Have you ever prayed for something you so desperately wanted, and the answer was no? God shut the door with regard to your request. We are resistant to hearing the word “no”, especially in a culture that is so “yes” oriented.

Depending on the circumstance, it can be heart wrenching. However, when we pray, there are only three answers we can receive. gethsemaneYes, maybe later, or no. Though it isn’t what we want to hear, no is still an answer

We need to have faith that whatever answer The Lord gives is for the best. God always has a reason for the decisions He makes. We may not be able to see the purpose for years, maybe never. However, believing that His will is better than ours gives us peace that things will work out.

Some people believe when God says no, it’s because of a past sin. However, even good Christians don’t have all their prayers answered. Jesus was even told no. Matthew 26:39 reads, Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” No other person had ever been sin free. Yet when Jesus asked the he be released from the cross, God said no.

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BIBLICALLY, WAITING is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be. – John Ortberg, Christian speaker and pastor
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One of the hardest parts of being denied is not understanding the reason why. In most cases, God doesn’t explain his reasons. We need to trust that His choice is the right one. Maybe you’ve prayed for a new job offer. When you didn’t get the job, you couldn’t figure out why God said no. Then two years later the company went bankrupt.

God might also be saying no as a way to protect you. He keeps you from traveling home for the holidays only for you to read gods-noabout that terrible accident on the highway that you would have been caught in. I’m sure a lot of people were disappointed they couldn’t be on the maiden voyage of the Titanic— until it sank.

Sometimes no is for our own good.

God might turn us down because He has something better planned. We don’t always see what the future holds. Only He knows the outcome ahead of time. Trust in Him to know what’s best for you.

No matter the Lord’s response, we must accept the answer and move on. Arguing, pleading, and ignoring Him will not change the outcome.

And remember, a father will only say no with the best intensions of his children.

Has God ever answered you with a no, or made you wait for something you really wanted? Please share your story below.

And if this post has touched you in some way, feel free to share it on your social media sites.

How many of you recall being compared to a sibling when you were younger? Why don’t you study as hard as …, or why aren’t you thin like … So many of us are insecure because we were constantly compared to others growing up. And it doesn’t stop when study we’re children.

“When will you marry like your sister Sue?” “When will you have children like Carol?” Our lives can be a never ending barrage of comparisons. Because of this, we think we can never measure up.

We all have a terrible habit of comparing ourselves to others. Not just that movie star, but former classmates, friends, our mothers, and especially other Christians. And if we continually compare ourselves to other Christians, we might end up feeling inferior in our walk with Jesus.

How are you supposed to compete with someone who appears to know every Bible verse off the top of their head? Then there are those Christians that can tell you the exact moment they came to Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I barely recall what I had for breakfast, much less where in the Bible the woman touched Jesus’s cloak to stop her bleeding. Does that make these believers better Christians than me? Of course not. And they are no better than you either.

Comparing yourself to another only leads to low self esteem and loss of joy. You find yourself feeling bad because you don’t know as much as Ellen, you don’t do as many volunteer hours as April, etc. You can even fuel a competitiveness to do more than this other person. In turn you make your actions less about serving God and more about your ego.

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THE REASON we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steve Furtick, Author and Pastor.

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If you have a habit of comparing yourself to others, you need to realize that Jesus meets you right where you are now. And did you know that by comparing yourself to others, you are essentially idolizing that person.

Trust me when I tell you that when you get to Heaven, God isn’t going to ask you about anyone else. Did you do with your gifts what He asked of you? And did you do it with Him in your heart? You will not get into Heaven on someone else’s faith.

Galatians 1:10 reads, Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. In most cases, when you compare yourself to another, it’s Heavenbecause the world is saying you’re not good enough. It’s definitely not Jesus’s voice you hear.

The Lord would never put you down. He’s all about building up with grace, joy, and love. And when comparing, you have a tendency to overestimate what you’re seeing. Most people are not as great as you imagine.

Remember, God doesn’t measure you against anyone else. He knows what’s in your heart, and that’s the most important thing. So be happy with who you are and where you are now, especially in your Christian walk. I have a feeling you’re in a better place than you were last year.

