Thursday, February 28, 2013

The God Habit by Nina Keegan-Owens

(Proverbs 4:20-27)

My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.

Are you a creature of habit? Do you like having a particular daily routine so regimented that when you stray from it, you are like a fish out of water?

A Habit by definition is a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

I have read where it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit. That seems like a pretty short period of time to alter part of our conscious minds. There are many negative habits that people suffer from today. They are strongholds that wreak havoc on our lives such as drinking, smoking, and overspending. These habits can be all consuming and to some become their most important priority. Bad habits can undoubtedly ruin lives and families. However, good habits can be vastly helpful and beneficial to our well being, like exercising and eating healthily. With that being said, why not get in the one habit that can change your life in amazing ways and forever? Get in the"God Habit"...

(Matthew 6:33)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

This verse in Matthew tells us not just to seek God... But to seek Him first! Give Him the best part of us, the first part of our days. It then states that ALL these things, good and wonderful things, like favor, blessings, and protection will be added to our lives. What an awesome promise. It's like God is honoring us for seeking to spend time with Him.

I am very much a routine kind of person. When I first wake up, I like to lay in bed a while soaking in the quiet calm of the early morning. I like to thank God for the day ahead. I pray blessings over my family, and over any and all concerns that I may have. I am not one that likes to be hurried or rushed. My time spent with God is so important to me. It singlehandedly dictates the way in which my entire day will go.

I steadfastly make my way toward the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, prepare for myself the daily usual, then as if on autopilot, I gather together my Bible, my scripture filled journal, my cozy throw, and nestle into my favorite place on the sunroom sofa. It's there that I wholeheartedly bask in the presence of my precious Lord and Savior. It's with Him that I declare victories, blessings, wisdom, ability, favor, protection, safety, knowledge, divine health, discernment, and enormous gratitude for all He has done and will do in my life and the lives of my family members. It's during my time of seeking God that I learn more about Him and His plans for my life. I will absorb from God through His word, the great messages He longs for me to comprehend. I know with an undeniable certainty that my day will be far better for having spent some time praising the one for whom all things are possible.

My habit, "God habit", is one that without, my day would never be the same. My time spent in prayer and reflection with God is like essential food for my soul. It jump starts my day, and fills me with abundant expectation. The word of God replenishes my faith and restores my joy. I can leave all my cares with Him and go about enjoying my day knowing that God is at work and that my morning prayers are a glorious life line of communication, faith and trust. I pray that He gives me revelation about decisions and questions I need answers to and that He orders my steps in the direction He would have me choose. I pray that He may bring someone to me that very day that needs to hear about the good news of God. I pray.... about everything!

The Bible says our prayers will not return to us void, and that God cares about every last detail of our lives. God is in the restoration business and wants us to be anointed with ease . He wants our burdens to be light. When we learn to operate in the supernatural realm of faith through time spent in prayer, we abandon our control and desire to handle everything in the flesh. Only when we have finally relinquished it all to God, will we dwell in the cherished peace and unspeakable joy that comes from the glorious knowledge of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 11:1 )
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

The Bible says we should strive to be more like Christ. We should imitate the ways of God. I personally cannot think of a better habit to envelope my life. Jesus himself even went off alone to pray to His Father. There in the peaceful quiet, Jesus sought guidance and strength. The more time we spend with God, the more knowledge we will obtain. His wisdom, His character, and His unconditional love will seep into our souls and we will be forever transformed from Glory to Glory in His image.

What happens however when our routines are interrupted? When my prayer routine gets altered and my day gets shifted in some way, I feel off balance. For instance, if I am traveling or have a last minute change in my work schedule and I miss time spent in prayer, my day tends to finish exactly how it starts, a day less than stellar in all areas. When I have not pursued my morning time with God, everything seems disheveled. I feel like those days tend to be a little bit more chaotic, a little more stressful, and things do not seem to flow as well. When I have not allowed myself my habit of spending time with God, I can tell there has been a noticeable paradigm shift. I see subtle changes in my character. It may be harder to hold my peace or I may become more easily frustrated. It appears, on these days, that I am having to do everything the hard way. I realize that I want to remain closely tethered to God... I want to be on His balanced, peaceful, and joyous track. I want to seek Him first.... Always!!

