The Season of Discomfort

Did you know that God sometimes wants us to be uncomfortable? Jesus spoke about discomfort in the Beatitudes when He called people “Blessed” who are grieving, hungry or poor in spirit, or suffering persecution for His sake (Matthew 5:1-12). If you are too comfortable, you won’t be hungry for righteousness. Are you in an uncomfortable season? Is your heart uncomfortable? God is trying to speak you. He may be wanting you to let go of old thinking and behavior so that you can embrace new thinking and behavior. He may want you to expand to a more effective place. He may be trying to expose some ungodly traits that you He wants transform into godly traits. He may be trying to make you see beyond just yourself. He may be trying to push you into becoming a more stronger and responsible person. And God may be trying to invite you to represent in spiritual warfare for His Kingdom. The discontentment that you may feel is a “heartburn”. Don’t run to Rolaids but let it burn for awhile and see where the warmth of it is taking you. That warmth is God’s Voice. Tune into it. Obey it. “Now the Lord God appointed a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of it” (Jonah 4:6 ESV).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Pray for Our Children

This age is becoming more and more godless by the hour. As a Christian mom, I am often concerned about all five of my children. The philosophy of the devil, which is “do as you please”, is being exercised everywhere. God has been taken out of many school systems. God, religion and the Bible is being laughed at. Sex, sin, crime, drugs and alcohol are flaunted all over TV, radio and social media. Children are enticed by these things. Crime is exploited all over the news and in newspapers and to our young people, this has become glamorous. In these times, children need all of the positive influence they can get. They need both mom and dad’s encouragement, love, support and positivity. If you are in a relationship or marriage with someone, and he/she has children by someone else, don’t be BITTER and be a DISCOURAGER, be BETTER and be an ENCOURAGER. I have been there and God changed my heart so that I could be the GREAT ENCOURAGER that I am now. We should want the same for other children as we do our own. Take time with your children. Teach them moral spiritual disciplines of life. Be a good example for them. Plan activities with them. As a single mom, I have become creative by finding AFFORDABLE things to do with my children. Lovingly discipline your children. Pray for Christian and positive influences to come into their lives. And most importantly – TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO know God and bring them up in the church. Get them in the habit of going to church each Sunday, praying daily and saying grace. This is quite a task for me when dealing with my children but I won’t stop. And my kids know that I DON’T STOP. Their attitudes sometimes punch me like Mike Tyson but I STILL DON’T STOP. The best way to influence your children to model a great example for them. Let them see you putting God first in all that you do and the way in which you act. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Gut Punched

Your day is going well and all of a sudden, you get gut punched by some hurtful or heartbreaking news that beats you down. Have you been there? It feels as though you entered a boxing ring without even realizing it. Seems like you are getting gut punched again and again until you have no choice but to fall to the ground. It may feel like you are in the boxing ring alone but you are not; Jesus is in the ring with you. Remember how he was betrayed, beaten, mocked and crucified? He knows about the blows we are taking in life. And some of the blows we take are due to following His commands. Jesus defeated both sin and death so surely, He can lift us up. When you feel bruised and beaten, remember that Jesus is in the boxing ring with you and He will give you peace. Jesus understands. Rest in His Peace and receive it. “If you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery

Drawing the Line Between Helping and Being Taken Advantage Of

It’s wonderful to have a heart that reaches out to help others. God loves it! But, how do you draw the line between helping another and allowing that person to take advantage of your help? The Bible tells us that we must be able to discern wisely. There are certain standards we must consider when it involves our time and money. Yes, we are to help others but never to the point where it becomes harmful. It’s great to do what we can do but stay reminded that “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). There are those take no accountability in the way they live; therefore, we must have limits. If you see that someone has a chronic life pattern with what they are doing then we have no business encouraging that. If we do, we are contributing to their lack of effort. As long as someone truly makes an effort to make their life better, we should support them in any way we can. Seek the Lord when it comes to helping others for He will show you what to do. He will give you the discernment to recognize an opportunity versus an distraction. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (James 1:5 ESV).

-Author Stacy Lynn Montgomery