Do You Know How Jesus’ Last Breath Gave You Eternal Life?

By: Austin Creecy

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

– John 11:25,26

Why did Jesus have to die on the cross, and how does it save us?

To answer this question, let’s read Exodus 12:1-13: 

Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man's need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. 8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails. 10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover. 12 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

From the verses above, we learn where God let the Israelites (His chosen people) escape the Egyptians’ punishment. The Israelites were to slaughter the unblemished lamb and mark the doorways to their homes with the lamb’s blood. As the Holy Spirit traveled through Egypt, killing the Egyptians’ firstborn sons, the Spirit would notice the markings and leave the Israelites alone, passing over them.

      

As the story continues, the Egyptian king allows the Israelites to leave Egypt. Next, the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years due to their repetitive lack of belief, worshipping of idols, doubt, and other sins. It is during this time that God gives the Israelites the law through Moses. For the record, the trip to the Promise Land was not a 40-day journey. 

      

If you turn to Leviticus 4 in the Old Testament, it takes us to Mount Sinai. Here God tells Moses what to share with the Israelites about breaking God’s law (sinning). He then shares with Moses what to do if anyone sins. They must offer a sin offering. 

       

A sin-offering entailed taking a young, unblemished animal such as a bull, goat, or lamb and killing. After sacrificing the young animal, the sinner sprinkled its blood on the altar and burned the animal’s fat and/or organs. 

       

While the idea of sacrificing an unblemished young animal may seem cruel or morbid in today’s culture, it was what the Lord God requested of them!  The act of offering an animal represented their death for the sin they committed and foreshadowed what was yet to come. 

       

Remember, sin divided the Israelites from God and kept them from knowing Him fully. During this time, all sin was punishable by death. The way the Israelites were to pay their debts was by offering the animal in their place. Many people do not want to murder a beautiful young animal and desecrate its body. However, that was the punishment God chose instead of the punishment they deserved at the time, which was death.

Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).

The Father did not want His people separated from Him! He had shown the Israelites that from the beginning of time. The sin offering was another way The Father allowed them to live for Him and obey His rules. 

       

God said if the Israelites broke the rules and sinned, the sentence was death! Much like if we choose to commit a crime, a judge can sentence us to prison. 

 

God allowed them to pay a fine, and that fine was sacrificing a young animal, as mentioned above. Only after that was the sinner forgiven. It is similar to a judge saying, “you stole a computer, but if you return the computer, pay the person back, plus a fine for you not obeying the laws, I will let you go.” 

      

 You see, it was up to the Israelites to pay that fine and be set free. The offering was the way they confessed their sin and then repented for it. Before Christ’s death and resurrection, one could not directly talk to the Father. You learn this in John 16:16-33, as well as other places throughout God’s Word.  

       

For about 1400 years, this was how it was! If an Israelite sinned, they would need to make an offering to allow the Father to forgive them. It was an ongoing thing! Every time an Israelite broke one of God’s laws (which there were many), the sinner had to make an offering. The offerings changed depending on the sin, but most of the time, the sinner ended up killing and sprinkling some animal’s blood on the altar. Perhaps it seems harsh or exhausting to you, but this was the law of God and how God forgave sinners.

 

Let’s fast forward to about 4-5 BC when a particular child was born. While this child appeared to be a “normal” boy, He was not. The child was born in a manger in a small town called Bethlehem, and His mother was a virgin named Mary. Perhaps you are familiar with this story! He was the Son of God, and His name was Jesus Christ

 

Jesus Christ grew up in the town of Nazareth. At around 30 years old, He started His ministry. Ironically, His ministry – the most extraordinary ministry of them all – only lasted for three years! He traveled with a group of disciples, teaching them how His Father desired them to live.

Jesus exemplified and taught the His disciples and the world how to live a perfect life because He was perfect.

Over Jesus’ ministry, the Jewish Sadducees and Pharisees had enough of Jesus’ “blasphemous ways.” The Jewish leaders did not like that Jesus was teaching people to trust God and do God’s way, especially when it contradicted the Jewish leaders’ practices and beliefs. Therefore, with evil in their hearts, the Jewish leaders came up with a plan to kill Jesus. The plan was to arrest and crucify Jesus by the Roman empire’s commander, Pontius Pilate. It is essential to highlight Pilate did not want to kill Jesus. However, he allowed the Jewish leadership and people to decide Jesus’ fate once Jesus was in custody. Most of us know what the people chose – to crucify Jesus. And that is what happened!

   

Remember, Jesus was not just another everyday guy. He was, is, and always will be the Son of God Almighty. God knew His Son would go through brutally inhumane torture, hung on a cross, and would die. It was all part of God’s more excellent plan. God is a redeemer and makes all things work for the greater good (Romans 8:28).

       

The Father knew humans could not stop from sinning, and for thousands of years, humans proved they could not stop. It was impossible to keep the law, as Paul talks about in Galatians, which is why Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

God allowed Jesus to die on the cross as the final sin offering, and Jesus knew this plan too. Even Jesus did not want to go through it. However, Jesus knew it was THY will, not His will (Luke 22: 42). Jesus’ crucifixion was the final Passover of the world. 

 

Jesus was the perfect unblemished lamb, who God sent to the world. No one ever needs to sacrifice another young, unblemished animal again because Jesus has paid the final price! It was finished – Jesus’ death covered us and connected us to the Father. 

After Jesus’ death and burial, He rose three days later from His tomb.  

Jesus’s death and resurrection were what ended the old covenant and started the new covenant. The old covenant was the law of Moses as God revealed it to him on Mount Sinai. Right before Christ died, He stated, It is finished (John 19:30)!”

Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23:46).

He had taken on ALL the sins of the world and sacrificed Himself as the perfect unblemished lamb of God. No longer do we need to make offerings or live according to the law. We only need to follow Christ and do as He did, living a life in a relationship with the Father. Where we can honor, glorify, and obey the Father. 

 

The Father took the enemy’s plan and redeemed it, allowing all who believe in Jesus Christ to be saved from death and have eternal life. Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

 

Jesus Christ was the Passover lamb that God sent, and He was a final sin offering for the world. Praise Jesus! He died for you! He died for you to walk in His authority and FREELY receive the Father’s love, grace, mercy, and so much more. He shed his blood to allow us to receive the Father’s forgiveness for ALL our iniquities. It meant salvation from sin and eternal life for everyone who believes in Jesus Christ. 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving us Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for opening my eyes to Him and for allowing me to know Him. Lord, thank You for giving Your life on the cross for me so that I do not even need to think about my sin. Lord, allow me to glorify You by living a life that You deem good. Thank You for being an amazing Father. Thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit. I am grateful that I can commune with You through the Spirit. I love You, God. I ask you to continue refining me and molding me into what You want me to be, do, and act. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen!

Jesus Christ is the Most Famous of Them All 🤩

Jesus is the Most Famous!

By: Austin Creecy

"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds, in a believer's ear! It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear."

John Newton

A few months ago, one of my closest friends, who we will call “John,” found out he was possibly friends with someone “famous!” I am going to call the famous person “Mike” for the sake of conversation.

John = one of my good friends

Mike = celebrity

John had been talking to this “famous” man, Mike, on social media for nearly a year. Over that time, they formed an online friendship. The two men mainly discussed everyday life topics and supported one another to the best of their ability. Obviously, living in two different countries complicates things! You know, your typical online friendship.

At one point, John thought the man in question looked familiar, but he could not put her finger on how or where he had seen this famous man, Mike. Suddenly, a few months ago, it hit him.

John called me up and said, “My online friend is a famous person, an incredibly famous singer overseas with notoriety here in the states also. I knew he was famous!

Mike was using a fake name on his social media account. Once John realized who Mike truthfully was, he began researching to confirm if his hypothesis was correct. John noticed both Mike’s professional and fake accounts shared some of the same pictures. In fact, Mike had sent John childhood photos, as well as photos of his dogs. John now confirmed this “Mike” guy was the famous singer.

John called me freaking out that he was friends with a world-famous singer.

