Transforming Hope!

pink tulips

Awww… lovely spring is upon us! I love the warmer weather and the new hope of growth. I love seeing new, lush grass, fruit trees in full bloom, tulips and daffodils swaying in the gentle breeze. Are you thinking about spring cleaning your garage, drawers and closets yet? I know I sure am! What about spring cleaning your mind? Is it possible that the God of all possibilities has a new work to do in you? In this new season, the hope of growth is all around you and me.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom.12:2 (NIV)

How do you allow God to transform, renew and spring clean your mind? First of all, you place your life before God as an offering. Next, it’s time to surrender and submit with an all-in kind of attitude. Then, embrace and be grateful for what God does for you. Keep looking up to Him and His perfect love, not looking to the world for approval. Jesus, through His loving-kindnesses, mercy, grace and strength starts to change you from the inside out.

You will start to notice you pray more before making decisions. You ask for forgiveness a little quicker than usual. You start seeking His best instead of your good. Mature, well-formed growth begins and you start to notice you really do not want to miss out on your quiet time and the sweetness of abiding in Jesus’ presence. As your mind begins to transform, Jesus cuts away the extraneous from your life that hinders the luscious fruit from growing. As you continue to walk in the Spirit, He will help you through the resurrection power living inside of you and help you to be finished with habits, hang ups and addictions. You are cooperating with Him as He changes you inside with a new way of thinking.

Gal. 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” True transformation is possible in Jesus Christ alone as you offer your life to Him in complete surrender; embrace what He is doing, seeking His approval alone, asking to be cleansed of your wrongdoings and seeking His best while you meditate on His holy Word. Sounds like a lot to do…but it is God who will create the transformation as you walk in the Spirit daily and focus your hope on Him.

He is your Eternal HOPE! You can have H.O.P.E. (holy, optimism, with a positive expectancy!) in Jesus and what He will do in you during the new transforming spring season!

 

 

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Victorious Action: Holding the Baby Jesus!

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts” (Luke 2: 25-27).

What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you today? Do you realize God is looking to and fro throughout the earth looking for sold out hearts and minds? He is searching for those folks who want to do His will whole-heartedly and are listening to the Holy Spirit. He is looking for someone to bless just as He did Simeon. Simeon was described as righteous and devout in the Bible for generations to read. He listened and noticed when the Holy Spirit was moving. Then, he OBEYED! He had the opportunity to hold the consolation of Israel, the comforter, as the baby Jesus in his arms.

During the Christmas season, will you continue to look to Jesus, your comforter? Or, will you keep yourself so busy in holiday wrapping and trappings, that you miss Him?

Will you allow yourself to feel the wonder of His miracle birth anew? Will you rejoice as the shepherds did as the angels announced the King of Kings birth? I sure pray so!

Will you hold the baby Jesus in your arms and then let Him hold you in return? If you’ll do so, you will have peace, joy and contentment knowing He is with you and He is for YOU!

Holly LaChappell - Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter Have a blessed Christmas, opening and receiving the BEST gift ever… Jesus Christ!

{excerpt from Holly’s new daily devotional book, “Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter”} Order online: http://www.amazon.com  or http://www.christianbooks.com

Victorious Action: Have a Happy Face!

 

“A warm, smiling face reveals a joy-filled heart, but heartache crushes the spirit and darkens the appearance”Best_Friends_Holding_Hands (Prov. 15:13 VOICE).

Let’s Talk: Have you ever noticed how someone’s smiling face is lit up with light and joy? Do you wonder if they have always been this way? I bet if you asked them, they can tell you about some pretty horrible things that have happened in their lives. But you secretly wonder, you are smiling still. They might not be able to describe what has happened to them, but I can. It’s called grace and transformation. Jesus upholds us with His righteous right arm. He gives us free grace; unearned and undeserved. He transforms the bruised and hurt parts of our hearts and gives us a new heart when we open ourselves up to Him.

