Introducing Enjoy Your Life Now Blog
I’d like to welcome everybody to a brand-new blog that I’ve decided to put together for you.
I gave it a lot of thought and a whole lot of hesitation because I’ve got so many things going on right now, I didn’t think I had time for something like this. But the other day I was driving to the gas station to get gas and I noticed I had to go early in the morning to get a decent price. And the thought hit my mind that so many people are just living life, but they aren’t really enjoying their life. I listen to the people complaining at the gas station about the price of gas and I think some of you probably voted for these people that are in charge right now that are causing the problem with their great “New Green Deal”. So, you really don’t have much to complain about if you put these people in the office.
I pray you learned your lesson and you vote them out of office this coming November. Now I have to say it right up front, I don’t intend for this blog to be for everybody, but I do intend for people to learn how to enjoy their life from it.
Throughout my 65 going on 66 years on November 8th. God has allowed me to wear many hats in my lifetime. I’ve been able to wear the hat of a husband after a couple trial and errors the Lord led me to the love of my life and we’re going to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary this coming year in March 2024. And I must say from the start Susie is truly the love of my life and has helped me so much in our wonderful years together. And being a person who’s been married longer than they’ve been single, I feel that gives me a qualification to speak on marriage. Throughout this blog in the coming months, I’m going to be talking about your marriage since I have written a half a dozen books on the subject. I also have 12 modules available on my website www.donnicelybooks.com entitled “Extreme Marriage Makeover” for people that would like to get some help building the marriage that they want. Over 12 hours of teachings for just $99.00 check it out.
Gods also allowed me to wear the hat of a father. More importantly the hat of a daddy. Fathers father children but daddy’s get to raise the children. I have six children out there that call me dad. So, I feel that gives me some qualifications to talk about being a parent so I’m going to talk about being a parent in this blog in the coming months. I’m also the grandparent of 16 grandchildren. I’m more than qualified to talk about that area of expertise. I even have a book on the subject; entitled How To Raise Winning Kids Without Losing Your Mind.
I also currently wear the hat of a pastor. So, we’re going to talk about God, Christian living and Christian situations that we get ourselves into and what God has in store for us in the future. There are so many areas that we could cover in this particular subject that I think you’ll be impressed with what God has in store for you.
I also wear the hat of the captain. That’s right a Coast Guard approved captain. Actually, a master captain. So, we’re going to go fishing in this blog and we’re going to talk about catching fish. So, if you are an avid fisherman, you’re going to enjoy these different inserts that I put in this blog cause we’re going to do live action as well as personal training on how to catch more fish.
Before I was a pastor in a former life. I was a professional wildlife manager. Traveling all around the United States controlling the populations of coyote, bobcat, grey fox, and a host of other critters. So, we’re going to go on some hunts in this blog and we’re going to look at some different things. I’m going to show you some different tips because I do qualify as a professional in this area. So, you’re going to get a lot of information about successful hunting. Also, I currently wear the hat of an author. I’ve authored several dozen books many of which are on Amazon, Barnes and noble’s, Apple and all the other current websites available to purchase books. So, we’re going to talk about being an author. What it takes to be successful at being an author what it takes to currently publish a book. I’ve said it many times and I still believe it that everybody has a book in them that they should let out for others to read.
I’ve even developed a Three Course Training that you can get that will take you from before your publish a book and all that you have to do to during your publishing time to after you publish your book. It truly is training that you need to be successful at being a book selling author.
If you can’t write it yourself, you should find a ghostwriter to help you write it and publish it for others to read. If nothing else leave some words for your children to read after you’re long gone.
Last but not least we’re going to talk about being a Christian because I’m a Christian. Before I was a husband, father, author, fisherman before I was a hunter and before anything else in life, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and an active follower of him. That makes me a disciple of Jesus. And we’re going to talk about what it means to actually be a good Christian. And what you have to do to become an actual disciple of Jesus and not just someone who adds Jesus to their life, but instead someone who actually follows him in his word and does what he tells them to do. All the decisions of our life in the last 36 years have been made according to what we believe God wanted us to do. Even whenever we made those decisions it wasn’t for our best interests in heart but for the best interest of others.
So, I hope you enjoy this new coming blog and I hope you’ll tell your friends about it & up and be entertained and train because I’m a teacher at heart. In fact, the first subject that we’re going to talk about is how to start the new year out right.
Week 1 The ABCs To Having A Great Year Part 1
Have you been thinking about what you want this year to be like? Well, the truth is having a successful year is as simple as A.B.C. & of course D.:
It’s really quite simple. Just learn to Accept responsibility for your life, then Believe you can make all the changes that may be necessary to make your life more satisfying and enjoyable. Make a crystal clear Clarify of your priorities so that you won’t get distracted in the cloud that is coming over your life this year, and finally Don’t wait to begin, but start changing your life right now.
So, before we get into the nitty gritty can we start by STATING THE OBVIOUS so that everyone is on the same page.
After that great incident years ago where a woman sued McDonalds because she wasn’t warned her coffee was hot, companies are changing their instruction manuals and product warning labels to cover themselves from liability.
Here are a few of these:
1. On a particular brand of soap- “Directions: Use like regular soap.”
2. On a frozen dinner – “Suggestion: Defrost before eating.”
3. A Christmas pudding – “Product will be hot after heating.”
4. On a string of Christmas lights- “For indoor or outdoor use only.”
5. A packet of peanuts warning – “May contain traces of peanuts.”
6. On a chain saw- “Do not stop chain with your hand.”
7. On a motorcycle helmet mounted mirror – “Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you!”
“An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.” Prov. 17:24, GNV.
We all can do one of two things this new year: We can waste it away by fretting about the things we failed to accomplish last year, moping around, and having a pity party, OR We can decide to make the most of this brand-New Year. This could be the greatest year of our lives!
So, what are you going to do with 2024? How will this year be any different than last year? Would you like 2024 to be better than 2023? Let me just give you a simple tip right at the start.
If you only do the same things this year that you did last year nothing will change. Period.
The bad news is there is nothing we can do to change last year. The good news is that we can change this coming year for the better.
At the beginning of every year God gives each of us a clean slate to start over with. It’s like God is saying, “Let’s start over now.” And that’s good news.
Remember my scripture we read at the outcome of this post in Proverbs 17:24, GNV, “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”
“A fool starts off in many directions.” Does that describe any of us?
Getting pulled all over the place in many different directions instead of taking aim and actually hitting a target.
The beginning of this verse says, “An Intelligent person aims at wise actions.” That means they have just one goal in mind, an objective to fulfill, an aim, a target to aim at. Have you set any goals for 2024? Or are you just going to walk into this year and hope it’s better than the last couple years? You’ve got to have a plan my friend. That’s why Albert Einstein one of the smartest mans of the 20th century said the first sign of insanity is to do the same things over and over and expect any different results.
This first week of a brand new year I want to share two post with you that will give you four keys to help you be a success in 2024. These keys can be used to start something or used to open doors in your life. Having a good year in 2024 is as simple as “A, B, C and D.”
A–ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY LIFE
DON’T EXCUSE BUT CONFESS!
If we want a fresh start in life, we have to stop making excuses for our failures. Hey, we all fail from time to time, we just have to learn to fail forward. Nobody does everything in life right. And the best way to get on the right track in life is to stop blaming other people, that is to stop seeing yourself as the victim of your own circumstances.