What or who do you compare yourself to? Did you have a parent who always pitted you against a sibling? How did it affect you? How have you worked through it? I’d love to hear your story. Please share your comments below.

And if this post has touched you in some way, feel free to share it on your social media sites.

 

Ask anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight, and they can tell you in a flat second what it means to hit a plateau. For those who don’t know, it means losing weight for about a month or two, then the pounds no longer come off. You get discouraged and feel Scaleslike giving up. There’s only one solution, you have to change what you’re doing, and do something extreme.

The same is true on your Christian walk. We have all had our faith ebb and flow. New Christians appear to be the most excited about the Lord. Yet in time, their joy seems to diminish. When that happens, some walk away thinking it wasn’t real in the first place.

What exactly is a plateau? According to dictionary.com, it’s a state or period of little or no growth or decline. If your faith has hit a plateau, it means you don’t feel like you’re growing much in Jesus. Basically you feel stale in your walk, or you’re in a rut with your faith.

There are things you can do to get that joy back. You have to be extreme. You have to move forward and change the way you are doing things.

Being extreme means different things to different people. With regard to exercise, it might mean adding an extra mile to your run. Others, it might mean adding jumping jacks and squat thrusts. When it comes to your faith, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen, go to a large Christian conference, or even teach a Bible study at your church.

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There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee
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Most of the time our euphoria diminishes when it comes to our faith because we’re not involved with other Christians. God wants us to be with other believers so we don’t lose our faith. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. By being with other believers, we keep that joy alive. We’re able to learn more about Jesus and to learn what works for others when they’ve hit these plateaus in their faith.

And the more you do in Jesus’ name, the more you will keep that joy. When you are studying the Bible in order to teach a class, you can’t help but feel God’s presence. The more time you spend with other believers and with His book, the less chance you will ebb and flow.

HaitiEveryone has good days and bad with it comes to faith. You just need to hold on. And if things have gotten really bad, get extreme. Go on a mission trip to Haiti or start your own Bible study group. Even greeting people at the door of your church can help get those joyful feelings back.

Once we get sedate in our belief, the less we feel the Lord in our lives. The only way to get it back is to change what it is you are doing. So step out and do something extreme.

Have you ever had times where you felt you were on a plateau with your faith? If so, how did you get that feeling of joy back?

Please share your comments below. And if this post has touched you in some way, feel free to share it on your social media sites.

This is not my usual post where I try to teach. In fact, this week it might be me who needs the lesson. I am looking for opinions. Yes, sometimes I make mistakes, and I’d like to know if I stepped over the line with this one.

Let me start by saying, I know the Bible states in Matthew 7:1-2, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” I try to keep that in the  Gavelforefront of my mind when dealing with people, otherwise I can be notoriously judgmental. Just ask my daughters. They’ll tell you I’m the first to point a finger at someone else without realizing I have three more pointing back at me. It comes from that self-hate thing I used to have. But God’s working on me with it, so I’ve gotten better.

I also know people aren’t perfect. Not even Christians. Especially Christians.

But when a Christian does something I find anti-Jesus, I have a tendency to point it out. Sometimes loudly. For instance there are liberal Christians who believe abortion should be legal. They state that we shouldn’t judge a woman without walking in her shoes. I’m not judging the woman when I say abortion is wrong, I’m saying the action is wrong. Again, we all sin. I just feel as a Christian, abortion is not something you should support.

I believe you should also not make your political agenda more important than your walk with Jesus. Case in point, a friend of mine, a Christian minister at that, is very liberal. I like to make remarks on her social media posts to try to get others to use their own brains instead of allowing others to think for them. Now don’t start to believe I’m some die-hard conservative, because I’m not. I’m a moderate. There’s good and bad on both sides of the fence. If she posts something I agree with, I state that also.

However, this friend posted an article about the Hobby Lobby ruling. What I found appalling was the article came from an atheist website.

websiteI was stunned.

I let her know that a Christian should not use an atheist website to promote their political opinion. She explained that the man was a friend and honest. So honest, he didn’t get the ruling correct, but that’s beside the point. I didn’t care if he was the prettiest flower on the bush. Sending people to his website, in my opinion, is tantamount to endorsing his views.

Am I wrong?

