Category Archives: And God says…..

Happy Valentine’s Day! The Heart of the Matter…

February 14 is a day set aside each year to show that “special someone” how much we care about or even love them. So often we take for granted the ones who hold that place in our hearts or lives, so on this one day of the year, for those who many have forgotten to say it or show it on a regular basis, this is the day of reprieve and restoration of good standing in good graces…God willing.

This tradition has come a long way from its grave beginnings, of which I will not disgust this post with its grim, bloody beginnings for which both men and women eagerly participated in with the hopes of being fertile in the match-making love kinda way. I’ll let you discover the believed source on your own. Oh, my. Let’s just say, today, in the western world at least, it would be grounds for execution or at best prison. We’ve come along way, baby! And for that, millions are grateful!

Some believe, this special occasion evolved from the martyrdom of two men named Valentine who were slain at the hands of the Romans on February 14 and then their martyrdom honored by the Catholic church. Of course, after Shakespeare and Chaucer romanticized it in their work, it became more widely accepted and has evolved into what we know and observe today as the official Valentine’s Day.

Hearts flutter, anticipation creates a buzzing that makes you gleam with excitement of what awaits the one claimed as “the love of your life.” Children learn very quickly this is the one acceptable day of the year, for which they are encouraged, to let their tender hearts reach out to that “special someone” without fear of rejection. For others, like my daughter, the love of her life presented her with chocolate covered strawberries and roses—not a bouquet of roses mind you—but in the most delicate and colorful wrappings, she received a rose bush that will soon be planted to remind them year after year of the love they share. It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the richest sense of the word…Love. Love that is true in hearts that are true. No. There’s nothing like it on this earth.

Around this time of year a few years ago, the Lord gave me a vision. It was that of a human heart. I don’t mean a picture of a heart or symbol, but an actual heart that was beating. It was gray-scale in appearance, like that you would see in an echocardiogram. I could see and hear the heart beating, and I could feel the heart beating. I could see the blood vessels surrounding the heart through which the life giving source is pumped and distributed throughout our bodies. I pondered for quite a while on this. It was intriguing to say the least.

I was led to 1 Kings chapter 8, Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the temple. What leaped out at me was in verse 52, 53 Solomon is reminding God that the nation of Israel was set apart from every other nation as his own inheritance, and that they are God’s special possession.

We are grafted into the vine of God’s special possession through the promise given to through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We too are God’s special possession. Solomon’s prayer goes on to give praise to God who gives his people rest, stating that not one word has failed of all the good promises God gave us. Think about that. We are God’s special possession. Not that we are a possession to be owned or controlled by God. Indeed, God gives us freedom to choose whether or not we want to be loved by him, provided for by him, guided by him and protected by him. But when we do, God gives us everything he offers to us for our protection, guidance and prosperity on this earth with his promise that he will forever walk with us each and every day. Why? Because we are God’s heartbeat. We are the object of his love and affection.

Yes. What God wants is a relationship with us. A relationship is a two-way street. Just as you must spend time with your significant other, the love of your life, to develop your relationship so you can learn each other and grow with each other, the same is true of a relationship with God. We must spend time with him in his word and through prayer so we can get to know him better. What we fail to understand and all too often fail to accept is just how much God loves us….and no…He isn’t sitting on his throne shaking his scepter and waiting for the opportunity to put a pump knot on your head when you make a mistake. What we sometimes take for granted is the great extent God went to for us to be in a close relationship with him. That price was paid for by the life Jesus willingly gave on the Cross of Calvary for us. Because of his great love for us. Greater love has no man that he who lays down his life for someone else. Jesus did just that for us.

Just like it is sometimes hard for us to believe that someone could care for us so much that we would be set apart and honored by that someone special on the day of the Valentine, or any other day for that matter, it can be difficult to understand how God can see us as we really are and still love us and want to talk with us and walk with us on a daily basis…But…He does.

