Monday, February 6, 2023
Home Authors Posts by Wendy Grages

Wendy Grages

Silencing the voices

There are many voices all around us that seek to influence our choices. These voices can come from social media, people around us, our friends or even our families. Sometimes these voices come from within. We can often be our own worst enemy. So amidst all these influencing voices, how can we keep a level head? How do we go about silencing the voices that want to lead us astray?

Know what you believe

This may seem easy but it’s far more difficult than it seems. More than ever, our generations needs to live by convictions. There is a well-known saying that says, “If you don’t believe in anything, you’ll fall for everything.” It’s crucial that we know what we believe about who we are and what we’ve been put on the planet for.

Speak it out

When I feel insecure or unsure of myself, I speak God’s truth about me over my life. What I have found very helpful is to take a few verses from the Bible and write them out. Placing them on your mirror or by your bedside helps you to remember to speak it out. The Bible is full of verses that tell you who you are.

Keep going

Whenever I sense a nagging voice telling me I can’t do something, I spring into action. Often, the only way to silence the voice is to keep going. When you feel like quitting because you don’t have what it takes, just do it anyway.

As we live with conviction, speak the truth of God’s Word and don’t give up, we can silence those negative voices that want us to fail.

If you would like to know more about who God created you to be, we would love to chat to you. Click on the link below or on the pop up.

You can talk to God (even if you don’t have His number)

I’m not sure if you saw the story on the news. A so-called preacher claimed that he had God’s phone number. The video showed him dialing the number and asking God a question. The crowd stood by in amazement as he allegedly relayed Heaven’s answer. There are so many disturbing things about that story. But the one I want to focus on today is this: You and I can talk to God anytime, any place.

What frustrated me about this news story is that this man claimed to have special access to God. A private way to communicate with Heaven and in sense be the message man. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Firstly, God doesn’t have a cell phone, nor does He need one. Secondly, God has made a way for all of us to communicate with Him, not just certain “chosen” ones.

God invites you to speak to Him

I love this verse found in Jeremiah 29:12, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” There are so many other verses in the Bible that invite us to speak to God through prayer. Did you know that you can talk to God any time you want to. Just open your heart to Him and tell Him how you’re feeling, what you’re thinking and what you are worried about. He loves to hear from us.

God wants to answer you

Is that a strange thing to grasp? That God not only wants you to speak to Him but He wants to answer you too? God is constantly speaking to us. The question is whether or not we can hear Him. God speaks to us primarily through His words in the Bible. If you read the Bible, you will find that certain verses will speak to your heart and your situation.

When last have you spoken to the Lord? How about making it a part of your daily life. He wants to hear from you and He longs to speak to you.

If you would like to know more about drawing closer in your relationship with God, we would love to chat to you about that. Click on the link below or on the pop up.

Why forcing yourself to excercise is bad for you

How are you going with your exercise goals? Are you going strong or like many of us, have you slacked off? When we feel guilty for not keeping up with our exercise goals, the temptation is to force ourselves to exercise, even when we don’t feel like it. Here’s why forcing yourself to exercise is bad for you:

We must work with our bodies, not against them

Our brains are full of receptors. When we accomplish something we set out to do, reward receptors begin firing and we feel a sense of accomplishment and pleasure. However, if you force yourself to do something, then the reward receptors don’t fire in the brain. To get the full benefit from exercising, you must want to and choose to.

So what can we do when we know we should exercise but just don’t feel like it?

Know your why

Keep your fitness goals in front of you. Are you trying to lose a certain number of kilograms? Are you trying to fit into an outfit for a special occasion? Or do you need to improve your health? Exercising for no reason is torture (let’s be honest). But if we know the why behind what we are doing, it helps to motivate us.

Get a buddy

Exercising with a friend can bring the fun factor and the accountability you need to stick to it. Motivate each other. When one person feels weak and wants to give up, the other person can be strong and motivate you to stick to it. Two are better than one.

Reward yourself

If the gym feels more like a torture chamber than anything else, then ditch it for a more creative workout experience. For instance, if you love the ocean then go for a jog along the beach. You’ll be exercising while rewarding yourself with a beautiful view. If you need motivation to get up early, why not go for breakfast with your friend after the workout. The reward of a satisfying breakfast will keep you motivated to complete your workout.