After we both geeked out a little, we carried on with our days. I started thinking about how cool it would be if I were friends with someone famous, and then it struck me. I am!

Jesus Christ is the most famous person ever to exist, and He lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit. Whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God or not, you have almost definitely heard of Him. 

He is more famous than The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Brad Pitt, and every world-renowned person combined. Name someone who is still talked about as if they are here with us today after 2000 plus years other than Jesus. It’s impossible! Everyone knows who Jesus is, even unbelievers! We can not say that about celebrities.

Why do we get so excited about people who sing songs or portray others on the big screen and television? Why is it they get more airtime and more admiration from most people than the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit?

I would argue the devil and his spirits of darkness have distorted the truth and spread so many lies to distract us by using other people. We must stay focused on God and not allow the things of this world to distract us. Again, this is why Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 not to conform to the patterns of the world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

The world is enamored with power, money, and beauty, but God is infatuated with you being obedient and trusting Him! That way He can cultivate a perfect heart within you.

Solomon told us in Ecclesiastes 1:13-14, I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14 is speaking about his search for happiness under the sun (in the world) and wisdom. First, Solomon believes intellect will make him happy. Therefore, he sets out to learn as much as he can, only to discover that an alphabet after his name and diplomas everywhere did not give him what he was seeking! Solomon concludes what he was doing was working on grasping something elusive as the wind.  However, I believe it fits here as well.

Some of us are so focused on things of this world such as money, notoriety, knowledge, popularity, being impressive, power, etc. But what do they REALLY mean? Nothing! All the things of this world will die and not fulfill you, just as Solomon discovered. Christ is the only thing that will fulfill you! With Christ, only do we get to live on for eternity. Jesus knew this too!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal

(Matthew 6:19-20).

Jesus is telling you the things of this world will be destroyed! He is also saying there is NO security in material things! The only investments that cannot be stolen, rust, or destroyed are treasures in heaven.

I am not saying that famous people will be destroyed or that they are not good people or role models. Some of them are, and some are also very admirable. That does not mean, however, that we should worship them. Remember, God is a jealous God, and we are not to idolize anything (Exodus 34:14)!

It is easy to accidentally and unintentionally begin idolizing a celebrity or anything! Suddenly, you can find yourself wondering what he/she is doing or what he/she is like in person. Next thing you know, you want to emulate the celebrity in various avenues of your life. Perhaps you start dressing like the individual. Meanwhile, Jesus is just sitting there in the background, fading from your thoughts.

Here is the thing, while you are excited and geeking out like John, and I did when we learned Mike was a world-renowned singer, don’t forget about Christ! I know John didn’t. His most significant takeaway from that experience was (1) feeling blessed Jesus had connected him to this man, who he believes is hurting and is a bit lost, and (2) sometimes it’s easy to forget celebrities are normal people. John saw how real and touchable the “untouchable” are. John once wished he was famous and world-renowned like Mike, but when John noticed Mike didn’t have a strong connection with the Lord, he was not impressed by his lifestyle. John told me he’d rather have nothing and have a strong relationship with Christ than all the money or fame in the world!

Jesus is standing right beside you. The Holy Spirit is always with you. You are famous in the Godhead’s eyes, just like Francesca Battistelli says in her song, “He knows my name.” Mike did not know I existed, but God does. Jesus has a Book of Life and in it are all the names of those victorious in Christ (Revelations 3:5). Jesus has written our names as believers in that book. He knows us each individually.

It can be easy in the moment to find yourself focusing on someone in the world and not on the Father. Good people are doing great things in this world, whether using a talent like acting or singing. They may be helping our country or the world in politics. Possibly it is a co-worker or family member, maybe someone at church who you respect. All of that is amazing, and God uses people to reach us and help us grow in Him.

However, the devil uses people as well. The thief (devil) comes to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). He will use whatever means he can to tear you down and pull you away from God.

I (Jesus) came to give us life and to have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Next time you find yourself excited by someone in the public eye or someone you know, ask yourself if the reasons you are attracted to them are because of good and pure things or because of something worldly or negative. At that moment, you may find yourself where John and I did, praising God for being our best friend and comforter, no longer caring about some famous person in this world

7 Healthy Ways to Resolve Relationship Conflict

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."

2 Corinthians 10:3-4

For the sake of this writing, I will focus on the husband-and-wife relationship, however, you can use these tips for navigating conflict in all relationships!

First off, the battle is not with your spouse, that friend, the coworker, or whomever.  

The battle is not against flesh and blood

(Eph. 6:12).

If the battle is not against flesh and blood, that then removes humans TOTALLY from the battleground. 

Yet, sometimes, in the HEAT of the moment, it’s not that simple to remember. That truth made me ask myself: What are some things you can start training yourself to do so you don’t fall for Satan’s bait? 

FIRST:  BE SLOW TO ANGER! 

Learning how to maintain or gain control of yourself might take time. That’s okay. I encourage you to ask the Father and the Holy Spirit to help you with this. However, I hope this article helps you understand the biblical truths into that conflict!

 Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly (silliness/foolishness) (Proverbs 14:29).

Why does God want us to be slow to anger? Well, for one, it can keep those evil spirits out of you, and secondly, we are to imitate Christ! Christ only got angry at the spirits inside of people! But, let’s talk about the first reason, accidentally coming into agreement with the evil spirits behind the conflict. Again, it’s straightforward to forget the truth that we are not and NEVER will fight against humans but against those spirits.

When in conflict with people, your brain thinks you are in conflict with that person, but you are actually in conflict with the spirits within that individual. These spirits can control a person when the person gives consent. (It can be easy to give consent too). You won’t always see the spirits inside of the person, except for when those spirits are tormenting that person. If you are not careful, those spirits will manifest in you. What happens next is, both you and the person you think you are in conflict with will have spirits playing back and forth in what feels like a war zone, and you both become the victims! You both lose. The Devil has you both, and you are both experiencing his fruit: destruction, death, fear, and evil. I promise God does not want this. He wants love, compassion, sacrifice, mercy, and grace. 

You are wanted as a medium of expression for the principalities and powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places.  Remember, Satan, and his kingdom cannot manifest in the physical dimension unless they have a vessel. Until those spirits have a vessel, they are caught in a place of torment themselves, between heaven and earth. The evil spirits only have thoughts of evil but with no way to express it. They can get you to agree with them by sending that thought through your mind and hoping you use your free will to grab on to it! The manifestation looks like saying that mean or unforgiving comment or accusing your spouse of doing something, and so forth, which leads me to the second thing you can do. 

SECOND: CAST DOWN ALL IMAGINATIONS OR THOUGHTS THAT ARE AGAINST GOD’S NATURE

That is why Paul reminds the Corinthians of what to do when evil comes into your mind, and it’s true for us today! 

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor. 10:5).

You are to hold every thought captive, casting it down and grasping it. I imagine myself tearing wallpaper down and throwing it out the door! 

Now pay attention because here is where many of the spiritual warfare teachings stop short. They teach you how to do warfare, but they do not teach you how to be obedient to God. 

Verse six says: And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Cor 10:6).  

You cannot have power over the Devil in spiritual warfare if you first have not fulfilled obedience to God’s Word. Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I am NOT talking about legalism here. It’s impossible to keep the law perfectly, but God cannot change nor lie either. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Eph. 2:8)

The Father will not heal you and let you keep the fear that’s causing your problems (Romans 12:2). If God did this, it would make Him unholy. It’s impossible to defeat the Devil if you will not fully submit yourself to the Father. 

THREE: SUBMIT YOURSELF TO GOD

James says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

Praise the Lord the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will walk with you and teach you how to do this way better than any human could! 

Let me ask you, Where do you need to submit to the Father when you are in conflict with your spouse, sibling, friend, or whomever? Where could reminding yourself you are a disciple of Christ help you reflect God’s light in moments of conflict? 

Much of what the Father asks us to do requires stepping out in faith and trusting Him that His ways will be best, which is why we are to be obedient to Him! 