I must admit it took me a while to accept his love for me, after all I have done. But when I did, my life was transformed. I remember a Valentine’s Day many, many years ago. I was in my church’s women’s group and they were playing a game using the candy hearts with words on them. You know, the ones that say things like “Love Bug,” “Be Mine,” “Kiss Me,” ”Be True,” “Love Me,” etc. We were instructed to take five candies and spell a sentiment that would describe your relationship with “your true love.” With deep sentiment, a laugh and a smile on their face, each woman described their “true loves” as told by their five candies. Interestingly, (and I’m not exaggerating), each woman thought well of the efforts of the candies to describe their loves, until it came to mine. In fact, through laughter and in good humor, they said they just didn’t get it. Actually, I understood. I can’t remember exactly what mine said by now, but it made perfect sense to me. I wasn’t describing a man. I was describing, to the best of the candies’ ability, my relationship with Jesus, because he is “my one and only.”

Interestingly, how many of us think of our relationship with Jesus in this way? Do we put him first? Do we keep him first? Do we choose to keep him first even after we have been blessed with a person we can call “Our one true love?” Yes, I know. Perhaps my sentiment didn’t sound so romantic. I get it. But when it comes right down to it, God looks at our heart. He can see past what we so often get blind-sided by—the outward appearance and what our mouths can say but what our hearts can’t back up. Our good intentions that sift through the hands of time like sand in an hourglass. God knows what no one else can know about us. He knows every beat of our heart.

I was asked recently, “Do you think you’ll ever get married again?” My answer, “Perhaps. One day.” But rest assured, I know it is Jesus who captured my heart and in whose care I will always stay. The ministry of His love is what I proclaim on this great Valentine’s Day and every day.

So, whether you are single, married or in a relationship with whoever you decide to call “the love of your life,” “your special someone” or “My Sweet Valentine,” as you share the tender moments this day can bring, may the source of your love be settled with the One who is love…..The Lord God Almighty who will never leave you, “til the end of the age” (and that’s forever). Listen to His still small voice as He gently calls you today to come back to the heart of worship. Remember the time when you first loved him and you knew he loved you and let him love you back into wholeness again. Let his love bring warmth in your heart on this Valentine’s Day.

Love always remains as you go on your way.
Love always, I give to you as I look into your face.
Love always, I give you with a warm embrace.
Love Always.

©2018 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Living Proof

The date was March 30, 1986. Living Proof is what we called ourselves and we worked to live up to that name. We were eagerly awaiting service to start as we watched the sanctuary fill to capacity. Me, my brother, sister, three friends, and even my mother had worked six months preparing our church’s Easter program. When I say prepare, I mean we wrote and co-wrote most of the songs, as well as secured sound equipment, stage lighting and built a lighted cross to complete the stage effects. Our pastor narrated Easter story intertwined with the songs we sang. We practiced night after night for six months until we knew each entrance, beat and could sing the songs in our sleep. It was exhausting. At the same time, we were walking with so much excitement and expectation of what God would do. Indeed, one person did give their lives to Christ. There is no feeling like knowing your efforts helped bring a lost soul into a life-changing, soul-saving relationship with Jesus Christ—like walking in the clouds.

“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do no think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh,” Romans 13:14.

Saying we are a Christian is one thing. Living like we are what we say we are is another. I realize there are as many different interpretations of what a Christian is supposed to be like, but God is fairly clear on how he expects us to behave.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of being Christ-like was shown to me in the middle of the night a few years ago about a person I was praying for. In a vision, I saw Jesus standing with his back to me. Then, I saw him slowly turn to his right so I could see his profile from his right side. Then, I saw a man walk out of the body of Jesus. This man was wearing the same clothing that Jesus was wearing—he appeared in Christ’s likeness.

This spoke volumes to me. When we become a Christian, we go through a process called sanctification. This is a process by which we become more like Christ through the cleansing and renewing of our minds through the study of God’s word, prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to change us.

God was showing me that when we allow God to work in us to bring about healing and restoration and holy change in our lives, we will become more and more like Christ. This, then, becomes living proof we are the Christians we claim to be. As the old saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding.”

Does our lives give living proof that Jesus set us free from sin and bondage? May our testimony be, “He must become greater; I must become less,” John 3:30. Grace. Humble. Peace. Amen.

