Friday, August 17, 2018

Eliminate Distractions For A Better Life


Eliminate Distractions For A Better Life

Distraction can be a death sentence for many healthy and good things.  Be aware that there are so many business models that are based solely on getting you habitually addicted to their product or service.  

Just to name a few off the top of my head: 
Social Media, Television, Computer Games, The Food Industry (processed food), and possibly Pharmaceuticals.  

Once you come to terms with what you sacrifice for these things it's much easier to say no to them. What do you think that you are you giving up for the habitual use of these things? 

The mindless usage of such things keep us from the creative use of our brain, from getting work done, connecting with our spouse and children, fun memories with friends, getting exercise, and time in God's word.

Set limits or a timer when you use things like Social Media. This will help to not to get sucked into that black hole just to look up an hour or more later. I have a dear friend who won't open any social media if her family is in the same room. Take the app off your main screen, turn off the notifications, and limit your use to a certain hour a day. 

Instead of staying up late surfing the internet, read a story or devotional to your child. And PLEASE, please go to bed at the same time as your spouse and save energy for him--
it is vital for your relationship. 

Schedule your workouts, make meal plans, and have quality time with your valuable relationships. You will begin to start reaping the amazing rewards today. 

You won't regret the investments you make into your life, health, and family.  Better make it count 'cause you can't get it back.

Escapism: noun 
The tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. Habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine. 


"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses." Deuteronomy 30:19

Transformation Through Truth And Testimony 


Friday, August 10, 2018

Feeling Alone or Isolated?


Feeling Alone or Isolated?

I have been there... 
it's not fun to feel like you don't connect to anyone. You would love to have a few sweet friendships and some people to do life with. Friends are certainly the spice of life and worth changing a few important mindsets to get there.

Here are a few ideas to help you...

~Say YES to invitations! 
Definitely, Show up! No excuses.
Not only will you surprisingly enjoy yourself, but you will get invited back if you won't decline.

~Stop overthinking
...really, just stop.

~Don't presume things
 that are just not true. 
ex: "They don't like me." or "We have nothing in common."

~Pray for opportunities
 to meet others and make connections.

~Join a fitness group/gym
 or a Life Group at your church.

~Start a neighborhood Dinner Club.

~Have a Block Party.

~Invite someone
 that you would like to get to know to lunch or for a walk.

~Look for needs
 that others have and offer to help.  Keeping the focus off ourselves is truly where you find joy.

~Reach out! 
However that may look, but it could be to bake cookies and introduce yourself to a new neighbor...give her a card with your number so she can call if she needs anything.

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others." 
Philippians 2:4

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil." 
Ecclesiastes 4:9

"A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34

"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." 2 Peter 1:2

Transformation Through Truth And Testimony










Friday, August 3, 2018

Don't Play The Blame Game


Don't Play The Blame Game

When we concentrate our focus on others being to blame for our problems, hurt, or suffering we are just making excuses for holding onto hurt. Blaming others is a waste of time and just keeps us stuck to grow more and more bitter. 

One of the best things I ever did was to officially stop for good pointing the finger at others. When I finally stopped doing this, but gave grace and forgiveness instead, these relationships drastically improved or just no longer affected me. 

Someone cannot chase you if you don't run. 
Refuse to get baited into their game, or even worse, presume something to be upset about when it's really nothing at all. 

You see, the blame game is keeping a record of wrongs and the bible clearly says we should not do that. I look inward and ask the Lord, "What is my part in this?" I have to make certain that my heart is right and that I'm not carrying bitterness, resentfulness, or unforgiveness. 

I am only responsible for me. I release the others to the Lord, and he is my defender. 

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" Isaiah 26:3

"The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; Your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair." Deuteronomy 32:4

"Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity."
Colossians 3:13-14

women encouraging women



Wednesday, August 1, 2018

T2W Summer Wellness - Renew My Mind

T2W Summer Wellness - Renew My Mind
Carri Lynne Pratt


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve
what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2

Webster's defines renew as; "To begin something again especially with more force and enthusiasm."  Things we can renew might be a magazine subscription, library book, or a friendship.  However, God's word tells us that we should take the time to renew our minds. 

As we experience daily life we are showered with ads, songs and other things that show us how the world wants us to live.  Many of these suggestions are against what God's will is for our life.  The only way to separate worldly ideas for life, from the truth of how we should live, is to take the time to read Scripture or listen to Godly people / preaching.