FOUR: SLOW TO SPEAK

… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, (James 1:19)

 As a mental health practitioner, I can confidently say that most of the disputes/conflicts people have in ALL their relationships result from miscommunication! Isn’t the devil the author of confusion and perversion? 

When you are slow to speak, a few neat things naturally happen! First, you will naturally think about what you are about to say. Second, you will have more control in confirming that your words are edifying to that individual (Eph. 4:29). Third, you can respond with compassion, grace, and mercy, just as the Father does with you! Four, you can think about ways to listen to what the individual is saying and work to find an agreement! 

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (Amos 3:3)

To walk together, you MUST lay your pride down (Proverbs 13:10) and listen to find understanding (James 1:8). When you find understanding, you can walk with that person in agreement (Amos 3:3). When you walk in agreement, you can begin to communicate accurately. It becomes easier to listen to one another open-mindedly and compassionately because you know you are for one another instead of against! When you know someone is for you – well, that creates a lot less stress!

If you want to remain in a healthy, loving, and passionate relationship, you will need to learn how to do this. It’s a skill. It takes work. It takes conscious practice. Slow down. Ask questions that help you both better understand where the miscommunication has occurred. 

📖👉 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm (Psalm 37:8). 👈 📖

FIVE: HAVE AN UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD FOR OTHERS

Stop thinking worst-case scenario. Love is a choice, just like thinking the worst-case scenario is one too!

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Cor. 13:7). 

It can be challenging to remember the one you are in conflict with is someone who wants the best for you. Do your best to remind yourself that your spouse also chose to be with you too! Assume best-case scenario. Take a second, breath, count down from 31 (as an emotion can only last 30 seconds before it does become your choice to carry it out). 

SIX: COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY

But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matt. 5:37)

Say what you mean and nothing more! 

It’s important to remember communication can be hard to understand because we think in images, not words! Some words create concrete pictures in our minds, and others are more abstract.

For instance, the word “chair” is clearly depicted in your mind within nanoseconds. Yet, words like “justice” or “hope” take longer to form in the mind. It can also be the same with words like that draw a picture in our mind, but maybe not the specific image you meant. Maybe when you said “dog,” your spouse went to Shih-Tzu, where you meant Lab!

One of the best things you can say to your spouse in a spat saturated in miscommunication is: What did you hear, What do you see in your mind, or Can you paint the picture you see from what I have said?

 Additionally, abstract words will be influenced by the individual’s beliefs. Therefore, when you say abstract words, make sure you communicate precisely what that word means in your mind. Don’t assume your spouse gets it. 

SEVEN: FIGHT HEALTHY & WANT THE OTHER TO WIN!

Remind each other you for them. One of the best ways you can learn to fight with your spouse is by having this attitude: You have to want them to win, and they have to want you to succeed. When that occurs, you both are winning, practicing sacrifice, and showing self-less love. The Father sacrificed His Son for you, don’t be surprised that He asks us to sacrifice things in relationships too! 

The goal in romantic relationships is to always help the one you love to win! Love sacrifices, now that does not mean you are not to have boundaries. However, we will talk about limits another time. And if you both are willing to do what’s best for the other, you both will win. Have each other’s back and help each other become better, not bitter! 

Relationships can be challenging at times, especially if you struggle with self-righteousness. However, if you can focus on all the good things your partner does for you, instead of all the things he/she does to annoy you, you might naturally strengthen your relationship!

📖👉 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11). 👈 📖

P.S: If you enjoyed this blog, I would be incredibly grateful if you could take just 30 seconds to share this blog with a friend on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Tag @RenewMinistriesOnline in the share, too, please! God bless you! 😇🙏🏼.

How to Focus on Your Goals and Live Intentionally Like Jesus!

How to Focus on Your Goals and Live Intentionally Like Jesus!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV

One thing I consciously work to do is:  LIVE INTENTIONALLY! Sometimes I, too, need downtime or to do “mindless things.” As a follower of Christ, a mental health coach, and a teacher of the Word, I understand the importance of living by your values, even when it involves mindless activities. I am a big fan of learning. In fact, I “relax” by learning. One of my favorite things to do is play word searches to improve my focus and speed-reading skills. 

Most word searches have a word bank that helps you identify the words you have to find for that particular puzzle. Without that word bank, it would be tough to verify if that word you saw was a word you were supposed to find. That’s when it hit me! 

We need to create our own word bank but of goals.

When you know the word you need to find, your mind works with you to help you find that word. Your brain will start to filter out all the letters absent in that word you are looking for and begin filtering in all the letters that are in that word you are looking for. It’s the same with goals. 

Sometimes, you will come across another word in that bank when you are looking for a specific word from that bank. Why is that? Because your mind is consistently seeing the word bank and looking for those words in the sea of letters.

Your self-talk is similar to this! Does your self-talk sound like Jesus’ or the worlds?

Since your self-talk tells your mind what to look for, the brain then will only highlight what you are consciously looking for – there are too many stimuli in the world for your brain to filter it all in!

 When you are reading the word bank, you tell your mind what to look for. Your body works with and apart from thought! Now, this is an excellent example of what it feels like to participate with your conscious mind. The same is true when you engage in your goals, as mentioned above. 

Again, we work to create our most dominant thoughts. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Proverbs 23:7).

Sometimes, you stare at the entire puzzle; you are merely trying to take in all the letters in hopes a word pops out to you. Maybe then you decide to pick a certain word from the bank, looking for it in the sea of letters when SUDDENLY – 💥BAM💥  you find that word! This is an example of your mind responding to thought! It works the same way when we are in “life.”

When you re-expose yourself consciously to your list of goals, you help yourself achieve your goals. Jesus is a great example of this. Since He was always saying what the Father told Him to say. He never lost focus or track of His goal. Jesus never stopped thinking about His primary goals: glorifying the Father, staying in constant relationship with the Father, and teaching people about their authority in Him! It’s fair to say Jesus never lost sight of His personal mission in life!

You can re-expose yourself to your goals by reading your goals as much as possible, envisioning yourself achieving those goals, or intentionally meditating on the goals throughout the day. It will eventually get into your nonconscious mind. What we meditate on shapes up! As you progress through the days, life experiences, and life challenges, your mind will find opportunities that relate to or lead you to accomplish those goals faster. Of course, the same can be said by doing the opposite way of living. You know, when you focus on the short-term, flesh, and lust-filled things. You either are living intentionally by your values or passively not knowing what your values really are!

I am a firm believer your brain can be trained to work with you or against you. Satan can and will try to sell you lies. There are principalities of darkness who are chomping at the bit to teach you to think in a deadly way – in a way that torments, controls, and paralyzes you!  

Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).

Remember, Jesus always spoke what He wanted to see. Jesus only said life. He always stayed in agreement and in the will of His Father as well! We are to walk in that image! Speaking life, the solution, and always praising the Father. 

Most people fail at achieving their new year’s resolutions because they identify their goals, write them down, and then push them to the side. One needs to consciously participate with those goals every day as much as possible by reading them out loud and consciously meditating on them. It’s so important to see yourself accomplishing said goals too!

There are plenty of verses that speak to the significance of continually meditating on God’s word and not allowing scripture to depart from your eyes. The same is valid with goals. Proverbs 28:19 says:

Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained; But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God] (AMP).

This verse says that when the Word of God is not known or honored, the people run wild. The ones who obey the law (Word of God) are the truly blessed ones. We could take the same principle and apply it to our goals. If your goals are not known to you and are not honored by your choices, you will run wild and, most likely, miss opportunities or delay yourself from getting there. The reality is if you identify your goals and push them to the side, your focus will go with them too. Ultimately, you become more easily distracted by “bright shiny object syndrome.” You know where EVERYTHING seems like a great idea, and you can do it all! …. Only to find out that you can’t and that you have exhausted yourself trying to do so!

Ironically, neuroscience supports this. By consciously thinking and envisioning yourself accomplishing the goal that you want to achieve for a total of one hour a day for 180 days straight, you will have a 90% improvement in reaching that goal or gaining a clearer vision of that goal.  Either way, the results are in your favor! 

It's so important to live life intentionally, as Jesus exemplifies in the Gospel.

