Friday, July 29, 2022

Distractions...



Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you went there?  Or is that just me?

My husband and I attended a United Marriage Encounter event this past week and were blessed as we poured into other couples throughout the event.  However, the enemy was up to his old tricks and tried to distract us from the blessings.

The enemy does not have new ideas, only old reusable tricks.  He knows which buttons to push.  He just keeps pushing them over and over until we are distracted by the problem and not God. We just need to be aware of them and prepare for the battle.  Here are a few of my buttons the enemy likes to push.  Maybe you can relate to a couple…

Sleep



If sleep was a love language, it would be on the top of my list.  I need a good night’s sleep to function at the level I push myself daily.  When I am unable to get enough sleep, my patience and logical skills decline.  When my husband and I arrived from driving 10 hours to our UME event, I needed to eat and then go to bed to recover.  The first night was great.  The second night was another story. 

My husband woke up at midnight and decided the air conditioning in our hotel room was not sufficient.  He then turned his flashlight on his phone and began to look up ways to override the thermostat.  He accidentally started the heat and I woke up to the light and a smell that made me believe the room was burning.  After a bit….a long while, he gave up and put a hot washcloth over the thermostat to fake it out and the temperature dropped.  (More HVAC tips in another story…)

Then he climbed back into bed and fell right back to sleep. 

I did not.  The next morning came quickly, and I pushed through with little patience and a lot of prayers.  I could have let the situation rob our witness.  Instead, I prayed fort he strength to get through the day.  I knew what was happening.  Sometimes I miss the attack and   That night we went to bed early and we got some much-needed rest.

 

Attacks in the family



Our kids are also another button the enemy uses against us. The enemy is trying to distract us through our adult children.  We have struggled with some who have walked away from the Lord and some who we pray will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.  In the meantime, there have been disagreements and division.  It breaks my heart.  I want to ‘fix’ it all.  I know I can’t and it is in His hands.  However, that doesn’t stop me from trying in my own strength and letting the process rob my joy.  It is so hard when it is your family, and the enemy knows that and uses it to distract.

When we finally shared with several other couples during our UME event, we realized that the enemy is doing the Exact same thing in their lives.   Again, the enemies’ tactics are not new, just efficient.  So instead of fretting, we all came together and started storming the gates with prayer.  We can also pray specifically for each other with this new revelation.

 

Gnats (small annoying issues)



These are the small trivial things that come into our lives and surround us like mosquitoes.  For example, one that came today took over an hour to resolve.  We needed a missing receipt to confirm what warranty was available for a part.  The woman in the office and I searched everywhere through files and emails until it was finally found.  One hour of wasted time for something small that distracted us from what we were originally working on. 

For me, it was this blog.  Funny how the enemy works huh…?

We are distracted by so many things in our lives.  Some are large, but often many are insignificant gnats.  How do we handle the distractions?  First and foremost, keep your eyes up and focused on the One that can resolve it all.  Remember, we know how the book ends.  The enemy would like nothing better than to distract us from what God is calling us to do or be.

Next, expect the head winds.  You know you are often going in the right direction when the attacks occur.  Get on your knees and pray.  Cling to the All-Knowing God who knows the beginning from the end.  He has big shoulders and can carry your burdens. 

Focus your eyes on Him, not the attacks. 

Stand with me in prayer for the saints that are going through daily attacks.

 


Colossians 3:2

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

1 Peter 5:8

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Unplanned events...


 

Unplanned events can be joyful ones, or sometimes they are stressful ones.  For example, a surprise birthday party or a friend stopping by to say hi can be a joyful time.  However, hearing bad news from the doctor or getting a frantic call from a child can be a stressful unexpected event.

Did you know nothing surprises God? God knew about our day before we started it this morning.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

Psalms 139:16

 

Recently I had a stressful day that seemed to get worse by the hour.  I shared it in a previous story.  By the end of the day both my husband and I were spent.  There seemed to be nothing left to give or feel. 

Then the unexpected happened.  We were given an unexpected blessing during a dinner with friends.  This couple poured into us and within hours we were completely regenerated and blessed.  We drove away from dinner sharing how awesome God is in our lives. 

Now our night could have gone different if we wallowed in our frustrated day and just gave up and cancelled dinner.  I am so grateful we did not.  I am so grateful God does not give in as easily as I often do.

My stressful day didn’t surprise God.

Neither did the good news.

Some days have a plot twist like ours did.

 


However, some days do not.  They just keep piling on until we cry uncle.

The enemy likes to get into our head during difficult times and lie to us.  The father of lies likes to say God is not there during the stressful times.  God doesn’t care about our concerns. God is too busy for our lives.

Again, all lies.

I repeat, ALL LIES.

