Encourage One Another

Encourage One Another
Written by Felicia McKnight
5/25/2016

“But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.” (Hebrews 3:13 HCSB)

One of things I am most passionate about is taking the time out to encourage another individual. There are so many people who are going through various trials and hardships in life. So many people find themselves in a place of struggle with sin and trying to do the right thing. Many struggle to live the righteous life God called each of us to live. So many struggle daily with depression, and not knowing how to see the positive in circumstances. People struggle to stand on God’s promises in hopeless situations. People struggle with the hurt and pain from loss of loved ones. People struggle with the devastation of job loss. People struggle in their singleness and in their marriage. God has called us to encourage one another when we see another brother or sister who stands in need. When we are encouraging to others we are an extension of God in that person’s life.

I will say it again and probably a few more times I LOVE TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE!!!!!!! It’s a spiritual gift God has given me. I pray for opportunities to present themselves and often God will place individuals on my heart to pray for them and to reach out to them in some capacity. Some of my favorite things to do is to send personal prayers, notes of encouragement, a scripture, or a song. Sometimes God will put it on my heart to send a card or do something unique that caters to that individual’s needs. Sometimes some things seem strange to me, but those strange moments usually turn out to be more of a blessing to that individual than I could have imagined. I recall just last week someone was sharing what they were going through. I had a book that I was halfway through reading. As they shared their story all I could think about was this book. I pulled my book mark out and gave it to them with a word of encouragement. There was a joy for me in seeing that person excited and them saying they were about to spend all weekend reading it.

Proverbs 11: 25 says , “those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed”. There is a reward that comes with encouraging someone. When I pray for a young mother facing eviction and she lets me know a few days later that God sent the resources to pay her rent there is a refreshing in that answered prayer. When I pray for someone who is struggling and a few days later they are back on the right path there is a refreshing in that persons deliverance. When I send a text message, e-mail, or some type of communication and the recipient says that was right on time, they needed it. There is a refreshing in meeting someone at their point of need. When you put a smile on someone’s face who hasn’t been able to smile in weeks there is a refreshing. When you not knowingly spared someone from taking the next steps to suicide there is a refreshing in knowing God used me to spare someone’s life. There is a joy that comes from pouring into others that only God can give. I love being an encourager!

Sometimes there is a tangible blessing that comes from refreshing others. I’ve had so many times someone will surprisingly pay for my meal or bless me with a gift out of the blue. Usually there is a “thank you for that time you….” sentence attached to it. So many times I don’t recall what I did or didn’t realize I was encouraging that person when I did whatever I did. However, it lets me know that I am just naturally operating in my calling and my purpose. And when individuals let me know how God has been at work in their lives by providing feedback or a thank you it is an encouragement to me to know nothing I’ve done has been in vain or strange and that God is working.

Now don’t be mistaken. I never give to receive. My reward is always in knowing someone was blessed by my gesture. Whether their prayer was answered, their breakthrough and deliverance took place, a person was prevented from having and carrying out suicidal thoughts or it just put a smile on their face in their darkest season I am blessed in knowing God used me to refresh and encourage one of His children. The glory always goes to God for his purpose being carried out in planting a seed of hope.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)

God needs all of us to pour into each other. Someone needs you to be their light. If you are going through your own difficulty I encourage you to find a way to bless someone else. Even if it’s with what you think may be too small or simple. It will take your mind off of your circumstances. And in return you will receive a joy for being a blessing to someone else. Flower and vegetation seeds are tiny when they are planted in dark soil, but they produce a bountiful harvest in season. What you plant in someone’s life today in their darkest time can manifest into something beyond what you could ever pray for or imagine.

I always end by saying “Be Blessed and Be Encouraged.” However, today I end by saying BE A BLESSING AND AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO SOMEONE ELSE!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for the individuals you place in our lives who plant seeds of healing and hope to get us delivered, healed, and guidance to walk into our destiny. Place someone on each of our hearts today that we can pay it forward by planting a seed of encouragement into their life. In Jesus Name. Amen

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Beautiful In God’s Eyes

Beautiful In God’s Eyes
Written by Felicia McKnight
5/18/2016

Genesis 1:27, 31 NKJV
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

I was recently watching the news with all of the transgender controversy and it blows my mind when people believe they should have been born another way. A male wanting to be a female or a female wanting to be male. An individual born of one race wishing they were another. Short people wanting to be tall and tall people wanting to be short. It saddens me to see any individual not happy with who they are. The last I read in my Bible God does not make mistakes. When God created each of us He chose our gender, our race, our hair texture and everything else about us with a unique and divine purpose for our individual lives.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

Whatever imperfection you think you have whether that is gender, skin color, hair type that you will accept it to the fullest intent that God has. After everything God made in Genesis Chapter 1 he declared “it was very good.” God didn’t just say it was “good”, but he added the adverb “very” indicating that we exceed what good is. God loves us all just the way he created us!

You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. (Song of Solomon 4:7 NLT)

When you are feeling less appreciative of yourself and dwelling on your flaws declare Psalm 139:14 over your life:

“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

God created each of you. You are unique. You are loved. You have a purpose. You are special to God. Don’t look at the world to validate who you are, but look at God to validate and define you.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

Be Blessed and Be Encouraged!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we praise you today that we are wonderfully made. Thank you that you have created us as your chosen people to be holy and set apart with a divine purpose to carry out. Father, heal those who think of themselves any less then what you think. Lord, you said in your word that we have the mind of Christ, so today we chose to think like you in knowing that we are beautiful in every way. In Jesus Name. Amen

Encouragement From a Single Mother

Encouragement From a Single Mother
Written by Felicia McKnight
5/11/2016

Genesis 21:14-16
So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.

Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs in the world, but being a “single” mom brings on a whole new meaning to motherhood. As I read the story of Hagar I thought about my own journey as a single mother and one of my biggest fears has always been provision.

In the story of Hagar, Abraham sent Hagar and their son Ishmael on their way to survive on their own with a child support payment in the form of bread and a skin of water. Eventually those resources ran out and Hagar went off alone and wept, because like many of us single mom’s we hurt when we can’t provide for our kids as we want. When they need something like clothes, shoes, or want to be in an activity that you can’t afford on your own income it hurts not to be able to provide and it’s unfortunate when you can’t rely on the other parent to do their part. There is a sense of helplessness when you want to have the best for your child, but there is only so much your budget will allow. There’s a sense of helplessness when they need something for school or an activity, but you just can’t afford it. There’s a sense of helplessness when the $5 for the field trip and the cost to send a lunch is your last until pay day. There’s a sense of helplessness to a mother when we can’t give our children what they need and that little extra that they want. This is the position Hagar found herself in. She was limited on resources and grieved not knowing how she would provide for her child.

Mothers go through difficult times and we are careful not to allow our children to see the tears we shed in those helpless moments. We are our kids hero’s. In their little hearts and minds we are super hero’s to them. We always save the day. If only they could see behind the supermom cape they would know we have to rely on another power source to give us strength each day. Like Superman (or superwoman) we have to go into that little telephone booth called the prayer closet and cry out to God from time to time. In verse 15 Hagar went off into a distance and wept. She cried out to God.

The beauty of this story is that God heard Hagar’s tears and He hears your tears too single mother. The right thing is that the other parent should have been there to help raise and provide for their son, but that’s not always the case. Unfortunately men and women have their own selfish reasons for not wanting to be a part of their children’s lives. As mother’s we love unconditionally. Even if we lost our job or source of income we will still do what we have to do to ensure our children are taken care of. Even if that means going off to a solitary place to cry out to God and trusting in Him.

“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.” (Genesis 21:19)

Just like God heard Hagar he hears the heart of every single mother who has to bare the weight of parenting on her own. Whether it’s through divorce, death, or having a baby out of wedlock God still hears you and He provides. After Hagar opened her eyes there was a well of water to nourish her son. God answered her prayer and sent the provision Hagar needed for her family.

I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. (Psalm 120:1 NLT)

What God desires for us is not to keep our eyes on the problem or the lack, but to keep our eyes focused on Him. He is Jehovah Jireh! The finances may not come from where you think they should come from, but God will provide. He is the ultimate source and who we should always depend on for assistance.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth
! (Psalm 121:1-2 NLT)

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NLT)

I’ve seen this in my own life as I’ve raised my daughter for 16 years now. God has never let us go without. There have been numerous times where I wasn’t able to make a way on my own. I have been in tears and the prayer closet holding disconnection notices with 24 hours to figure it out that no one knew about. I’ve faced car repossession. All I can say is “But God!” God always showed up and my daughter and I have never lacked any thing. When it looked impossible, God showed up! When I couldn’t afford for her to do various activities God always put us on the heart of someone to bless us. Over the years God has sent a village that has played a vital role in my child’s life. I praise God for that village and for sending them.

Once I was young, and now I am old.
Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
or their children begging for bread.
(Psalm 37:25 NLT)

I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers. I send encouragement to the single mother and to any mother who finds herself in a season of struggle and lack right now. Be encouraged in knowing that you are not alone and that God is with you to give you the wisdom, guidance, and provision you need to successfully raise up a child or children. Continue to always keep your eyes on the hills from where your help comes from (Psalm 121:1). Know that our Heavenly Father sees you, your child and your family’s needs. He is never a moment late and will always send you a helping hand. May God continually bless you. Be encouraged!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you for entrusting us to be parents to the children you have blessed us with. When we find our family in a season of lack and struggle help us to keep our eyes on you for our help and provision. Bless every mother represented here today. Give her the wisdom to train up her children in a way you desire us. Be our strength in our times of weakness. Father send provision when we stand in need. Lord, as mother’s we always want what’s best for our kids and we desire for them to have more growing up than we did. We pray that you will bless our children’s lives. Guide them to be the men and women of God you predestined them to be. We pray they will not allow obstacles to get in their way when they want to pursue their goals. Lord, meet every need for our children whether they are babies on up to adults. Bless them and send forth provision in all of our lives. Help us to always trust in You to walk by faith and not by sight knowing You will provide as you have promised in Your word. In Jesus Name. Amen

Prayer for You 5/4/2016

Prayer for You 5/4/2016
Written by Felicia McKnight

II Corinthians‬ ‭2:14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
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Heavenly Father, thank you that through the gift and grace of salvation that we can call ourselves your kingdom children and that through Christ’s death on the cross we can stand by faith that we are victorious in you. Lord no matter what we face today help us to remember that we are victorious and that it is Jesus who causes us to triumph in all things. As we go through this day help us to be knowledgeable of your will for our lives. Lord we pray for a fresh new anointing of your knowledge, wisdom, and truth to be upon us. Help us to remember that we are your light in a dark world. Give us wisdom to share the knowledge of you with the lost and hurting souls we may encounter today. As we go through this day I declare we are victorious, we are wise, and we are your light. In Jesus name. Amen