ALL my HOPE is in JESUS!

On Sunday mornings, my three year old likes to run to the church doors. She can’t just run because, of course, my thirteen year old boy likes to race her. When this first started, she would get so upset because she can’t run as fast as him and as soon as he would pass her, she would stop dead in her tracks, throw her arms to her side, stomp her foot and begin to cry as loud as she could “He is going to beat me.” After several weeks of this she has finally learned to just keep running. I have taught her that if she quits running she has no chance of winning, but if she will keep trying, keep running, she will probably win (especially since I told her older brother that he has to let her touch the door first😉).

I tell this story today because maybe you are like me and the last dagger that could be thrown was thrown last night right before bedtime. You know, that one piece of information that was all you needed to throw in the towel. That whisper from the devil that makes you stop dead in your tracks, throw your arms to your side, stomp your foot and begin to cry as loud as you can and say “He is going to beat me.”

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

The devil comes in the little foxes and piles them on until I feel like I have really made a mistake taking all these Leaps of Faith for the Lord. I was fighting despair all night. How much lower can I get?

Yet, as I woke this morning and asked the Lord to speak to me, I opened my bible app that spoke about being faithful. Then I read about Job who was faithful during really hard times and where his faithfulness took him. And although my spirit is low, ALL MY HOPE IS IN JESUS. And then……then I was brought to the rest of the Bible verse I just shared above:

John 10:10…..I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

So today as I continue to sing and speak as if the “more abundantly” part has already arrived, I challenge you and encourage you to do the same with me. I am not going to “make” anything happen today, I am just going to practice playing the piano and singing and BELIEVE and speak as if my hopes are just a step away!! I won’t quit running today, will you?
Let’s Be Brave, Be Bold, Be a Disciple for Jesus Christ! Let’s touch that door!!!
Prayer starter: Dear God, we come to you so thankful for everything you have given us and not given us because we trust you more than we trust ourselves. We come to you so sorry for our sins, sorry for everything we have done wrong and failed to do right. Lord, all our hope is in you. Today we will continue to run, please help us and bless us with wisdom and courage and knowledge and understanding of you. In Jesus name we pray.

 

Love and prayers,
Shannon Kennedy Garrett

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the
Lord and your plans will be established.
 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:17

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Bad Habits

image.jpgI have told this story before but I have to tell it again. One day Brad and I were driving down the road. We have just been reunited after 29 years and were enjoying talking and catching up. Brad was driving and I was talking. About mid sentence, Brad looked at me and said “Would you please stop cussing?” I didn’t know what he was talking about. So I said “What?” He said every other word out of your mouth is a cuss word. At that moment, I had to realize who I had become. I am not saying I was some horrible monster but I was so careless about this precious life I had been given that I didn’t pay attention to the words that came out of my mouth. That day I vowed to try to stop cussing. It took about a year to break myself from this habit. I know cussing my not seem bad, it didn’t to me either. But the more I came to love the Lord, the more I wanted to honor Him. Honoring Him with my speech is something I wanted to do. So I moved to my next bad habit: gossiping. 

The next bad habit I broke was gossiping. (I actually got to look at Brad and say “Would you please stop gossiping?”😉) This habit is a little harder because many times it isn’t corrected or isn’t seen as bad. It actually is very common,so common that many see this habit like I saw cussing: we don’t even realize they are doing it.

James 1:26-27 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

The third habit I am working on is bridling my tongue when it concerns my prayers and needs. The Lord says to ask without doubting. Well, to do that means I can not pray and then speak negatively. To BELIEVE without doubting means for it to be so TRUE to me that I speak as if God has answered. So today I will begin speaking truth and life, speaking as though my prayers have been answered. That may seem easy but try it, it is very hard to speak this way.
Today I challenge you (and me) and encourage you (and me)to examine ourselves. What is it that you talk about that you need to change? Be Brave, Be Bold, Be a Disciple for Jesus Christ.
Prayer starter: Dear God, we come to you so thankful for all you have given us and not given us because we trust you more than we trust ourselves. We come to you sorry,so sorry for everything we have done wrong and failed to do right. Bless us Lord to be more righteous each and everyday so we can honor you. In Jesus name we pray.