Let’s be real here. For many of us, exercising is a discipline that we need to get better at. But we don’t have to do it alone.

One of the areas that can develop with the help of God is self-discipline. When we enter into a relationship with God, He promises to strengthen us and give us the tools we need to live a great life. If you would like to know more about this, click on the link below or on the pop up.

What happens when you die?

This is not intended to be a morbid post, but everywhere you look, people are dying. Death can be just another news story until it hits a little closer to home. I think most of us can say we have lost someone close to us. Or if not close to us, then someone we know.

This hit rather close to home recently. A boy in my daughter’s grade suddenly and tragically passed away. I was faced with having to answer this question for her and with her:

What happens when you die?

The funeral was sad. Staring at the small coffin, all one could think of is how final this was. Just then, the minister read a passage out of the Bible which told the story of the death of Lazarus, who was Jesus’ friend.

This verse in particular stood out for me,

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” – John 11:25-26

Have you read that verse before? I have read it many times before but it suddenly made sense. Staring at the coffin and facing the finality of this boy’s life, it hit me. This is what happens when you die:

Death is not what it seems

Let’s be honest, death is scary. It’s something we avoid at all costs. Death terrifies us all. I think it’s terrifying because it’s so mysterious and uncertain. But death is not what it seems. Yes, death happens to us all. To every living creature, plant or human being. That is really morbid, I know. But here is the truth about death: it does not have the final say for those who have a faith in Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus was trying to tell Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. When we die, our bodies and our organs die but our spirit does not die. This precious boy had made a public decision to follow Jesus and so when his body died, his spirit did not. His spirit went straight to heaven to be with His Saviour, Friend and Heavenly Father. He is now living it complete peace, joy and bliss.

One of the many things I love about Jesus is that He truly is the answer to everything. He is the answering assurance when our bodies die and He is the comfort to those who are left here on earth.

I want to leave you with two questions:

  1. Do you need peace about what will happen to your spirit when your body dies?
  2. Do you need comfort and peace after the death of someone you loved?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, we are here to help. Click on the link below or on the pop up.

 

You are not enough

That’s what media screams. You are not enough. You are not pretty enough, or smart enough, or talented enough, or rich enough or thin enough. Everywhere we look, the world sends us a message that we are not enough.

But in reality they are telling the truth. We are flawed human beings. If we were so wonderful, we would not have allowed our world to get into the mess it is in. The truth is, at the core of who we are, we are selfish and cruel. That was not God’s intention for us when He created us. But because of mankind’s disobedience, we allowed evil to rule and reign in our world.

As gloomy as that may sound, there is good news! God did not leave us like that. He made a way for us to be loving and kind and make this world a better place.

But in and of yourself, you are not enough. I am not enough. There is only so much I can do in my own strength and ability. But with God –  well, that’s another story altogether.

Jesus said, “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” Now of course, He is not meaning that if you don’t know Jesus, you won’t be able to go to work, or have a family, or build a business. What He is saying, is that only through Him, can we do anything of eternal significance and true value.

Do you feel like you are not enough? I know I feel like that sometimes. Let me encourage you with this:

You are not enough and that’s ok

It’s not up to me to change the whole world. It’s not up to me to fix all the problems we are facing. But when I allow God to lead and guide me, I can play a part in bringing change . Little is much when God is in it.

When we allow God to change our thinking and set us on the right path, there is no end to what we can accomplish. Surrendering our lives to God allows us to be part of His bigger plan and picture. On my best day, I’m not the wife I should be, or the mother I could be. But with God’s help, I can become all He created me to be.

What about you? Do you ever feel insignificant and not good enough? Why not open your life to God’s love and leading? You will be surprised how great life can be with God at the steering wheel. When He puts His “super” on your “natural”, supernatural things can happen!

To find out more about opening your life up to God, click on the link below or on the pop up.