We know this to be true because the Bible is truth! However, neuroscience supports these findings because of how the Reticular Activity System (RAS) works and how God designed our minds. Car shopping is an excellent example of how one’s RAS works. When you are contemplating buying a particular car, your mind will highlight that car to your conscious mind every time it is close to you! 

You start to think, “hmm… this car is everywhere.” The reality is there are not any more of these cars than there were before. The difference is now you notice them! You told your mind what to look for, and it responded. Your brain starts to filter in the stimuli you put in through your self-talk and what you meditate on throughout the day. This is also the power of intentional living and having a single-minded focus….just like Jesus did. Remember, a double-minded man is unstable in all that they do (James 1:8).

Now since you, probably, weren’t aware you told yourself to look for that car, this would be an example of how your brain works apart from thought. Just like you don’t tell yourself to breathe! Notice how both conscious and unconscious thought guides you to action!? Perhaps, this explains Proverbs 23:7?

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [in behavior—one who manipulates].

You do what is in your heart (mind).

Thought becomes words - words become actions - actions become habits -habits become your character- and your character becomes your destiny!

I think this is why God reminds us to meditate on His word and told us so many times, “do not be afraid.” He knew precisely what would rotten the soul – and He was right! Duh

 However, when you do not live an intentional life with a clear vision, you are wandering. When you wander, your mind will still work as described above. The most significant difference is when you lack keen focus or direction, everything can become a path you could walk down, or everything becomes an opportunity. It will start to feel like you are treading water instead of moving towards your goals. 

A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead (Proverbs 21:16).

 Living intentionally and practicing thought-control will bring you more useful information, and the other brings, potentially, more useless information. To bring this back to the word search, this would be an example of when you find a word that is not in the word bank. 

 When you look for what you are focusing on and only what you are focusing on, it’s easier to successfully and timely accomplish your goals. Think back to the last word search you did. Didn’t everything else become less important until after you completed the puzzle? 

When concentrating on a word search, the focus you have is the same single-minded intensity and self-discipline you need to achieve your goals. 

The Bible also says the same thing with the following verses:

So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (Luke 11:9-10).

Let me ask you…

👉  Where do you need to be more intentional with your goals? 

👉  Where are you departing from godly wisdom in your life?

👉  Where can you start disciplining your flesh to be more like Christ? 

👉  Where can you start living more intentionally versus passively?

PRAYER: Father God, thank You for aligning my desires with Your desires. If there are any goals I want to or am pursuing that do not align with Your will, help me to see that and lose interest in them! Help me to live more intentionally and with a Jesus-like focus. Father help me to achieve only what You would like me to achieve. Holy Spirit help me to stay on the Father’s path for my life. Thank You for nudging me and loving me when I take a wrong step, and more importantly, thank You for getting me back on track. Father, thank You for sacrificing Your Son for me! Thank You for all that You are doing in my life, and I ask You to use me in Your Kingdom however You planned. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

P.S: If you enjoyed this blog, I would be incredibly grateful if you could take just 30 seconds to share this blog with a friend on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Tag Renew Ministries in the share, please! God bless you! 😇🙏🏼.

💕 God is Love ❤️ + You Were Made in His Image!

💕God is Love❤️ + You Were Made in His Image!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'”

Billy Graham

You are to love.

If God is love (1 John 4:8), and YOU are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), then you are love!💕 That would be the apparent equation, right? If we are made in God’s image and His image is love, then we are love. But, we are not love as God is. Therefore we are TO love. We are to allow God’s light to reflect through us. However, human beings’ souls are not precisely what God wanted for humankind (Genesis 2:17). Many things changed when Adam ate the fruit. For instance, we developed a conscience – understanding good and evil or right and wrong. Jeremiah 17:9 (AMP) says:

"The heart is deceitful above all things. And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?"

Jeremiah makes it clear why humans sin with the verse above. Due to pride (Proverbs 13:10), our hearts want to do what is best for us (individually), independently of anyone else. Humans can be quite awful (Mark 7:21-23). Isn’t this precisely the reason why parents must teach their young babes how to share?… Be kind…. Be thoughtful….and so on? 

We have to learn how to put our selfish desires down. As Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us, the human heart is quite wicked. Now, please do not get me wrong. I am not saying our spiritual default is hate or negativity. I believe it is quite the opposite. However, if this were true, negativity would produce life and not death. Neuroscience and the medical community are discovering extraordinary evidence that negativity (fear) destroys the body and soul and causes diseases!  

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:8 NKJV).

If love is God, and the Devil is the direct opposite of God, then the Devil is fear. What does fear do? It torments! What did Jesus tell us in John 10:10? The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10; parenthesis added).  

This makes sense, especially when you take note of what is being said “between the lines” in Romans 10:17:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

The opposite of this verse would be: 

So, then FEAR comes by hearing and hearing by the world. I say world because the Devil has dominion over the world, and its ways are not God’s way. 

And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind] (Ephesians 2:1-3 AMP).

We would enjoy the sensations of fear, loathing, toxic thinking, worry, anxiety, and so on if we were wired for such things. Instead, love feels the best. Love is what makes us glow and feel fabulous inside. Every person is made from God’s image, so most individuals will have parts that exhibit His kindness and love. However, some people will choose to follow and worship the Devil (1 John 3:8). 

While it makes more sense to say – if God is love and we are made in His image, that would make us love too. You and I both know humans don’t respond with the unconditional (true) love God does (1 Corinthians 13:8). But we have to work to show God’s love. We are to want to crucify our flesh (our sinful desires) and be like Christ (Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 5:1,2).

It takes time to learn how-to walk-in God’s love, but don’t fret because the Father knew you would need help. That is why after His Son was crucified, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. For when the Holy Spirit dwells in you, the love of God and the power of God does too. What does this power look like? Well, for starters, it is the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22,23 NKJV).

Not sure if the Holy Spirit is inside of you? When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God immediately seals you with His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22).

In closing, let me ask you! Where do you need to love others as the Godhead loves you? Where can you give people grace, mercy, and the benefit of the doubt? Where can you work in yourself to reflect God’s light?

Do you remember what Jesus said to His disciples as His hour drew closer?

34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34,35 NIV).

It’s just as Jesus said! People will know you are Jesus’ disciple if you love one another! Are you loving one another as Jesus demonstrated?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving your only Son to save me. It was your Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and that same Spirit dwells in me. I know I need your power, strength, and love. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. I welcome the Holy Spirit inside of me. I receive Him. Thank you, Father. Let Your will be done, and not mine in Jesus’ name, Amen

The Number One Way to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated

The Number One Way to Get Motivated and Stay Motivated

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'”

Billy Graham

Are you ready to get motivated?

Many people contact me asking, “How do I get motivated?” Getting motivated can be challenging, especially if it’s around a task you don’t want to do. Remember, we (believers) do not work for human masters but for the Lord. Sometimes reminding yourself of what Colossians 3:23-24 can be quite powerful:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

I get it, though. Sometimes that’s simpler said than done. Some of what I talk about is simple but not necessarily easy. First, let’s get clear on how motivation is created! Perhaps this will help it all click!

Motivation comes from activation.

A ball does not get momentum until some energy force activates it! As the ball begins to move, it picks up speed (momentum).

Therefore, you must get activated! The only way you will get motivation is by starting. Through taking that first step, the activation occurs, which can lead to the creation of motivation. Now here’s the thing – Watch your feelings!

You might not feel like doing it; that’s why Paul tells us not to focus on how we

feel, in 2 Corinthians 5:7:

For we live by faith, not by sight.

Assuming what you want to do is in line with the Word of God and what God wants you to do, you are going to have to start even when you feel reluctant. Ultimately, God and His Word need to inform your feelings. When you are tempted to listen to your emotions or your feelings are overwhelming you, resubmit yourself to God (James 4:7) – look to what the Word says! If your feelings line up with what the Word says, then excellent, follow that! But if your feelings contradict what the Word says, then say “no” to those thoughts or that activity. Regardless of how strong those feelings are! Emotions and feelings are not always trustworthy. Remember, God’s Word is your foundation and guide! Live by the Word of God, not your feelings.