The precious moments we spend investing in renewing our minds give us the strength we need to be transformed into holy people of God, we are the Saints spoken of in the New Testament.  It is worthy of our attempts to live up to our calling.

Mind: Read Scripture. Each day read a short passage of Scripture. You can use a daily reading plan, a favorite devotional or try reading one Psalm and a Proverb.

Body: Supplements. Good quality supplements, especially magnesium, potassium, vitamins C and E and a multi-vitamin, are essential to renewing the cells in our bodies to keep them functioning properly.

Soul: Hide Scripture in your heart. The most important way to fight off worldly or negative thoughts is to pull out a favorite verse to cling to during moments of weakness.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Saved Yet Not Free


I Am Saved Yet Not Free 


How do you think and speak? Mindsets are so very powerful. 
How you view and speak of yourself, your marriage, your work, your loved ones, and your body is how your life will go accordingly. 

The lies of the enemy are ever-so-sly, he gets his hooks in by getting you to believe what he baits you with and he slowly takes control. The most tragic part is that he does it with our permission. We freely relinquish over our power and thoughts by giving up ground in our heads that becomes his playground. 

First:
 Try fasting. Pray about what and how long to fast. 
I know first-hand that a fast can be ground breaking. 

Second:
Stop speaking death over yourself and situation. Just stop. 
Optimism is your new best friend. Write and speak affirmations and gratefulness that line up with where you want to be... ex: "I enjoy being healthy and active." It's not, "I'm limited to what I can eat." But instead it's, "I enjoy doing what is good for me." 
Your brain chemistry just changed in your favor!

Third:
Throw off all that hinders.
Say out loud: In Jesus name and by the Blood of Jesus evil must go. Ask God to forgive you for allowing evil thoughts to manipulate you.

Say and pray the opposite of your feelings...
"I am a beloved Child of God." 
"I am a Daughter of the King of Kings."
"I am Worthy!"
"I am able!"
"I am beautiful!"
"I am miraculously healed!"
"I am a good friend, sister, co-worker, mother, and daughter."


Dr. Caroline Leaf has written great books on the brain and toxic thoughts, consider her resources as you walk in freedom.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

This song is seriously so good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k

Transformation Through Testimony and Truth


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Wellness Mind Body Soul - Restore My Soul

T2W Summer Wellness - Week 4: Restore My Soul
Carri Lynne Pratt

"The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside still waters,
He Restores my Soul."  Psalm 23:1-3

I have read the 23rd Psalm about a thousand times over my life, it was actually the very first passage of Scripture my father made me memorize as a child. However, I never noticed the word "makes" as in forces me to lie down and take a rest. I never noticed, that is, until I was actually forced to take a rest.

This world is crazy!  We live at a such a fast pace with loads of stress and everyone wants something from us.  It has become so normal that we often don't even realize how much we have checked out and are living on autopilot to just survive.  This is the way I was living while attempting to finish my master's degree from seminary while trying to maintain a home, husband and three children, and volunteer at church, and volunteer at my kid's school, and on and on and oh my goodness!
This is where God comes in and says, "Guess what? You need a rest. I am going to 'make' you 'lie down in green pastures.'  Unfortunately those green pastures may look a little brown to us.  Like those times that we are laid off from a job or experience a sickness or lose an opportunity that we wanted. Things may look pretty desperate actually, but just remember, God is always in control. He wants only good things for His children and we must trust in Him alone. 

This week let's focus on restoration of our Mind, Body and Soul.  In order to restore something it must be brought as close to new as possible, fixing all of the harm that has come upon it during its life, like restoring an old car to a  thing of beauty, we can also do our best to restore ourselves.
Mind: Whatever.  The most important thing you can do to restore your mind is to think good thoughts and fill your mind with good things. Scripture tells us that "Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise, think about these things." Philippians 4:8

Body: Nutrition. Your body craves good nutrition. This week consider trying to eat more things that were alive than were processed.  Fill your fridge with eye catching fruits and veggies like carrots, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, blueberries and strawberries. Reach for these at snack time and remember to drink lots and lots of water.

Soul: Prayer & Meditation. Pray that God will restore you in many different ways. Meditate on the verse, "Be still and know that I AM God." Psalm 46:10  as well as the 23rd Psalm. Repeat these verses back to yourself before your prayers. Actually be still and imagine yourself in the presence of God Almighty, your Heavenly Father and King of Kings. He is trust worthy and able to do all things. He is in control of the world, and of your life.  Imagine yourself lying down in green pastures next to beautifully still waters.