Love and prayers,

Shannon Kennedy Garrett

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the
Lord and your plans will be established.
 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 1 Peter 3:17

How Big is Your Problem?

How BIG is Your Problem?

If you honor God, bless others thru your problems, Keep doing the next right thing, God will use your problem for your advantage.
I know this for sure. Would you have ever thought that Breast Cancer would lead to new friends, providing Hope for others, begin the development for a different future (maybe one of ministry)? How could I have ever predicted such a terrible problem could lead to such a wonderful blessing? God is the only explanation. God directed my steps, HE continues to do so. I must rejoice in my sufferings, rejoice regardless of what comes my way.

Today I challenge you to not run from your problems. Because when you have God on your side, your destiny is unimaginably wonderful!! I am excited today!! I rejoice in my sufferings!! I hope you can shake off your fear of your problems and see them as an opportunity for an extra ordinary future!!!

Psalms 107–150
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, 3 those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. 5 They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. 6 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. 8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Prayer starter: Dear God I come to you so very thankful for all you have given me. I come to you so very thankful for all you have not given me because I trust you more than I trust me. I come to you so sorry for my sins, sorry for all I have failed to do for you. I ask you to bless me with courage to endure whatever problem comes my way today and wisdom to know all things work for your good if I continue to serve you!! In Jesus name I pray!!

Feather Pillows

Feather Pillows

Here is a great story I found:
The story is told of a noble woman in medieval times who confessed to her priest that she was having trouble with gossip. Her priest, desiring to help her understand the gravity of her sin, told her to go home, tear open a feather pillow and dump the feathers out an upper story window, and then to come back. Upon her return, the priest told her “Now go and pick up all the feathers.” The woman protested that the feathers were now scattered all over the town and could not be picked up. Whereupon the priest said “And so is your gossip”.

Two questions remain: How many feathers am I spreading abroad? How many have spread so far they are impossible to pick up?

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken” Matthew 12:36

Gossip is such a normal event in our world today that to NOT gossip is actually hard work.
Today I challenge you to do the HARD WORK!! Be Bold, Be Brave, Be a Disciple for Christ!!

Prayer starter: Dear God, I come to you so thankful for all you have given me. I come to you so thankful for all you have not given me because I trust you more than I trust me. I come to you so sorry for all I have done wrong and so sorry for all I have failed to do. I ask you Lord to help me do the hard things, the right things, the things that bring me closer to you. In Jesus Name I pray.

And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! (NLT) ( Luke 6:33 )

Love everyone!! The ones who hurt you the most are the ones hurting the most and need to be loved the most!! May god bless you today and all the days of your life.
Love and prayers,
Shannon

Who are you accountable to?

imageWho are YOU Accountable to?

Every morning I read a devotional from Joyce Meyer. Some mornings the devotional is so powerful I can NOT help but share. I hope you enjoy it and it speaks to you like it has spoke to me today. Here it is:

Too many people never get around to fulfilling God’s purpose for their life because they’re so busy keeping everyone else happy. The world is filled with people who think they know what you should be doing with your life.

But the Bible says you will give an account to God, not anyone else, of how you’ve lived. So if you’re not already doing so, you need to start living in a way that will enable you to stand before Him without shame.

Romans 14:12-13
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Are you daring enough to follow your heart rather than the crowd? Are you focused even when many voices try to draw you away from your purpose?

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who wait for something to happen and those who make things happen. God has called you to do great things for His Kingdom, don’t shy away from it.

You need to be intentional. You need to live life on purpose. Don’t just wait around to see what everyone else is going to do and then follow the crowd. Stir yourself up, make a decision, and get going!

Prayer Starter: Dear God I come to you today so very thankful for all you have given me and for all you have not given me. I trust you more than I trust me. I come to you so sorry for my sins, so sorry for all I have failed to do for you. Lord, I only want to live my life to please You, not others. I boldly step into the purpose You have for me. I will not sit back, but I will purposefully live my life for You. In Jesus name I pray.