It’s okay not to want to do something; don’t beat yourself up for it. That’s what the Devil wants you to do anyway. If Satan can get you condemning yourself, he won’t have to! Instead, accept the fact you don’t feel like doing it! Acknowledge your feelings as a feeling, not the truth, while remembering that your feelings can change quite quickly, and then begin. Sometimes what you

don’t feel like doing is precisely what you do need to do. If I am 100% honest, sometimes you just have to kick yourself in the booty by giving yourself tough love and get down to work!

For example, I don’t always like going to the gym, but I love how I feel afterward. Sometimes I think about what it will feel like once it’s completed (long-term thinking), verse how it feels right now (short-term thinking). Or sometimes, I don’t feel like seeing clients, but then I remember how much I love what I do and that the Father wants me to serve other people, and this is one way of doing that!

Here's a quick trick that can alleviate those domineering and entrapping thoughts when you really don't want to do something that you know you need to do!

I tell many of my clients to set a timer for 20 minutes. The reality is 20-minutes is not much time at all. So set your timer for 20 minutes and begin doing the task you feel unmotivated to do. Even if that means sitting in front of the computer screen, standing on the cardio equipment, or whatever it is you need to do. Remember, you’re only going to be doing it for 20 minutes. You can do it for 20-minutes!

Now, if you don’t get traction, which can happen, then stop! Some days when I am unsure if I want to work out, I will do this. I know, after 20-minutes, if my body doesn’t want to work out, then maybe that is the day I need to take a rest day!

What about those where you would like to do a hobby but just don’t feel like you have the energy? What do you do? The same thing. Even if that means you stare at the computer screen or paper for 20-minutes. Allow yourself to gently ease into things. Watch your expectations. It’s okay to go slow.

You see, what usually happens is you begin activating your motivation by just doing the activity. You will find the 20 minutes will fly by too. Most likely, you will end up continuing on with the task of realizing that it was not as bad as you were making it out to be. Some activities might take more time to get into the grove of things making the first 20 minutes go by slower than you hope, and that’s okay.

Sometimes you aren’t getting traction because you aren’t clear of all the steps necessary. If that’s the case, take a few minutes to plan out all the steps you need to take to get you to finish the line. I encourage you to work backward from the goal. Also, make the steps smaller as it is easier to get you motivated and committed.

Other times you may not want to try the thing you would like to do or know you need to do because of fear. That’s okay. Again acknowledge that fear by doing what Jesus would do! Sometimes you will need to tell the Devil or his principalities to “get behind you” (Matthew 16:23) just as Jesus did! Bear in mind, the Father NEVER gave you a spirit of fear! For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Tell the Spirit of Fear to get behind you, for it’s not coming from the Father. Allow the Father’s grace to be sufficient for you while holding on to the truth that YOU CAN do all things through Christ who gives you strength (2 Cor. 12:9; Philippians 4:13).

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Encourage yourself as the Father is encouraging you!

Lastly, do not forget that YOU CAN do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13, parentheses added). Perhaps reciting this verse would be a great way to encourage yourself but also to allow Jesus’ strength to move you versus your own.

Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your grace and power. Thank You for all that you do. Father, help me to stay focused on the mission You have for my life. Help me be motivated and do all the things that I need to do and don’t want to do. Help me fight laziness and the devil with Your strength and not my own. Help me to be productive and remind me that all I do is for You! I love You and receive Your love and Your plans for my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

How My Dog Taught Me Blind Faith and Trust in Jesus!

How My Dog Taught Me Blind Faith and Trust in Jesus!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Oh that we would hunger to be filled with the Word of God; for there is no greater armor, no greater strength, no greater assurance that He is with us, and in us, when we go forth in battle equipped and nourished by His instruction and determined to stand firm on His promises.

C.S. Lewis

Let me ask you a question, are you allowing God to lead you, or are you leading yourself, hoping God will bless your path?

It can be challenging to follow the Lord. It’s not as clear-cut as some things, but more abstract. At times it can even feel like a guessing game! That’s where faith comes into play!

Faith without works is dead (James 2:26).

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I have no idea if I am doing what or going where the Father wants me to do or go! All I can do is pray, get counsel, discern, and step out in faith. I hope for the best, trusting God to reroute me if I have stepped out of His will for my life.

Yet, so many things can get in your way. Like fear, doubt, uncertainty, or feeling uncomfortable walking down a path God has directed you to walk. Let’s be real! The brain is not fond of the unknown or new experiences, especially when it leverages your fears.

Today, I want to share with you what a weird, late-night adventure taught me about blind faith and following Christ!

On January 10th, 2021, my husband, two dogs, and I were at our beach house. We love our beach house. All of us! We are big outdoors people, and I am a big water person, so you can find us at the beach quite often! January 10th is special for me for a few reasons. One, it’s the day Moo came into my life, and this particular anniversary marked a decade for Moo and me. The second reason is it’s the day before I married my best friend, Austin. Now, I have a really awesome husband who entertains my antics and adventures with Moo-Moo. Since Moo and I had been together for a decade, we made the day more about Moo and me.

Let me set things up a little for you. Our beach house is in a community, where there is an island in the middle that holds a few homes, the community pool, and the clubhouse. Daisy, my oldest dog, has to be walked quite a bit. I don’t talk much about Daisy because she’s like a cat and would rather be alone unless she can go on a walk. Now, Daisy is 15-years old and struggles with her sight and hearing. (Praise the Father that He is restoring her sight and hearing). For the most part, Daisy, a 7-pound Maltipoo is bed rested unless she’s on a leash.

Every day, we walk the dogs around that island, which forks off into a neighborhood at the beach. All in all, it’s about a 2.5-mile walk. Now sometimes, when we are heading back to the beach house, we will cross the beach road and walk on the beach home, as we are right on the beach road. Moo loves the beach, and Daisy loves the wind. However, the sand is not always dog friendly to the dogs that have hair versus fur. Our dogs have hair! That’s why we don’t always walk on the beach.

Now at night, we also walk the dogs just around the island because we try to walk Daisy as much as she wants. I couldn’t imagine not having 2 of my senses and being bedridden, so I try to do all I can for her to have a great life.

Here is where the lesson started:

It was about 8:45 pm when Austin and I took Moo-Moo and Daisy out on a walk. We planned to walk the island a few times and head home. I was in my PJs and slippers. The walk went as always until we got to the fork, where our morning walk breaks off into the neighborhood. Suddenly, Moo, first looking at me to read my face, starts pulling me down the path that goes to the neighborhood. I submitted out of curiosity, being obsessed with my dog, and it was our 10th anniversary. I figured maybe he needed to go number 2. We got halfway down the street in that neighborhood and had bypassed all his typical spots where he does his business. This is entirely out of the norm for him. In 10-years, he’s never done something like this.

I told Austin, “maybe Moo is taking us on a Lassie moment, and we are going to save someone!” Austin, too, was curious but didn’t think it was going to be a Lassie moment. 🤣 We talked back and forth about where Moo was taking us, figuring that maybe he wanted to go to the beach. You see, it had been a few weeks since he had gone on the beach.

I was fulling submitting to him and going where he wanted to go, in my slippers. We must do the same when submitting to Jesus. I chose to follow Moo. I chose to lay down my life for Moo (John 13:38) – to put aside my plans for that evening and follow Moo to where he wanted me to go. Jesus says in Matthew 16:24:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Here Jesus plainly states what is involved in being his disciple: denial of self, crossing bearing, and following Him. When Jesus says we must deny ourselves, He means we must yield to His control so entirely that self has no rights whatsoever. I did this with Moo. I put down my will. Now, please don’t take this out of context. I know Moo is not Jesus. I am merely trying to make the parallel here. To make the abstract of following Jesus a bit more tactile.

Now, to pick up the cross means the willingness to endure shame, suffering, and persecution for Jesus’ sake. And to follow Jesus means to live as He lived.