I know it’s a hard pill to swallow because we live in the great day of political correctness where cowards can sit at home in the safety of their own safe space and cause problems for the rest of us who want to live normal lives out in the world. It says, “None of your problems are your fault. You know everything bad in your life is somebody else’s fault. We tend to blame the environment, or our educators, and of course everybody wants to blame their parents or not hugging them enough as a child. Of course, it’s not our fault, it couldn’t be.”
If you get into a car accident, it’s never your fault. If you spill some hot coffee on yourself, sue McDonalds; it’s their fault for making coffee hot and not warning you about it.
Listen to me after 65 years in this world I know a few things. Success in life is to accept responsibility for our own lives. Nobody is going to make you successful. You have to do it all by yourself. And by the way nobody else cares if you are successful either.
Proverbs 28:13 “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance.”
God says, “That if we admit our mistakes and our sins, then we get another chance in life.”
One thing that I have learned about failing at a lot of things in this life is that.
YOU NEVER ACTUALLY FAIL UNTIL YOU GIVE UP
If at first you don’t succeed, welcome to the human race; you’re normal. Very few people make it on the first try in life. You’re never a failure until you give up. I once read a story about a Texas Rancher who abandoned his cattle ranch business in search for oil. You see there was waxy substance that formed on his stock tanks that made watering his cattle extremely difficult and a lot of work. He saw that people were striking oil everywhere, so he sold his cattle ranch in search of his share of the oil riches. He never did find oil. But the new owner of his old ranch had the substance tested and found out that is was a type of paraffin that just happens to appear when oil is present. Further research would find that his new land was one of the riches oil deposits to be found in the West Texas oil strike. You see the guy quit too quick.
Sometimes we to give up too soon. Someone said, “People who are very good at making excuses are rarely good at anything else.” So, let’s quit making excuses.
Let me tell you another true story
A guy was delivering an oversized load and saw a sign at the entrance of a narrow road. It read: “Blocked! Do not pass! Difficult to turn back.” He continued anyway, only to discover that the alley was indeed blocked by a fallen tree. As predicted, it took a while to turn the truck around. When he finally got back to the entrance, he noticed a second sign that read: “Told you so!”
Let’s say, “I choose to accept responsibility for my own life, goals, and happiness. I’m not dependent upon anybody else.” Do this and we’ll jump way ahead in 2024!
B Equals to BELIEVE I CAN CHANGE
THE DEVIL WANTS YOU TO DOUBT YOU CAN CHANGE!
A man went to a psychiatrist and said, “Doctor, I have seen two other psychiatrists. They told me I am cursed with an inferiority complex. I would like for you to examine me and tell me what you think. After many tests the doctor said, “Sir, I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is you DON’T have a complex. The bad news is you ARE inferior!”
That little silly story illustrates exactly what the devil wants you to believe. That you are inferior to others and that others “CAN” live effectively for Jesus, but you “CAN’T.”
Philippians chapter 4:13 is a verse that shatters every negative or derogatory thing anyone has ever said to you: it says, “I CAN do all things through Christ which strengthens me!”
We all have secret fears: Things like what people think of us, or fear of failure; or of making a fool of ourselves — and these fears can affect our lives in many ways that are really quite negative if we aren’t careful.
GOD’S TRUTH IS THIS: YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS
No matter how big or severe your trial you are facing, and no matter whatever problems or difficulties come your way — our God is able to make you an overcomer in all of them!
Nothing that is placed before you to do shall be impossible for you! If like Moses, you are called to humble the greatest nation on earth, you will be able to do it, because God is right beside you helping you every step of the way. If you’re called to witness to a difficult person, you SHALL BE EQUAL TO THE TASK. You say, ” But I’m not a good speaker.” Neither was Moses, Jeremiah, or Gideon for that matter.
Never forget this “Whom God calls to something; He qualifies.” He will make you sufficient for what He calls you to do.
The devil may have told you that you have an inherited weakness that is inescapable. No! There is not one Hittite or Jebusite in all the Promised Land you can’t drive out!
2 Cor. 5:17, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; behold all things are passed away, and behold, all things are made new.”
Rom. 5:20, “But where sin abounds, grace does much more abound!”
Be encouraged, If you feel like a Weak Christian, You CAN do all things through Christ, who strengthens you! We will finish this in the next post.
The ABCs To Having A Great Year Part 2
I ask you again, have you been thinking about what you want this year to be like? Part, one identified that you must simply learn to Accept responsibility for your life, then Believe you can make all the changes that may be necessary. Today, in part 2 we must do the C and D.
C-CLARIFY YOUR PRIORITIES, that means to make them plain. Or make them crystal clear.
START BY SETTING SOME GODLY PRIORITIES
You must take a stand in your life and decide what’s most important in your life in the area of your Priorities. And please don’t doubt me on this one, You have to write them down on paper, otherwise they’re going to be pushed out of focus by the pressures of life and you will never get them done.
The problem with most people is they never make up their mind what they want out of life; if we aim at nothing, we’re certain to hit it! You can’t enjoy your life if you don’t actually know what it means to enjoy your life.
Being a pastor for over thirty years there are 3 things I’ve heard people on their deathbed wish they’d given greater priority to: their relationship with God, their relationship with their family, and their relationship with their church. All three things are so important in these last days.
But I’ve never heard anyone say, “I wish I’d spent more time at working, at work and building my career.”
YOU NEED TO DEVELOP SOMETYPE OF ACTION PLAN
I don’t know how you feel about making them, but I feel making some type of commitment is really important. 63% of the people say they are keeping their New Years resolutions after two months. How we start the new year will probably set the tone for our entire year. So why not take the time and PLAN AHEAD. Start with small, incremental steps to achieve your larger goal. Avoid repeating past failures.
And by all means DON’T BE SIDETRACKED BY SOME FAILURE. Since many of our unhealthy habits have taken us a lifetime to develop, they aren’t likely to change in just a few short days, weeks, or even months for that matter. So, we should wisely expect a few setbacks along the way.
We should try to set up a SUPPORT SYSTEM to RE-MOTIVATE OURSELVES just in case we veer off the path. Most people start off highly motivated, but after a few weeks it begins to fade as you face challenges in changing your behavior. Remind yourself why you have set this goal in the first place and find sources of inspiration to keep you going.
D-DON’T WAIT TO BEGIN
Someone has foolishly said “One thing good about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow.” It is true that both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.
Procrastination, however, is the result of a very serious spiritual problem. In Acts 24:25, the Governor Felix was confronted by the Apostle Paul and brought under serious conviction. Felix trembled and said, “Go your way for now; when I have a convenient time, I will call for you.”
Ecclesiastes chapter 11:4 wisely says; “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”
Maybe you keep saying; “When things settle down or get better, I’m going to start having a daily quiet time and read my Bible every day,”
If this is, you, the sad fact is you’re never going to do it. The truth is most people learn to read your Bible and pray when things are unsettled and not so good.
You may also say; “When things settle down, I’m going to spend more time with my kids.” Before you know it, they’ll be grown and gone!
THE PROBLEM IS STEPPING OUT REQUIRES FAITH
JUST DO IT ALREADY. If we just do it, we will smoothly go to the next level in God. It requires faith. Some of you have to launch out into new territory. The key to changing anything is faith. If you want to change your circumstances or personality, it takes faith.
Jesus says this in Matthew chapter 9. “According to your faith it will be done to you.” This actually means that faith opens up realms unavailable to us in the natural world. It may require courage for you to attempt to overcome an area where you’ve suffered a defeat before. Faith is not the absence of fear but moving ahead in spite of your fear.
SUCCESS IS GUARANTEED BY EMPOWERMENT
Zechariah 4:6 says, “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.”
When someone becomes a new Christian, they become a brand-new person inside. What they could NOT do before, they now are capable of doing, because of a higher Power working within them.
