it is important to put up healthy boundaries.

5. Gossiping

Repeating rumors starts wars. Idol gossip assassinates someones reputation. Unfounded slander divides relationships. Gossip is destructive to you and your relationships.

Proverbs 16:28  says, A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;gossip separates the best of friends.

Giving up gossip is also determining in your heart that you won’t listen to slander about someone else.

6. Criticizing yourself and others

Gossip quickly leads to criticizing others in your mind and attitude. When you are constantly finding fault with another person you are no longer able to see or perceive clearly.

“Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?” James 4:11 MSG

When you put a stop to your critical attitude towards others, remember not to be critical or disapproving of yourself. Give yourself a break. Be gracious in how you think about yourself.

7. Anger

Anger can be a smoldering wick of quiet condemnation or it can be a violent outburst of wrath. Either way, when you have uncontrolled anger in your life it is like opening the door to a thief and inviting him to come in and take over.

“And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT.

Overcome your anger with God’s love. Forgive others and be free of all hostility.

8. Comfort Eating

In 2017 its time to let go of comfort eating. The next time you are tired, angry or stressed notice what you do. Do you find yourself looking in the pantry trying to find something to eat? Do you stop by a convenience store to buy your favorite snack? Do you think in your mind, “I deserve this because of my hard day?”  It’s time to let go of habits that are self-destructive.

9. Laziness

If you are unwilling to work or use energy, you may be struggling with laziness. You may not know it because you have been lying on the couch watching re-runs too unmotivated to get up and do something productive. Remember those things that fire up your passion. Begin to focus your mind and heart on your God-given destiny and shake off any laziness.

10. Negative Self-Talk

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was unprepared for how hard pregnancy would be. I found myself waddling around frustrated. Out of my mouth came these words, “I hate life.”What a terrible thing to say when you are pregnant and carrying life.

The enemy of our souls constantly belittles. If you are not careful you will mimic the enemy’s negative words. What are those words or phrases that you find yourself saying over and over in your mind that then it spills out your mouth?

  • I ALWAYS blow it
  • I can’t do anything right.
  • No one really likes me anyway.

Let go of these destructive words and begin to make positive confessions about your future and hope.

11. Procrastination

If you constantly delay or postpone what you know you should do, you are just creating strife in your life. Procrastination robs your potential. Don’t be denied what God is calling you to do.  Take advantage of the positive momentum of the New Year to focus on what is really important to you. As you focus on your priorities it will help you take one step forward at a time. You can do it!

12 Fear of Success

Your feelings of anxiety can get mixed up with your true desire to succeed in life. You may fear that you may be unable to cope with the responsibilities of success. You may be anxious that others will reject you. Or you may dread becoming someone else. The fear of success is debilitating. You were made for success.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT.

You have been created for a purpose. Success in God’s eyes is doing the good things that He prepared for you. His grace is sufficient for all that He has called you to do.

13. Anything Excessive

God has made all things for us to enjoy. However, anytime that we over-indulge in  good things it is destructive. In 2014 it is time to give up the excessive lifestyle of over-shopping, over-eating, over-indulging and to walk in self-control. Self control is a godly virtue that more of us need to embrace. His divine enablement helps us to quit addictive behaviors.

14. People Pleasing

You will sink your own ship if you trying to get everyone on board. In order for you to be the original creation of God, you have to accept that you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. You won’t be able to please everyone all of the time.  So in 2014 become a God-pleaser rather than a man-pleaser.

15. Fear of Future
Here we are at the intersection of time. If you blink, your present becomes your future. When you fear your future you welcome death. None of us are able to live in the past or stay in the present. Our lives are always moving forward with the greater cosmic picture of the universe.

The best way to let go of your fear of the future is to trust the ONE who holds your future. Trust in God who will never disappoint. That doesn’t mean that your life won’t at times be disappointing. It means rather that God is bigger the menial minutia of each day. His perspective ALWAYS bring life, hope and peace.