Your Hope!

imageYour HOPE!!

There will always be something arising that tries to steal your joy. There will be problems that arise from time to time. It could be as simple as a slow driver in front of you, a sister who offended you, a “friend” who speaks rudely or as serious as a coworker doing something wrong. The next time you have a chance , see this problem as an opportunity to develop your character. Because when you build your character you are strengthening your HOPE in the Lord!!
When you behave in a Godly manner when the situation is less than attractive, you are setting yourself up for God’s blessings. You may have a problem today that causes you to wonder what to do, to wonder how to handle. Trust in the Lord. Know that when you are walking right, the Lord will go before you.

Today I challenge you to take that problem and use it as an opportunity!! To behave Godly!! To develop your character!! To keep your joy!! Because when you do this, you are setting yourself up for lots of HOPE, the bible says so!!

Romans 5:3-5
3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Prayer starter: Dear God, I come to you so very thankful for all you have blessed me with. I come to you even more thankful for all you have not given me because I trust you more than I trust me. I come to you sorry for my sins, sorry for all I have failed to do for you. I ask that you fill me with HOPE today. I ask that you strengthen me Lord. I ask that you give me the wisdom and the courage to see that my problems are my source HOPE!!

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.(Romans 15:13)

Hungry for What?

Hungry? For What?

What are you feeding your self everyday? I ask because I use to feed myself with all kinds of things that were not necessarily bad but they also didn’t strengthen me, make me feel better, give me energy to push on. I could be talking about food here. I use to eat candy for lunch because the candy I would pick didn’t have many fat grams. So I could eat a box of Hot Tamales (girls from Walmart, do you remember this?) instead of a turkey sandwich. Now looking back that doesn’t sound too smart. But the great thing about life is we can always get up everyday and start NEW!!! What I ate Yesterday doesn’t matter if I will start eating good today. But actually I am not speaking about food we eat, I am speaking about the food we feed our soul. What do you feed your soul? What TV shows do you watch?Maury? Jerry Springer? What movies do you watch? 49 Shades of Gray? Think those shows are harmless? I would say they are like my Hot Tamales……not doing anything to make you strong, wise.

So this original thought “What do you feed yourself everyday” came to my mind when I walked around my house and realized my house is no longer filled with “junk”……every where though out my house are devotionals, up lifting messages, Godly pictures. The TV shows I watch are no longer “harmless”……they are God filled.

I was so shocked the other day when I walked in my kitchen and turned the page of a devotional I have and this is what I read:
Jeremiah 33:3

3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

I had never heard this bible verse before and I got so excited about the mighty things the Lord will reveal to me if I call out to him. I got so excited!! Then I thought to myself, if my life was not surrounded by Godly things like this devotional today, I would have missed out on this most beautiful information. I am so happy I am not feeding myself “harmless junk” anymore…….because I get so excited about the NEW AND MIGHTY THINGS GOD WILL REVEAL if I chose to fill myself with him. It makes me think of a song by Jeremy Camp “Christ In Me”

In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy
Can’t see the slaves we are in all the searching all the grasping
Like we deserve much more than all these blessing we’re holding
So now I’m running free into an ocean of mercy unending

So come and empty me
So that it’s you I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
‘Cause you’re my source of life
I need the world to see
That it’s Christ in me

I challenge you today to take a good look at that “harmless” show you like to watch or that “harmless” magazine you like to read or that “harmless” music you like to listen to and ask yourself “Is this feeding my soul with Godly things?” If the answer is NO, make a change. The smallest step in the right direction, will be the BEST step you have ever made.

Prayer starter: Dear God I come to you thankful for all you have given me. I come to you thankful for all you have not given me because I trust you more than I trust me. I come to you so sorry for my sins, sorry for all I have done wrong and sorry for all I have failed to do for you. Lead me Lord and convict me of what you want cut out of my life. Help me and strengthen me to only accept what feeds my soul with you!! In Jesus name I pray.image