©2018 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

God Knows Your Heart

Surely we will not allow ourselves to become so hard-hearted that we cannot hear the voice of God?? Surely not. Yet, this is exactly what God says we become when we allow ourselves to see through the lense of worldly or even religious expectations, or when we raise up standards and expectations through the lense of our own experiences. Not withstanding wisdom learned through life’s experiences, when we settle our mind into the grooves of our own thinking, we are thinking with our own mind and not necessarily the Mind of Christ. “For, who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”

I have a special place in my heart for ministers. I always have since I was very young. It was something God supernaturally put in me from as far back as I can remember. They are those we look to for guidance, wisdom and truth, certainly in our darkest moments we seek comfort through their presence and heartfelt words. They are also some of the most viciously attacked people in the world. True enough, some may be way off the beaten path of truth. But many, however, are deep in the trenches of praying for God to save me and you. These are people who go through attacks and struggles, most of which no one ever hears about. Why? Because, as a representative of God on this earth, through their prayers and ministries, they are bearing the burdens of many. They are tearing down the kingdom of darkness that has set itself against you and me and this world we live in. It is easy for us to point the finger of expectation with the Word so tried and true. It is not always easy to receive it. I’ve experienced some of the most misguided attempts to set me straight from something I was never bound by. Go Figure. Yes, indeed. We need to figure this thing out so we can build up the walls of a mighty fortress to further the Kingdom of God on this earth.

Many years ago, right after my son was first born, the church where I was serving found themselves without a praise and worship leader. Since they knew I played the piano and sang, it was strongly suggested I seek the Lord about serving in this capacity, they surmised I was at that church “For such a time as this.” I was not seeking a position in this church, mind you. In fact, I had never served in this position before and I was more than feeling inadequate to lead anyone. I felt as if I was still recovering from all I had been through in the events leading up to the birth of my son. Look at God go with his “suddenlies.” I am a fairly reserved person, until you get to know me. I don’t try to be. It’s just the way God made me. At this point, I was more reserved. I didn’t really know anyone very well. Taking this new position would mean I had to allow God to pull more from me than I had experienced before and this was fairly difficult for me. But I knew God was standing right next to me. I might point out that when we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Therefore, just as soon as we repent, I mean truly repent, God resets everything surrounding us and says, “Pick up your mat and walk. We have work to do.” Amen.

One morning after service, a gentleman came up to me and said, “Sister Katrina, I’m going to pray for you about your pride.” I was confounded and dismayed. My response to this gentleman was, “Good. And I’ll pray for you,” to which he agreed as he left.

My thoughts immediately went to God, “Lord. This can’t be. Of all the things you taught me about pride when facing my sin of stepping away from the straight and narrow path you set for me, surely this is not the case. Surely, you have taught me to confess my sins before you and make sure my heart is humble and true before you, especially before I ever step up on the platform to worship you. Search my heart. Show me what’s going on here.”

Of course, during this week, the Lord showed me many things. Predominantly, we are in a battle waged against our souls, against our church and against furthering the kingdom of heaven on this earth—in and through each one of us. None of us are immune to the attacks of the enemy. None of us are immune to those fiery missiles being launched against our flesh, our desires, our expectations, and our own shortcomings, setbacks and perhaps even our own unfilled hopes and dreams. Be assured, we can quickly become short-sighted about someone due to the measurement of expectations based on others’ behaviors that we quickly surmise, “Watch out! See, it’s the same thing as before. Tear down what the devil is trying to do here and get them out of here!” Sometimes this is true, mind you, but many times this is based on false evidence that appears real. I don’t think we realize what we can launch against a person, even with our best intentions. Be wise as serpents but innocent as doves.

As I was speaking with another minister regarding this, the Lord spoke to me. In 1 Samuel 26:9-11, when Saul was seeking to kill David, at one point, David got the upper hand. His sidekick in battle wanted to put Saul to death but David said, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “The Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.”