2017 is a Year of Open Doors

God’s perspective welcomes and even yearns for the future. The world we live in is wasting away, but the future shines brightly in eternity. Get your copy of 21 Days to Spiritual Breakthrough now! Click Here to Download

The Battle of the Sexes

The Battle of the Sexes in marriage

The Battle of the Sexes

The Battle of the sexes brings discord in our homes. God has made us to live in harmony rather than strife. The battle of the sexes is a disagreement or fight for power between a man and a woman. The enemy stages these attacks against us by whispering thoughts in our mind. These accusations if unchecked can cause our emotions to spiral downward until we are in are in a true battle. You may recognize his telltale warfare tactics. They often sound something like this:

“She ALWAYS does this…”

“He NEVER takes time to understand my needs…”

“I TOLD HIM what I needed, but he still did this…”

“She is SELFISH…”

“I’m NOT going to put up with this anymore…”

“She is never going to CHANGE…”

“If he is going to do this, then I am going to…”

Have you been in a battle of the sexes like this? If you are married, the answer may be– YES! The enemy hates marriages.

If you are in the middle of a battle, ask yourself this…

“Where did I allow the enemy to get a foothold in my mind and in my emotions?” I know that when I open the door by allowing the enemy access to my heart by dwelling on accusations I make my home vulnerable. As Christians we have the responsibility to close every door and window against satan’s attacks. We can guard our hearts and seek refuge in Jesus.

As I sought the Lord for insight on how I’d allowed the enemy access to my heart recently, He showed me a petty thing that my husband had done. He had sinned against me in a small way, but the dart had nonetheless wounded my heart. Jesus also showed me a deeper issue of recurring pain in my marriage. He led me to forgive my husband—completely. Then, like a skilled surgeon, He removed the enemy’s arrow out of my wounded heart. He flushed out the poison of hopelessness and renewed my heart with hope. He cut away the disappointment and filled the empty space with courage.

Week 5 – 9 Traits Marriage Study (Restoration)

Restoration—Understand this: Satan wants your divinely ordained marriage to fail. His battle tactics can cause injuries that, if left unattended, can certainly end in death. Restoration is a process of healing and building reinforcements to prevent future attacks. Jesus calls us to restoration in our relationships:

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11

Restoration repairs and rebuilds trust when it is compromised. Redemption is the divine exchange of our sin with God’s righteousness. Jesus is the only One who can pay off the debt that each spouse owes to the other.

Battle of the Sexes

Let’s discuss Chapter 8 of #MarriageRocks

Read Chapter 8 of 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage. Reflect and journal the following questions. If you signed up, you will receive a free download today in email that you can use.

  1. Has your mind been filled with thoughts from the enemy’s spiritual warfare tactics like described in chapter 8?

 

  1. What situations has your marriage endured that the enemy intended for a trap?

 

  1. “God is for our marriage to be healthy and life-giving.”
 What truths in God’s Word can you pray this week for a life-giving marriage?

We will see you back here Wednesday to discuss chapter 9.

Here’s a beautiful printable that reminds us that we take our lead from Christ. Jesus restores peace in our homes. Click the picture to download your copy.


Messy Marriage – Sue Detweiler #LifeGivingLinkup

Messy Marriage

Messy Marriage

We live in an instragram world that wants to portray us as living lives of flawless perfection.

I was touched by the honest reflection of Darlene Schacht as she shares her heart and brokenness in this video:

Painful Places

I don’t know the types of painful places that you have walked through, but I do know that you weren’t alone.

Darlene in her video mentioned key words from this Scripture

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly

above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that works in us…” Ephesians 3:20

In the midst of your biggest trial, if you surrender all to God He will do exceedingly abundantly more than you can imagine. That does not mean that you will get everything you want. It means that God is bigger than the situation you are in.
Click Here for Download

Jesus Steps Into Messy Marriages

When Jesus was faced with the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, He was both just and grace-giving. In His love for her, He didn’t condone her sin. However, His grace-filled-way made it possible for her to stand up with all of her accusers fleeing. Neither did Jesus condemn her. His grace made it possible for her to gain a fresh start.

Marriages are messy because the two people involved in the marriage are both imperfect sinners.

Does that mean that every marriage is repaired? No. The miracle of God’s grace is bigger. He goes deeper. He goes to the heart. He repairs the heart of every sinner that comes to Him. He doesn’t dish out cheap grace, but he sacrificially gives costly grace.

When Life Is Messy…

How is Jesus leading you to respond? Is he calling you to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness? Is He calling you to give mercy, grace, and truth to someone who has fallen? Whatever He is calling you to, His grace is sufficient. In fact, His power is perfected in weakness.

