Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
Her debut novel, Beyond I Do, is currently on sale at Amazon for under $4 (print and kindle version)! You can get that here: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-I-Do-Jennifer-Slattery-ebook/dp/B00MMRRCZU/
Happiness is a choice, as is misery. I’ve been around people who have every reason to hang their heads in despair or clench their fists in bitterness but who, instead, have found reasons to celebrate. Similarly, I’ve encountered those who appear to have every blessing and advantage and yet remain miserable.
They say we are what we think, and I’d say that’s true. I believe that’s one of the reasons God tells us to take our thoughts captive, to think on things that are lovely and praise worthy, to meditate on His goodness, and to remember, remember, remember.
I love Philippians 4:6-7: Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Or as the New International Version says, “…with thanksgiving…”
In the midst of our anxious state, as we beseech God for aid, Paul encourages us to pause to thank God for all He’s done. Have you tried that? There’s immense, soul-reaching power in this, because it causes us to remember.
Lord, I don’t know how we’ll pay these bills. But thank you for providing that unexpected bonus check two years ago when we needed most.
Lord, my child is venturing into dangerous territory, and I’m frightened he’ll turn away from the faith. But thank you, after years of prayer, for drawing Aunt Sue to yourself.
Lord, my marriage is struggling, and I’m not sure what to do to win back my husband’s heart. But thank you for holding us together for all these years.
The more we thank God for the things He’s done—the more we praise Him for His unchanging nature and wonderful deeds—the greater our peace because we’ll be able to see our problems in proper perspective—in God’s hand. Right where we are as well.
This has been a fabulous blog hop, and I hope, like me, you’ve enjoyed reading each blogger’s perspective on the various verses studied. More than that, I hope you’ve begun to cultivate an attitude of praise.
Sometimes life is going so well, spontaneously praise wells up within us. Other times, life feels incredibly tough and our praise is an act of sacrifice. Either way, God deserves it, and we need it. Because praise cuts through all the chaos and gunk and centers our hearts and thoughts in Christ. More than that, praise ushers us into God’s holy presence because God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalm 22:3)
So where are you today? Whatever you’re facing, will you choose to offer God the praise He’s due? Will you, moment by moment and thought by thought, choose to cultivate a lifestyle of praise? Can you share a time when, while you were sad, angry, or anxious, you chose to praise rather than fume? What was the result?
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1