This is the message of this blog. God knows our hearts. God knows what’s going on. Nobody is doing anything that can remotely take God by surprise. We are commanded to pray, without ceasing. We pray protection of our ministers. Without it, we are leaving them to be like sitting ducks. We need to pray for each other before we pass judgment (in this case, judgment means a preconceived mindset of who we think a person is). We are all in this together.

Now, have I ever been guilty of doing such myself. To my regret, unfortunately yes. Too, too many times, and I didn’t even realize what I was doing. In our best attempts to “do what’s right,” we can all too easily diminish the work of God and even tell him “No” to what may be his greatest gift to us or his greatest breakthrough in our lives.

There is a time to call out and tear down, but if we try to do it in our own power, strength and perhaps limited understanding, in the end, we only hurt ourselves. There is a time to separate and clean out our camps, but I suggest we clean out our closets first, lest we too be caught in temptation—to sin that is.

As for me and this gentleman at this church? The next week, we met up after services. He said, “Sister Katrina. I owe you an apology. God told me, “You don’t have a spirit of pride. God gave you a spirit of excellence.” My heart was humbled beyond my ability to describe. From that day forward, we became friends who could share experiences, learn from each other and count on to pray for one another. And that we did indeed.

Those who are given much, much is required. This is true. This, however, is a two-edged sword. It is always easier to see a bigger picture when you are on the outside looking in—or so it would seem. God knows our heart. It is always in our best interest to keep our hearts before the Lord, lest we chance having a heart that turns to stone. God has given each of us a Spirit of Excellence with which to rise and walk In His Righteousness. Love God. Love People. Love your Neighbor as Yourself.

©2018 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited

Where Much is Given, Much is Required

The Lord speaks watch and pray. This is the year of the gate, Hebrew year 5778. This is the year of life. Where much is given much is required. Do not squander your gifts, or wait until you think everything is just right for you to proceed in them. Take that step of faith, and dig deep within those things that you know God is put within you and let his light of life and love shine through you through your gifts and talents. He’s already gone before you made a way for you. Stand up, rise up and walk, even if it means you have to do it afraid. The Lord God Almighty spoke with his own voice to me just a year and a half ago, and as he should me Jesus after being nailed to the cross and the cross being raised up with Jesus being mailed to it and a crown of thorns on his head, he spoke to me “It is finished. Satan has been defeated.” Rise up and walk like you believe and know this is true. Don’t let anything keep you from overcoming any obstacle in this life. For great will your reward be when you persevere.

Somebody needs what God has put in you. Don’t let the devil steal even one moment from you from this moment forward. Live with a purpose and that is to pursue the purpose and destiny that God has for you. God’s promises are eternal. Bring God into remembrance of those things he has promised you. He will do it. For he is faithful.

Luke 12:38-39 tells us it’s good for the servants that his master find them ready no matter what season, or Time of day or night. God tells us if you knew when thief was going to try to break in your house to steal your stuff, you would be ready for him wouldn’t you? God tells us that we need to be ready in the same way, stay on guard for devil, the one to comes to steal, kill and destroy–The one who comes to steal your hopes, your dreams, your ministry, your reputation, your future with the hope that God has for you. The devil is merciless and Will use anyone who allows him room, anyone, even with their best intentions at heart to try to protect and advance the kingdom of God. Stay diligent. Do not put God in a box. I hear him say, “I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?”

We are in a season of favor and God has lined this up in the heavens and commanded his angels to bring for that which he promised us. He speaks, be strong and courageous and go and possess the land to he has given to you.

God has positioned people to help you fulfill your destiny. I pray for the fulfillment of those people in your lives. I pray Psalm 91 and Psalm 20. The Lord is raising up a remnant, even this very hour. And like the song says, “Lord I want to be in that number.” Just do it! Say “Yes, Lord, Yes!”

Peace in his richest blessings.

©2018 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited

God Never Forgets

I love this: God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10

I woke up early this morning. I didn’t sleep much last night. The Lord continues to bring people to me that need prayer and encouragement.

