Have you had a checkup lately?

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proverbs 423

Disagreements are common in relationships. So are hurt feelings. It is our job to prepare our hearts ahead of time for these moments. Always allowing room for errors. Always being quick to forgive. However, the question remains, how do you genuinely show love when you have been hurt by someone’s actions? It is so easy to become offended and allow bitterness to set in.

Bitterness grows out of our refusal to let go. It is the complete resistance and unwillingness to let go of the injury or wound caused by someone’s words or actions. It is constantly being hurt by a memory and holding on to the hurt until it has a complete grip upon you. Bitterness is often categorized by unforgiveness.

Once the root of bitterness sets in, it begins to rob us of our peace. It affects our decision making. It spreads throughout our entire being and begins to corrupt every area of our lives. It is often displayed in jealousy, anger, dissatisfaction, and division. It can only be dispelled by love. If you have been dealing with the root of bitterness, you can be free. There is hope for you just as it was for me. It starts with a choice. Choose to let it go.

It is not right for us to hang other people’s mistakes, sins, or ill spoken words over their heads. This is a lesson the Holy Spirit began to minister to my heart a long time ago. It all started with this scripture in 1 Timothy 1:5 (NASB) But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.   You see love does not keep an account of the wrong done to it. It does not keep bringing it up in times of disagreements. This is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the wrong suffered and trusting the Lord to bring healing to our hearts. It is His desire that we keep our hearts tender so that we may receive from Him.

Too often, we look to the one that hurt us to make everything right and to make up for what was done. This is not realistic. They can never repay or repair the damage we have experienced. Only the Lord can mend our brokenness and bind up our wounds.  Matthew 6:14-15 in the Amplified Bible paints a perfect picture of our responsibility in times like these:   For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

We often say we forgive, but do we?  If we did, why is it still an issue?  I believe many of us still struggle with the area of forgiveness because we never seek healing of the wounds that were caused.  We never let go of the resentment.  Resentment is a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury.  It is normally expressed through annoyance, anger, or bitterness.  According to Hebrews 12:15 when bitterness comes in it begins to take root and springs up to cause trouble, hurting many of us in our spiritual lives.  Yes bitterness, unforgiveness, and offense are blessing blockers. They are traps from the enemy that keep us entangled so that we will not walk in God’s best. Most of all these issues of the heart keep us from receiving the very forgiveness we often stand in need of.

In order for us to move forward we must let it all go. The wounds that we experienced can be healed if we allow them to be dealt with in prayer. We must begin by being completely honest about the pain we feel and take actions to move past it. It begins with recognizing it is not about how we feel. It is about facing the truth and accepting our responsibility found in the Word of God. Feelings are unstable and can move you away from unity.  Don’t allow your feelings to get in the way of you making healthy choices in your relationships.  It is never good to make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.

The enemy comes to divide and conquer, to bring separation.  We must be vigilant at all times, recognizing the greater scheme in Satan’s plans. What we are facing is much greater than how we feel at that moment. The moment he can divide us, he gains ground.   There is power in agreement. There is strength in unity.  The truth is the enemy desires to bring division to the Body of Christ. That division can begin in our homes, on our jobs, or even in our churches. He will often misrepresent the actions of others to make it appear harsh and critical. It is then our responsibility to take a step back and examine every action through the Truth giving Spirit; the Holy Spirit is that Spirit. He searches the deep things. He knows the hearts and the motives involved. Take a moment and ask Him to reveal the truth about your situation. Always keep your mind set on what is true as it states here in Philippians 4:8 (GW) Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. When we keep our minds set on the truth from God’s word we are cleansing our hearts.  It begins to show up those dark hidden areas that go against the Word of God.

Make a choice today to no longer allow bitterness to consume your life nor steal from your relationships. Practice putting the Word of God to work in your lives. Overcome evil with good. Be kind. Be compassionate and forgive. Forgiveness is a must. We can’t keep holding on to what happened and receive the best from God. In order for us to receive forgiveness we must first forgive.  I now leave you with this wisdom from Paul in the book of Ephesians 4:1-3 (MSG) In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. In life and in love we will experience hurt but it is up to us to champion over it and continue walking in the love of God.

Grace and Peace,

Mary Pinckney

© Mary Pinckney 2014

Books can be purchased at http://www.vflconsultants.com

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Be Recharged

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Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength.                           Ephesians 6:10 (GW)

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Ever had one of those days when you felt as though you had nothing left in you; no motivation, no passion, no desire to move forward? Feelings of worthlessness begin to surface and it seems as though you are headed backwards instead of forward. What happened to the fervor and the passion?

If this is you today, I have a word of encouragement for you. The Lord wants you to know that He is still working. Sometimes handling life’s challenges can drain us of our power and our drive to keep going.

Some of us are just in need of good refreshment. I am reminded of the passage in 1 Kings 19 wherein Elijah was on the run from Jezebel after defeating 850 prophets of Baal.   This was a great victory for Elijah and other great feats followed.  What caught my attention in this story however was that Elijah became fearful when Jezebel sent him a note about what she would do to him. She didn’t come to him face to face, she sent words.   On that note, what has the enemy been speaking to you that has you sidetracked?