And He said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Today, be willing to wade into the mess of life. It’s out of our messes that He brings His message.

 Click Here for Download
 


When Your World Falls Apart… (Linkup)

When Your World Falls Apart…

When your world falls apart, who do you look to?

World Falls apart

One morning when I was standing at the kitchen sink with my hands in dishwater, my husband told me that the company he was working for was going under. Everyone was laid off. At that time in our lives, I was staying home with 4 small children ages 6, 4, 2, and newborn. It was not a good time for me to go out and find a job.

Watch this video:

Who Do You Look To, When Your World Falls Apart?

When something difficult happens in our lives, it’s easy to go into “fix-it mode.”  We try to figure out why something bad happened.

Fear Looks Down, Faith Looks Up

It’s appropriate to examine our lives to learn from our mistakes.  Yet if we aren’t careful, our heads hang down and we magnify the negative of the circumstances as we try to figure it all out.

Fear looks down and magnifies the negative.

Faith looks up and magnifies God.

Faith compares the circumstance to the mighty God of the Universe. God is not only able to help you learn from your mistakes, He is able to transform you in the process.

Your Set Back, Can Be God’s Set Up

All those years ago when my hands were in the dish-water after hearing about my husband being laid off, my heart was suddenly filled with a gift of faith.  God dropped in my heart these words that I said to my husband,  “Honey, it must mean that promotion is around the corner for you.”

Those faith-filled words, helped change my perspective. Rather that fearfully looking down, I looked up to God in faith. Over the years, I have seen God use my difficulties and the difficulties of others as a set up for His promotion.

Preparing for Promotion

If you are in a difficult situation, this is not the end of your story. God is for you. Here are some things that we can do to position ourselves for God’s promotion:

1. Humble Yourself

True humility is rightly seeing yourself and rightly seeing God. C.S. Lewis, a great Christian Theologian said this,

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

Walking in humility is not having poor self-esteem. True humility is the opposite of both pride and insecurity. Humility is seeing things with God’s perspective. God hates pride. 1 Peter 5:5 NLT says,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

Humility is not thinking of yourself more highly than you ought to think… nor thinking more lowly than you ought to think. Humility chooses to walk in God’s grace.

2. Dare to Dream

Seeing things God’s way calls you to look up. God is great and mighty. He has created each human being in His image. He invites each one of us to dream His dream. He is the master-designer and He created you on purpose. Ephesians 2:10 NLT says,

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

 

God has a plan. His plan is for your good. His plan is far more that you can hope for.

It’s at those twists and turns in your journey, that you need to remind yourself that this does not take God by surprise. It may be that he is preparing you for the next stage in your adventure in life.

3. Say Yes to God

At each transitional point in our lives, we have a fresh opportunity to say yes to God. I have found myself at a number of these turns praying these words:

God, I will go ANYWHERE You want me to go!

I will do ANYTHING You want me to do!

I will serve ANYONE You want me to serve.

I surrender. Show me and I will follow you.

God Promotes

God’s Promotion doesn’t come from the hand of man but from God Himself. He prepares you for His promotion by preparing your character to completely trust Him.

Your setback, can be His set-up for promotion.


Who do you trust to provide?

Who do you trust to provide?

Are you stressed when your checking account is overdrawn. You thought you had more money than you actually did. You are broke. Now what are you going to do?

Who do you trust

Watch this short video:

If you find yourself hanging your head, here are a few things that you can do to find help.

Find Healthy Financial Advisors

Turning on the Dave Ramsey show can be a very smart thing to do. I have known a number of families who have been overwhelmed by debt who have turned to principles of Financial Peace and found God’s peace in their finances. We have used the “envelope system” most of our married life to budget our finances and live within our means. These principles work because they are based on God’s principles.

Find Faith in God as Your Provider and Protector

Financial pressure shows who you depend on. Do you trust God to provide for you and show you how to be a faithful steward? Or do you rely on yourself to figure everything out?

After we had adopted our sons, my husband began waking up in the middle of the night. He was stressed about the cost of the adoption and how to provide for the needs of our large family.  He realized that he was trying to figure things out himself and it was causing him to lose sleep. Wayne knew this Scripture where Jesus said,

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26 NLT

Yet my husband Wayne, like most of us knew what Scripture said, but didn’t have a personal revelation of the Father Heart of God as his provider. He needed a fresh understanding of God’s goodness.