I was going through my pictures recently. So many, many memories. From when I was growing up, to when I was raising my children. I came across certificates of achievements for work, college, school of ministry, and even from when I was in high school. It seemed every where I turned, doors were flying open for me with opportunities to go further than I could have imagined. Wow. Sometimes I just shake my head in wonderment as to how life can change so suddenly…how everything can change in just a blink.

Sometimes, choices can be overwhelming and we simply do the best we can when choosing what seems to be the best choice for us. There is a future with a hope for us. I realize there are times God seems to be the only one in agreement with this. However, because he says it is so, and he cannot lie, it’s important we continue to persevere and push through the setbacks and disappointments, press on and not give up.

I remember when my daughter was in middle school and she wanted to be in band. She wanted to play the flute, and nothing else was acceptable to her. The band director, on the other hand, encouraged her to play the clarinet. They needed more clarinet players, not flute players. My daughter seemed to struggle with mouth placement and the band director once again encouraged her to consider clarinet. I told her to never give up but stay focused and keep trying. She persevered and indeed, she developed the proper flute embouchure and was allowed to play the flute. Hence forth, any time she struggled to achieve something difficult, I reminded her how she overcame before because she pushed through and persevered.

When my son was going into 8th grade, they started the school sponsored football teams. My son had dreamed of playing football since he was seven years old. However, in order to be considered for the team, he would have to successfully complete all his classes. Although he is a good student, he was in a class he would have rather not had to encounter—-and needless to say, he was beginning to see that his dream of playing football might not be realized. I encouraged him to focus on “the prize” of getting on the team, to which my son buckled down, and after a lot of hard work raised his grades. The deciding moment came when his grades came in the mail. He sat with anticipation. As I read the report, I couldn’t contain myself and with excitement I said, “You passed.” You could see the relief come over him. During football practice, my son would do whatever the coach asked him to do, and he would do so with so much enthusiasm, the coach made my son one of the team captains–not because he was so gifted playing the sport, but because he had such a heart for the team and working hard to accomplish the goals. Even after all his hard work, we found my son simply could not coordinate his mind with his body to keep up with the movement of the plays. Even with extra help from the coaches, it became obvious my son’s dream of playing football would not be realized. My son was heartbroken. But in time, my son could see how, even so, God was faithful in helping my son get on the football team.

In looking back on my life, I realize God has been so good to me. Even during the most tragic life events, God was still faithful. Through the good times when, without seemingly any effort from me, good things and good opportunities were coming to me in overtly blessed abundance, God was there with grace and mercy navigating me. During the most tragic events and difficult seasons, when choices were so overwhelming I could barely see the steps before me that I should walk in, God was there with his abounding loving kindness to carry me and say, “It’s okay. I got this.”

At the risk of rising above the natural realm of seeming ungrateful, I’ve found that in the end, the accolades really aren’t the deal breaker. Albeit they are the evidence of great achievements from which great effort was put forth. Yes, they are evidence we were smiled on in an extra special way that day and in that we derive much comfort in being given much favor…but they aren’t what truly makes our life meaningful. Nor should they. They shouldn’t be the deal breaker of deciding whether or not to keep on putting forth great effort to succeed in any given endeavor.

There were so many times I wondered if I would make it through. There were times that were so dark I couldn’t see any light of hope and wondered if I would be able to breathe. I’ve gone from having much to having almost nothing. How we measure our success and how God measures our success is often times completely different.

But God… Through every season God always shows himself faithful. Although what we had once–that inner strength and drive to reach for the stars and really believe we will one day achieve it–may seem dissipated through life’s journey of struggles, I’ve found it’s not really gone. Not really. I’ve found that which God gives, I mean those things God gives that is born from deep within us really never leave us. It’s actually still there–deep inside. It’s up to us, however, to let it rise up once again to champion the call before us.

Be encouraged. Even when life takes a sudden unexpected turn and it seems everything is unraveling around you, it does not take God by surprise. Continue to love him, and in that love help his people. God’s got your back. He’s working things out for you, even when you can’t see what he’s doing at the moment.