Let’s Glorify: Lord, please make me new! I give you my heartaches, my challenges and the things that are causing me discouragement today. Brighten my heart Lord and give me your precious joy as I live and move in you. I desire a close and intimate relationship with you Jesus, the Lover of my soul. Let my face reveal the joy I feel in your home; my heart. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Let’s Go! Remember a time you felt great joy as a child and now as an adult. Why did you have such great joy? Describe in detail with your mom, daughter or friend.

{excerpt from Holly’s new book, Victorious Mom, Victorious Daughter due out anytime!}

 

Joy or Junk-Filled Focus? {Part 2}

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  (photo credit) liljorochtulpaner.blogspot.com

Matthew 3:17 God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship!

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” God and Jesus delight in each other and value their relationship so much!

Do we truly value our relationship with the Trinity?

Romans 15:13 “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Col. 1:11 “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy!”

Do any of you ever worry? Do you remember what you worried about last year at this time?! What about today? Think about your current worries. Did you know ONLY 8% of what we worry about comes true? That leaves 92% of what we worry about, thankfully NEVER comes to fruition!! Praise God! “What IF…we decided that we would wait to worry!” Fred Smith the mentor to the wonderful late Zig Ziglar said, “I decided that I’d wait until I actually had a reason to worry—something that was happening, not just something that might happen—before I worried.”

The great theologian, Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Anxiety is a joy stealer!

That Friday (after the Boston Marathon and the Texas Fertilizer Plant explosions) I was having such a hard time, and my joy was gone because I was looking at the world and not my Savior! He gave me a dose of His JOY when I read about Zacchaeus  in my quiet time, reading through the bible in a Year program:

  Zacchaeus story in Luke 19:1-7:

19 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.

4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” What was it about Jesus that made Zacchaeus respond right away!  I think it was that Jesus noticed Zacchaeus and He knew His name! Do you realize God notices you, loves you, even adores and delights in you?! He calls you by your name!

 6 Scriptures says, Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 

Do we invite Jesus into our house ( which is our heart) with great excitement and joy, desiring to spend quiet time with Him, first thing in the morning or evening? Are you delighting in Him, eager to feast on His Word? Are you journaling what He shares with you as you study His life? Are you loving the Lord Your God, with all of your heart, mind and spirit? Have you fully devoted yourself to Him!

The joy stealers abounded in Zacchaeus day just like in our day!

In Vs. 7  we see, “the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

They were not happy for Zacchaeus! They did not see the benefit of Zacchaeus coming to Jesus and receiving Salvation! Maybe in your household, in your family, in your friends, people do not see the reason for your relationship in Jesus! That’s okay, because God is the God who sees YOU. He will help you in your love relationship in Him, and He will be the JOY of your strength!

He will Restore your Joy! Lamentations 5:21 “Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!”  Remember this J.O.Y. acronym: Joy happens because Jesus is Omnipresent in You!

I love Psalm 119:143! It says, “As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Do you have any pressure or stress today?

Find hope and joy in His Word. Let the timeless treasures help you!

  Are you passionate and thankful for all Jesus is doing in your life? If not, ask Jesus to renew your hope and joy in Him! Ask Him for a fresh touch, a fresh revelation! Do you agree with me, that there is NOTHING like the fresh fire of the Holy Spirit falling freshly upon you! What I mean by this is, He gives you a special word, a thought, a promise in the Bible, that is divinely apportioned for you, TO YOU! And you know in your heart it is JUST FOR YOU! It’s like a divine HUG of joy and love!  Because at that moment, you are experiencing “fullness of Joy in His presence!”

I have found a sense of peace and blessedness is ours, when we realize God’s supernatural work is creating fruit in my life. Knowing I belong to my Maker and my identity is rooted in His love for me, gives me this deep peace and a deep sense of joy. That joy is the joy of Jesus Himself, residing deep within us, through the Holy Spirit. His joy, because Jesus, is the Man of Joy, within your spirit, is one of the most amazing results of being at peace with God!  Joy and peace are a result of spending time with Him and abiding deeply and regularly! In my Thursday morning bible study, we have been studying John and Jesus’ time with the disciples at the Last Supper. We have discovered, Intimacy with God is like the closeness a husband and wife experience in truly “knowing” each other. Being joyful is a state of our soul and spirit intermingled with Christ’s.