I believe our goal as Christians is to bring others to Jesus Christ. By sending someone to a nonbeliever’s website, are you not chancing that a person who might be undecided about God might choose this guy’s beliefs to follow instead?

Since many of you are Christians, I would like to know what you would have done. Was I out of line? Or are their certain lines you feel Christians should not cross, and if so, what are they?

And if this post hit your heart in some way, please feel free to share it on your social media sites.

 

 

 

How much is a life worth? If you were to ask the terrorists over in the Arab nations, you’d think they didn’t value life at all. Between bombings, kidnappings, and shootings, they don’t seem to blink when several people die at once. We Americans Bombingswatch what’s going on and shake our heads. How can people not care about others?

What is worse? A country full of people who kill others based on a religious belief? Or a country full of Christians who allow others to die and refuse to do anything about it?

We Americans are raising a generation of children who care about no one but themselves. If you want something from another or you just don’t like someone, shoot them. If someone treats you badly, kill them. Forget your baby is in the back of your hot car, get sympathy instead of arrested. If your spouse says she’s leaving you, get even by killing the kids. Have an unwanted pregnancy, abort it. These have all become too common place in this country.

From my point of view, the value of human life in America isn’t any higher than in the Middle East.

But according to the Bible, we are to value others. We are to be Christlike. Jesus didn’t kill, he didn’t harm. He loved. He loved So truethose who were needy, those who were poor, those who were rich, and children. He loved everyone. And we are to do the same. Romans 13:8-10 reads, Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Christians have allowed political correctness to overtake this country because we don’t want to be seen as intolerant or pushing our beliefs on others. And in the end God has left this country, and the devil is taking over.

Isn’t it time we run Satan out of the United States? We need to bring back love. We need to value human life more than we have been. In order to do that, we must raise our children to value others. Stop making it all about them. Basically bring back Jesus.

Abortion should be outlawed except when it comes to the health of the mother. I’m just shocked at how little we regard out children, considering them a nothing until they take their first breath. Life must be valued, even if that means in the womb.

We have to treat others as we’d like to be treated. This is the number one rule we should teach in our schools. Telling a bully to not be mean doesn’t work if they don’t know any other way to behave. After all, kids learn from example.

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“Kindness is like a warm blanket of snow, softly covering and gently touching the heart.” ― Heather Wolf, A Snowy Day

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Showing love is the best way to prove you value someone. I say we start today. Make this a week of love. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated. Be kind to everyone from the stock boy at the store to the old woman who cleans your office. Show others that you value them by hanging up your cell phone before you talk with them.

The more you make others feel loved and valued, the less likely they might be to harm others. And isn’t that what being a Christian is all about?

What ways do you think we can show that we value life? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

And if this post moved you in some way, please feel free to share it.

Today Dianna T. Benson will be taking over the reins. Check out the great cover on her latest release.

 

Letting go in life…and not just the details

I’ve learned to just let life play out. Even with important things, when something goes wrong or doesn’t go as planned, instead of panicking or getting upset, I take a deep breath and let it go. Unless I can do something to fix the mess, change the current course, etc., a negative reaction can make a situation worse, and any negativity often causes more chaos. On the flip side, if I can do something to move things in a better direction, I step into action and put forth my best effort, and while doing so, I focus on laughter (if appropriate) and remaining calm.

With my recent effort of allowing a bad situation to work itself out (instead of getting upset and controlling things), unbelievably I‘ve found such inner peace, even when chaos is spinning around me and others are reacting negatively. That inner peace inside of me, leads to a sense of empowerment, a knowing I have self-control and I can react with love, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness. Even though my goal is to achieve this sense of relaxed calm every time necessary, I often fail and sometimes I fail miserably. But that’s okay; I’m human and so far from perfect it’s laughable, but I’m trying. I truly believe 100% of us try our bests in life, although everyone’s best is different and is executed according to free will, which is God’s desire and plan.

I describe the human race as “us idiot humans” because compared to Jesus – God in human form – we are idiots, you know? But…He made us as we are, and loves us, including our individuality. I have a bunch of weaknesses/faults, but I accept my humanized self. I work on what is needed within me and accept who I am as a person – God made me, so I must be good to go just as myself; who am I to criticize God’s work?

