Guest Post: Staying Focused with Joy Avery

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Sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves.

Let me repeat that.

Sometimes our worst enemy is ourselves.

We often distract ourselves from our goals and dreams

 with nonsense. Phrases like: I can’t do it, it’s too hard,

no one will appreciate the work I’ve put in, it’s not

good enough, I’m not good enough.

All of that negativity is the real nonsense. You have to

be willing to silence the voices that are keeping you unmoving.

Even if it’s your own.

This is where courage and strength comes into play.

Have the courage to put your own self in check.

Have the strength to push every harmful thought aside.

There are enough naysayers telling you what you can’t do.

YOU should not be among them.

Talk life into yourself.

Talk life into your dreams.

And know:

You can do this!

It’s only hard until it’s done.

Everyone won’t appreciate your efforts,

but there are many who will.

It is good enough.

You aren’t good enough. YOU. ARE. GREAT!

Have the strength to stand up to yourself.

Have the courage to succeed.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Joy
www.joyavery.com
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real characters. real journeys. real good love.

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Roll With The Punches

One of my favorite biblical figures is the Apostle Paul. His story fascinates me. It’s filled with so many twists and turns. It’s unpredictable. What you expect to happen to him NEVER happens! It makes me think of how we sometimes view our own lives. We have timelines filled with joyful milestones and ends happily ever after. We forget the Author of our stories pens no two stories the same but rather chooses characters with flaws and traits that we deem unattractive or undesirable and uses them to accomplish His will. It doesn’t look pretty at first glance. With deeper insight and loss of selfish desires a greater story reveals itself.

I can relate to the apostle Paul. His story in the book of Acts tells of an educated, zealous, and passionate young man. His passion for persecuting Christians was so extreme he earned a reputation that struck fear in the hearts of followers of the Way. How deep must a man’s hatred run for a cause that he would hold the coats of those that stoned an innocent man to death while looking on with pleasure and consent? Reading Paul’s story I often wonder about what he must have been thinking on his way to Damascus before encountering Christ. Was he thinking about his career path? Perhaps wondering what was the magic number of Christians he needed to tyrannize in order to receive a promotion.  Maybe he was daydreaming about how quickly he would advance in life like many of us do today and calculating how to achieve his next set of goals. Nevertheless, his plans were aborted and replaced with more rewarding ones after a transforming ordeal.

The man who turned the world upside down in his pursuit of annihilating the spread of the Gospel would turn the world upside down again in the quest for sharing it to the ends of the earth. His transformation after encountering Jesus was so drastic and unique no one knew what to make of him. He preached the Gospel with intensity and devotion. Yes, one of the greatest persecutors of the early church was now its biggest promoter. Was this the life Paul dreamed for himself? A life full of rejection, stoning, beatings, imprisonment, and suffering. One without comfort, riches, and ends in a violent death.

Sometimes we can look at our lives and become discouraged because they don’t resemble our dreams. I admire the apostle Paul because he rolled with the punches. Jesus said this about Paul, “…he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. “ The zeal and commitment Paul exhibited as an apostle was genuine because he was living the dream.  He was fulfilling his purpose in life. His testimony was shared numerous times and carried him places he may have never travelled to before his conversion. His experiences shaped him into a mighty missionary. Debates only fueled his drive for sharing truth and dispelling myths. He lived a life of uncertainty but was secure in his faith and belief in the resurrected Savior. He surrendered himself completely to God to be used for His glory.

Paul’s story may sound daunting to you but He says this about the life he lived, “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Paul’s satisfaction was found in obedience to the will of God. Life is filled with uncertainty. Roll with the punches. Be passionate. Give it your all. Live! Fulfill your life’s purpose. It’s one of life’s greatest rewards.