I chose to do all of this at a very inconvenient time for me. Wearing slippers is not ideal when walking a 2.5-mile walk. I never once guided Moo forward. He had complete control. I only tried to turn Moo around, but he would have none of it. He put his little breaks on and crouched to the ground.

Here is a quick fun fact about Moo! He can get out of anything. He’s jumped 4 feet fences and climbed fences. He knows how to escape his crate and harnesses. We have gone through about 14-harnesses and have only found two that he can’t get out of, but I don’t put it past him. With that being said, I am always mindful when trying to turn him around. I kept trying to get him to go back to our place, but NOPE he wouldn’t! So we continued…

Here we were, Daisy, Austin, and I following and submitting ourselves to a 10-lb dog at 9 pm, in our PJs, with no flashlight or supplies. That’s when it hit me. This is what following Chris is like! It’s a choice. You have to make the choice to do it, but you also have to learn. If I was walking a dog that was not my own, I promise you I wouldn’t have done this. Essentially, you have to create a relationship with Christ to follow Him. It’s a good thing God works outside of Newton’s time.

On the walk, we didn’t have any light but the ambient light around us. Since I was with my husband, I was not too worried about what could happen. However, it’s important to note I can be a cautious person. But, as I took one step forward in the dark, I thought about what Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I couldn’t see far in the darkness, but the Father illuminated every step I took. We could only focus on taking one step at a time. That’s what God wants you to do too. To trust Him. To let Him establish your steps (Proverbs 16:9). God’s Word is a lamp to your feet, but you have to know His Word. Make the choice today to commit to learning about who Jesus is!

We know that Moo would not take us into danger, just like we know we can trust the Father to protect us (2 Thess. 3:3). We know that Moo is a loving and hilarious spirit, so most likely, we were going to laugh our butts off once we got this unknown destination (Proverbs 3:5-6). I think it’s similar to our walk with Jesus. We know Jesus’ character. We know that Christ is the light of the world, and when we follow Him, we do not walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12). We know His character is only goodness and love.

Since we were following Moo to a destination only, he knew it reminded me of what Jeremiah 29:11 says.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

You don’t know precisely what God has in store for you. Still, you do know that His plans for your life are not to hurt you but to give you hope, which I think sometimes involves laughter or intense moments of joy, and a future. Since we know this, it’s easier to trust Him! The Father always wants to teach you more about Him and His kingdom. The question is, are you going to abide in Him and do what He asks you to do when He asks you to do it? Or are you going to put your will and desires ahead of the Lord’s?

Anyways, we kept walking, fully submitting to Moo. Never did I once dictate his next step except when I was trying to get him to turn around to go back home. Moo ended up walking us the exact path we walk to go to the beach. Immediately we started laughing because we couldn’t believe Moo knew the exact path to go to the beach, and we could see him doing this on his own too. I wasn’t excited to walk on the beach in my slippers, but because I love him so much, I did.

I never thought I would find myself walking with my husband and dogs on the beach in my slippers at 9 pm. If I’m honest, never did I want to walk on the beach in my slippers either.

My point is this. Submitting to Jesus is a choice. As Austin and I had consciously spoken about how we would follow Moo and see where he took us, you have to have the same curiosity and love. But it isn’t easy to trust or follow someone when you don’t know their character. That is why it is essential to read your Bible and do more than a 15-minute devotional every day. You must get to know Jesus’ righteousness.

John 10:27 says,

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

When you spend time with Jesus, and I mean more than 15 min a day, you learn who Jesus is, what He sounds like, and how he operates. Understanding this helps you to identify and discern when the Godhead is speaking to you or the devil. When you know his voice, and he knows you, it’s easier to follow him.

How can you better follow Christ? Is God trying to take you somewhere that you are refusing to go?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for all you have done in my life. Thank you for your unconditional love. Thank you for your grace and redemption when I mess up. I see that I don’t always submit to you. I see that my will gets in the way. Father, I ask you to help me to submit myself to you fully. Please help me to discern when I am going my way versus your way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Be Brave and Be the Person God Designed You to Be!

Be Brave and Be the Person God Designed You to Be!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

— Isaiah 64:8

Are you celebrating the individuality and uniqueness that you have to offer? Or are you comparing yourself to everyone else? Limiting yourself to be the person God designed you to be? 

There is no one else on this earth like you! Out of 7 billion-plus people in this world, there is only one you! You are special. You are one of a kind. You are the apple of God’s eye (Psalm 17:8).

Do not follow the crowd because you are fearful of embracing the person God created you to be. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Following the world’s way and remaining in fear is precisely what the devil hopes and wants you to do (John 10:10). Besides, if the majority were “right” in their choice of living and thinking, wouldn’t they be happier? More prosperous? More courageous? More hopeful? 

As a mental health coach, I am always amazed to see the amount of hurt, pain, and suffering in people who have conformed to this world. I am convinced this is why Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).” 

Paul warns us not to follow the world. I believe it is because he knew how it would ultimately destroy us. The only thing that can save you is renewing your mind through the Holy Spirit’s help and reading your bible. 

In fact, God tells us to keep His Word as the apple of our eye. 

Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye (Proverbs 7:2).

In all my years of working as a mental health practitioner, plus being someone who enjoys researching human behavior, I have noticed something eye-opening. Those who have a pure and robust relationship with Christ had minimal to zero “problems.” Yes, they had problems or obstacles in life, but they remained at peace because they genuinely trusted the Lord. They depended on Him, not themselves. I can’t say the same for anyone else! I think that is saying something. 

If you feel you need to change, it’s important that change is encouraged and influenced by the Godhead (The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). What will this feel like? Well, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will do this in a way where you feel CONVICTED to change, not condemned. The devil is the one who makes you feel condemnation. Therefore, if you notice fear is your motivator, then the devil is the one who puts that on you. God is love, and He is going to convict you to change, not condemn you! He will also make away. The Father will never ask you to do something you cannot do! 

Do not be afraid of being judged because the truth is, people will judge you no matter what you do or don’t do. You cannot please everyone! When you walk in truth (John 8:32) and grow your relationship with Christ, the things you fear will begin to fall off of you, or you will start to walk out of them. 

Perhaps fear of man is something you struggle with, and you know this. One thing you can do is pray to God, asking for His guidance and help. Then you can go to the Word and find scriptures to meditate on to help you renew your mind (Romans 12:2) even faster. I once was terrified of man because of the extreme abuse I dealt with as a child, then one day, God brought me to this verse: 


No man shall take me out of His hand, for I have eternal life (John 10:29). 

I began meditating on this verse as much as I could. When I noticed I felt afraid of what a man could do to me, I would quietly recite this verse to myself. Immediately I would be comforted by the Holy Spirit and reminded that if a man did chose to assault me, it would be temporary. It would end, and I would go be with the Lord. It’s like what Paul says, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)

How you feel is how you feel, but please know your feelings are not the truth. Your feelings can lie to you and limit you. In fact, some neuroscientists are saying that our emotions have an emotional maturity of a 2-3-year-old! Let that sink in!!! 

You are entitled to your opinions, just as others are entitled to theirs. But that doesn’t mean either one of you is “RIGHT.” God’s Word is the TRUTH! Therefore if your opinion contradicts that, then most likely you too are wrong. Don’t let your pride consume you! Be the person you have always dreamt of being, and I pray that person reflects God’s light. Because whatever you do, if you aren’t reflecting God’s light, you will never be truly satisfied in life (John 6:35).

Jesus replied to them, I am the Bread of Life. The one who comes to Me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in Me [as Savior] will never be thirsty [for that one will be sustained spiritually] (John 6:35). 

Unsaved people, and unfortunately, even some saved individuals, will judge you regardless of what you do or don’t do. Therefore the best thing you can do is courageously follow Christ. Besides, give them a few seconds and they will go back to thinking about themselves again! It’s your life – be smart – follow Christ!

Remain alert. Keep standing firm in your faith. Keep on being courageous and strong (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Make yourself happy by CHOOSING to follow Christ! It is through the shedding of His blood that you are saved! Besides, people who judge are only motivated by their self-righteous insecurities, unhappiness, and other negative emotions and feelings. Essentially, they are a slave to the devil (Romans 6:20). 