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Do Not Cast Me Away When I Am Old…

“Do not cast me away when I’m old…do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” Psalm 71:9. The psalmist goes on to say in verse 17 and 18, “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

There is so much wisdom garnered in the history of our elder generation. So many times, we get busy and forget the generation before us who fought for what we have today, who sacrificed so much so we could have better than they had, and those who prayed for us and every generation yet to come that we would know and depend on the God of all creation, the God they grew to depend on and trust. We’ve lost something along the way when we discard their knowledge and understanding of their time and the time gone by. As I get older, I find myself remembering the “good old days” more and more. I have a deep regard and respect for our older generation.

I grew up going to family reunions each year on each side of the family. Not just our immediate families, but our grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles and even those aunts and uncles we knew nothing about, except that we knew they were “kin.” I remember sitting on the front porch with my grandparents, my dad’s parents, hulling peas or cutting corn off the cob while listening to their endless supply of stories growing up on the farm and how good “you kids” have it today, compared to their day.

I remember the times when social etiquette was a force to be reckoned with, in that there were some things you simply did not about. For example, I was about 8 or 9 and we went to visit my uncle Sam. He was my grandmother’s brother. He and his wife owned several acres down the road from my grandmother and from time to time when we visited my grandmother during the summer, we were able to go visit them. He had a lot of cattle and I asked him one time how many “cows” he had. He laughed and said, “Oh, I got about ten.” Aunt Myrtle (his wife) looked at him with that “Oh, you do not” look. But, the rule was, it was rude to ask such a seemingly innocent question. It was the same as asking, “How much money do you have in your bank account.” Life was simpler then.

As I grew, I learned to show great respect for those in authority over me. In fact, if an adult asked me to do something, it was the same as if my own parents asked me to do something. It was simply rude and disrespectful to disregard the position of authority of the elderly. From as young as I can remember, we were very family oriented and were around people who were older and we were expected to treat them as if they were royalty.

Looking back, I guess I was an odd duck. While most teenagers were riding around town on a Friday night or going to the movies or hanging out with their friends on a Saturday night, I was hanging out with my piano, or going to area churches who would gather for their Saturday nite singing. There was an elderly gentleman who could still sing the deepest bass notes I had ever heard. The song director and those of us who wanted to go sing, would pick up him from the nursing home and take him to sing on Saturday night and then take him back to the nursing home when we finished. Oh, how it made him smile and laugh. We would also go to back to the nursing home on a Sunday afternoon about once a month so all the residents who wanted to participate could enjoy some good old fashioned gospel singing as well. Those were the days!

While I was working at the full-service station in my hometown, an elderly black woman came in to have her car serviced. She was a regular customer and we had on many occasions struck up a conversation. That day, while she was waiting on her car to be finished, she looked at me and said, “Do you know how old I am?” I answered “No.” She said, “Take a guess.” I guessed she was in her 60s since she said she was retired. She laughed and said, “You’re way off. I’m 75.” I was in shock. She did not have one gray hair on her head. I asked her how she was able to stay so young looking. She answered, “I don’t worry. I give it to the Lord. I can’t do anything about most things anyway. Worry just makes you old.” She added, “I also play basketball with my grand kids and I don’t eat junk. That helps me stay active.” I was speechless.

Even now, my mother can remember details of life from long ago. In many ways, life was more difficult then, but people learned how to make it through the tough times and for the most part, without falling apart. It amazes me. Yes, there is so much wisdom in our elder saints, if we would just slow down and take the time listen and consider what they have to say. There was so much structure in their beliefs. Looking back, even though the huge salaries were not as prevalent then as they are today, this generation had so much wealth in their hearts and souls for what was most important. I’ve never forgotten what that elderly woman said to me, “I don’t worry. I give it to the Lord.” It reminds me of Matthew 6:25-34, in verse 27, can worrying even add a single hour to your life? I think she got it figured out.

Just as God tells our youth in 1 Timothy 4:12 not to let anyone despise their youth, the same is true for our elder saints, as it says in Luke 1:50 his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Let us not overlook the wisdom available to us through those who have lived a little longer than we have. Perhaps, there is still room for all of us to learn and grow. Don’t worry. Give it to the Lord.