We have free will and the complete authority to choose to spend time daily with God. We can make it a welcomed habit of letting Him cover our lives in goodness and peace. We can change a bad habit into a good one by just spending more time with God and declaring that every promise in the Bible is true for us and it is still alive today.

Decide today that you will never veer to far away from the path God has drawn for you. When we do not stay focused on Him, our paths get blurry and much wider leaving more room for us to make bad choices. The more days that go by without spending time with God, the harder it becomes to squeeze Him in. It becomes more difficult to discern His voice. God time eventually becomes the last resort, maybe tomorrow, kind of time. With each day that goes by being wasted on our own prideful, time consuming, aspirations, our distance from God is greatly lengthened and it becomes harder to see with clarity the way that we should go.

(Matthew 6:6)
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

God is telling us that He desires us to spend time alone with Him. He wants our undivided attention. He longs for us to get in the habit of praying everyday and about everything. When we do these things, God will reward us!

I challenge you to get in the "God Habit!" I promise the more time you spend with Him, the greater, more faith filled, abundantly and richly blessed life you will have. Do not waste another day !

(1John 5:14-15)
And this is our confidence, that if we pray according to His will, He will hear us, and give us what we ask for, because our desires are in agreement with His thoughts for us.

Heavenly Father, we desire to be closer to you. Help us to focus our attentions on you and to come to you with everything that concerns us. Thank you for waiting patiently for us and for loving us. We praise you in Jesus name!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Trusting God's Word By Nina Keegan Owens

Psalm 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

The annointed word and valuable scripture in the Bible are miraculous tools given specifically to us as a how to manual and a wisdom filled plan to follow in order to live a life of unmerited favor. God's word is forever settled in Heaven, it cannot fail!

The word of God does not lie. The Bible tells us that when we pray the scriptures that our prayers WILL NOT return to us void! They simply cannot go unnoticed or be overlooked by God. He is faithful to answer us, sometimes it takes patience and endurance but rest assured God's timing is always perfect and He is still on the throne. He is everything we will ever need and His love for us will never change nor can His love be earned. Try as we might, God cannot love you more than He does at this very moment.

The scriptures are designed to give us hope and faith so we can have a blessed and joyous life filled with great health, protection, prosperity, unmerited favor, wisdom, guidance and prophetic knowledge.

When used correctly, spoken and declared with confidence we can receive the extraordinary blessings promised to us through the Word. Many people however do not believe that the scriptures have any bearing what so ever on their lives today. Many believe that they are just ancient biblical stories to learn about the life of Jesus. People have no idea how applicable these divine principles and scriptures are to the blessings of their own lives and the lives of those they love.

These blessings are not just for a select few but for each and every one of us. Grab a hold of these knowledgable truths and declare them, claim them as your own. They are TRUE for you. Believe what the scriptures say and proclaim their wisdom with unwavering conviction. Believe and receive.

Here are a few of my favorites that I declare and believe for myself and my family on a daily basis. If there was a single Bible verse that I would say is the cornerstone of my prayer time, it is Psalm 91. I began this post with this scripture for a reason. I truly believe that there is a great power to be unleashed through this beautiful psalm. If you were to break it down and apply this wonderful information to your life, you can rewrite your story and begin to inhabit the Godly blessed life you were born to live.

Line by line this scripture breathes blessings, protection, safety, life, health and salvation over us. I speak it over my family and visualize what I am reading covering everyone I love.

