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Calling

I recently saw a movie called, The Family That Preys. The story line included a lot of family drama but lessons were learned and good prevailed in the end. But what I loved about the movie was the music, specifically the song that played at the end.

It was a song originally by, Lee Ann Womack, called "I Hope You Dance" but this version was sung by Gladys Knight. Please watch the video at the end of the post to be inspired for 2015.

 

I recently saw a movie called, The Family That Preys. The story line included a lot of family drama but lessons were learned and good prevailed in the end. But what I loved about the movie was the music, specifically the song that played at the end.

It was a song originally by, Lee Ann Womack, called "I Hope You Dance" but this version was sung by Gladys Knight. 

As I do when I hear a song that I love, I rushed to find it on Google, ITunes or Spotify so that I could hear it again and put it in my music library.

The words to the song are encouraging and inspiring.  Ultimately what I received from it was that we should never give up on faith and our sense of wonder at the world around us. God has given us so much beauty in the world and if we don't pay attention we can miss it.

We can take our very heartbeats for granted. No matter what, we can never give up because hopefully when one door closes another will open.

 We'll reach crossroads in life where things may be hard or confusing and we will have to decide to sit it out and give up on our dreams or take the risk and keep going. We can't always look for the easy route or run away from something because of fear.

This is my wish for us for the New Year.

I know that there are a lot of us that have chosen in the past to sit out on life because it became hard to push forward but I am hoping that you will read these words and listen to the song and allow it to encourage you to get up and try again.

I dedicate this song to you for 2015. I hope you'll dance.

(Please see the video at the bottom of the lyrics).

 

I Hope You Dance

Written By: Lee Ann Womack

Sung By: Gladys Knight

(See Video at the bottom of this screen to hear the song)

 

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,

May you never take one single breath for granted,

GOD forbid love ever leaves you empty handed,

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,

Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

 

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,

Never settle for the path of least resistance

Livin' might mean takin' chances but they're worth takin',

Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth makin',

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter,

When you come close to sellin' out reconsider,

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,

Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.)

 

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,

Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

 

Dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance.

I hope you dance....I hope you dance..

 

 

 

 

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General

For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? (Isaiah 43:19a, NLT)
Sometimes we don't see it because we are not looking. Circumstances can certainly make us miss the great things that the Lord is doing in our lives. There are some things in my own life that are not going quite the way that I would want them too. But in the midst of all of these things I am still so in awe of God because I can still see His hand working in my life.

By: Ann

For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?  (Isaiah 43:19a, NLT)

I have a 6 year old daughter. Like most children her age she loves attention and approval from her father and me on everything she does. Not long ago she sang with her first grade class in a program at school.

As she was performing in the program the lights were very bright on stage. She could barely see me and her father out in the crowd but she kept looking for us until she could. When there was applause she listened to hear our voices above the crowd.

In the middle of singing her first song she started to wave at us. Some of the other 1st graders waved at their parents also but some of them started crying. They all were still very cute.

The thing that seemed most common among them is that whether they were crying, waving or actually singing most of them were looking out in the crowd for whoever was there to support them. 

This reminded me of my relationship with Christ. I have to learn to look for God that way. Regardless of my circumstances or how hard it may be for me to see Him I have to always look or as the Bible says seek Him. I have to look for His approval, His attention and His reassurance that I am doing okay.

I have to stay reminded that the Lord is doing something great in my life right now? He is doing a new thing. Maybe it doesn't seem that way but He is. The scripture above says He has already begun. Then the question is asked, do you not see it?

Sometimes we don't see it because we are not looking. Circumstances can certainly make us miss the great things that the Lord is doing in our lives. There are some things in my own life that are not going quite the way that I would want them too. But in the midst of all of these things I am still so in awe of God because I can still see His hand working in my life.

I am not saying that the Lord is just going around making every rough situation disappear, although I wouldn't mind that. But He is changing me within the situation.

I have found when I focus on issues in my life they blind me. All I can see is the pain. All I see is what I don't have and what I feel I need. All I see is what could or would happen if God doesn't fix it the way that I have asked him to.

When I focus on issues I dismiss the fact that although money was tighter than tight last month we still paid our bills. We still have a warm place to sleep and food to eat.

When I am distracted by issues I miss hearing God is my daughter's laugh.  

The Lord is doing something great with my situation or He is doing something great in me. Sometimes He is even doing them both at the same time and either way I don't want to miss Him.

In small ways He whispers that everything is going to be okay. He says it through the birds singing so beautiful outside of my window in the morning.