“We must everyday…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” Philippians. 2:12-13.
Some years ago, two 8-year-old boys decided to pour kerosene in the potbellied stove in their school room because it was cold & they wanted to warm things up quickly. Instead of kerosene, they accidently poured in gasoline, & the stove exploded in their faces. It killed one boy & left the other with badly burned legs. Doctors told his parents that they must amputate his legs right away or his whole body could become infected. The parents said, “Let’s wait a day.” Can you believe that!
Having Hope For More In 2024 Part 1
You may be asking yourself, “more of what?” If you do not do anything different from last year, don’t blame God that nothing has changed in your life. I’m sorry I know that’s hard, but it’s the truth!Top of FormBottom of Form
2 Corinthians 5:11-17 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
First If You Aren’t Be Reconciled to God
12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Philippians 3:12-3:14 12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Then Learn Contentment
One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish. About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family. “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way,” said the businessman to the fisherman, “you should be working rather than lying on the beach!” The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?” “Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer. “And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.
The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat, which will then result in larger catches of fish!” “And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again. The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!” he said. “And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman. The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”
Once again, the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?” The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!” The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
For most human beings Contentment is a difficult attitude to learn, but it is so important. It’s easy to get caught in the society’s trap of working harder and harder to earn more and more, when we may well already have what can provide us with the greatest possible happiness.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain that we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” (I Timothy 6:6-8).
Hope is the word that we need so bad in this world today, because watching the new direction we are going in is hard to find hope.
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Life As An American: We know the line-up of every baseball team in both the American and National Leagues, but mumble through half the words in the “Star Spangled Banner.” We’ll spend half a day looking for vitamin pills to make us live longer, and then drive 90 miles an hour on slick pavement to make up for lost time. We tie up our dog while letting our sixteen-year-old son run wild. We whip any enemy in battle, and then give them the shirt off our backs. We will work hard on a farm so we can move into town where we can make more money so we can move back to the farm. We run from morning to night trying to keep our “earning power” up with our “yearning power.” We get upset we’re spending over a billion dollars on education but spend five billion dollars a year for cigarettes. At work, we talk about baseball, shopping, or fishing, but when we are out at the game, the mall or on the lake, we talk about our jobs. We’re supposed to be the most civilized nation on earth, but we still can’t deliver payrolls without an armored car or run an accurate presidential election. We have more experts on marriage than any other country in the world and still have more divorces. We’re a country that has more food to eat than any other country in the world and more diets to keep us from eating it. Happy New Year!
When we say Happy New Year what are we actually saying to someone? We are saying that we hope this New Year will be better than the year before. We verbally give them a blessing that their problems are behind them, and blessings are in the future.
Truth is, each one of us has a hope and some kind of expectation that the new one will be better.
Okay so we are in a new year so let’s ask yourself these questions-
What do you want to see happen in 2024?
What things need to change in my life in 2024?
Apostle Paul is telling us that if we are in Christ that the old is gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself.
He is telling us that we are Christ’s ambassadors.
What is your attitude toward the New Year?
Every year offers us a chance at a new beginning and offers us new hope, but how many of us really believe that, or put ourselves in a position to receive it from the Lord?
Most people look forward to a new year for a new start but carry the same old habits and hang ups with them.
A wife came into the bathroom to see her husband on the scale with his stomach sucked in. She told him that sucking in his stomach would not make it better. He said that it would, because if he didn’t, he couldn’t read the numbers.
We make all kinds of resolutions like ….I quit this…., I’ll start this…., I would say this. But will we really do those things?
Resolutions that most of the time are not kept even the first month. A Little boy once asked his father what his new year’s resolution was. “He was going to do everything possible in this New year to make his mother very happy.” The little boy then asked his mother the same question. She said, “To do everything possible to make sure your father keeps his resolution.”
One thing is for sure my friend, If you do not believe anything will change in 2024- it won’t.
If you do nothing different, you will not see different results.
If you need to be reminded that you need God in your life to make a difference, you are in real trouble.
2024 will have renewed purpose when we understand that without the Lord in our life, 2024 will just be another year, another resolution, another goal, but it won’t be a new life!
Looking for joy in this life- looking in the wrong place.
Looking for joy without the lord- at best it is circumstantial.
Looking for peace- peace comes from God and is not based upon having no trouble.
Looking for hope is because we know the end of the story. It is based upon God’s wisdom and strength, that God will guide us through this journey to his promises. In part 2 of this post, I’m going to reveal to you what you need to make this message very real to you.
Having Hope For More In 2024 Part 2
Attitude is going to be the whole message today, This is the first month of 2024 it’s finally here whether we are ready or not, and without an attitude change, that is without Christ being first in your life offers little hope. With everything going on these day our only hope guys is in Jesus Christ.
Here is where we dig into the text.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation.
The key words are in Christ. He does not say people that know of Christ. He says those that are in Christ.
In Christ- is an intimate and personal relationship with the risen Christ. Because of Christ death and resurrection, He offers to us in Christ a new life- new creation.
The problem is that most people who know Christ, are not willing to live in Christ. Some even go to church, but they don’t live in Christ. Folks I’ve been at this for over thirty years, and I know what I’m talking about.
One is according to the flesh, and one is according to the Spirit of God.
The creative process of our God that is underway in our lives is redemptive not and not destructive.
All humanity was In Adam, but all Christians are supposed to be in Christ the last Adam.
Just like the ending of one year and the start of a new year. Those that are in Christ should be leaving some of their old ways behind with the hope of the redemptive change that God wants to make in us. When we pray– we ask God to take things away that we know are harmful, yet instead of leaving them, we pick them back up by the time we are done praying.
So, I know it’s hard but this New Year: Let’s
Leave resentment behind.
Leave worries behind.
Leave your failures behind.
Leave un-forgiveness behind.
The one that truly suffers from un-forgiveness is you. You were not meant to carry that load from year to year.
Hurts need to be given to the Lord- not carried around.
Worry oh, let’s not forget worry. I even preached a message one time I entitled “the just shall live by worry.” That’s from associating with thousands of Christians over the years that proclaim Jesus at a prayer meeting and get on the phone and talk about what they are worried about.
Worries take up time and energy and have no positive outcome. Over 99 % of what we worry about never happens.
There are 2 things that should be on your mind.
Doing things that need to be changed in your life.
Realizing that some things cannot be changed- and have the Lord show you how to deal with both.
Our Actual Failures
I believe we only fail if we do nothing- that is we never try something new. If we are in Christ, we are not failures. No matter how many setbacks we face in life, Christ puts you back on your feet and calls you a winner. In fact, his opinion of you is that you are more than a conqueror.
So just what is our part? To simply be reconciled to God and allow God to be active in your life. That means he is directing you. Not your own self human wisdom.
Ephesians chapter 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God.
“Be strong in the lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Some of us have been so beaten up this past couple years- some things we bring on ourselves, and some things are unavoidable. A couple years we saw 2020 end with hopes in 2021. Then what happened? Gas prices doubled that year. And they say by the end of 24 they will probably be around $4.00 a gal. they are still over 3.50 in most places around our country. The average family of four paid $5,500.00 more dollars for the same goods as in 2020.
We are keeping the Corina virus going by transporting people all over the country in the middle of the night that are coming into our country illegally with covid. They say at least 30% of the people entering illegally are infected. INFLATION is here to stay without major some economic changes by our government leaders. Feds are raising interest rates that is putting the hurt to home buying and our national debt. Stocks will probably take a hit this coming year which affects your 401K.