Please do not be afraid to embrace the one-of-a-kind individual God created you to be. He knows you better than you know yourself, so please trust Him (Jeremiah 1:5). Do not be afraid to do what you desire to do because you fear what people will think or say about you (this would be fear of man). Remember, as you continue seeking God, He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

I promise you can’t please everyone, but you can please God, and it’s simpler than you think! It is also so much more satisfying than trying to please man who can’t agree on everything but just some things. Even still, there is someone who disagrees. Man is lost. God is not!

People who love you and honestly care about you will not judge you but encourage you to do what makes your heart sing and achieve your dreams. God does this as well. In fact, God is your biggest fan!

Surround yourself with people who encourage you, people who make you feel great about yourself. Avoid hanging out with people who drain you or create negative energy within you. 


Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).


You were born into this world for a reason. You have a purpose.

PRAYER: Father God, Thank you for creating me to be me. Thank you for your unconditional love for me. Thank you for your forgiveness when I fail to love myself as you have designed me. Father, help me to walk boldly in the skills, talents, and uniqueness you have given me. Help me to grow my character to be more like Christ. I want to see myself as you see me. Thank you for helping me to see and love myself as you love me. In Jesus’ name. 

Life is Amazing! Are You Missing it?


Life is amazing, are you missing it?

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.

— Jonathan Edwards 

Life is extraordinary. We are given such a short time to honestly appreciate life, even though God designed us to live for 120 years.

Life is one of a kind, a unique opportunity that can never happen twice. Life is filled with innumerable amounts of beautiful moments, moments that one can easily miss. I think COVID has helped many of us understand how precious and short life is. I am not ignoring the chaos that COVID has brought; however, I believe COVID has helped people clearly see what is really important to them.

However, it’s essential not to disregard this fact: You can never get a moment back! Please don’t be foolish! When it expires, it permanently expires.

 Of course, you may experience similar moments in the future. Still, that moment – that exact moment is only available to share once. Praise the Lord, our God – the God of the highest – redeems all things to work for good (Romans 8:28)! This is excellent news for believers. Why? Because you will mess up or miss something in life, but God redeems all things to work for the greater good! Therefore we always win!

Think about it this way. Life is forever moving forward – you cannot go backward. It’s one time, permanently moving forward, not stopping for anyone. You are only ever 40 years, four months, and six days once. When that day ends, it is gone forever. 

However, you get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds TO CHOOSE how you will spend your day, and then create that reality. In that same amount of time, you also get to make choices, and those choices will shape your reality and life. If you don’t like your life, then start making NEW, DIFFERENT AND CONSCIOUS DECISIONS!

You will work to create your most dominant thoughts (Proverbs 23:7) – this is how fear becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your choices, even at a thought level, are responsible for how you respond or react.

Now each day, you have a binary choice. (1)You can either choose to focus and find positive, joyful, life-filled moments, or (2)you can choose to be anxious, worried, angry, and stressed out all the time. In short, you either pick to live in God’s spirit with the mind of Christ or out of the spirit of fear, where only death, suffering, and destruction exists.

Whatever you choose, you will create! 

Either way, life is happening. Life will not stop for you! If you choose to live and think like Christ, something unique happens. When you focus only on positive thoughts, you will find positive stimuli. God designed our brains to work for us. There’s something called the Reticular Activity System (RAS) in your brain. It filters in and out the stimuli you put into it. Your self-talk, what you expose yourself to, and the things buried in your heart directly influence the content your mind brings to your awareness, both consciously and unconsciously.

Again, this is why God tells you so many times to hide His Word in your heart so that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). It is also why Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8 to think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or worthy of praise. If what you are meditating on does not fit into any of these buckets, then I’d argue you probably need to let that thought go or tell that thought to Be Gone in Jesus’ name!

Let me explain what I am saying here with an example…

Ever gone car shopping? What starts to happen? You begin to feel like everyone in the world has that car you are considering! It’s like everywhere you turn, you see that car! This is your Reticular Activity System working with you. Since you were contemplating that car model, your brain will bring to your attention that car every time you pass it!

When you consciously engage in God’s word and positive thinking, the same will happen. Your brain will alert you of all of the positive and godly things happening. Yes, you will still see negatives, but not to the same extent.

  Have you noticed that negative people usually only focus on and talk about negative things? 

It will feel as if you have rose-colored glasses on, as you will find yourself seeing the optimistic solution-minded side of situations. You will also start to see God working more in your life. Remember, in John 10:27, Jesus says that His sheep know and listen to His voice, and they do follow Him. The more you tell yourself you know and hear God’s voice, the more you will begin! But the opposite will work too.

You start to see just how extraordinary, beautiful, and precious life is. You begin to see how God is for you, so who can be against you (Romans 8:31)? You begin to see all that you have and all that you can be grateful for. God wants you to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18). However, that’s really hard to do when you have a negative mindset or outlook on life!

I personally get much comfort from watching animals be. I specifically love to watch squirrels for some reason. I find it fascinating how nature and animals don’t worry, and if they don’t, why are you?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?  (Matthew 6:26 AMP)

You are so important to the Father. You are the apple of His eye  (Psalm 17:8). 

God does not want you to worry or think negatively because of the damage it does to you physically, mentally, and spiritually. Jesus is your Savior. Everything Jesus asks you to do, He knows you are capable of doing, and that it will save you, not destroy you. The Godhead will never ask you to do something without first giving you the power to do it (John 5:8). Some of us are not walking in that power or authority (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 16:25). Your Father in Heaven wants to give you life – He wants to provide you with good, good things (James 1:17)! However, God honors free will.

It’s important to remember that you may need to train (renew) your mind to think differently so you can TAKE what God is offering you instead of passively waiting for Him to move. Some of you are praying for things that God has already given you, and when this happens, it’s an indicator you need to renew your mind.

Sometimes, God is waiting for YOU to move!


If you choose death over life, then I must ask: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life (Matthew 6:27)?

Is worrying bringing you comfort or torment? Remember, things that bring torment are from the devil. There is a real enemy that wants to destroy you (John 10:10). Trust the Father and cast your cares on to Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). 

Life is special. Life needs to be cherished. Life needs to be lived intentionally, not passively. Don’t chase the wind either (Ecc. 2:11). It is hard to relish or be present in the moment if you choose not to be present. Choosing not to be present occurs when you are too busy in your head about the past or the future; when you’re too busy worrying about what if…

God tells us to take no thought for tomorrow because tomorrow will bring its own issues (Matthew 6:34). Now God is a redeemer, but He is not going to bless you so you can keep sinning. Some of you are your worst enemy because you choose to hold on to your pride ( Proverbs 13:10) and victim thinking (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

A victim mentality is when you blame everyone else for what happens in your world). It is when a person thinks that the future only holds terrible things for them. 

But God says:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

When you choose to renew your mind and allow God to transform you (Romans 12:2), you will start to cherish life. You also begin to walk in the mind of Christ. But, YOU have to desire to be like Christ. YOU will have to do the work too. Christ does most of it – remember His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). 

You can also choose the latter, where no matter what is happening around you, you see your life as terrible. You see, the people who love you the most hurting you. You see how people are letting you down. You see how life is awful, and you focus on how unhappy you are. You allow your feelings of unforgiveness, bitterness, depression, worry, and stress to weigh you down where you become their prey. This is precisely what the devil wants. He wants you oppressed by the Spirit of Fear.

Whatever you choose – know your brain will help find it


Of course, one day, you may wake up or see through the fog of darkness. You may start to question some of the lies you have been sold. Once you become calm and no longer focused on yourself, your crappy life, or fears – all darkness – you start to realize some things. Like how many memorable moments you might have missed or taken for granted because your pride, fear, and carnal ways seemed more critical. It’s okay. Repent and start to renew your mind.

I am telling you life is so extraordinary, and you do not get repeats or second chances.