He says it through my husband's warm embrace.

He says it through my friend sending me a text saying that she loves me and hopes that I have an awesome day.

When I focus on issues instead of looking out for messages from the Lord I miss the fact that even now there is not all pain, all tears or all lack. But I have to be intentional in looking for God, in looking for joy, for laughter, for hope. If not my thoughts will be devoured by everything that is wrong.

Maybe your brand new thing is like mine, maybe God is offering you a different way to react to situations you face in life. Maybe instead of looking at and focusing on situations he wants our first reaction to be like my daughters, he wants us to look for Him whether things are good or bad.

Listen, we have already cried all of the tears that we can. We have stayed up all night pacing back and forth and we have changed nothing.

Let's try a new thing. Let do what we can, give the problems over to the Lord and be patient as He works them out as He sees fit.

Keep looking for Him. He's there.

Prayer

Father forgive us for worrying more than praying. It hasn't done us any good. Our hands are tied and there is nothing that we can do. We understand that sometimes you allow this to teach us to look for you first in all situations. We love you. We honor you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. I Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Reflection

Go out of your way this week to stop, look and listen for the brand-new thing that the Lord is doing in your life?   I would love to hear about it. Join the conversation on Facebook.

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General

I don't really remember when it started but it seems that it was always there. I have struggled many years with feelings of low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, insecurity and loneliness. I thought at one point that I would never get passed these things and they would always consume my life. Then there was God

 

Coffee for Your Heart 150

 

http://holleygerth.com/coffee-for-your-heart-love -Happily linking up today with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart.

 

A Foolish Thing

By Ann

I Corinthians 1:26-31 (NIV)

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29 so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom. 31 As the Scriptures say, "The person who wishes to boast should boast only of what the Lord has done."

 

I don't really remember when it started but it seems that it was always there. I have struggled many years with feelings of low self-esteem, fear, anxiety, insecurity and loneliness. I thought at one point that I would never get passed these things and they would always consume my life. Then there was God.

As a child I suffered being abandoned by my mother at two months old. My father died before I was born. I was taken in by my grandparents. My grandmother died of tuberculosis when I was about ten so my grandfather raised me until I was a young adult and then he died too.

I am an only child. My mother was also an only child so there are no aunts, uncles or cousins. I am not sure about my father's family but no one ever reached out to me so as far as I knew there was just me. My grandmother's sister had a couple of kids who had children that were my grand cousins I think but we lost touch. So as you can imagine I became a bit of a loner.

Eventually when I was about 16 years old I gave my life to Christ and He has been relentless in proving to me how much He loves me. Unfortunately and in spite of His pursuit I still took it upon myself to fill the voids that I had in life with the wrong things and the wrong people.

I got to a point that I was almost willing to do anything to be a part of somebody's family. I called other people's parents dad and mom. I called other people's sisters and brothers my sister and brother.

 I did things that were against my own morals and even more importantly against God to try and earn love from people that did not have my best interest at heart. Somehow it was always revealed that I was not a real part of their family. I was extra hard on myself because I was always trying to prove that I belonged.

Eventually God blessed me with a husband and family of my own. Then a few years ago I seemed to hit rock bottom in my life. On the outside things seemed perfect. I was very active in church. I sang on the choir. My husband was an usher. All of our kids were doing well. I was pregnant with our fourth child and everything was wonderful.  

After our daughter was born I slipped into a secret depression. It was a secret because I felt I could never let anyone know that I was not doing a good job handling being a mother again. People started coming to our family for help with different situations. I was happy to help but sadly I also used these circumstances to keep the focus shifted away from my own emotional demise.  

At some point the illusion started slipping away. Things seemed to fall apart all around me. Then there was a moment that there was nobody but me and God. This led to many days that I just cried, sobbed and whined to the Lord.

 I told him that I felt lonely and abandoned. I was tired of feeling like I was never good enough and that I would never be worthy enough to be used. I had put great expectations on my friend and family to make me feel whole and all of my efforts to feel whole through people and things had been in vain.

After my confession to God and through the tears I felt an overwhelming amount of God's love. It seemed after that moment every sermon, book and devotional that I read was about God's great unfailing love for me. As I prayed and read my Bible I allowed His words to possess my heart and mind. I started being deliberate in looking for scriptures, books, music, sermons and anything else that spoke to my soul about God's love for me.