Joy comes from a secret intimacy with our Savior, through the Holy Spirit living within.

Joy or Junk-Filled Focus? {Part 1}

garden chair. (photo credit:  http://www.gardenbuddies.com)

 What gives you Joy? What takes away your joy? You might wake up joyful, thankful for a good’s night rest, (because I sure am, when I sleep the entire night! Because…it seems to happen less and less at my age!) We know don’t we, it doesn’t take much to steal our joy away! Just turn on the news, right?   Or, you receive a diagnosis from out of nowhere, or you receive a call from your child’s principle, or most likely, you or someone dear to you, receives a layoff notice. There are just a 1,000 different things that can happen daily, that can dampen our mood and take our good, positive God attitude down several notches! How do you draw a line in the proverbial garden soil, (I love to garden!) and allow God the reigns of our lives, so we can go back to our default position of Joy in ALL circumstances? You see, I can focus on the “junk” in my life instead of His joy. I can focus on what’s wrong versus looking at what is right in my life. I can focus on being grateful for my relationships and the love I have received and given to those around me.

I have to admit, I am not ALWAYS joyful! Imagine that! I tend to keep myself really busy, so I can have delayed grief when something goes wrong. Are any of you like this? We can “numb out” to the pain! So, after the Boston Marathon bombing, initially I think I was in shock. By Friday, I was a hot mess! I was so upset and in despair. I prayed and prayed to the Lord. I went for a walk with a friend and verbalized my feelings as best as I could. I am a lay Counselor at a non-profit counseling center. We tell our clients, “if you can name your feelings, then you can help tame them!” But, you need to verbalize them and get them outside of your head! At the end of my prayers, talking and walking, I had surrendered these circumstances up to God, realizing there was nothing I could do but pray, donate some money and run a race on Sunday, in remembrance of the victims. Whew! I really think it’s knowing and believing Jesus is still on His Throne, He is in control and I can go right back to Him, knowing He, through the Holy Spirit is in me. He’s my Center and I can stay grounded in Him! There is a huge tug-o-war going to steal your joy! The enemy’s biggest tool is fear, doubt and discouragement! If he can lead you down this path, then he can render you ineffective as a believer, with a tarnished witness, that is joyless, and jaded. God can DO anything! Certainly, He can get you out of a bad mood, out of despair and into His precious light where healing can begin!

Do not agree with the doubt, discouragement or fear! It is not of the Lord! It comes from the enemy of your soul.

Heb. 1:9 Jesus was anointed with the “oil of joy!” Jesus is a joyous Savior and He shares His joy with us through the Miracle within, the Holy Spirit! As a result, we have a claim to the consistent experience of  HIS undiluted joy!

There are some great Promises of Joy to focus on. These are what I have found out in my life as I journey in the Lord:

1.       Joy is a choice! It’s a decision of the will. It’s always the right choice! (If I am not experiencing His joy, I have to stop ask myself and God, what is going on in my heart?)

2. I pray Ps. 139:2 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” I ask myself, Do I have any unconfessed sin that is resulting in shame or guilt? Our sins can be gone in a moment, once we confess it and admit my need for Jesus to take it away. Then, I need to receive and accept His forgiveness and grace. His grace frees me from holding onto the shame and guilt of my sins.

3.       I may try to numb out the pain of my sins by: trying to create success, staying busy, materialism, addictions, hobbies, exercise… wouldn’t it just be easier to come clean before the Lord so He can restore our joy? Yes! I think so!

4.       Jesus’ true and constant joy is found deep within our Spirit. It does not ride the roller coaster of life even though we do!