Israel is in a war and maybe ready to bomb Iran to keep them from getting a nuclear weapon and now because of President Biden we are connected again to Iran’s gas and oil. So, if that happens get ready for all hell to break loose at the gas pump. President Biden made sure we were not gas and oil independent anymore. Also, we are in a war if because Israel is our closest ally. So, what are we going to do this coming year? Well, this!
Change the things that you can change, and trust God in those unavoidable times to see you through.
Ephesians chapter 5:15
“Be very careful then, how you live- not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”
Okay let me close this post out with a little positive advice.
Our attitude determines what kind of year we will have.
Whether we are doing things in our own strength, or the un-limited power and strength of the Lord determines the outcome.
What part do you actually play? Change the things that we can change and know that there are some things that won’t change.
Trusting God to help you in both circumstances.
“Do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
If you only know of Christ, and you are not in Christ, you will not be able to find God’s will for your life.
God promises to allow us to know God’s will for our life as we seek God and listen to what He has for us.
What do you think God’s will is for your life is:
Worrying about everything?
Saturating your mind with negative thoughts?
Having anxiety attacks?
To be so busy that you cannot even grasp spiritual thoughts or have devotions time to Him. Instead, this new year let’s establish your priorities- God must be first. God must be a part of your decision making. If we are a Christian, we must be asking God for direction in your life. Would like to see something happen for them or their family in 2024?
Do you have the right attitude to see it happen?
Is God first? Are you in really Christ? So that Christ controls your life. Are you willing to change what you know to change and are able to change? Are you trusting the Lord for the things that you cannot change and willing to turn the results over to God so that His will be done in your life?
What if you lived every moment as though God was all around you?
What if you lived as though nothing could happen to you that God could not take care of?
What if you lived as though you already had one foot in heaven, and that heaven was, in fact, all around you?
What if you really lived as though your sins and failures were gone in the mind of God.
What if you lived as though the power of the Holy Spirit lived in you, and you were walking around in a world created by God, loved by him and blessed by his presence?
What if you lived believing that evil did not stand a chance, and that it is only a matter of time until it is gone altogether?
How different would your life be? A new awareness and attitude could literally change your life.
The Three Eternal Truths We Must Learn To Live By 1
On the night of 31st December 2023, as my wife and I waited on the ball drop on TV I pondered, “what does it mean to actually step into a brand-new year?” Then I thought of 3 things that a truths about jus.
Humans loose the value of things very fast: It just seemed like a couple months ago we kicked 2022 out and welcomed 2023 into life. And now we are saying hello to 2024.
My time is running out: I am only 11 months away from turning 66. The Bible says the maximum life span of man is between 70-80. There’s a lot to accomplish for the glory of God in such a short amount of time.
Very few things are actually eternal: The new year also reminds us that most things if not all things in this world are temporary and not eternal.
In the meantime, the Holy Spirit reminded me of three truths that are actually eternal. Truths that will never expire. Truths that never lose their original value. They are of great importance because the new year promises to be filled to the brim with plenty of new challenges and these truths the Holy Spirit of God illuminated to me from the word, will definitely help you to slay your giants in year 2024.
First God Is A Living God, 26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26
Briefly Consider David’s Question: “…who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the armies of the living God…?” “Living God” was used twice by David.
The Bible says the length of our days is between 70-80 years. To man the dawn of a new year means another step towards the grave. But for God it’s not so. He is alive and lives forever. God is alive my friend, and He will fight for His children in year 2024 like a Lion fighting for its cubs.
Also, God Is Faithful, 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!” Consider David’s reply to Saul, “…The LORD who delivered me from the lion and the bear will also deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…!” Someone once said the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself. Well, he is wrong. The Bible says that Jesus never changes. So, do not be afraid when faced with problems this year. God was faithful to deliver you in the past. He remains unchanged and faithful to deliver you in 2024 also.
Lastly, God Is Our Heavenly Father, 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! (1 Samuel 17:36)
Let’s also Consider David’s view of Goliath, “…this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them…” “uncircumcised” is used twice by David in this story. Circumcision was the physical identity of God’s chosen people. Only they could enjoy the truths mentioned before. We too are entitled to enjoy these truths because as we have become the children of God through faith in Christ, (Romans 8:15)
It is very important to remember, that our relationship with the heavenly Father through Christ is also eternal. Nothing can take it away unless I blaspheme the Holy Spirit and explicitly decide to walk away from my relationship with God. Knowing that God is your father gives you great peace.
Peace is the doorway through which God releases His blessing into our natural world. Peace is the doorway to the father’s working in your life. Don’t take that too lightly. God operates in this realm of peace. It is in the atmosphere of peace that He releases blessings into our lives. Peace is the doorway to the miraculous. Peace is also the doorway to getting your prayers answered. That’s why the Bible declares, “Be anxious for nothing.” And Jesus said many times “Do not worry.” He knew that anxiety and worry block the door to blessing, while peace guard us from pain and torment.
Peace Guards You
Peace guards your heart and your mind. In fact, the Bible describes peace as acting as a garrison. A garrison is a military base where troops are housed. So, peace, with all its defensive weapons and ammunition, is stationed over your mind. It is there specifically to protect your mind and your thoughts.
As you carefully allow God’s peace to prevail in the midst of difficult situations, you can then know that your mind and heart are supernaturally protected by him. Your heart and mind need protection because when you are born again, everything in your life proceeds forth from your spirit. The peace of God guards the sanctuary of your heart, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (NASB).
Peace is Also Practical
Think about this for a minute have you ever been faced with an important decision and questioned the supernatural peace that you sense? Perhaps you’ve wondered if you can trust such peace. The answer is YES! Such peace will sustain you through any situation. The peace of God is powerful. It will stabilize you when you are shaking. It may make no sense that you have the peace of God, while nothing about the situation seems favorable. But suddenly, everything has changed for the better. It’s truly amazing when you do something because you know it is God wanting you to do it even when you can’t see it happening in the natural.
Basically, you do everything that you know to do and then surrender to the inner peace, forgetting the whole situation. Before you know it, God has taken care of it!
When you later reflect on what truly happened, pondering how God resolved your situation, you then realize that He moved because you chose to rest in His wonderful peace. But be aware that in order to choose peace, you must really exercise some discipline over your thoughts and your mind.
Choose Your Thoughts Carefully
When our minds are wholly focused on God, He promises to keep us in perfect peace because we trust in Him Isaiah 26:3. Many people wrongly believe that thoughts are like birds: they may light in your mind, or even build a nest, then come and go as they please. God’s Word is very clear that we have been given the ability to choose and direct our thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “As a man thinketh, so is he.” Clearly, specific thought patterns lead to turmoil and others that lead to peace.
How are thoughts of peace actually cultivated? By meditating on the many good things that God has done for you, is doing and will do for you. By recalling the milestones of your life that is all the times that God has proven Himself faithful to you. And by reading the accounts throughout the whole Bible that illustrate His power and promise to deliver and set people free. Peace will change you and God will change your circumstances – something worry can never do!
Worry Is The True Enemy of Peace
The Christian life is not a trouble-free life, but it can be a worry-free life. We never need to worry at all. In fact, we are exhorted not to worry about anything in Philippians 4:6,7. Sometimes when we seek peace, we are really seeking momentary relief from our situation, unaware that the entrance of peace can bring tangible results. The enemy will always use worry to pull us into the realm of frustration. But his tactics need not dupe us. We can be assured that God is an awesome God and that He loves us. Worry is disobedient and unproductive. Your Prince of Peace is a prayer away. Allow Him to reign in your situation.