We can declare through this psalm that we dwell (live) in the "secret" place of the most high. This means God's secret kingdom is a dwelling place for us where we are safe and protected, we can hide there, no calamity will find us there in this secret dwelling place. It says that God is our refuge which means He is a mighty fortress, a bruit force to be reckoned with. It states that nothing can harm us when we dwell in His presence. It states that we can wholeheartedly trust him there with our lives and our safety.
Psalm 91 tells us that God will cover us under His wings and that He will be a shield for us. He will be our truth and our deliverer. The scripture boldly states that we shall NOT be afraid of anything, we should not fear terror, pestilence , darkness, or destruction. We should fear absolutely nothing!

Psalm 91 continues on promising that regardless of what is going on around us, that 10,000 could fall at our right hand but it will not touch us, it will not even come near us! What an amazing promise! We can declare that no evil shall befall us! What a wonderful proclamation... we can trust in and abide by these written truths and claim these victories and principles for ourselves and our families.

We then learn that God has given us our very own army of angels to cover us, and to guard us. They will take care of us and protect us. God tells us that He will deliver us from ALL trouble. He will honor us, He is ever present during our times of need. What a glorious promise and an amazing example of His unceasing love for us.

If that is not glorious enough, God finishes by announcing to us that He will satisfy us with a long and healthy life and show us His mighty salvation!

What more could we possibly ask for ?The fact that all of these truths are for each one of us is overwhelming to me. Just try and grasp the magnitude that these words can have when we take action and speak them out loud over our lives. All we have to do is delcare and believe in the power of the spoken word! It is faith in action. It is activating our beliefs and putting our trust into all that He has for us. We can have what the Bible says we can have. We can claim God's word as our own. He wrote it just for us. The word is true and the very same today as it was the day it was written. These principles are very real, they are alive and well. Learn to speak these blessings over everyone you love continually and you will see your words become your reality.

Eph 3:20. The Lord can do exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or think; the blessings of the Lord will chase you down.

This scripture is just a pure, loving promise of majestic favor in terms of how much God wants us to be blessed. Exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or even think! That is simply amazing to ponder. Imagine blessings of countless, infinite, proportions chasing us down! They will find us! We do not have to go in search of them, we just need to give our hearts to Christ and let Him do the rest. We get to love God and allow Him to love us back through His favor and blessings. The Bible says no good thing will He withhold from us. Can you even process that kind of love and unlimited favor? What a gift we have in scripture, we get to declare these loving truths and unspeakable blessings of favor over our lives and those we love!

Do not let another minute go by without claiming your inheritance through these and all scriptures. Boldly pronounce them over yourself and your loved ones. Find Bible verses that line up with what you are facing in your life, if you need healing, declare verses on healing for yourself. If you are struggling with your finances, read and declare scriptures on tithing and prosperity. Claim these victories through the word of God over every area of your life and every situation you find yourself a witness to. Declare the divine protection, prosperity, blessings, joy, safety and perfect health over every area of your life today.

2 Samuel 22:31
"As for God, his way is perfect; the WORD of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.

Dear Lord , thank you for loving us so much and for giving us all of these wonderful promises in your word that we can declare, trust, and believe for our lives today! We praise you! In Jesus name we pray!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Narrow Way By Nina Keegan Owens

(Matthew 7:13-14)
The Narrow Way

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to a good life, and there are few who find it.

Are we so caught up in the "what ifs" of life and the uncertainties of our tomorrows that we cannot enjoy this precious moment in time that God has so adoringly and generously doled out to us fragment by loving fragment?

I, being an artsy "designer type" if there is such a thing, am very visual and my imagination can get the best of me if I do not keep it in check... My mind can race and spin scenarios way out of control if I do not catch myself and remind myself of who is in charge of this wonderful game of life we get to play each and everyday.

I decided it would be much more beneficial to use this highly creative and overactive imagination to visualize the way I perceive God would have my path look...

(Proverbs (3:6)
Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take..