The lies we believe

I think our world is schizophrenic. One minute it’s telling us we are not good enough. The next minute it tells us we are amazing beings with limitless potential. It’s no wonder our generation is confused and looking for validation in all the wrong places. Our lives get turned upside down because of the lies we believe.

Here are some truths that can help you sift through the lies.

God created us perfect.

He created us to live forever in the perfection He created. But then we believed a lie that God was not good and He did not have our best interest at heart. We believed a lie that God was trying to spoil our fun and keep us small. Because of that one act of selfish disobedience, the whole world is in chaos.

God could have said, “Well it’s your own fault, that’s what you get for disobeying Me”. Instead, He put into motion a miraculous plan to save us all from destruction. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us and pay the penalty that our sin demanded. The Bible says that God makes us all new creations. The old is gone and we have a brand new day that we can walk in.

To find life, you have to lose it.

What a contradictory statement. It’s like an upside down pineapple cake. When you bake it, it looks like you’ve got the recipe all wrong. I mean the pineapple is at the bottom, that can’t be right. But then after you bake it and turn it over, it’s a beautiful, delicious cake. It’s the same with truths about God’s way of doing things. Statements like, “The first will be last and the last will be first” seem upside down. How can you find life by losing it? It’s all upside down. But in reality, when you begin to see things from God’s point of view, it makes perfect sense.

Our world tells us to make a success of our lives. It tells us to make as much money as possible and hide it away for a rainy day. It tells us that our worth is measured in how big our house is or how fancy our car is.

But that’s exactly the type of lies we believe. What Jesus meant when He said, “To find your life, you have to lose it” was this: You can experience true joy and fulfillment when your life is not about you. When you make your life about others, then you can truly live.

If you need help discovering God’s truth among all the lies whispered to us, we can help. When you know God, He helps you to see truth. To chat to someone about this, click on the link below or on the pop up.

Why we hate waiting

Do you enjoy waiting? Do you love standing in a queue that’s not moving? Maybe you have been waiting for days, weeks, months or even years for something. Nobody loves it.

Some people are waiting to finish school, to get married, to have children, to own a home, to get a promotion or to retire. I think you get the point. The truth is, we are all waiting for something. So why do we hate waiting?

We live in a here and now society

I’m showing my age here now, but did you know that there was a time before microwave ovens? I remember being a small child and coming home from a day out. My mom would get the leftovers out of the fridge and warm them up in a pot on the stove. And it would not take 2 minutes like it does in the microwave. We live in an instant gratification society where we pay money to speed things up.

We don’t see the benefit

We view waiting as a negative thing. But in many instances, waiting is a good thing. If an expectant mother waits nine months to hold her baby, (even through the discomfort, nausea and sleepless nights) she can nurture and adore a fully developed little one. If vineyard owners are patient, they can produce the most exclusive and luxurious wines, simply by waiting the appropriate length of time. The longer the wine sits, the better it is.

People think that waiting is a waste of time.  Yet it’s not. Now as you can gather, I’m not referring to waiting in a queue. I am talking about waiting for significant life events.

  • It prepares you – contrary to our belief, we are not ready to receive what we are waiting for. Our character needs to be built and our skills and ability need to grow. God is preparing you for what He has prepared for you.
  • Waiting matures you – the most impatient of us all are children. They haven’t developed the maturity to be able to wait. Waiting helps mature us and bring out the gold that God has deposited on the inside of us.
  • Gratitude grows – anything worth having doesn’t come easily. If we got everything we wanted the minute we wanted it, we wouldn’t value it as much. Therefore, you are more grateful when you work hard and have to wait for what you desire. There is purpose in the waiting.

God is preparing you for what He has prepared for you. That is exciting! If you would like to know more about the plans God has for your life, click on the link below or on the pop up.

 

You’re going to have to serve somebody

I burst out laughing when I saw the clip on YouTube. Bob Dylan wrote this odd song and I couldn’t believe it won a grammy in 1980. But when I read the lyrics, it made perfect sense.

The song is entitled, “You’re going to have to serve somebody.” I grew up listening to all the other songs that were contending in this category at the Grammy’s that year. However, I had never heard this song by Bob Dylan before. I watched him perform the song in the hopes that it would ring a bell.