To Sum It Up
The Prince of Peace has finally come. We can live in total confidence, assured of God’s care and sovereignty over us. We can have peace in the midst of troubling circumstance, and we can speak peace in to our circumstances. Peace is more than a feeling. Peace is the doorway to blessing, guarding over our hearts and mind. Peace is practical. As we choose our thoughts, peace reigns in our hearts and our circumstances are changed. Worry is a tool of Satan and produces no productive outcome. Choose peace. May be there are some of you reading this that not able to experience these truths because all these years you didn’t make a decision about surrendering your life to God. If you are one of them let 2024, be the year that you do. Surrender your life to Jesus Christ and God will accept you to His family. For the Bible says, “But to all who have received him, those who believe in his name, he has given the right to become God’s children” John 1:12 Hold fast to these eternal truths and year 2024 will be the year you slain giants.
If you would like to have more peace read my book Finding Peace In Psalms 91. It truly shows you how God goes out of his way to protect his children.
Why We Should Not Be Afraid 2
It’s pretty hard to enjoy your life if you are living in fear. Fear that can be crimpling in your relationships and daily life. Now believe if or not we have the fear of Nuclear War again. The socialists in our government have the young people scared to death that our planet is going to die, and they will perish. Look at what God says in his word.
Psalm 46:1-11 NLT God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! 4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. 5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts! 7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. 8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world.9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10 “Be still and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” 11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
I know it’s terrible living in today’s world. We live in a world that is plagued by fear. People are constantly plagued by the fear of death, or the fear of disease, the fear of financial calamity, and now fear of climate change and being plagued by another pandemic. It seems that no matter how weak the current virus’s strain gets the media is still focusing on it and people are still in fear of catching it.
Unfortunately, in our modern world that we live in there is often an absence of the fear that we human beings must have. The Bible declares the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus went on to further say, do not fear them that can destroy the body, but fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell fire.
So, without question or qualification, we must all learn to have a holy terror before the Holy Judge of all men. Yet what most fear is not godly in its source, and this fear can even cripple you mentally, socially, physically, and spiritually. Mark Twain once said; “I have experienced many terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Most insurmountable fears end up with a catastrophic end. Yet the end of most fears is actually very different than what is feared. Fear over sickness will cause other physical problems like ulcers and anxiety attacks to take hold of our physical bodies. Fear of death can deplete the joy of life from you completely.
After all, think about it for a moment, if you’re a Christian what is the devil going to threaten you with “heaven?” The bible says fear not, but the fearful respond with “why not?” You may wonder why should I not fear when there is so much trouble taking place in the world around me?
The Bible says, “that fear has torment, but perfect love casts out fear.” Fear can be overcome when we understand our God, our position in God, and our relationship with God. Folks God is love. It isn’t what he does. It is what he is. Love is the very essence of God. He is the perfect love that drives away all fear. Just as the psalmist said in Psalms 46. “Be Still and know that I am God.” Friends God knows what we are going through. If you lost a job or your business. Be still and know that he is god. If you have gotten sick from a sickness. Be still and know that he is God. Never forget he loves you and he is God.
Don’t forget you can still get a free copy of my new book “Creating The Life You Want” in e-book form. You can download a free copy today, just for joining my Bi-monthly Newsletter, Enjoy Your Life Now! At www.donnicelybooks.com You will learn about my upcoming books and any free books or specials that I am offering and when I am offering them. Also, if you think that others could enjoy these blog posts like and share them.
Living In The High Places Part 1
The other day I was in a boat, and I saw an eagle flying in the sky. It launched me back to when my wife Susie and I were in Alaska on an excursion to and rain forest in Ketchikan, Alaska. As we walked along taking pictures a guide pointed out a nest for us that was in the top of a tree. It was hard to see, but if you looked really close you could see it.
You see eagles are amazing birds, flying at elevations of 30,000 ft, living to be 70 or 80 years but the most awesome thing is that God uses this bird to describe us, Christians.
Check out this verse. Isaiah 40:31
“But those who wait on the Lord (those who expect, look for and set their hope in Him) shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles (they will have the strength to live above their circumstances), they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”. (They will not grow tired in their faith).”
Because God wants us to be overcomers in this life. He wants us to depend on him to make us the victors over what the world has to throw at us. Throughout the bible God chose to compare believers to the Eagle. The majestic Eagles are born to live in the High Places. I also believe we are born to live there as well and be overcomers in this life – You were made for the high places my friend. Living in the High Places makes us closer to enjoying the life that God has for us now.
The two key words in this verse are that we will mount up with wings “like eagles.” The Original King James Version uses the words “as eagles.”
I believe God is trying to tell us something when He compares all of us to eagles in this particular verse. I remember when I first saw this verse years ago, it really jumped off the page at me.
Several years ago, I did a personal study of eagles and their personality traits to see if there were any personality traits that were inherent in the eagle that God wanted us to have with Him.
After finding out exactly what personality traits eagles do have, I came to the conclusion that God was definitely trying to convey some additional knowledge to all of us as to what additional qualities He would like all of us to have worked or baked into our personalities.
The other thing I noticed, starting about 25 years ago, is that there were a lot of eagle pictures and eagle statues in many of the Christian bookstores, with all of them coming off the above verse.
Again, I believe God is trying to draw all of us into this specific verse so we can find out exactly what He is trying to tell us with the revelation that is contained in it.
I believe this analogy to be an extremely powerful and profound analogy, and that it fully applies to each and every Christian.
I will list, one by one, the main qualities and traits of the eagle, along with giving you the basic gist of what this analogy is all about.
Eagles are born to live in the High Places- They are made for the high places. You are born to be an overcomer – You too were made for the high places.
1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
The Bald Eagle is 29 to 42 inches long, can weigh 7 to 15 pounds, and have a wingspan of 6 to 8 feet. Eagles were created to fly in the high places. Eagles are born to fly (the sky is their home).
There is a little story that pertains to so many of us I thought I would tell it to you today. It’s about a little eagle that fell out of its nest and landed in a chicken yard. The eagle grew up among the chickens and, although he looked a bit different, he learned to walk like a chicken and eat like a chicken. One day the young eagle looked up into the sky and saw a beautiful eagle soaring above. The little eagle in the chicken yard thought, Oh, I would love to be able to do that! As the eagle soared overhead, it looked down and saw the young eagle below. Suddenly he flew down & asked, “What are you doing down here? “The little eagle replied, “I am just here in the chicken yard where I have always been.”
The great eagle looked and said, “Spread your wings, boy. You do just what I do. Follow me.” Then he flapped his wings and lifted off the ground. The little eagle had been living among these turkeys so long that he didn’t know who he was. He flies off into the sky never to return to the chicken yard again! Do you want to soar like an eagle?
To live in the High Places, we must be willing to leave our Comfort Zone
Deuteronomy 32:11 “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:”
When the right time actually comes, the mother eagle begins to teach her baby eaglets how to fly. They have to learn how to fly properly because that is what eagles do they fly! She then carefully pulls all the comfortable feathers out of the nest. All that is left is the very sharp thorns that the nest has been constructed from. To avoid the thorn on their feet the baby eagles gather on the rim of the nest. She then carefully scoops up an eaglet onto her back, spreads her wings, and flies high into the clouds above the nest. Then she comes back to the nest and one at a time pushes each eagle over the edge. This may seem cruel, but she is teaching them to fly. Suddenly she lets the baby eaglet fall until it’s almost on ready to smash the ground as she swoops down and catches it on her back and wings.