-Kilra Williams

 

Acts 20:22-24 “22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,[b] so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (NKJV)

Acts 9:15-16 “15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (NKJV)

Acts 14:22 “…We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” (NKJV)

Dear God

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Dear God

Dear God my body is always aching

Dear God I feel like I’m losing my mind

Dear God can you take away my pain

Dear God I’m trying to hold on to my faith

Dear God I know you are my deliver

Dear God I know you have already won the war

Dear God I find it hard not to be consumed by the battle

Dear God can you renew my spirit

Dear God I know this is just the beginning and not the end

@2015 LaToya Murchison

Prayer and Scripture

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So often we go to God in prayer for the desires of our heart but often we are no specific.  Ask God for the wisdom and discernment to teach you how He wants you to pray and for what He wants you to pray for.

Here is a starter list of prayers you should know when you are asking God for something when you are trusting and leaning on your faith what he will give you what you ask.

Matthew 7:7  ”Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Mark 9:29  And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.

James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

~LaToya Murchison

Book Review: There is Purpose in Your Valley: Understanding Life’s Struggles

There is Purpose in Your Valley: Understanding Life's StrugglesThere is Purpose in Your Valley: Understanding Life’s Struggles by Dr. Arlene Kearns Dowdy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is Purpose in Your Valley: Understanding Life’s Struggles I can’t say enough great things about the book. After only reading the first few page it had me in tear because I am dealing with some things. This amazing book truly ministers to your heart and soul. Dr Dowdy breaks down the word of God so that it is easy for every one to understand. All of lessons in There is Purpose in Your Valley: Understanding Life’s Struggles are backed up by scripture from God’s word. This is not a book that you read in sitting because if you try you will miss the true blessing of its message. I high recommend this book and know I will be reading it again very soon.

LaToya Murchison Author of A Praying Heart: Learning How to Pray Your Way Through

View all my reviews

A Praying Heart-Testimony

On December 19,2015 I received this beautiful testimony from one of my readers Pamela Forster Fraim on Facebook. Her message reminds me of why I must continue to keep writing and using the gift that God has given me no matter what I may going thought. With Ms. Fraim I am sharing this message with you in hopes it will bless you as it as a blessing to me.

Dear Latoya, I just bought your book, A Praying Heart and THANK YOU SO MUCH for it! I have never prayed to God and I am finding now that I would like to start, but where and how I wondered. YOU dear have helped me and thank you from the bottom of my heart! God Bless YOU each and every day and I look forward to any of your other things smile emoticon heart emoticon I have a special needs daughter who is a true Earth Angel as I call her, her name is Crystal Litton and she has Rett Syndrome, would you please say a prayer for her in your prayer group and for all the other Earth Angels as well?

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Rett syndrome is a rare non-inherited genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of the child’s life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily. The hallmark of Rett syndrome is near constant repetitive hand movements while awake. Cognitive assessment in children with Rett syndrome is complicated, but we know that they understand far more than they can communicate to us, evidenced by their bright and attentive eyes, and their ability to express a wide spectrum of moods and emotions.  Click here for more information on Rett Syndrome.

**LaToya Murchison**

Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Visualize Your Outcomes

Today I would like to share with you an excerpt from my first book A Praying Heart entitled: Visualize Your Outcomes. I hope it encourage and empowers you to not only pray to fully see your desired results of your prayers. Be blessed.

Visualize Your Outcomes

Your prayers are affected by what is going on in your mind at that time. When you mentally picture your outcomes, you increase the power of your prayers. Visualization allows your subconscious to generate creativity, trains your brain to recognize the resources you will need, and increases your internal motivation. Close your eyes, and place yourself in to a comfortable position, and visualization will begin to happen quickly.
To help prepare yourself for what comes next, you can mentally rehearse your prayer answers by lining up your prayer request as different scenes in a movie. It is up to you how much detail you add. To have a deeper impact on your outcomes, you should allow yourself to physically experience them in advance.

Prayer

Lord, I ask for you to help me to no longer worry about what will happen later today or tomorrow. Teach me to understand that you had already created the answers that I needed long before I came to you with the request. Allow my path to no longer be dark; put me at the end of the tunnel, where I am reaching and grabbing hold to my dreams while walking into my destiny. Thank You, Lord, because I have experienced your love, and now I feel free. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Scripture Reading:

 “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. Because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people The faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel.” Colossians 1:3

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~LaToya Murchison