That's how I learned that He is a father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5)

Once when I was reading my Bible and searching the scriptures I found the passage, I Corinthians 1:26-31 and it really touched my heart. It revealed to me that I had a misconception about what I need to be or have to be used and loved by God. I matter to Him just the way that I am. He has blessed me with a beautiful family and a few good friends but even if I never had any of that He is more than enough and I am enough because I have Him.

 I am not abandoned or alone. I am loved and cherished. I am called. I am the foolish thing that the passage talks about that will show the world that regardless of what I lack I can boast. But my boasting will be in the Lord and not in myself.

These days I am so excited about the things that the Lord is doing through me. I am amazed that He chose someone that didn't think she had much to offer.

The Lord has also chosen you to be a "foolish thing." You think that you lack so much and everybody else has the Midas touch but if you look at the scriptures God specializes in using people that are not up to par in the world's eyes.

Moses had trouble speaking, David was an adulterer, and the woman at the well had been married multiple times. Maybe He has already told you what He wants you to do. If He has don't let anything stop you. If he hasn't told you seek Him for your answer. You have what it takes. You are smart, beautiful and able through Him. He is preparing you and giving you everything you need. You are not alone. Trust Him.

Prayer

Father we trust you with our lives, with all of the things we are and all of the things that we are not. Use us for Your Glory. Help us to know that we are loved and not alone or abandoned.  Help us to find our worth and purpose in you and not people or things. We know that you can take what little we have and turn it into something beautiful. As we begin to walk in your purpose for our lives we will always remember to boast about the things that You have done. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Related Resources

Happily linking up with holleygerth.com for Coffee for your Heart.

 

Reflection

Are you secretly or in the open not feeling good about who you are? Are you feeling lonely or abandoned or maybe you just feel that nobody is there for you? Take some time to search the scriptures to see what God says about what you mean to Him. Write these scriptures down in your journal or on an index card and refer back to them whenever you feel that you are not enough.  Remember, only God can fill your deepest longings.

Join me on Facebook this week where I will be posting Scriptures to encourage us to feel better about God's love for us and who we are in Christ. I hope you will post some too.  

 

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General

It's Risky but don't Freak Out!
Instead of parting Red Seas and making water come from rocks the Lord did something just as amazing. He did something for us that we needed even more.

 

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

I have always been one of those people that love a solid plan. I like things step by step, a-b-c, 1-2-3. But life is not always like that is it? Sometimes you don't know what is around the next corner. You do not know what is going to become of a decision that you have to make.

The Israelites were at this place. They were finally at the edge of the land of milk and honey. The place the Lord had promised them was within their reach. But when they sent out scouts to check out their new home the report that came back was not favorable to them.

 In this land they would have to deal with some unknowns, some risk. They would have to face giants that they could not see themselves defeating. The present inhabitants of the land were greater in number than they were and the lists goes on.

I have been here a countless number of times. Have you? Before the Israelites sought the Lord for deliverance from fear or before they asked for His action plan they began freaking out about what the circumstances looked like.

They allowed their minds to be filled with a thousand reasons why they should not proceed into their destiny. They listened to the 8 scouts that gave a bad report instead of the 2 that said they could do it.

Don't you know that when people give advice it comes mostly from their own fears or experiences? The predictions they gave was as they saw the situation not as God saw it. They projected their own fears onto the people.

That is why we have to seek Godly advice so we do not freak out every time we face anything that looks a little risky.

I hate to say that when I first read about the Israelites I wondered how they could be so afraid after all the miracles that they saw with their own eyes. I mean they saw the Lord part the Red Sea. We don't see those sort of miracles in our time so I wanted to use this as an excuse for not living up to my own potential I guess. But I cannot. We cannot.

Have you forgotten? Like the Israelites, hasn't God done great things in your life as He has in mine? Hasn't he protected you and fought for you? The enemy of your soul tried to destroy you but you are still here. I'm still here.

Life is risky I know. But get out there and follow the path the Lord has set before you.

Instead of parting Red Seas and making water come from rocks the Lord did something just as amazing. He did something for us that we needed even more.

He made us into miracles.  I am a miracle.

And you are a miracle.

So we do not have to panic or be afraid. We serve a God that goes before us and makes sure that although things may not work out as we think they should, He has promised that He will make whatever we do work out for our good.

Prayer

Father, help us to remember not to let fear or panic be a constant in our lives. We want to trust and believe that you go before us in every situation to make sure things work out for our good. Use our lives for your glory. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

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Music

Listen to the words of this song, "Worth" by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy and let it minister the truth of your worth to God in your heart.

