Tag Archives: optimism

Simple Optimism: Encouragement for the Day

True optimism is not found in a random positive quote from the internet (though some of them are quite good), but by taking a personal inventory of your God-given greatness.

What do you possess that others admire or that God Himself adores about you?

We all have something.

How can I be so sure?

Because His word says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And that we are created in His image. If He says it, then it must be true.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Try this: list at least five things that you love about yourself.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

How did it go? Was this an easy activity for you? Or did you find it a bit challenging?

In all honesty, this took me some time. Not because I don’t love myself, but rather because I don’t think of these specific characteristics often. Yet, this practice of positive thinking is not only biblical but extremely healthy for us. Positive thoughts truly do produce a positive outlook. And the manner in which we carry out our day is ALWAYS driven by an outlook (whether negative or positive).

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

Focusing on the good within ourselves cultivates a deep desire to practice “self care”. This is both loving and wise.

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

So, here goes…..

1. I love my ability to communicate, whether it’s through public speaking or writing a piece of material. And I really enjoy reading my own work.

2. I love my passion towards making a positive difference in other people’s lives.

3. I love my entrepreneurial spirit and my ability to cast vision to others.

4. I love my laugh.

5. I love my deep-embedded interest for foreign travel and cultural experiences.

Now, here’s for another exercise. How about listing 5 things that you would describe as positive in the world that surrounds you. What do you enjoy? What do you appreciate in all of God’s creation? 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Was that exercise a bit easier? For me it was. Now can you see the importance of setting your mind on the things that produce joy, laughter, motivation, and determination in order to retain an optimistic mindset?

“Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:2

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

Here’s my list from this morning: 

1. I’m thrilled that I get to wake up and enjoy a mug of my hot green/jasmine tea.

2. I really enjoy my garden. I get so tickled every time a new beautiful bud begins to bloom. And the fact that I can cook with my fresh herbs.

3. I really like the idea of having a blank canvas each day, and the fact that it’s completely up to me in how I choose to live my day.

4. To add to point #3, I love that God gives me a dose of totally fresh and new mercies to tap into for whatever I need for the day. It’s just so cool.

5. I love that I can listen to Argentinean tango, cook a good meal, and stare into my husband’s face while catching up on each others lives. It’s just good stuff.

May these two simple exercises spark an appreciation both for the person that God designed you to be and for the world that surrounds you. There is so much treasure that can be found in every single day; we just have to look for it. This search always starts with an optimistic outlook, beloved. 

Feel free to post your comments below, because I’d love to hear from you!

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7 Steps: A Taste of Inner Healing through Deliverance

As I sit in a café at the center of the East Atlanta village, the Lord is asking me to share some specific truths with you today. In this lifetime, I have had to overcome a great deal of trauma. At one point, the weight of it led me straight to my knees in utter desperation for divine intervention. That also led me into the comfy chair of a Christian counselor, where I received counseling over about four years. We covered every area where I possibly could have created or accepted some distorted view of God, myself, and others.

Part of my counseling was a specialized therapy known as deliverance counseling, an entire niche of counseling that incorporates the basic, biblical principles of receiving full redemption through the grace and power of Jesus Christ. And on Monday, we’ll release an incredible interview (on this very topic) from a L.P.C. (Licensed Professional Counselor) with the intent to gain a deeper knowledge in understanding the value of therapy (as a conduit for the healing power of Jesus) in our lives.
By leaning on His strength, this process is actually incredibly simple, yet it has the potential to usher in a profoundly powerful, life-changing experience.

Deliverance counseling addresses all of the lies that somehow took root in our lives. These very lies (in the form of spiritual weeds) can become full-time residents in our heart, even destroying entire areas. Hence, we can arrive at a place where counseling becomes a necessity.

If you are not living to the potential God has created you for, I guarantee there are some lies that have grown to the point where they now influence your choices today. (And if you don’t know the specific lies, e pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them.)

Here are 7 steps that I was taught about receiving God’s healing and truth in areas of my heart that had been filled with lies:

1.       Begin to praise the name of the Lord. Thank Him for all the things He has done for you in your life. This action welcomes the presence of the Lord.