The whole frightening process is repeated over and over again until they actually learn to fly. If the young eagle is slow to learn or a tad bit cowardly, she returns him to the nest, and begins to tear it apart until there is no comfort at all at home. Then she nudges him off the edge again. This is repeated until they learn how to fly on their own or die from the fall. God has a way of getting us to leave our comfort zone. He doesn’t want us to depend other believers all our lives. He causes us to leave our comfort zone to go learn to fly to the high places on our own. I think that is what has been happening in the last few years in our world. God is ripping out the feathers and making us uncomfortable with our lives. He’s wanting us to go to the high places on our own.
To live in the High Places, we must learn to wait on God
Vs. 31 “But those who wait on the Lord (those who expect, look for and set their hope in Him)? He wants us to be like little children on December 24th. They can’t hardly sleep waiting on him.
Waiting on the Lord means to “attend to, or to wait upon.” The word wait here is the Hebrew word Qu-vah (Kaw-Vaw,) which means “to wait, to look for, to expect, to wait eagerly, to look or to hope.”
The Bible says, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah. 8:10).
We think of waiting in the passive tense; however, it’s not used here in the passive tense but instead in the active tense …. When we wait on the Lord, we become refreshed, renewed, and filled with complete joy.
When we wait on God, we renew our strength.
Psalms 103:5 “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle ‘s.”
When an eagle grows old, they fly high up into the high places & molt which means they lose all the feathers. At this time their beak calcifies and actually can hardly open. They are totally dependent on the help of others at this time. Other eagles feed them and tear the food up for them to eat. Eventually they will gain strength and pound their beak until it opens up and can be used. Eventually their feathers will grow back, and they become renewed! If they don’t do it, they die.
To live in the High Place we must mount up with Wings like Eagles-
Eagles do not fly like other birds do. Birds flap their wings profusely and using their own strength they manage to get lift off. Instead, eagles SOAR through the sky. That’s why they nest in the tallest places so they can just drop and sour.
The eagle rides the wind currents, and these currents help them circle higher and higher toward the sky, without and real flapping or effort. She just spreads her wings, and the wind carries the eagle soaring through the sky.
If the eagle encounters a storm, they set their wings and fly directly toward the storm. The velocity of the wind lifts them safely above the storm. This is what the Scriptures means when it says that believers mount up with wings like eagles. God will get us up above the storms and cares of this world and lift us above all the problems and attacks of the enemy by the power of the Spirit of God. Like eagles, we should learn to ride on the current of the Holy Spirit, instead of relying on our own strength.
Read part 2 later on.
Living In The High Places Part 2
I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this post so in order to give you the full context I decided to post it in two posts. I hope you get something out of part 2 of Living In The High Places.
Eagles are also considered master fisherman.
They are very good at locking in on their prey and then swooping down to catch them.
How many times have you seen where an eagle will swoop down on a body of water and pick up a fish swimming near the surface with perfect ease and accuracy and catching them on the very first attempt.
They are absolute masters at hunting down and catching their prey, whether that prey be on land or in the water.
Just as eagles are considered to be master fisherman with how they can catch fish in water – we, as Christians, have been called by the Lord to be “fishers of men,” just like Jesus and the apostles were at the very beginning of the New Testament.
Our number one job in this life is to try and get as many people saved as we possibly can.
Personal evangelism within our own circle of influence is something that each and every Christian can do for the Lord, and it is something that we should always keep our radars up for – as you never know when the Holy Spirit will move on you to lead you to someone, He will want you to witness to, whether it be someone you might know or a complete total stranger. All we do is obey.
The Eagle Has 2 Sets of Eyes
Another very fascinating quality that many people aren’t aware of about eagles is that eagles have two sets of eyes. The first set is their natural eyes which they use when they are in a resting mode.
However, when they start to take flight on those strong wind thermals, they have a second eye that comes in on them. This second eye then enables them to fly on those strong wind thermals without damaging their original natural eye.
This second eye is also used when they are seen flying through actual storm clouds. The heavy winds from a storm cloud could easily damage their normal natural eye, and this second eye gives them a protective covering as they are navigating through those heavy storm clouds.
As Christian believers, we also have two sets of eyes operating in us. The first set is our normal natural eye with which we use to see the natural world in which we live in. However, we also have a second set of eyes and that is the eyes of the Holy Spirit who is now residing inside us.
Since we all have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, we also have His eyes available to us at times to see all things from His perspective.
As you start to draw closer to the Lord in your own personal relationship with Him, there will be times that He will allow you to “see” things as He sees them. You will start “seeing” clearly what certain scripture verses actually mean. You will also start to “see” what the real truth is in many of the matters of your own personal life. When this starts to occur in your life, this is the Holy Spirit Himself allowing you to see things through His eyes, not your eyes. This is a highly supernatural event when it starts to occur in your life.
It is God Himself literally allowing you to see things from His point of view and perspective.
The Bible also says that the knowledge of the truth will set you free. But you first have to see what that truth is before it can start to set you free. This is why we all need the eyes of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives, so we can start to see what the real truth is about many of the different matters and issues in our own personal lives.
Just like the eagle needs his two sets of eyes in order to be able to live and survive in this world. In the same way we need both our natural eyes and the eyes of the Holy Spirit operating in us so we can properly work and function for the Lord in this life.
When we live in the High Places we will run & not be weary
Walk & not Faint-
“…they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint”. (They will not grow tired in their faith).”
The high places are where we are refreshed in our strength.
If you need strength
If you need healing
If you need peace
Wait on the Lord and he will renew your strength!
The Bible also says, “Be not weary in well doing, but ye shall reap, if ye faint not” (Gal. 6:9). The word weary means to “be beaten down.” Notice the word says not to be weary in well doing.
God wants us to see the whole picture. We shall reap and that is a divine promise, if we faint not. To faint means to “loose heart.” Don’t lose heart my friend and by all means don’t give up!
The Last thing we must learn about this analogy besides the fact that we are the eagle and the wind thermals represents the Holy Spirit, is what the wings of the eagle represent
The wings of the eagle represent our faith and belief in in the Lord.
The Bottom line – if we do not have enough faith and belief in God to take flight on the Holy Spirit in order to be led and empowered by Him for service to the Lord, then nothing will ever happen.
We will forever stay perched, and we will never fulfill the divine destiny that God has already planned out for our lives before we were even born into our mother’s womb.
The eagle has to take that big leap off the edge of the cliff in order to be able to fly and soar on those wind thermals.
If the eagle does not take flight on those wind thermals when they do come up on him, he will forever stay perched and he will die on the cliff due to starvation.
In the same way, if we do not take flight in the Holy Spirit and the divine call that God has placed on our lives, our lives will perish right before our very eyes, as the Bible tells us that God’s people will perish without having His specific vision for their lives.
Sooner or later, every single Christian will have to make that big choice for their lives. Who will they decide to serve and follow in this life?
Do they follow and serve their own self and their own self-interests, doing what they want to do with their lives? Or do they decide to fully surrender every part of their life to the Lord and go with His divine plan for their lives rather than their own.
If you decide to follow and serve the Lord in his life, then sooner or later God will call you and you will then have to take that big leap off the edge of the cliff in order to learn how to fly into the calling that He has placed on your life.
And just as the wings of the eagle are the only thing that will allow them to fly and soar on those wind thermals, in the same way the only thing that will allow you to fly on the call that God has placed on your life is your faith and belief in the Lord.
If you do not have enough faith, belief, and confidence in the Lord and His Holy Spirit to guide you and empower you for this call, then nothing will ever happen.