5.       His joy is a superabundant supply, ready for our every need. (LOL! Supply & demand!)

6.       God’s consistent and solid joy flows strong and consistent in our good times as well as in our bad times.

7.       Peace is the ally (and friend) of joy!

Phil. 4: 7 “ And the peace of God, which transcends ( or surpasses) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

I have found as I seek Him, Ps. 27: 4  “God will delight you with His presence.”

Flowers of Joy! (excerpt from my Flowers of Grace book)

Do you  wake up joyful, thankful for a good’s night rest, (because I sure am, when I sleep the entire night! Because…it seems to happen less and less at my age!) or do you wake up, dreading the day?  We know don’t we, it doesn’t take much to steal our joy away! Just turn on the news, right?! Or, a diagnosis from out of nowhere, you receive a call from your child’s principle, you or someone dear to you, receives a layoff notice. There are just a 1,000 different things that can happen daily, that can dampen our mood and take our good/positive God attitude down several notches!

I love to garden! My Spring time just been beautiful so far!  Isa. 5:7 says, “We are the garden of His delight!” I love that! Gardens are walked in, looked at, admired, spent time in, refreshing, aromatic, soothing and delightful. That is how God views you. He likes you and loves to be with you! If you are sad, then He will turn “your tears into shouts of joy, praise and thanksgiving.” (Ps. 42:3-4) Your heart will rejoice and praise Him as He is your Rock, your Strength, your Deliver and your Joy! 

Gardens have such an enticing fragrance to them. The flowers beckon us to come to the garden, to enjoy, rest and stay awhile. I think God created flowers to have such lovely fragrances on purpose, so we would pause and remember Him. Our minds are linked to the sense of smell, as it is the most powerful sense we have. Memories are stirred when we smell certain flowers. Let the flowers in your garden be a physical reminder for you of God’s lavish love, joy and extravagant promises.

So, how do we draw a line in the proverbial garden soil, and allow God the reigns of our lives, so we can go back to our default position of Joy in ALL circumstances?

 

I have to admit, I am not ALWAYS joyful! Imagine that! I tend to keep myself really busy, so I can have delayed grief when something goes wrong. Are you like this? We can “numb out” to the pain! I am a volunteer lay Counselor at a non-profit Christian counseling center. We tell our clients, “if you can name your feelings, then you can help tame them!” But, you need to verbalize them and get them outside of your head!

At the end of a really hard day recently, in my prayers, I had to surrender the circumstances up to God, realizing there was nothing I  really do but RELY ON HIM and the LOVE He has for me! I think it’s knowing and believing Jesus is still on His Throne, He is in control and I can go right back to Him, knowing He, through the Holy Spirit is in me. He’s my Center and I can stay grounded in Him! There is a huge tug-o-war going on to steal your joy! The enemy’s biggest tool is fear, doubt and discouragement! If he can lead you down this path, then he can render you ineffective as a believer, with a tarnished witness, that is joyless, and jaded. God can DO anything! Certainly, He can get you out of a bad mood, out of despair and into His precious light where healing can begin!

 

Do not agree with the doubt, discouragement or fear! It is not of the Lord! It comes from the enemy of your soul.

Heb. 1:9 Jesus was anointed with the “oil of joy!” Jesus is a joyous Savior and He shares His joy with us through the Miracle within, the Holy Spirit! As a result, we have a claim to the consistent experience of HIS undiluted joy and passion for us!

“ And the peace of God, which transcends(surpasses) all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:7

God will delight you with His presence. Psalm 27:4

In Matthew 3:16-17, we see God and Jesus receive great joy in their relationship! These verses say: “  After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” Isn’t this fantastic!? God let everyone know how much He loved His boy!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 5:13) Joy and peace are friends! Isn’t it great, they walk side by side each other when we trust God?!