The book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and it’s All Small Stuff by Richard Calson is an excellent tool to assist with this relaxed mind set. Mr. Calson offers brilliant insight and solid reminders we all need from time to time.

 

Final Trimester

Book One in the Quigley Triplets Series

Paramedic Jodi Duncan recognizes the work of a serial killer before the Myrtle Beach PD even suspects a connection betweenBenson the deaths of two pregnant women. Despite the vast differences in the two cases, Jodi urges Detective Nate Quigley to think outside the box. After digging deep into the separate investigations, Nate finds no evidence to support a serial killer theory, and he warns Jodi to back off police business, which only fuels her passion for the cases.

When a third pregnant woman is murdered, Nate is named lead detective on the case and works to link the deaths in order to unmask and stop the serial murderer, a disturbed man who believes God and the devil battle inside his head to bend him according to their wills. As he fights both voices, his interest fixates on Jodi when he discovers her obsession with ending his rampage.

About the Author

Dianna Torscher Benson is a 2014 Selah Award Winner, a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Dianna T. Benson_Headshot_b&w-webDaphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. She’s the author of The Hidden Son, her debut novel. Final Trimester is her second release.

After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need.

Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children.

Website: http://www.diannatbenson.com

Her releases are available wherever books are sold. Below are the links to Final Trimester at the three largest booksellers:
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million

 

 

Did you know that God owns everything here on this Earth? Not just the animals and the trees, but also the money and your home. Yes, even your stuff is really His. According to Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Everything is God’s. Even you.

Do you recycle to help the Earth or go hunting just to kill? Do you care for your home by cleaning, repairing things that need Natureto be done or is watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead more your style? Do you take care of yourself by exercising and eating right most of the time or is that buffet place your favorite hangout?

We are to take care of the environment as well as the animals of this earth. If we don’t, in time we will suffer for it. The more we pollute our air, the harder it will be to breathe and the unhealthier our crops will become. Taking care of God’s things includes all He has given us personally, whether it is our the environment, animals, our home, job, or family.

By showing respect for the things God has given us, we tell our Father that we are thankful for the blessings He has given us

We have become a nation of people who don’t value men or children. Women go with a guy for a while, get pregnant, then move on to the next without a thought to the child they have brought into the world. We should be faithful stewards in all that God has given us. That includes our children. We must turn off our cell phones and give our children the attention they desire and deserve. And fathers are important. Unfortunately, men have decided that isn’t true just as much as women have.

We complain we want a larger house, but don’t take care of the one we have. Why should God give you something larger when you neglect what He’s already given you? Don’t expect more from God unless you’re willing to give Him more of you. This Housegoes for your career as well.

The better you take care of your body, the longer it will last you. Type II diabetes has overrun this country. People would rather take shots or pills than change their lifestyle. In the end their body suffers for it. By eating a bit healthier, losing a bit of weight, and moving more, you can make this shell God has given you stay stronger.

We must take care of not only this planet, but our homes and bodies as well. If we do not, all will fail us. You can’t expect your automobile to keep going without regular oil changes and tire rotations. The same is true for our own bodies. We need regular doctor visits and tune ups. Maintenance includes a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. And no, potato chips are not a healthy just because they’re made out of potatoes.

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Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn

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So eat right and exercise. Here’s a thought—get out there and mow your lawn or paint your house. Talk about a workout.
No matter what you decide, make sure you take care of what God has given you so it will last longer. You might also find yourself blessed with more because you have shown you’re a good caretaker of what He has given you.

I hate to do yard work, but it’s something that has to be done. What is the one job you hate to do around the house? I’d love to hear from you.

And if this post hit your heart in some way, please feel free to share it on your social media sites.

Jesus was always helping others. He constantly had his hands open to give things away, whether it be food or a miracle. As Christians, during our walk, we are to grow to become more Christlike. That begs the question. Are your hands opened like Jesus helpingJesus’ were?

Too many times we have our hands closed. We cling to things that we deem important. Wordly possessions that only last a little while. Or our fingers take things from others who might need it more. Just look at the CEOs in this country. They grab at millions and millions of dollars for their own pockets and leave the store clerks making barely enough to survive. Trickle down economics only works if it trickles down.