If you choose to have a Christ mindset, you then appreciate and are grateful for every moment. You will start to be overcome with joy. You would not be able to outrun joy even if you tried. Why? The most significant difference between the two scenarios I described is that one person focuses on life as a whole. The other is focusing only on himself or herself. When you focus only on yourself and how life only affects you, you have limited yourself only to see a slither of the world surrounding you.

By pride comes nothing but strife, But with the well-advised is wisdom (proverbs 13:10).


Life is more powerful than just what is going on in your life. The world doesn’t revolve around you. You are to give thanks and the glory to God always (1 Cor. 10:31).

This year, I encourage you to focus on finding joy, positivity, and things you are grateful for in every moment of your life. Start to consciously direct your thoughts to only be on things that are lovely, just, pure, admirable, right, noble, and anything worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). If you are fighting with someone, lay your pride down, and look for understanding and agreement (Amos 3:3). Or if you are in a conversation, you find it boring to find something about that person you appreciate and are grateful for and focus on it. By doing this, you will find yourself walking out of that negative sensation.

We are all interconnected. We are all going through internal suffering. Kindness, positivity, and gratitude must be spread to reflect God’s light through us – His chosen people.

Life has to be fully lived in the present with an attitude of joy and appreciation. Or the once-in-a-lifetime experience of life will pass you by, and you will not even see it go.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him (Psalm 28:7). 

 

Embrace a Christ-like attitude. Be positive, compassionate, unconditionally loving, joyful, helpful, and emerge yourself in living today!

Lastly, if you mess up, forgive yourself. Give yourself mercy as Jesus would do. Repent and even ask God to redeem it and then move on, trusting that God will do what He knows is best for you and the greater good.

STOP, Do You Know How to Receive God’s Wisdom?


STOP, Do You Know How to Receive God's Wisdom?

By: Austin Creecy

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

— Colossians 3:16

You can gain wisdom! We all could benefit from more wisdom in our lives. God wants to give you His understanding – His knowledge! James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. All you have to do is ask God for wisdom, and He will give it to you! How glorious is that? Another example of how much God loves you! Now, remember you must be willing to do what He says!

 

God shows us through Proverbs how to gain divine knowledge, as well as how to put aside our foolish ways. 

 

The word Proverbs refers to “sayings of the wise.” The Book of Proverbs compares and contrasts what living wisely versus foolishly looks like and will bring. The goal of Proverbs is to clearly show the reader how to live life wisely and skillfully. 

 

It is believed that if one implants into his or her life the moral disciplines commanded in chapters 1-9 and masters the practical application of wisdom expressed in chapters 10-31, he or she will indeed have an abundant and successful life. 

 

Most of Proverbs was written by the wisest man ever to live, Solomon. He was writing to his sons. He hoped to make sure they lived long lives and lived them well for God. In doing this, he walks us through how to live wisely and how to live foolishly. 

 

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

 

The word “fool” in Proverbs 1:7 means foolish or silly but can also mean perverse. It views another as behaving like a “fool,” which signifies the individual lacks wisdom and allows the enemy to perverts what they perceive. 

 

Let’s say one is reading his or her Bible to check a box. Let’s assume said individual is not paying attention to the words or meditating on them the way God advises. Essentially, the person commits 30-minutes to God and then does the rest of his or her day without Him. Therefore, this individual would be participating with foolishness. 

 

God wants to be in every part of your life. 

 

God is good! He loves you so much. Yes, maybe the person in the example above is getting some insights, but the real question here is – Is the individual growing godly fruit? Remember, the Father is the vine, and His body of Christ are the branches. Jesus evens says a person can recognize another by their fruits. What fruits are growing on your vine? Godly fruits or fruits of the devil? 

 

Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.” 

 

Please understand that merely reading the Word to check a box is not what God is asking. The Father wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). He wants a relationship with you. He is asking you to grow godly fruit and abide by Him in all things. Reading the Word and believing God will do it all for you is foolish thinking! This kind of thinking makes an individual a fool in that department. 

 

Proverbs 1:7 states, “…fools despise wisdom and instructions.” I can attest to this as it is something I have struggled with in my past. I didn’t see my thoughts as being foolish, let alone even behaving foolishly. Yet, when I would sit down and reflect, I realize I didn’t want instruction or help. I was operating from a self-righteous stance, not a righteous one. I was playing the role of God instead of obeying God. 

 

After all, I was living what I believed at the time was the “right way.” At least that is the lie that the enemy was feeding me, and I chose to agree with it. 

 

Of course, the enemy wants us to stay foolish in our thinking and lean on our own understanding. However, Proverbs 3:5 reminds you: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” That means sometimes you will not understand why God is encouraging you to do it the way He is. That’s okay. Trust Him. He’s wiser than you!

 

I know some Christians struggle with thinking they are doing things the way Jesus would. Yet, when they take a closer look, they realize they are missing those subtle and sometimes not so subtle nudges from the Holy Spirit.

 

If you are anything like I once was, sometimes it’s a pile of nudges! 

 

It’s easy to struggle with pride. I have learned my pride can sometimes sound like this: “Oh no, you’re doing everything right. You are doing everything as close as you can to Christ. You do not see growth in your spiritual life because the Spirit just isn’t feeding you.” 

 

That, my brothers and sisters, are lies from the devil! 

 

The truth is I was struggling to grow in my spiritual life because I was spending more time checking boxes and being double-minded in some areas of my life instead of focusing on the word and keeping my eyes set upon the Lord. I thought my focus was on the Lord. However, when I held the mirror up to myself, I realized I was not. We all stumble at times – that is to be human. That’s okay. Quickly repent and move on. Our Father in Heaven is incredibly loving and forgiving. 

 

What we need to remember is God loves you so much!! If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

He will give you wisdom! All you need to do is ask. A healthy prayer life casts those prayers to Him, entrusting them with Him, and seeking wisdom or discernment when something is not adding up. The Father does not want to hide anything from you, but He also might not tell you everything you want to know. That’s okay. Trust His wisdom. 

 

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2:6).

 

If you follow the passage above, you will ask the Lord for wisdom, and you will want to spend time in His Word. You must trust that He will show you, but it may be in His perfect timing, not yours. 

 

When I struggle with a lack of wisdom, I ask the Lord to guide me, and then I choose to abide in His prompts. If I feel I am not hearing Him clearly, I remind myself that I know His voice, then I read Proverbs or go to those letters in red. Who is better to learn wisdom from but Jesus Christ Himself! Do I need to remind you that Christ is God in the flesh?!

 

Usually, once I spend some time in His word, wherever that may be, He shows me the area I am struggling with and how to defeat it. Sometimes God guides me through a conversation with my wife or a family member. Sometimes it’s even a short conversation with a stranger. 

 

If you ask, God will show you. We must remember to be still, know that He is God, and listen to Him. Remember, Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”

 

I have found myself at times behaving foolishly, yet I still believe I am doing the right thing. Except I start to notice life seems a little harder, and I don’t always clearly hear God. When I see this, I recalibrate and find life is more comfortable, more joyful, and smoother in all ways with Him guiding me. Walking with Christ next to you through life and allowing Him to guide you and fill you up allows for the opportunity for the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) to manifest in your life. Living in the fruits of the Spirit is EMPOWERING and FREEING! 

 

I invite you to take a moment today and ask God for wisdom. Perhaps you are searching for divine knowledge on how you live better for Him and His Kingdom. Or maybe you need wisdom regarding a current temptation or sin in your life. Perhaps you are looking for divine knowledge to navigate the normal day-to-day in this hectic, crazy fallen world. Whatever it is – ask God today and entrust that He is or will answer you! 

 

I hope that by gaining wisdom, you will hopefully STOP choosing to live foolishly and continue your growth towards being more like Christ. 

 

Your holy Heavenly Father loves you more than your human mind can even fathom. He yearns for a relationship with you! The Father can grow His relationship with His children to impart His wisdom – His way of thinking and seeing- on to you. 

 

The new year is right around the corner, and I hope you start, if you haven’t already, asking The Father to show you His wisdom and love for you every day so that you can be even closer to Him now!

 

Make gaining God’s wisdom a priority in your life! Don’t be fooled by the biggest fool of all, the devil.