“Everywhere He leads us in triumphant processional, in the fragrance and knowledge of Him.” (2 Cor. 2:14) Breathe in His joy and smell the flowers blooming. This is a sign of God’s favor and love for you. This is His wellness in you. This is His blessedness to you!

Let your spirit of joy soar within you and outside of you, so you may touch others with Jesus’ magnificent and extravagant love. You are the best testament to our dying world of God’s grace and loving-kindness. Like the beautiful shades of pink, red, lavendar and peach roses in my garden, you will refresh and remind someone else of God’s lavish love because you have been filled and touched by Him. Image

Riches in His Glory!

Did you know  your gifts of generosity to others are a sweet-smelling sacrifice going up to God?

At Christmas time, I think of all of my favorite aromas: cinnamon-clove spiced candles, baking cookies and fresh cut Christmas trees! What are your favorite fragrances of Imagethis blessed Season? Doesn’t the memory of these delicious smells make your heart smile?! My daughters and I have an annual BIG Baking Bash we do every mid December. It is 24 hours of glorious fun and yummy treats! We load the desserts in dozens of tins, bags and boxes to give away. I am reminiscing right now and anticipating our baking day. The time we spend together is so precious to me!

 You remember the Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Have you experienced this? Have you witnessed the joy on someone’s face as they opened the gift you lovingly made them or carefully chose for them?

In Philippians 4, Paul said to the Philipi church, as you give to me there is a blessing you receive which is building up your kindness account. This builds up your own joy! Do you want to feel God’s pleasure in you?

Do you want to feel His favor and blessedness? This occurs as we serve and give generously, with our time, energy and passion. We can serve generously out of the heart attitude that says, I want to do and know what’s on your heart, God. I want your attitude and your purpose in my life.

Paul did not need a gift from the Philippians. Instead, Paul wanted them to be blessed in their giving, and that is why he so gladly receives their gifts from them.

Do I have PRAYERS OF GRATITUDE to Jesus?

Do I notice what He has done for me? Saved me from?

Our generosity flows out of a heart that is grateful to Jesus for all He has done for us and will continue to do for us!

I have praying lately as the Season has begun to ramp up.  God, help me to have your heart attitude and remember what my purpose is!  Think about what is God’s heart attitude. (1 John 4:16) He is LOVE and He first loved us. What is your purpose here on this earth? I believe it is to be in a loving and close relationship with Jesus and to share His love with others, to witness, be salt and light to our dying world. And, to bring others the Good News and encourage them to accept Jesus Christ! Once you clearly understand this, it frees up your heart!  In the hard situations in your life, you can go right back to these truths and have JOY in His loving purposes for YOU!

  Phil. 4:19 “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Can you say in this moment and this season, I have all that I need?”  This verse means He is able to give us much better than we ask because we just cannot out give our generous God! 

This also means when God gives according to his riches in glory He will often give an answer quite different and even unexpected from what we have asked! God gives us “huperlian”: (Greek) which means beyond measure and exceedingly.

I cannot tell you how many times God has done something bigger, better than I could have imagined or asked for in planning one of our Women’s events! Over and over again! He is such a gracious and generous GOD!! 

Because it is not according to what we have asked, but according to His riches in glory.

As Christmas time draws near and throughout the year, we can thank  Jesus for being the Perfect gift that always fits the size of our heart! He is the anointed One that came to set us free, emotionally and spiritually. He is Our Prince of Peace and Everlasting God. He does supply all of our needs out of His glorious riches! This is a fact that we can count on, according to His perfect will in each of our lives!

You might be thinking, will He give me all the riches or money I think I might want? Not necessarily, unless He deems it necessary to carry out His perfect will in your life!

He is acting on our behalf, loving us, saving us, redeeming us. I could not ask for a better gift!

Have a blessed Jesus filled Christmas!

p.s. My book, “Reigning Fire: Discovering Holy Spirit Grace and Hope in Your Fiery Trials” is available now in paperback, just in time for Christmas gifts! http://www.amazon.com or email me for a signed copy:  holly@heartforthecross.com