Video SuggestionRestore Me by Anthony Evans   View Here

This week's Scripture reading: Philippians 1:19-30   Read Here



"Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ." 
Philippians 1:27
 
 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Happiness Is An Inside Job


Happiness Is An Inside Job

Life can get so complicated and messy.  We tend to hold on to so many things and we have a, "Oh, I will get to that later" type thinking. We also continue to fill up the gaps in our lives, too. We believe that retail therapy or whatever type self-medicating we do is the answer. We keep piling on, but we only feel worse.

Soon we have a physical and/or emotional pile of baggage that's so overwhelming to even think about tackling. 

Oh-to-purge! 
Have you ever just dove in and cleaned out a closet, the garage, or the pantry?  When you are done, do you go by and just stare at it because it feels sooooo darn good? 

Have you ever sat down with your bible and a notebook and pen, asking the Lord to bring to mind the hurts and wrong mindsets you carry to the light? 

Ahhhhhh such relief from the excess.

Physical and emotional clutter are BOTH weighing us down.
  Ask the Lord for the wisdom he freely gives to help you get started, and once you get going the momentum takes affect. 

Cleaning out your closet and your heart take some intentional effort, but the results are so very worth it. 

Seek the Lord on what should be purged from your heart, mind, schedule, diet, and environment.

"The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don't." 
~Marie Kondo

"Organized clutter is still clutter. Get rid of it." 
~Corie Clark

"Holding a grudge doesn't make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn't make you weak; it sets you free." 
~Dave Willis

"There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death." 
Proverbs 14:12

Transformation Through Truth & Testimony


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer Wellness Mind, Body & Soul: Week 3 Release & Forgive

Summer Wellness: Week 3 Release & Forgive
Carri Lynne Pratt

"She who is bowed down shall speedily be released;
she shall not die and go down to the pit;
neither shall her bread be lacking."  Isaiah 51:14

You may know the story Jesus told about the man who owed a great debt that he could never repay. "The servant fell on his knees imploring (the master), 'have patience with me and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him his debt." (Matthew 18:26-27) However, it goes on to say that the forgiven man refused to forgive a very small debt owed to him by someone else. The master found out and threw the forgiven servant in jail. Jesus tells us, "So also My heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your (sister &) brother from your heart."

Notice what God did, (we assume He is the Master in this story), He Released Him and  Forgave Him.  We need to follow His example.

We, as Christian women, are so fortunate to have a Savior that freely forgives.  When we do not take full advantage of this blessing it leads to regret, anger and misery. The unforgiveness we carry with us through life is like chains of bondage that we choose to wear.  We are called to forgive others; but we must ask and accept forgiveness from God for our sins and emotionally forgive ourselves.

We cannot experience the wellness we desire when there are hidden corners of our minds and hearts that we refuse to deal with.  The good news is that Jesus is always waiting for us to ask for forgiveness and strength so that He may supply us with his unlimited amount of GRACE. 


This is a great time for a full detox. We can detox our soul and our bodies to forever rid our minds of our poor choices and life hurts, no matter how trivial or possibly even tragic they are to us.  It all starts with asking for forgiveness and accepting God's grace.

Mind: Release & Repent.  First we must acknowledge that we have all made some pretty poor choices that are definitely outside of God's will.  We know this is called sin and everybody does it; but it still makes us enemies of God.  Then we must pray for God to forgive our sins by His grace and cleanse us and make us clean.  This part also includes turning away from the things we are tempted to do that are outside of God's will and His protection for us.  This is known as Repenting. Finally we must release the memories of the things we have done and forgive the things others have done to us. This part is not so easy is it?  There are some pretty big things we might have to forgive, we are not asked to like the person or the act. We can trust that God is just and will deal with the person on judgment day. Forgiveness releases our attachment to that person so we can be FREE.

Body:  Detox. As an outward expression of our inward cleansing, try a detox drink (50 Detox Drinks), hot detox bath and/or detox nutrition program. Epsom salts are amazing at drawing toxins out of your skin in a hot bath. You can look online for great drinks and diets.