Even when you don’t feel the presence of God, HE IS THERE.  Don’t let the enemy get in your head.

We can face the unplanned difficult times knowing we have a loving Father who is there with us every step of the way.

Psalms 46:7

The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

 

Stand in faith – God is with you no matter how you feel.  Your feelings do not change who God is.

 

Now I can’t complete this without adding God allows some things to happen in our lives. 

Job 1:12

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

 

We don’t always know the reason why.  Sometimes we never know the reason until we are face to face with our heavenly Father.  I have things that happened to me in my life that I don’t understand why God allowed them.  But I do know He is in control of my life.  I trust Him with my life.

My prayers for you today are that you can KNOW God is with you in this situation.  And if He has allowed it, that you find comfort in His arms as you trust Him with the outcome.   Remember, we know how the book ends.  WE WIN.

2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV)

if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV)

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you 

and protect you from the evil one.

 

Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, 

for he who promised is faithful.

 

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Bad day....?

 

Sometimes no matter what we do, things around us have a way of ‘happening’.  Today was one of those days.  Let me share with you, my morning.  Maybe you can relate?

It started like every other Thursday.  The team came in to start the day and my husband wanted to help by moving a printer we replaced yesterday.  The old one was not working as designed but still had some use, so we were going to move it to the office downstairs.  He picked up the large printer and carried it downstairs. 

Then I heard a flurry of activity and comments I won’t repeat.  Carl came running upstairs and said it was leaking.  LEAKING?  What does that even mean?

 



Well for some reason the secured black ink cartridge inside of the printer decided to ‘bleed’ all over the place while he moved the printer downstairs.  There was black ink everywhere. 

On the rugs.  On the floor.  All down the stairs.  On the shelf where he had placed it for safe keeping.  He took it off the shelf when he noticed the ink on his new jeans and his sock.  Then the printer in grand fashion continued to ‘leak’ all over the floor at his feet.

And then we saw the paper jam in the back.  The printer never gave us a warning or error code that it was experiencing any issues.  It just sat jammed and kept printing without any warning.  So, now papers from the back were hanging out of the printer and they were also covered in black ink. 

As we frantically worked on the mess, I could only look at the bright side and say to myself, “At least it wasn’t poop.”  Right?  Bright side always.

Clearly the printer had no intention of working anymore so we prepared it for disposal. Well, after the mess was cleaned up and the printer was secured in a garbage bag, the guys left for the jobsite to start their day. 

 

That would be enough to unsettle anyone’s day.  

But there was more…

 

An hour or so later I took the puppies out to do their business and take some tags off a couple trees we just planted.  They followed me from tree to tree just making sure everything was secure and smelled every spot they could.

After I completed my chore, I turned around to head back to the house and witnessed one of our puppies rolling in something.  I yelled and he immediately jumped up gave me a guilty look.  It was Rocco.  He is our bright white Maltese. 

Well, he was our bright white Maltese.

Rocco was now covered in poop.  He was no longer our white puppy but currently a multicolored mess.



Remember the bright side I was trying to maintain?  Well, it was officially a poop show.  I had to pick him up and gently open the door to carry him to the sink for a bath.  As I bathed him, I tried not to gag because he was completely covered in some unknown animal’s poop. 


SERIOUSLY…  What a way to start a Thursday.

 

So, what can we do when the proverbial “schtuff” hits the fan in our day?  I could sit and feel frustrated and let it ruin the rest of my day.  I mean seriously, how much can happen before noon on a Thursday??  Instead, I chose to sit down and write. 

The first thing that came to my mind was Job 2:10

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Yes Lord, it is all about perspective…

As I wrote the story above, I thought a few verses of encouragement.  I want to share them with you as we all have bad days occasionally. 

 

Pause...



Sometimes we need to just take a breath.
  Breathe in and breathe out.  Remember you can go directly to the Father and just sit like Mary did.  God understands our humanness and how things can be overwhelming when it comes in waves.

Matthew 11:28  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Get out of your head.  As I wrote someone sent me a devotional titled: Get out of your Head.  Wow that was timely!  We need to take every thought captive and not let the enemy get in our head.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

 

 

Put your hand on your heart…



Remind yourself that you are alive.  Reflect on this moment.  You have breath and this is just a day, not a bad life.

Proverbs 4:23  

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

 


Look up…




Raise you eyes up to the sky.   Remember who created everything around and above you.  He is in control.  He is greater than who is trying to distract you today.

Job 35:5

Look up at the heavens and see; gaze at the clouds so high above you.

1 John 4:4

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

 


Read God’s promises…



Open your bible and read His promises.  Remember no matter how difficult today is, we know how the Book ends!  We win!  Gods got this!