But nope! The performance was awkward. But as I giggled to myself, I realised that the words he was singing were so powerful. Here’s the chorus:

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes
Indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

Have you ever thought about that? It is so true. But I’d like to take it a step further. You’re going to have to serve somebody. Either you will serve Jesus or you will serve yourself. You will either serve the Lord or you will serve money.

In this life, there is no middle ground. We either accept Jesus Christ and what He did for us by dying on a cross or we reject Him. Because God sacrificed His only Son for us, it demands an answer.

We get to choose whom we will serve but as Bob Dylan says, we are going to have to serve somebody.

I don’t know about you, but I choose Jesus all day, every day. Surrendering my life to Him has the been the very best decision I have ever made.

So what about you? Who will you serve? The choice is yours.

If you would like to serve Jesus, click on the pop up banner or on the link below. It will be the very best thing you will ever do.

What gossip tells you

I read this statement recently,

“The things you say about others, say a lot about you.”

That’s quite challenging, isn’t it? Gossip tells you a lot about where you are in your own life.

For example, gossip can tell you if you are feeling jealous, insecure, angry, mistrustful or being malicious. It may seem quite harsh but I believe we need to shine a light on it.

The young mom who gossips about other moms may be feeling insecure about her parenting skills. The co-worker who gossips about you may be jealous of your position.

What do you do when you hear gossip? Do you automatically believe it or do you check facts? Do you believe the best in people or assume the worst? These are good, yet challenging, questions for us all.

It can be hurtful when people gossip about you. But there is an important truth to remember when it comes to gossip. When people gossip about you it’s not personal. Even though it feels like it is because they are talking about you. It’s actually not about you. It is rather about them. It says more about them that they are discussing you and speaking badly of you behind your back than it is about what you said or what you did.

Of course, we should always be open to feedback from others but gossip is not feedback. If people do not have the courage to maturely bring me feedback then I refuse to take to heart anything I have heard them say behind my back.

Let’s not be known as a gossip within our families, friendship circles or workplaces. Rather, let’s believe the best about each other. If we have an issue, let’s have the courage to address it with the person directly. If we are not willing to do that, then let’s determine to not say anything at all.

Perhaps you struggle with gossiping or have been hurt by it? Taking it to Jesus in prayer can really help. To find out more about this, click on the banner below or on the pop up.

When your kids don’t play along

Have you ever been in a restaurant and looked over at a table with that annoyed look in your eyes? You see a flustered mom or dad trying to quiet down a fretful baby who is making a noise and making a scene. Have your kids ever misbehaved at the most inappropriate times? What do you do when your kids don’t play along?

As your children get older, you can begin to teach them how to behave and these public meltdowns should begin to diminish. But when they are still small and can’t quite understand, these meltdowns seem to happen at the most inappropriate times.

I recently watched a video clip of a young father. He was left to dress his three children and get them ready. As he was telling his story, he was clearly distraught and traumatized by the event. I couldn’t help but giggle. I have certainly been there. You know when you get everyone dressed and heading out the door, only for the little one to start vomiting all over their beautiful outfit and you have to start the whole getting ready process over again? This is what I learned about what to do when your kids don’t play along:

Stay calm

When my kids lose the plot, often I want to as well. And to be honest, sometimes I do. But I have learned that staying calm is the only solution. Your little one may be hungry or tired. Crying is their only form of communication. When I start shouting and freaking out, it only causes more distress to my little one. When I stay calm, it lets my little one know that I am in control of the situation. It lets them know that they do not need to be afraid. Now of course I know first hand that this is not the easy option, but it is the helpful option.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

If you get everyone dressed and ready to head out the door and it all goes pear-shaped, just take a breath. It’s going to be okay. In the grand scheme of life, arriving a few minutes late or not being perfectly dressed, is not the end of the world. What’s more important than the appearance of having our life all together is a happy and peaceful home with children who know they are safe and loved.

We cannot parent well on our own. I rely strongly on my relationship with Jesus to parent my children. I couldn’t do it without Him. If you would like to know more about having your own relationship with Jesus, please click on the pop up banner or link below.

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