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

It’s a Sticky Situation

“This you know, my beloved, but let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” James 1:19, 20

One Saturday morning, when my daughter was 7 years old, I was doing my normal schedule of house cleaning chores. I promised my daughter I would take her to the store to get her a video she wanted, so I was trying to get everything done as quickly as possible. I was finishing up when my daughter asked if she could help me clean the kitchen floor. I said yes, of course (who doesn’t want help from their children, especially when they offer?) As I was getting everything ready for us to get started, I heard a knock on the front door and went to see who was there. When I came back, my daughter was standing at the edge of the kitchen floor looking at her masterpiece. Her face was beaming showing that her heart was about to explode with the anticipation of how I was certainly going to praise her good job and willingness to help clean the floor, knowing we would soon be on our way to get her the “prize” that awaited her.

My heart sank. I looked at the floor in utter disbelief. An entire bottle of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid was squirted out all over the kitchen floor. She looked up at me and smiled. I was beside myself. I couldn’t speak. Finally, I was able to eek out as joyfully as possible, “Oh my. I see.” My first thought was how am I going to get this blue, sticky, gummy mass of mess off of my kitchen floor. My second thought was are we going to get this mess cleaned up before the store closes?? Ugh!! I didn’t want to say or do anything that would crush her spirit and did not want this to keep her from wanting to help again. So, I took a deep breath, looked at her big, beautiful dark brown eyes, smiled and said, “Okay. Let’s get started.” After a little over an hour, with the help of a few gallons of water, a shop vac and a lot of giggles, we were able to get the soap off of the floor. It was then we were finally able to actually clean the floor. Smooth sailing again!

What started out looking like a disaster, ended up being a great time spent together laughing and working together as we went “slip sliding away” on the floor. During this experience, I learned how cold water is good for cutting soapy suds. Then it occurred to me, although the cold water was what I needed to clean up the soap on the floor, the whole experience would have been a disaster if I had let the cold water of my emotions be quick to respond and over react to my daughter’s effort to help.

As children of God, we are to pursue God’s righteousness in all things. In this scripture, God tells us to listen, be slow to speak and slow to anger. In our lives, if we do not become hasty in our reactions or allow how we feel about a situation decide how we respond, then even through the times of dismay, we can still overcome and walk in the righteousness of God.

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.

Pray Even If You’re Outnumbered

The Holy Spirit spoke to me so clearly, “Pray, even when it seems like you’re out numbered.”
Could something so simple make a difference?

That word was so profound and so timely. He reminded me of the story of Jehoshaphat who was the king of Judah. He made unhealthy alliances, which was not God’s choice for him. He thought he was doing a good thing, but it turns out it wasn’t. He thought those alliances could help protect him from enemy attack, but he instead ended up going through great attacks from the enemy because of it.
Jehoshaphat turned away from this alliance and began once again to rely completely on God and trust him with the decisions and choices he made.

Sometime later, a vast army set out to attack the nation of Judah. Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord. Through a prophet, The Lord told Jehoshaphat, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but belongs to God.” Jehoshaphat was given further instructions to go out and face the enemy and that the Lord would be with him.

The next morning Jehoshaphat encouraged his people and said, “have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” They began to sing praises to God. As they began to sing in praise, the Lord sent ambushes against the army and the army was defeated–all without Jehoshaphat or his army having to fight.

This is what the Lord is telling us all. Pray. Talk to God. Rely on him to give you the answers, directions you need. Don’t listen to the voice of doubt or fear. TRUST GOD that HIS WORD will do what He sends it to do–even if it seems like the enemy is gaining ground or if you don’t see the answer right away–and watch God defeat the enemy sent to attack you.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. The devil is a liar and he’s working overtime on the minds of his people trying to steal your faith and trust in the Lord God Almighty, the one who is all powerful and able to turn things around for good for you!!!

©2017 Katrina Stanley
On information found in this blog, Every New Beginning by Katrina Stanley, is copyrighted material, all rights reserved. Any production of this information in any form is strictly prohibited.