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:1-5

2.       Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to receive what He shows you. Ask for a spirit of humility.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10

3.       Pray for Jesus to show you (through revelations from the Holy Spirit) what lies you are believing in your heart. Ask Him to bring what is in darkness into light, that you may be made free.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24

4.       Once specific lies come to mind, ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness in believing these lies. Repentance brings healing.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

5.      Next, you need to renounce each lie with the power and authority Christ has given you. You have power over all darkness because Jesus has conquered the grave.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Acts 1:8

6.       Next, you will need to counter each lie with God’s truth. Emptying yourself of lies through His power is imperative, but you must also replace it with biblical truth.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:13

Here is an example of some verbiage: “I rebuke and renounce this lie that I am not worthy to be loved in the name of Jesus Christ. I refuse to believe this lie, because God’s word says that He loved me so much that He sent His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ to die for me (John3:16). I am worthy to be loved because I am made in His image according to Genesis 1:27″

7.       If the enemy attempts to tempt you with this lie again, you should repeat the exact same steps. For example, if you’ve repeatedly struggled with feelings of unworthiness, immediately rebuke it with the power He’s given you and speak the truth over yourself, as in steps one through six.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Don’t be deceived; as the enemy continues to throw out these lies, they can (slowly but surely) perpetuate both low self-esteem and various fears. If you take no action, those lies will not go away. However, our intentional action (through the grace of our Lord) does make an impact, and we must be alert and cunning (with God’s strength). May His will be done, and may He alone be glorified!

Join us on Monday for an incredible interview with a sharp, Jesus-loving, deeply gifted counselor as she shares her heart on the power of therapy within the Christian community. Prepare to gain insight and perhaps to be challenged.

Know someone who would be encouraged by this post? Please pass it along through any of our various outlets shown below. Thank you! To God be the glory!

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How to Overcome Obstacles

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
                                                                                                Colossians 1:10-12

Obstacles.

For as long as I can remember, encountering obstacles would make me crumple up in despair. Without attempting to overcome the blockade, I would remain trapped back where my dream originally began.

Not very productive, I know. 

So yesterday, while strolling along the Chattachoochee river and sipping on Haitian coffee, I wasn’t at all surprised when the Lord began to speak to me about this specific issue – my inability to consistently overcome obstacles. Instead of shying away from this holy and paternal insight on my life, I chose to meet Him with enthusiasm and wonder. I wanted to discover how this behavior could be overcome. No longer did I want to regret my yet unrealized dreams.

And this is where it all begins, beloved. With the desire to change.

What is an obstacle?

According to Websters, obstacles are defined as something that impedes (delays) progress or achievement; a barrier, a hindrance, or a blocking.

Even this definition alone makes me annoyed.

But, I challenge you to take a look at what some of our world’s greatest leaders have said concerning this issue of overcoming obstacles.

 “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
 
“The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” – B.C. Forbes
 
“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” – Mahatma Gandhi

These leaders were great because they did great things. And they did great things because they simply overcame their obstacles. I want to do this, too.

How about you?

I want to be great through Christ. I want to own a successful company. I want to publish books. I want to speak more languages. I want to impact nations for Christ. I want to be a submissive wife. I  want to earn my PhD. I want a Bed ‘n’ Breakfast on a farm to host missionaries.  I want to learn to sail. I want an incredible marriage. I want to touch thousands upon thousands of lives (through His grace).

Deep within my core, I know these dreams will require much more than just a vision and good intentions to be realized. I will have to mature in overcoming obstacles in order to experience a life of greatness. And so will you, my friend.

What unrealized dreams do you have waiting at the doorstep of your heart?

Here are three ideas the Lord spoke into my mind yesterday afternoon:

1. Set your eyes on the goal, but don’t overlook the journey. I am a visionary, which means I naturally focus most of my attention on the expected outcome (the goal). Because so much detail and planning goes into the actual vision of the end result, I become incredibly distraught when things don’t go according to plan. Which leads me to the next point…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

2. Remain flexible and seek alternate solutions. This statement is synonymous with two simple but important words: “problem-solver.” And this is not my forte. The idea of picking myself up (with the aid of Christ), contemplating a myriad of alternate solutions, and failing countless times before encountering success seems noble (yet daunting). But it’d be much easier to just cry and postpone the goal till a more “fit season,” delaying the gratification for another time. Many refer to this more candidly as “procrastination.” However, through the strength of Jesus Christ, we can persevere. The notion is simple: Don’t give up until you find the best solution to meet your goal.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11

3. Expect obstacles before reaching the goal. If we ever set out to change our reality by pursuing a dream or a goal, we must expect obstacles. Along with accepting that our plans may need to adapt along the way. Once we confront the obstacle, slow down, and begin problem-solving, then we can then truly determine if the goal is worth the pursuit. This often fuels a deeper sense of enjoyment and fulfillment once we finally obtain the goal or dream. All great things come at a great cost.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

May we press on to reach the goals which are set out before us and may the God Eternal receive all the glory! Know someone who would be encouraged by this article? Please pass it along using any of our social outlets listed below. Thank you for choosing HIs Daily Dose today!

Are you currently a subscriber? If not, we would love to have you. Just click HERE to begin receiving daily, encouraging posts sent straight to your inbox each morning. Thank you!

 

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