“Pick Up Your Smile”

Hebrews 13:2 NLT
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”

Today, God sent me an Angel. He seemingly came out of nowhere. As I’m standing on a bus line to travel from New York to New Jersey, a man approches me as he crosses the middle of a busy street. At that moment, I didn’t look very approchable. I had just got off a busy train and had two heavy bags in my hands. My face reeked of annoyance, just like every other New Yorker at rush hour. If you asked me, I thought I did a decent job at covering up that annoyed look. But hey, guess not. For some odd reason, this man approached me and said, “Hey, I think you dropped something… right there.” He convincingly points as if its near my left foot. I had just pulled out $3.00 for the bus so firmly believed that claim to be legitimate. He proceeds to slowly say, ” I think its a smile or something.” At that moment, I stopped looking for the ‘lost object’ and said to myself, ok, this man is clearly buggin. I gather up some kindness and say “thank you.” Then, I think to myself, oh, ok he just tried to low key insult me by saying I look mean! I almost took this personal, thinking I’m minding my own business, what did I do to him to say such a thing? I quickly brush it off and realized what had just happened. Saying to myself, “God!… you are hilarious… ok, ok it get it!”

Finally, my bus had arrived. I took another glimpse in my bag to make sure my wallet didn’t drop and take one last look behind me, where the man had pointed. As I walked towards the bus, low and behold, the man returned! He boldly said, “did you get what I was really trying to say???” Still annoyed, I said “yes. Yes I do.” Ok, this guy was venturing real close into stalker territory, but I actually knew exactly what was happening, as God had revealed it to me moments after this man departed the first time. After I said “yes, I do”… with profound confusion, he proceeds to say ” then why havn’t you picked it up???” He shakes his head … walks away… and dissappears… I saw no trace of his back when i turned my head away and then turned back to look for him.

You see, the back story is that I was at odds because I received some news that would alter my spending allowance for the rest of the month. Once I received the news, my attitude drastically changed and I began to think of ways, methods and steps of action in which I needed to take, in order to survive the next few weeks. I had completely dismissed my faith in knowing that my God will supply all my needs. I had totally become dependent on my own efforts and my own resources. As I took my seat on the bus, shame overcame me. How dare I put my home before you Lord? … you got me that new home! How dare I put my trust in myself??? You’ve provided for me this far!!! At that moment I repented to God. “Forgive me Lord, for I have sinned. I know that you are my source and I know that you will supply my needs. I need not put my trust in myself, for I stand on your word. You are the truth! You are the way, the truth and the life!”

Thank you Lord Jesus, for sending an Angel to tell me to pick up my smile 🙂

Love,
Heather

Philippians 4:19 NLT
“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.”

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Fill Me Up

The instinctive human need for acceptance, love, honor, respect recognition, can be destructive if we only look toward each other for these euphoric feelings. Imagine if your accepted by the world in all that you do, but you still don’t feel complete? — is that truly fulfilling? Imagine if your in a “loving” relationship without God– is it fulfilling?

What is fulfilment? One definition describes fulfillment as “satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s abilities or character.” It seems like American culture has become more and more satisfied with temporary fulfilment, accepting continuous small doses of happiness, as opposed to one continuous source.

Another definition describes fulfillment as, “the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted..” as in a dream that has come to fruition. This leads me to the question, do we have the ability to find true fulfillment totally on our own? I believe this is impossible. The only way to find and have true fulfillment is through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

My faith-full journey has become a daily journey to become filled with Christ. Filled with the love and mind of Christ, so that my actions lend itself accordingly to the will of God. It is impossible to be fulfilled in this life without Christ! I was walking with some friends this weekend doing some girl talk and happened to discuss internet dating. How some people find their “matches” and go on dates just to “hook up” and … that’s it! This baffled me. Making an active lifestyle of trying to fill an empty whole. My friend went on to say, “there’s a lot of people who live unfulfilled lives.” No judgement, but that statement really resonated with me… and saddened me. I must admit, I grew up a bit sheltered so I’m a tad naive and blinded by some of the cultural lifestyle that takes place around me (and I thank God for that). Everywhere you go, people are looking for love. But are looking in all the wrong places.

