Sermon Of The Week: God's Got This

Sermon Of The Week: God's Got This

Joel Osteen's message got me thinking ...
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Growing up with an older brother who has become my best friend is a tremendous gift. Christopher is eight years older than me, but he has remained my inspiration and role model from childhood into young adulthood. He has taught me the importance of selfless acts, prioritizing family and strength through life’s difficult seasons.

Christopher was also the first person who introduced me to Joel Osteen.

While Osteen was criticized for preaching prosperity theology and more recently, over disputes regarding his church’s availability to house Hurricane Harvey survivors, I believe that his sermons are often full of messages of encouragement, love and hope. Osteen’s sermons are accessible and do not revolve around shame, pity or "rules" of faith. Instead, Osteen uses The Bible as a source of reflection and reference on how we can all become more kind and victorious people. Do I believe that we should do good deeds merely for the prosperity of our own souls and to attract our own success? No. However, I do believe that if we try our best, keep our faith and give of ourselves with deep compassion, God will recognize our triumphs and efforts.

I recently was listening to a sermon by Osteen in which he discusses the notion "God’s got this" and I felt both comforted and ignited by the message. I was reminded of the necessity of hardship for growth and the beautiful potential that we all have to become better each and every day. I also meditated on the complexity of our most tasking periods as humans. I considered how fortunate I am and took a moment to appreciate these blessings. I considered the wide variety of adversity a person might face in their lifetime.

Finally, I considered the relationship between our own efforts to find hope in spite of despair and the ultimate force God has in our lives, which is beyond our control.

It is human nature to question our destiny and to feel anger when our plans are not unfolding as we may have imagined. We may dedicate energy and time into our dreams and find our labors fruitless. However, maybe we were trying to grow an apple when ultimately, we needed an orange. All of life’s surprises and unexpected redirections can save our lives, bring us to people that may become lifetime companions, and remind us of what we truly value.

If we put trust in whatever God or force of the universe that we believe in, our most trying challenges can set us up for the most rewarding chapters of our lives. If we are willing to accept the struggle, move through it and welcome new beginnings, we can find deeper happiness. We must not linger in pain, insecurity or self-pity, and we must be open to receiving the new path in our greater journey to peace.

Sometimes, we will face challenges that feel monumental, we might be confronted by a conflict that goes beyond our control. In these moments, rather than becoming consumed with worry and anxiety, we must give it to the universe, to God or simply just give it up to time. No matter what you believe in, you will only go deeper into a pit of negativity if you hold the heaviest of life’s burdens upon your own back. Go forth with grace and know that in your heart, “God’s got this.”

Cover Image Credit: It's Milk and Honey

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.

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It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.


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