As Christians, we need to be more willing to let go of our worldly things. Colossians 3:2 states, Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. We are to cling to the things of God, not to our high definition televisions or electronics equipment. Keep that in mind next time you race to Walmart on Black Friday.

Our palms should be open to share. Our fingers should be stretched out to help others. Having too much stuff only makes us want more stuff. The more you have, the more you have to take care of. I’m not a big fan of the new cars with all the latest gadgets. All the electronics just makes it easier for something to go wrong quicker. Give me simple without a lot of bells and whistles. One thing for sure, it costs a lot less to have simpler.

You might find this hard to believe, but the more you give to others, the happier you will actually be.

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Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. – Booker T. Washington

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We must be willing to live with less in order to do more in the name of Jesus. Why do you need a four bedroom house on the nicest side of town, when you can get the same home in a less prestigious area for fifty thousand dollars less? Where else could you use that fifty thousand? Maybe a couple at church needs a car to get back and forth to work. I’m not saying to buy them an expensive car, but with the extra money you save, you can certainly give one-tenth to help.

Even if you don’t have a lot, you can always help others. There are those who live in nursing homes that have no visitors. Stop nursing-home_zps3f111fd8by and read to them. Or just say hello. How about spooning food onto the plate of a homeless man?

Giving of our time is just as important as giving of our tithes.

It’s time we, as Christians, release the things of the world and start to open our hands the way Jesus did upon the cross. His arms were wide open showing his love for us. We should be willing to do the same.

What worldly possession do you find you cling to the most? What steps can you take to release it? Please comment below.

And if this post hit your heart in some way, please feel free to share it on your social media sights.

Thank you. You’re welcome. Have a good day. You, too. These are all sayings we use every day. But do we really mean them. Or have we turned on the remote control in our lives to where we automatically answer without even thinking?remote

Shouldn’t we, as Christians, show a bit more attention to our words than just spouting random responses? God wants us to pay attention to others. We are to notice them and what they are saying. If we aren’t listening well, we might miss a tone in their voice that says they are hurting. The first part of James 1:19 states “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” Could this be why God gave us two ears and only one mouth?

Unfortunately, in this culture, we have become a society of “about me’s.” We want the last word. We want the conversation steered toward our own lives. We can’t even put down a cell phone to talk to the person across the table because we want to be deemed as important.

But what if that person across the table really needs to be heard? If you are so consumed with what you want to say, you might miss their pain.

By talking on your cell while placing your order at a fast food restaurant or paying for groceries, you are making the other person appear as if they are nonhuman. At the very least, you are telling them they are not important to you. Is that how you want to be perceived? That is the same problem with remote answers. We say them without thinking. Yet our words are very important. We should choose them carefully.

Come up with different ways to respond to show that you are listening. If the grocery clerk tells you to “Have a nice day.” Maybe respond with something like, “Thank you. I hope you have a wonderful hump day (if it’s Wednesday) yourself.” 023Imagine the look on her face, not to mention the other shoppers.

Christians are real good at the “Have a blessed day,” yet they really don’t think about it when they say it. That in turn means you don’t really mean it. If the words have become so automatic that they flow naturally, you are on remote control, and not thinking about the words you are saying.

Words can heal. Words can hurt. They can also let someone know that you are giving them special attention. Isn’t it time as a nation we go back to interacting with others? Imagine how much better others will feel if we start listening more to what others are saying. The best thing you can do is give a tired store clerk your time. After all, she’s been on her feet all day giving her time to others. It’s only fair we return the favor.

What ways do you find yourself on remote control? What is a way you can respond to others to show that you are not just saying the words?

Please share your comments and ideas below. And if this post has touched you in some way, feel free to share it on your social media sites.

Memorial Day become an official holiday in 1971. It is to remember those who have died fighting for this country.

Today, let us not forget those who have died so that we may have the freedoms we enjoy. Black men are no longer slaves, women can vote. We can pray to whatever God we feel is the correct deity without fear of execution. We can go to a voting poll without retribution of being shot or killed.

These are just some of the freedoms we have been allowed because of the death of others.

Take a moment and pray today for the soldiers who have given their lives so we can have the basic freedoms we sometimes take for granted today.

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