Has it become a cultural obsession to look for “love” and then throw it away, without a care, just to find another love, that is seemingly better? It sounds like a serial love fest, and its problematic. Yes, half the battle is knowing what love is. But how can one know what love is, if one doesn’t know WHO love is? GOD IS LOVE. Why are we looking in every other direction to fill a space that only God can fill?

We have physical needs and desires, yes. And then we have our spiritual needs and spiritual desires. I find that so many of us are trying to fill our spiritual desires by our flesh! How can this be? How can we even begin to justify this as making sense? We absolutely cannot mix the two flesh and spiritual needs. We can only fill our spiritual needs and desires by spiritual means through Christ.

God knows that we may want tangible things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the true gifts in life are the intangibles. The jewels that can’t be broken. Those diamonds are wisdom. Jesus is our wisdom. Read proverbs 8. Here’s a few passages (NLT version), but please read the entire chapter:

10 Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold.

11 For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.

12 “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.

13 All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. 14 Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.

15 Because of me, kings reign, and rulers make just decrees. 16 Rulers lead with my help, and nobles make righteous judgments.[a]

17 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. 18 I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice.

19 My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver! 20 I walk in righteousness, in paths of justice.

21 Those who love me inherit wealth. I will fill their treasuries.

Praise God for his precious spiritual gifts of wisdom.

Going back to the statement, “a lot of people live unfulfilled lives.” Made me thankful for my current place in life. My current status may not be the most desirable by the worlds viewpoint and standard, but i know its favorable with God. And that’s all that matters. I’m content knowing that I have God and He has me. All is truly well with my soul. God has given me a new dream, His vision and I whole-heartly love it and could have never dreamt it or thought of it on my own. It is my goal to follow through and continue to be obedient.

With love,

Heather

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THE SWEET SCENT OF FAITH

I’ve been reading the book of Genesis for the past few days and I just find so much richness between the relationship of God and Abraham.The imperfectness of Abraham and the perfectness of God gives us a glimpse of how deep God’s love is for man. “God counted Abraham as righteous because of his faith.” – Genesis 15:6. Abraham had many shortcomings, as we do, but God knew his faith.

Jesus demonstrates this all throughout the old testament. I believe our faith is a sweet fragrance to God. When Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago a woman with an issue of blood managed to touch just the fringe of Jesus’ s robe. A large crowd was gathered around Jesus, some people were even pressing against Him. Here’s what Jesus says,  “Who touched me?… Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” (Luke 8: 45-46 NLT)

Isn’t this amazing how God instantly recognizes our faith?! No matter how big or small it is. It is an instant access to God power. It flows freely. A full bio of this woman was not necessary to record, but her faith was. I’m certain every person in the crowd had an issue of some sort, and was looking for a bailout. But there was something different about the heart of this woman with the issue of blood.

Our faith can give us instant access to God’s power. It flows freely. Jesus didn’t even have to think about healing this woman… he gave it no consideration. Power simply flowed right out of him. That is the very connection we have with God. Because Christ has died for us, He now lives within us! Forget about your laundry list of how to be a better you. Just call on His name! Sit at his feet.. Just believe… and He will direct you. He will give to you freely.

Love,

Heather Ardrey

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IF GOD IS FOR YOU, WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU? (Romans 8: 31)

On our Christian walk of faith, sometimes we don’t always get support and encouragement to continue forward. It can be even more disheartening when when this lack of encouragement is felt within your church home… especially when one is called into ministry. Its important that we edify each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

One of the toughest battles as Christians is our internal battle… our battle with our own mind. In our society, we expect to be compensated for the work we do, right? But, when we work for God’s glory, we must put away all expectations in our works and walk in faith that God will provide… solely because of our faith.

As Christians, it pleases our Lord for us to give to others out of the love and kindness of our hearts in all areas. But what happens when our giving is not received? What happens when we are not supported by our “Christian family.” How are we supposed to genuinely connect with God if we’re not connecting with our neighbor? How are we really supposed to maintaing a spirit of giving if no one wants our best? The Lord tells us not to get weary doing good deeds (Galatians 6: 9). He says this because He knows that we will get weary along our journey. He is encouraging us to continuously seek him. He wants to be our guiding light through it all, because He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14: 6).

IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?!

Heather A.

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SMALL STEPS … BIG LEAPS

I was so inspired and filled with the Word of God today at church. Staying connected with God’s people and God’s spirit inspires me to do better simply because it fills me and its God’s will. Getting lost in the worldly pleasures of sin can also inspire one to indulge in that spirit of sin. Somehow, it just feels so much better do good. Doing good for others, and being good to ourselves can motivate us to do things that we couldn’t have thought on our own, had we not walked in God’s spirit.

Today, God blessed me because I opened myself up to fellowship, connecting, giving, laughing and loving.

I praise God for the small steps that I took today because i know they are big leaps in God’s eyes. In order for God to use us effectively we have to trust and stay faithful to his will and word. For the first time today I was able to say a prayer boldly and confidently out loud at Sunday school. My prayer was lead my the holy ghost and not by my own premeditated thinking. Expressing myself in prayer publicly has been a challenge because it simply means letting your heart flow in front of a room full of people. Genuine prayers flow from the heart, so in essences there is no wrong prayer whether its big or small and you show reverence to Christ our Lord.

Lets take a step today toward something bigger than ourselves. Once we step outside of ourselves, our thinking, our notions, and our set ways, we leave room for God to fill us and do his will. Lets step out on faith with boldness knowing that God will carry us through no matter what are current situation is looking like. Remember, God looks at the whole picture. He thinks long term. Where will our small steps bring us long term? God’s got this!!!

Love,

Heather

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LOVE

LOVE

 

Its the best feeling in the world. To give love, to receive love and to spread love. Love inspires the the most captivating thoughts… and the lack of love inspires a heart to find it. To some, love is dangerous… as such a great feeling leaves you in a vulnerable state. Love makes us… crazy, irrational … down right deranged. That’s the relationship God is longing to have with us. A crazy in love, don’t know what your gonna do or say next because you are being led by His spirit… His love.. HIM. 

 

When we have found real love in our hearts, we are sure, firm… nothing can sway us unless we let something or someone in. Have you ever been with someone so fine… so perfect for you, you were sure this was it? This was “the one?”… … Until you looked the other way, or allowed a word to penetrate your spirit, it made you curious to wander? Love is not only a feeling but a decision… a decision to commit. As we know, until there is commitment, there is always hesitancy. 

 

I’ve made a commitment to follow Christ. I’ve made a decision to be obedient to his will for me and his word. As I battle the constant distractions of this world I have to remember to keep my door open to Christ. It’s so easy to fall into becoming an observer of Christ when you think you’ve got a part of your life together. God is not trying to remind us that we’re less. But rather He’s here to remind us that we need Him constantly to live the life he has destined for us. We can’t live a life for God, without God!! Praise His Holy Name!!! 

 

~Heather A 

 

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HELP!!!

Have you ever been going through something, or find yourself carrying a load so heavy that it paralyzes you and you don’t even know that your carrying it? Everyone can see it but you? My preacher preached a sermon a few weeks ago entitled, “God I need help!” It’s ok to need help. Sometimes we get tired of being so strong that we need to lean on God and stay in his presence. Fact is we are not designed to carry heavy burdens. Christ will give us strength when we cast them upon him. Which makes me think… what gets in the way of us not crying out when we first go through something? Pride perhaps. And the mindset of believing that we can handle things on our own. Adults take things like adults… And adults have to deal with “life and the real world.” Right? …

I didn’t realize that I was going through hell and showing off my burdens to the world until I was out of it. And keeping it real, that was a week ago. My objective was to keep my eyes focused on God and to stay faithful. However, somewhere in-between being strong, and thanking God in the midst of my situation,  I felt that it was hard for me to exude and spread God’s love to strangers because I was too stuck on myself and my situation. Let’s strive to not become so engulfed in self that we forget to spread the love of God.

We truly must cast our cares upon God, because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Love,

~Heather~

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