There are many of us that look for our worth through people, things and accomplishments but none of these temporary fixes last for long do they?

I have found that the only way to truly feel like you have value is to realize it through a relationship with Christ.

Even if you feel valued it can come and go based on how people feel or circumstances change.

But God never changes.

If you are asking yourself if you matter or if anybody cares that you are in this world or even if you feel valuable, understand that the reason the feeling doesn't last is because no one on this earth could ever love or value you more than the God that gave His life so that you can be free from the world's limitations.

We are limited here by our humanity but we will be complete once we are with Christ.

Until then we are blessed to be able to look in God's Word and see what He says about how truly valuable we are to Him so that we can feel lasting worth that never fades.

Listen to the words of this song, "Worth" by Anthony Brown and Group Therapy and let it  minister this truth to your heart.

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Calling

Start Now! - Iman Abdulmajid


 

 

This is dedicated to the slow starters, the procrastinators in life. Remember if you never start you will never finish. So let's get started and disregard excuses. This is very beautifully said by Iman. 

 

"Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don't stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just…start. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         -Iman Abdulmajid

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Careers

Do you need a job that offers more flexibility? Maybe you should consider a company that offers a telecommuting option. These jobs can be hard to find. The ones that I have found in the past have sent me on a wild goose chase. But in my research I came across a company called, "Flexjobs."

Flexjobs' website states that they are a professional job service that helps people find the best flexible jobs available, safely and easily.

They also state that all of the jobs are hand screened and guaranteed to be legitimate, with no ads or scams. This company has been featured on CNN, USA Today, and NBC.

Companies that use Flexjobs to recruit include Aetna, Dell, American Express, and more.

In order to apply for their telecommuting, freelance and part-time jobs you have to pay a subscription fee.

Prices for subscription are:

$14.95/Month

$29.95/Quarter

$49.95/Year

They offer a satisfaction guarantee and you can cancel and get a refund.

Some of their subscription benefits Include:

Email alerts when telecommuting jobs are posted.

Free skills testing

Quick profile process

Unlimited access to every job they find

Personalized profile where you can upload your resume

Job Search tips and resources

 

So it seems they put in the work of finding companies that offer telecommuting positions.

 

Has anyone ever used Flexjob's Services before? What was your experience with them?

 

RESOURCE

https://www.flexjobs.com/

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Careers

The beginning of another work week is here. Some of us will be off to jobs that we cannot wait to get to where there is no such thing as the Monday blues. But some of us dread the start of the work week although we are grateful for our job. We make good money but we have never been content because there is always a lingering feeling that this is not where we are supposed to be.

 

The beginning of another work week is here. Some of us will be off to jobs that we cannot wait to get to where there is no such thing as the Monday blues. But some of us dread the start of the work week although we are grateful for our jobs. We make good money but we have never been content because there is always a lingering feeling that this is not where we are supposed to be.

Have your heard that experience is a great teacher? I guess that applies if you learn from your experiences. In my 20 years of working and gaining experience I have gone from job to job, not totally fitting in anywhere. I have been in some area of mortgage most of my working life which normally has been in a fast-paced, production-driven environment. The problem is I have more of a relationship- building, need to be inspired, low-pressure type personality.

In my previous work environment I have heard things like, "you have a great personality but unfortunately this is an environment where we need you to just sit there and reach your quota."  I never seemed to measure up. I was always the weakest link in these surroundings.

 I kept getting back out there though looking for something more. Then I was blessed with a position where finally hitting numbers did not come into play. I absolutely loved the people and the environment and they loved me. As a matter of fact it was my job to make people feel warm and welcomed.  You guessed it. I was a receptionist. The problem with that job that I loved so much was that I did not make enough money to l live off of and my feeling of needing to do something more was still there.

This was the turning point where I decided that I had to begin looking closer at who I am and what I love to do. Paying attention to the experiences in your life can give you the clues to your purpose. The author, Parker J. Palmer talks about this in his book, "Let your life Speak". God puts some life experiences in place to show you the path to your destiny.

I believe this is the beginning of our search for our purpose. Finding out who we are and what we love and what are experiences tell us about what we should or should not be. This knowledge can lead us into finding work that we love and feel fulfilled doing.

For example, I love the Word of God and applying it to everyday life. Also my favorite things are reading, writing and researching topics on finding purpose, and how spiritual gifts, personality types, and strengths are ingredients of purpose. I also love anything that I can find on becoming an entrepreneur and information on traditional employment.