We also needed a fresh understanding of God as our protector. The economic downturn impacted everyone we knew. We needed to see God as the beacon of light keeping us from harm. We were concerned that in the economic stress of the time, we would be shipwrecked as a family.

Find Faith-Filled Solutions

As we began to pray together, the weight of this financial load began to lift off of my husband. We had a very clear word to sell our house to pay off the debt of the cost of our sons adoption. The economy was poor and large houses like ours were not selling well. But we believed that God had spoken to us. So we went to work as a family. We painted and had the home looking better than ever.

The real estate agent was a friend of ours. She and her husband followed in our footsteps and went to Brazil to adopt four children. We signed the contract, she put up the sign and left for the 6 week trip to Brazil. Before they returned from Brazil, not only did our house sell but we had moved out of it before she returned home to a nice commission check (which helped them pay off their adoption).

God had provided and protected us once again. Our faith in His goodness grows every time we face a difficult situation.

God is Good!

If you are in a tough place right now, know that you are not alone. Find the financial advisors to help you. Find fresh faith in God to provide for you and protect you. Find faith-filled solutions on how to walk through the situation trusting in God to help you.

I would love to hear your comments.


 

Jesus Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You

Jesus Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You

Today as I was prayer-walking to the park, I asked the Lord to give me another divine appointment. I was able to talk and share with one young man Matthew* again. We talked about his pain and past sin. We talked about how he felt stuck, even though he is only 20 years old. We prayed together and agreed that I would begin to send him Scriptures every day. Yesterday I sent:

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16 NKJV

As I came to the park, I saw the person that God was sending me to talk to today. His head was down with a cap on. As I walked by him he looked strong and defensive. I walked around the park 3 times praying for him and asking the Lord to show me how to begin the conversation.

I simply sat down next to him and we began to talk. His rough exterior soon melted to a man in a desperate situation. When he was 15 his life had crumpled after his grandmother who raised him in church died. He ended up in Dallas, with no real place to stay. His girl friend got pregnant and he decided to sell drugs to make money. It wasn’t long after that he was in jail serving time.

He got out of jail and got a job. Now 24 years old, working nights at Kroger, looking for a second job and paying child support after his girlfriend broke up with him.  Now homeless, he has to meet with his parole officer today who may put him back into prison because he no longer has an address he is living at. His girlfriend took his car, so he even as to get a ride to talk to his parole officer.

The weight of the world seemed to rest on David’s* shoulders. We began to talk about Scriptures. He knew the word because his grandmother raised him in church and he would read it every day. This Scriptures came out of his mouth.

Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV 

It was hard to walk away from David’s. We exchanged numbers and I promised to pray. (When I checked back in with him, he had found a ride).

As I walked back to my beautiful home, I contemplated the plight of the poor in North America. In many cities like Dallas, you have to have a car to go anywhere. You need a home address to get a good job. You need references and connections to open doors.  My heart goes out to the young men who have made bad choices, and have suffered the consequences and have been beaten down by life situations and the enemies tormenting words in their own minds.

God, break out hearts for the plight of the poor.

Give me your compassion for those who have suffered loss

and had nowhere to turn.

Give me compassion for the drug dealers and thieves

just like you had on the Cross.

Change my heart from self-protection

to have a heart of BOLD GRACE.

“Here I am Lord,

Send me.”

Isaiah 6:8

Sue Detweiler

SUE DETWEILER is a mother of six, author, speaker, and radio host with over 25 years of experience in leadership, ministry and education. Her book 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom is now available online and in book stores.

* Not the real names. Please use this story to pray for the plight of the homeless in North America.

Christian Parenting Is Founded on Hope

Christian Parenting is Founded on HOPE

Imagine the horror if you were Mary, the mother of Jesus, watching your son’s slow, painful death. You could barely stand by your son on that terrible never-ending day. Hearing the sound of the whip rip out chunks of your son’s flesh. Seeing the blood drip from His body as they mounted the cross on His shoulders. Smelling the scent of death in the sweat of your precious son as He carried the cross.

Christian Parenting is founded on Hope