Psalms 77:12 (NIV)

I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

 


Remember His faithfulness…


Remember what God has done for you. Think back to how faithful He has been in your life.  I could sit and write for hours on how great His faithfulness is!  Take a moment to reflect on the great things He has done in your life.

Psalms 77:11 (NIV)

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.

 


Reach out…



Help someone else in need.  That is the quickest way to get out of your own head.  We need to reach out to others who don’t know how awesome our God is and share His love.  We also need to help our brothers and sisters in Christ.  They need encouragement daily too.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NIV)

If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

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Hold on to these thoughts as I pray your Thursday is a bit better than mine started.  Remember, it’s all about perspective!


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Holy Echoes - His forgiveness...

 


Has a song ever reached deep into your soul when you needed it most? Or is that just me?

Sometimes God speaks to me through music.  Some days I am busy doing a job and a song comes on that grabs my attention and says – STOP and Listen. When I take the moment to be still – and listen – I hear the message. I hear His message.  Often, I need to hear the song several times to let the message sink in. 

So, I pick up my phone and look up the song on the internet.  Then I download it and listen to it again… and again.  I ask God, “Why this song, and why now?” Most times I have heard the song before, but for some reason it reached my soul at that moment and woke me up.

I am sharing this with you today because it happened again.  I spent the morning getting things ready before I went to a sister in Christ’s home.  I am currently working on my next book, and we spent some time together today to write more on her story which will be in the book.   

We talked about the awesomeness of God in our lives as she shared her story with me.  I was so inspired after we finished that I wanted to get home and jump on my computer right away.

However, work got in the way the minute I pulled in the driveway.  I proceeded to catch up on all the calls and pressing issues. After the dust settled, I sat down to write.

As I started to collect my thoughts I heard: Holy Water by We The Kingdom on KLove radio.  One section of the song caught my attention.


Your forgiveness

Is like sweet, sweet honey on my lips

Like the sound of a symphony to my ears

Like Holy water on my skin


 I stopped what I was doing and meditated on that verse.  We were just sharing earlier how awesome God is and how grateful we are for His grace and mercy. 

This song was our afternoon anthem of how we felt about His forgiveness.

His forgiveness…  How deep that song went into my soul. 

I just sat and listened to the song several times and praised God for His forgiveness in my life.

Where would I be without His grace and mercy in my life?  I would be lost.  I would not be here writing to you.

I am so grateful for His forgiveness in my life.

Take time today and meditate on His word through song today…

 

Acts 26:18 (NIV)

to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

1 John 1:9 (NIV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

 

https://youtu.be/l0xhhG1Hyos


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.


Friday, July 1, 2022

Blessing your spouse...

 


The fourth of July is a major holiday sharing the freedom of our United States.  Ironically my grandmother and husband share their birthday also on the 4th of July.

When I met Carl the conversation of birthdays came up.  He told me his birthday was the fourth of July.  I looked at him shocked because it was also my grandmother’s birthday.  I was Grandma’s favorite because I was named after her.  Grandma Peggy and I had a special bond between us because of my name. 

Grandma used to say the entire country was celebrating with her on her birthday.  I would agree to some extent because she loved to host the biggest party each year on her birthday.  I never thought anything about it because I was just a kid.  It seemed normal that she hosted and fed everyone on her birthday.  As I look back, I realized she spent many days hosting events because of her hospitality spirit.  Grandma could throw the biggest parties and feed large crowds with ease.  I believe some of the hospitality gene rubbed off on me because feeding others blesses my spirit as well.


Now why am I talking about this today? 


Because in a few short days it is going to be Carl’s birthday and I am going to bless the milestone he is about to hit.  I want Carl’s cup to be filled and overflowing as he often does for others on a daily basis. 

So, several months ago, I began planning the event down to the nit.    In true Grandma fashion, I invited everyone that I could to share his special day with him.  There will be food and fun for all who attend.

My prayer is that Carl’s cup will overflow as everyone arrives and shares his special day with us.  He deserves all the blessings.  He is a man after God’s heart and pours into everyone he meets in our business and the marriage ministry. (United Marriage Encounter) We are blessed as a couple because God brought us together so many years ago.  I am so grateful for God’s work in our marriage and feel excited to make his day special.

Go out and bless your spouse today in any way you can.  It can be a big party like the one I am planning.  It can be a small note or text saying you love him or her.  You can pray for your spouse.  That is one of the biggest gifts you can give. 

Just step out and do something…  Bless on your spouse today.

 


Ephesians 5:31 (NIV)

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

 


Stones of Remembrance...

We got good news yesterday.  Actually, three things happened that made me stop and thank God each time.  One was a reprieve from the storms ...