I wonder how many Christians have actually missed out on their true callings from the Lord because they did not have enough faith and belief in Him to take flight on the Holy Spirit like the eagles have learned how to do on those wind thermals?
The truth is we are the eagle, our wings are our faith and belief in the Lord, and the wind thermals are the presence and power of the Holy Spirit flowing and operating through us so we can fully accomplish all of our divine destiny for the Lord.
This should finish up we have been talking about the eagle and how it relates to our Christian experience. If you would like to receive my newsletter Enjoy Your Life Now to learn more about my books and special offers when they become available, sign up today. I’ll give you a FREE book just for signing up.
Go to the High Places! For more about the power the Holy Spirit in our lives check out my New book Secrets of the Supernatural Book 3 check it out at www.donnicelybooks.com
How To Make the Most of Life’s Seasons?
The truth is Summary: Was a New Year’s Message, but good for anytime. Seasons are passing, but productive. We should simply decide to enjoy them.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing. 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. 8 A time to love, and a time to hate: a time of war, and a time of peace.
So here we are again, we just ended another month of our brand-new year and are at the beginning of another month. February is a leap month in a leap year. If you live long enough, you’ll one day come to realize that there is no difference between this day and any other day. Because Time passes for all of us at the same rate. The date changes every night at midnight. Every 7 days we enter a new week. Every 30 days (or thereabouts) we enter a new month. But it’s every 12 months – or at the changing of the year – that we really become aware of the passage of time. Especially after you turn forty. Once you turn forty it’s like the debt clock. It really starts to spin fast.
I suppose that it is because every part of our calendar dates will be repeated – except the year. It will be 11:00 am again. It will be Sunday again. It will be December again. It will be the 31st again. But it will never be 2024 again. At least not in our lifetimes!
But for whatever reason – during this period we all pause to think about what happened in the past year and we set goals for the New Year. We’re making New Year’s resolutions that we have already talked about. We’re joining health clubs. We’re reviewing books and creating budgets that we probably won’t live by. We trying to get a handle on our debts.
You know one day – I was thinking… Life would be a lot easier if we would apply this kind of focus more frequently throughout the year. Actually – that’s part of the reason for a Sabbath day that was set up in God’s 10 commandments. It is a weekly time of rest, reflection on the past week, and preparation for the week ahead. It occurred to me that if we actually did that weekly, our resolutions would be much more effective!
Another reason we measure things by the year. A year marks the passage of one full orbit of the earth around the sun. And due to that orbit, the seasons will cycle again. There was a winter last year, as well as a spring, a summer, and a fall. Guess what is coming in this year. We are in winter, there will be a spring, a summer, and a fall.
It is this very cycle that Solomon is referring to in our text. Life has seasons. There is a time for everything. Some of the things that he lists we don’t like to think about. We don’t enjoy them. But they will happen. We will experience seasons in our life. Seasons of birth, and death. Seasons of planting, and seasons of harvesting. Seasons of building, and seasons of tearing down. Seasons of weeping, and seasons of laughing.
We all go through seasons. What I want to talk to you about today is – How to Make the Most of Life’s Seasons.
First of all – let’s take a look at what we know about seasons:
They are CERTAIN
They are PASSING
They are REPEATED
They are PRODUCTIVE
How can we enjoy the seasons?
We must realize that can’t change the seasons. But we can change our perspective of the seasons. If you would like to know more about Life’s Seasons and how to wade your way through them correctly check out my book Living Through Gods’ Seasons at www.donnicelybooks.com
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon seems frustrated and bored. (read the first few verses of the first chapter). 1 These are the words of the Teacher, King David’s son, who ruled in Jerusalem.
Everything Is Meaningless
2 “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”3 What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around, it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.
But you will notice that his perspective is that of under the sun. But in this book, he arrives at some conclusions that help us to make the most of the seasons of life. They can be beautiful – but in order to see the beauty we must begin to see them from a different perspective. 9 What do people really get for all their hard work? 10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. 11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. 13 And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.
We cannot see the WHOLE PICTURE (v 11)
So how can we make the most of these seasons?
God’s purpose in the seasons is so that our relationship with Him will be changed. 14 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. (v 14)
Because the beauty is in him. The eternal purpose is found in him. He alone knows the whole picture. And it is only in relationship with Him that the monotony of the seasons is replaced by hope. And outside of him, there is no hope.
What makes the cycle of seasons meaningful is HOPE.
“Remember that you were… without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near…” Ephesians 2:12-13 (NIV)
So, what did Jesus come for? Jesus came to redeem time. He came to set right what Adam had made wrong. Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were created by him and for him. It is only in him that the eternal beauty and purpose of the seasons is revealed. Only in him can we see the whole picture.
Just as Christ brings meaning and hope to the seasons of time – he also brings the same to the seasons of your life.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:3-8
Your Time Has Come To Overcome 1
Think about this for a minute. Did it occur to you that it is getting much darker out there in this world we are living in? As the days on God’s prophetic calendar tick down we really need to know how to stand on the Word of God where our life and prosperity is concerned, where health is concerned, and where protection is concerned. You can’t enjoy your life all wrapped up in worry over these basic things.
The world that we live in, I’ll tell you again, is in serious trouble. Some very hard things are coming in different places around the world including the United States where I live. These are very difficult times in a lot of places. They’re that way now and they’ll not get better. They will continue to get worse and worse and worse. It is on a downhill run that the world cannot stop. But for the household of faith and the people of God everything is going to be all right. Let me say that again. Everything is going to be all right.
We have to make a choice about what we are going to do. We have to make a choice that we are going to live in the household of faith and trust God no matter what!
Psalm 92:12-15 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. It is not my own righteousness; I am righteous because I was born over again. Jesus made us righteous, and He is the Lord of my life; what about you friend? Do you feel that way? Do you know that God promises if we will just plant ourselves in God we will flourish.
Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
We have to go over to the household of faith and live by faith. It says here; when we are planted in the house of the Lord that we will flourish in the courts of our God.
In the Hebrew the word flourish means to flower, to blossom, to bloom, to break forth and to spread out. To flourish means to enter in to a “state of prosperity”. It means to increase in wealth, favor, and honor. In the household of faith, we flourish, we are increasing in wealth, we are increasing in favor and we are increasing in honor. The word flourish means: to grow vigorously and exuberantly; to enlarge and to expand.
If you would like to learn more about being blessed in tough economic times, check out my three-book series at www.donnicelybooks.com
So, we shouldn’t just to expect to survive and get by. That word to flourish is a very powerful word; it also means to become extremely successful. That is the picture that God has for us. That is the desire that He has for us. We have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, the curse of shortage, poverty, lack, deficiency, unpaid bills. We have been redeemed from all that and we walk in the blessing of Abraham. We are not just surviving, we are flourishing.
When you read the blessings; it is outrageously good, and it is ours! You can go back to the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy and get it down on the inside of you. I would recommend reading in different translations. The commanded blessing is upon my storehouses. Read it for yourself and you will get happy about all the blessings that are mentioned there.
It is a good scripture to read when somebody gets married!
Here are some more scriptures on flourishing: Proverbs 14:11 Even when the natural people are overthrown, we can flourish, because we are in a different household. Even when we have the same economic conditions, we have different results. We in the household of faith and experience different results. Our daily times are in His Hands. When you look at cities; you always see the neighborhoods of the rich people and then there are the neighborhoods of people that don’t have any money. There is a difference. We are citizens of heaven, we live out of a different Kingdom; it is truly a spiritual thing for us!