Soul:  Forgive. Now for the really hard part.  Sit in a quiet area and pray for God to bring to your mind any unforgiveness you may be carrying around with you. This may be hurts caused by others or things you have not forgiven yourself for.  Brainstorm and anything that comes to mind, write it down, make a list.  Have some tissues close by because crying is a great form of detox and stress relief. Pray, pray and pray some more that God will help you forgive these people and forgive yourself.  As you pray over each name mark it out and RELEASE IT to God.

Meditation Verse"Forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Colossians 3:13

Movie Suggestion:  I Can Only Imagine - talk about forgiveness!

Scripture Reading This Week:  
Philippians 1:12-1:18

Scripture Review:  
Philippians 1:1-1:11 (week 1)
Paul is grateful for the faithful Saints located at the Philippian Church.  Just a reminder sisters, we who are in Christ are all known as Saints. Isn't that beautiful?  

Another important take-away from this passage, Paul is praying for the Saints to love one another, to be righteous like Christ, to be pure and blameless and to remember we are each a work in progress:
"He who began a good work in you will bring it to 
completion at the day of Christ." Philippians 1:6

Prayer:

Heavenly Father God,
Praise You Lord! We thank You for all of the wonderful blessings You give us each day. We thank You for Your Amazing Grace, how sweet it is, that abounds freely and is ours when we ask.

May You forgive us our sins, and may You give us the strength to forgive others, no matter how difficult, and to forgive ourselves.  Release us from these chains. 

Help us this week to be faithful Saints, loving, righteous, pure and blameless and to remember we are each a work in progress as we follow Your lead.

We love You!
In Jesus name,
Amen
 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Momentum Creates Motivation


Momentum Creates Motivation

There are so many small decisions that add up over time and help keep us going in the right direction. 

 It could be offering a kind gesture instead of a rude response.

Let it go instead of allowing something to get under your skin.

Get some exercise by going on a walk or taking the stairs.

Choose a wholesome food instead of processed man-made junk.

Take a large insulated container of ice water and fresh squeezed lemon and keep with you all day.

Think nice things about yourself.

Get dressed, fix your hair & makeup, put on earrings.

Smile.

"Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." 
Isaiah 30:21

http://titus2womendevotional.blogspot.com/
Transformation Through Truth And Testimony













Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer Wellness Mind Body & Soul: Reconnect

Summer Wellness Mind, Body & Soul
Week 2: Reconnect
Carri Lynne Pratt
"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves...
keep your spiritual passion, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, 
patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:10-12

Social connections are as important to our survival (and well being) as the need for food and safety." Matthew Lieberman 

Most human beings crave connection. We want to know our lives have meaning and purpose. And interestingly scientists have now found that we are actually 'hard wired' to connect to God. (article - Hardwired) Our brain activity is different during religious practices, which gives us a powerful emotional experience.

We are not alone in this world, God created us for relationship with Him and with others.  This week we will focus on Reconnecting with the Trinity and with the significant people in our lives. Yes! This will take an investment of time, but it is well worth it.

Mind:  Reconnect. Starting with the Trinity; we may sometimes feel alone but we always have access to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who love us, comfort us, guide us each day and lead us to our eternal life. Spend intentional time in relationship with God this week. Prayer, Scripture reading, Worship Music or any other favorite form of communication. 

Reconnect with others. Who do you need to spend time with in your life? Your spouse? children? parents? friends? Make an intentional effort each day to connect with someone in a meaningful way. Our time with God provides everything we need to spend quality time with others.



Body: Low Impact Exercise. Yes. I used the E word!  Your body not only craves connection it also craves movement. There are many, many forms of low impact exercise that you can easily include in your daily routine. Experts recommend at least 20-30 minutes a day. Walking, biking, swimming, yoga or even stretching will provide you with an overall wellness. Place a star on your calendar for every day you exercise.

Soul: Love God. Your Father God created you for relationship with Him. He loves you. It is time we loved Him back in verbal and tangible ways. Some say to put heart stickers around your house to remind you to say "I Love You God" out loud, I personally like to draw hearts on my steamy glass shower door and bathroom mirror. Whatever way you prefer, let God know you love Him.

Meditation Verse:  Make it Personal...
"And (I Will) love the Lord (my) God with all (my) heart, 
soul, mind and strength." Mark 12:30

Prayer:

Father God,
I love you with all that I am and thank You dearly for loving me.  Help me to reconnect with You and make my relationship with You, Jesus and the Holy Spirit a top priority in my life. Give me the courage, strength and wisdom to make better and more meaningful connections with those around me. 

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14)

In Jesus name,
Amen