Now I am on a quest to find out what it takes to incorporate the things I love into a business or traditional employment while helping others do the same.

So how about you? What do you love?

Have you transitioned out of the traditional workplace and started a business doing something that you love?

Or

Have you found the perfect job that incorporates all of the things that you love? What showed you that this was your purpose?

We would love to hear about it in comments :-)

 

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Bible Study

Have you ever felt guilty for not giving? Or have you ever said to yourself, "I barely have everything I need, somebody should give me something." But the question is not whether we have much or little. Why do we give? Why should we?

It is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord (Leviticus 2:2).

Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38).

 

During the holidays and sometimes throughout the year our mailboxes can be filled with requests from organizations asking us to give. There are many causes across the globe: the homeless, orphans, abused animals, the hungry and so on.

Have you ever felt guilty for not giving? Or have you ever said to yourself, "I barely have everything I need, somebody should give me something." But the question is not whether we have much or little. Why do we give? Why should we?

In the first chapters of Leviticus God asked the Israelites to offer sacrifices and offerings to Him. They were expected to take from their livelihood. This included their sheep or cattle that the Father had blessed them with to survive and take care of their families.

Today as Christians our sacrifices or offerings are in our time, talents and treasures. We volunteer our time to help those in need. We use the gifts or talents that God blesses us with to bless others. We give God 10% from the earnings that He has allowed us to make.

God asked the Israelites for a portion of their best. The best of the best that He had given them. Does this sound unfair? Of course not. But I do not believe that God wants us to give just for the sake of giving.

Giving does something to the inside of us. First of all it makes us feel good because we are acting on who we are designed to be, the image of Christ.

Giving teaches us humility and care for others in spite of ourselves.

Giving teaches us to honor Christ and to put Him first.

Giving teaches us gratefulness, obedience and trust in Christ.

We trust God to provide for us as we help provide for others.

The Lord doesn't just want our best through money but in everything we do. People are drawn to those that give and this gives a Christian the opportunity to show love, which draws people to Christ. This is reflected on our jobs, in our homes and in our communities.

If we give our time, talent and treasure and how we give it is a reflection of where we are in our relationship with Christ.

 

Prayer

Father, please help us to stay reminded that giving back to you in all areas of our lives is bigger than the act of giving. It is about you and us. Remind us by your Holy Spirit to always give our best in every area of our lives as if we are giving to you because we are.

Reflection

What is your favorite community service organization to support and why? You can leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter?

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Bible Study

Do you struggle with self-confidence? A lack of self-confidence can keep us from reaching our goals and dreams. We start working toward our dreams but stop in our tracks when things get challenging because we do not believe that we have what it takes to make it to the end or even worse we convince ourselves to not even start.

Do you struggle with self-confidence? A lack of self-confidence can keep us from reaching our goals and dreams. We start working toward our dreams but stop in our tracks when things get challenging because we do not believe that we have what it takes to make it to the end or even worse we convince ourselves to not even start.

We can also feel like giving up when we put so much of our confidence in people and they let us down.

The Bible says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him" (Jer. 17:7 NIV). To succeed at whatever God calls you to do; you must learn to be confident -not self-confident but confident in Christ.

 Paul was brilliant, but he said, "I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency."  Jesus said, "Without me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 NKJV).  It seems to take forever to learn this truth.

 Much of our frustration comes from misplaced confidence. Paul says "Put no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3 NIV). Now, he wasn't saying you aren't supposed to trust anyone. He was saying if you give others or yourself the trust that belongs to God alone, you won't succeed. He won't let you. To succeed at anything you must have confidence, but it must be confidence in God.

You must believe that He wants you to succeed. You may fail on your way to success, but if you trust God, He will take your mistakes and cause them to work out for your good (see Romans 8:28).

Sometimes we are shaken when we face trials, especially if they stick around for a long time. When this happens you should do what David did He "encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord" (I Samuel 30.6 AMP). When David had no one else to believe in him, he believed in himself. He also believed in God's ability to work through him. One Bible teacher says, "The Lord told me that if I didn't believe in myself, I really didn't believe in Him. He said, "I am in you, but I can only do through you, what you believe Me for." Think about it.

(Partially adapted from, The Word for You Today Devotional.)

Father, thank you that we can put our ultimate confidence in you and never be disappointed. You always have our best interest at heart. Help us to look to you for help in fulfulling our goals and dreams. In the Name of Jesus, Amen. 

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