I began visualizing my path that God has for me as a long and very beautiful, winding, but very narrow roadway. I can see the path I have come from, the one I have already traveled, but it's foggy and misty up ahead. The path is a very picturesque one surrounded by blossoming trees, and rolling green grassy meadows. There are crystal clear streams and wonderfully fragrant flowers of every imaginative color and variety growing wildly in the pastures and fields surrounding my trail. The sun bursts forth in the brilliant blue sky. It's unlike any path I have ever seen on this earth.

(Psalm 91:11)
For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways

Legions of heavenly winged angels dressed in robes of pristine white line my pathway directing me and guiding me along the narrow way illuminating the path with their brilliance. Beyond the angels the path is very wide and seems rather dark and dangerous. I long to stay on the narrow path they have marked out for me. They point the way and watch to see that I will not veer off of my path or stumble. I can look to either side and see miraculous beauty everywhere. It is today... this very day, that surrounds me. It is this very moment in time, it is now! I want to enjoy this stop along my path I want to live in this present moment. Why have I not noticed the unparalleled beauty of today before? Here, on my path, my eyes are seeing with a new clarity. Up ahead the light is so brilliantly shining that I cannot see what is in front of me. I can only see a very short distance. I can only see what The Lord wants to show me. I can see today,today and tomorrow, tomorrow! Each day is sufficient and filled with God's loving and merciful grace. I need not worry about what lies ahead. God has gone before me. He makes our crooked paths straight.

With each and every new step I take, a little bit more of my path becomes visible. It's just enough, just a tiny hint more is revealed to me. I do not feel worried or anxious. I know the angels are leading me and guiding me. I know that with each step forward I will see glorious new things that I have never seen before. It's all so clear now, every move I make toward the light on my path that God has for me, and each step in the right direction, strengthens my trust in the Lord and multiplies my faith abundantly.

(Heb 11:1)
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

We cannot and will not ever know or see what is up ahead on our paths, but it is our faith that teaches us to believe in what we cannot see . We can trust that God's word is true and righteous. He will give us strength and wisdom for each new day. He will see to it that the experiences we realize on our journey are bigger and better and beyond our wildest expectations. It is after all designed by our very creator. He loves us with an everlasting love. He wants to bless us and give us His unmerited favor. He wants us to have joy unspeakable and peace unlike anything the world can offer us. He is longing to be good to us.

Even when we are going through a rough patch and facing waves of uncertainty, we must focus with a supernatural clarity on what the word of God says and not what things may look like in the real world. There are always going to be trials and tribulations in this world. Take heart the Bible says! God has overcome the world! God is always the answer to every situation, He is the key to every locked door, and the blessing to every desire.

(Phil 4:6)
Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

You may be facing challenging times, you may be out of a job or have a serious health issue . Maybe you are worried about what lies ahead for your future. Unanswered questions invade your mind. Where will I live? Work? Who will I marry? How will I get out of this mess?

God says do not be anxious about anything!! He wants you to cast your cares on to Him! He can and will take care of everything and perfect all that concerns us! We must have faith, stay positive and remain on that narrow path of goodness. He can take care of us much more efficiently than we ever could because He knows exactly what we need. He does not have to guess. God is not a God of trial and error. He is all knowing and infinitely perfect in His wisdom and knowledge.

(1Peter 5:7)
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

When you are tempted to give up , when you let frustration, impatience, anger, and a less than positive attitude clench its ugly grip on you, remember that God can and will do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think! Simply put, we cannot even imagine what amazing plan lies ahead for us! Your best laid plan will pale mightily in comparison to the magnificent plan He has in store.
Trust that your steps are ordered by the Lord. He will reveal Himself and His plan on a need to know basis. In the meantime sit back, relax and enjoy this ever precious stretch of path as it merges forth in all its glory. Bask in the presence of the living God and have faith in what is unseen. Fix your eyes on His path of righteousness and live purposefully and faithfully for Him!

(Eph 3:20)
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Thank you Father for the perfect path you have chosen for each of us. Give us the strength, ability,and patience we need to follow you on this narrow path of goodness. You are all we will ever need. We praise you in Jesus name !