Here is a confession that you can speak over your own life today:
I am not moved by what I see, I am not moved by what I hear
I am not subject to the times, I will keep obeying God, I will keep tithing
I will keep sowing seed, I will walk by faith, I will keep going to Church
I am separated from the curse of lack, I am connected to the BLESSING of Abraham
I am thriving, flourishing, increasing, enlarging, experiencing God’s supernatural provision.
Here you go my friend, make a choice today. Choose to believe that you can flourish in these tough times that we live in and all the things that you spoke just now. Your Time Has Come To Be An Overcomer and your time is NOW. You have the power of choice to choose to live by faith. When you desire to please God, you know what you need to do “the just live by faith”.
Until next time: Don
Don And Sues African Adventure 1
Susie, I were fortunate enough in 2022 to be able to go on a great trip to Africa. We went on six different safaris with two different safari outfitters. In the next couple months, we are going to look at some truths that my wife Susie and I saw while on our trip to Africa. We went on the trip in August which was their winter, and it was a dream come true for me. I have always wanted to see Safari Don go on a real safari. For those of you that do not know I played a safari character in children’s churches and vacation bible schools all over northeast Ohio for over twenty years. During those years we taught thousands of children the way of Jesus. I even put some of my curriculum that I used in print and that is available at www.kingdomkidscc.com that you can get for an unbelievable price. A whole year’s worth of children’s church fun and teachings for less than 100.00 bucks. Check it out and get a years’ worth of it and you’ll be glad you did. It is so easy to use for any sized church.
As for the safari, it was a great experience for me and my wife. It is different going to other countries and seeing how other people think about us. We just went to Italy and Greece in 2023 and I be talking about it later on this spring. It’s also enjoy seeing how other people live in this great big world that God created for us.
As we traveled on our safari’s and seeing people live in little tin buildings that we put up for our chickens and hogs it was quite a humbling sight for an American that complains if he has to wait at a red light too long.
We went on six days of Safaris running around the bush and grasslands in pursuit of lions and cheetahs and leopards. Impalas were around every corner along with giraffes and zebras. One highlight of the trip was we were eating our first dinner in the bush that was prepared over an open fire and while we were eating the bush barbecue 2 hyenas came into camp and wanted our leftover chicken bones. It truly was an awesome trip and I highly recommend using vista safaris available from African Budget Safaris. It was a great adventure and if you get a chance, I recommend you go.
The Roaring Lion 2
As I said last time in August 2023 Susie, and I were privileged to get to go on an African safari. I got to tell you, getting there was a trip. That is literally a real trip. First, we took a flight from Orlando to Atlanta. Then after two-hour layover we boarded up large Delta flight for a 10-hour flight to Paris, France. We arrived there in the morning and had a 10-hour layover at the airport. When we finally boarded a flight that would take us to Johannesburg South Africa. Which, in case you’re wondering, was an 11-hour flight from Paris. Arriving in the morning we gathered our luggage and headed for a tram rail ride that would take us to our motel about ½ hour away. I must admit even with the long layovers everything went quite smooth and it was almost 70° when we got there. Leaving the train, we had a short 15-minute walk to the motel on Mandela Square. We stopped by a Krispy Kreme donut shop along the way to get a doughnut and coffee since we were there in the morning. We sat outside and enjoyed the scenery and the beautiful winter weather in Africa.
Now let’s fast forward six days and were on our safari and in Kruger National Forest in Austria. After almost all day of searching we finally found the elusive male lion. He was wanting to mate with a female that was in the pride. I was amazed to find out that he will mate with this female about 100 times in the next 24 hours. Each time lasting about 17 seconds. But of course, it all takes place only at the females discretion. Some things never change guys.
We hung around awhile watching intensely hoping that we might hear him roar just once. Unfortunately, he had other things on his mind than to roar. So, we never heard him do it, but I remember one time I was walking up the hill at the Pittsburgh zoo. If you’ve ever been there, you know the whole thing is on a hill. And then it happened. I heard a deep breath in the air that would make the hair stand up on the back your neck and then I heard a roar. When that happened everything around us stopped dead in its tracks. Every animal stop dead in its tracks, all the people stop dead in their tracks. I think even the birds landed on limbs. I remembered this Bible Scripture that warns us that Satan who is our mortal enemy is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. You see folks, most young lions don’t roar it all. It is said that only old mature lions roar really loud. And from experience I can tell you they roar really loud. You see the old Lions joints are getting old and worn out. And even their teeth are getting worn down. So, they roar really loud to stop everything dead in their tracks. That way they can just run a little distance and pounce on the prey.
The lion’s roar instead of really being about dominance is more about intimidation. Psalms 91 a chapter in the bible which I’ve written three books about entitled; “Fear Not.” That are also available on Amazon. Check them out at www.donnicelybooks.com The bible also tells us that he comes at us as a roaring old lion. I take that to mean that he is trying to intimidate us with his roar. Now let me give you another important fact about lions. You may have never heard this before. And I think you need to know this when the old lion roars your way. The only animal in the whole animal kingdom that would dare say anything after an old lion roars is a younger and more powerful lion.
Even though the Bible calls Satan an old lion it also calls our Savior Jesus Christ the lion of the tribe of Judah. Which by the way is a more powerful lion. So, while the old lion roars against you trying to intimidate you, just remember that the lion of the tribe of Judah has your back. All you have to do is call on him in your time of need and he’ll be there to help.
Next time I will talk about the giraffes we saw. If your interested in the books Fear Not check it out on my website www.donnicelybooks.com
Giraffes Are Aways On Alert 1
Did you read the title of this post today? Go ahead and reread it and think about it. We can really learn a lesson from giraffes. It was the second morning that we were in Africa, and we were still trying to get used to our eight-hour time difference. We had a travel guide that we had to meet up with at 6 AM on our second day to take us on a two-hour ride to our first safari day. It was an amazing experience that day riding around a dead volcano that was designated a wildlife game preserve. We saw almost all the different kinds of animals that there was except for the shy lions and leopards. We even had some elephants come in and dust themselves off at lunchtime while we ate our sandwiches.
It made for some great pictures and selfies with the elephants. After lunch we went on our last two-hour safari ride to view hippos and crocs at a waterhole not too far from the food Boma. We were also going to search for the elusive leopard and lion. About the last half hour into the safari, we were coming down the side of a mountain range and then you could see it. No, not a lion or the elusive leopard but something else that was just as extraordinary. On the accompanying hillside was a straight line that was standing at attention. It was five tall giraffes that were all standing on high alert. Meaning that they were all standing behind trees with their head over the trees looking in the same direction. They just stood there as still as you can stand still with their bodies hidden behind trees. Our guide said, “there’s a predator nearby,” as we drove around looking for him hiding somewhere we could not see him. But those giraffes saw him, and they were standing there still as they could, standing their ground on the high alert in a group.
Seeing those giraffes standing there on high alert behind the trees reminded me that God’s word also tells us that we should put on the whole armor of God stand our ground against the enemy.
He also says when you’ve done all you could to stand just keep standing your ground like those giraffes were. A casual look at the armor of God will show that you are not protected from behind. That’s right there is no armor on your backside. Except for the back of your helmet which is covering your head. You actually seem completely vulnerable from behind.
Now you may be wondering why God would leave us so vulnerable to be attacked from behind. Especially since we were fighting the battle from the forward attack looking forward. The answer is quite simple and also found in Scriptures as well. Scripture says that God is our rearguard. Which simply means that he is standing there protecting you from behind. And trust me nothing is coming through God to get you from behind. I have a three-book series entitled; “Fear Not” in book 3 the subtitle is God’s got you covered. Check it out on my website www.donnicelybooks.com if you’d like more information about your protection from various sicknesses.