Elijah came to rest under a tree and prayed that he might die. Upon falling asleep, he was visited by the Angel of the Lord. Elijah was given bread and water and told to eat because the journey ahead of him was great. That spoke volumes to me.

As Christians, we need to stay connected to our power source. When our phone dies or our battery looks low, the first thing we do is connect to the power source. Why not do the same spiritually? Just like a battery needs to be recharged by being plugged into its power source, so do we as children of God. Our feelings and emotions begin to get out of control when we are not connected to our source of power. When I say plug in and recharge, I am referring to our need as believers to fast, pray, and spend time in the presence of the Lord. Find the time to reconnect today. Be strengthened; you have not lost your fire and passion; you are just running low on spiritual fuel. Finally my brethren, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength.

Father, I thank you for the power and the strength that you provide us. I pray that we will not take lightly what you have made available to us. May we be recharged daily so that we can accomplish the works you have given us to do. In Jesus name Amen

Grace and Peace,

Mary

© Mary Pinckney, excerpt Be Attitudes: A Devotional Journey To a Healthier and Happier You

Books are available for purchase at http://www.vflconsultants.com

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Remind Me

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Remind me who you are to me Lord…

Remember

You are my Rear Guard

….for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard Isaiah 52:12

You are my STRONG TOWER

For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. Psalm 61:3

You are my Shelter

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5

You are my Strength

…The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalm 28:8

You are my Peace

…Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

You are my Healer

for I am the LORD, your healer Exodus 15:26

You are my Portion

LORD, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future Psalm 16:5

You are my Shield, my Refuge, and my savior

…my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. 2 Samuel 22:3

Lord, may we never forget who you are to us. May we always be reminded of your lovingkindness, compassion, and grace in our lives in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Mary Pinckney

© Mary Pinckney August 2015

Hang on in there…

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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians  6:9 NIV

Harvest

I know things are not going the way you planned.

I know that you thought you would be farther along by now.

I know that you are anxious to see the finished work.

In spite of what it looks like, keep your head up! Regardless to what you may be facing today. God is not slack concerning His promises.

Instead of focusing on what you see, begin to change your focus to what God has said. His Word will not come back to Him void, but it will accomplish everything He sent it out to accomplish.

Hold on; change is on the way. That change may not be in your outward circumstances immediately, but it will take place on the inside of you if you keep fighting, keep praying, and keep pursuing His will for your life.

Lord, it gets harder by the minute to keep a positive outlook when it seems everything is going haywire. Help us I pray to keep our focus tuned in to You and Your Word rather than our circumstances. It is in Your Word that we find hope and renewed strength. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Mary

© Mary Pinckney July, 2015

Pick up a copy of my new book http://www.vflconsultants.com

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God Can And He Will..

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“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:25-27 (NLT) god can

God has not forgotten about you. He sees. He knows.

He is always aware of you.

That is the heart of a loving Father.

Release your cares and concerns to Him today.

He is well able to take care of each and every one.

He Can. He will, take care of you.

Lord, your love is so amazing. Your concern for us is sometimes baffling. Even when we don’t deserve Your grace, You are right there. Thank you for giving to us so freely. Forgive us for not always trusting  you totally. We are so prone to letting fear and doubt cloud our vision. You have never let us down and we take this moment to thank You for always doing exceedingly,  abundantly above all we may ask or think, even in our times of doubt. Today we renew our focus. We recognize that You can and You will take care of us, just as you do the sparrows. Thank you for Your amazing grace  Thank you  for Your unfailing love. In Jesus’s  name, Amen.

Grace and Peace,

Mary

© Mary Pinckney 2015

Did you hear?

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Well it is official!

full cover be attitudes

It took almost a year and a half but I have finally given birth to my new baby LOL! Thank you Jesus! The journey was challenging and rewarding at the same time. I am extremely excited about the lives that will be changed and impacted by this devotional. I would like to thank each and everyone that has helped throughout the process. Your thoughts, input, time, and ideas are definitely appreciated!! Copies are available for preorder now. Email me for details at vflconsultants@live.com  ‪#‎disciplinedlife

Pre-order your copy today at http://www.vflconsultants.com

Blessings to you!

Mary

You Want To Quit? Go Ahead!

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strenght within

Quit giving up on yourself before you get started. You are already victorious!

Quit counting yourself out. You are stronger than you think!

Quit selling yourself short. You are more than a conqueror!

Quit trying to take shortcuts. You are so worth the effort!

Quit feeling sorry for yourself.  You have what it takes! It takes you believing in yourself.

At any time now, you can throw in the towel. However, my encouragement to you today is this; give yourself a chance to get it right.

Lord, today I recognize my own ability to sabotage the work that you have begun in me. Grant me the grace to continue holding on, even when times get tough. Grant me the wisdom to know what to do at those very moments of insecurity. Grant me focus I need to help me stay on task. Most of all, grant me the love and the support I need to stay encouraged along the way. In Jesus name, Amen

Grace and Peace to you,

Mary

© Mary Pinckney, May 2015