Let’s Get This Thing Together!

Ever tried putting a puzzle together?

I have.

Without the picture on the box I’d be a gonner.

Back in the day it went something like this:

  • dump the pieces
  • flip them all over
  • look at the BIG PICTURE
  • start by putting one little section of the picture together at a time
  • end with snapping all the little pictures together to make the BIG PICTURE

Sound familiar?

A puzzle? ( you may be shaking your head right now )

Yes!

And it’s because, now that you are setting your goals for success this year, you may feel like this roadmap is a hot mess to try to figure out!

Relax! God’s got you!

In Luke 6 we learn of a man with a withered hand.

Jesus stops by and heals the man with the snarled hand.

How did He do it?

He simple said, “Stretch it out,” and the man was made whole!

Let me ask you, do ya think the man could have be afraid? Yeah. Aware that everyone was watching? Yeah. Ashamed of having a withered hand? Yeah.

and yet he did it anyway … AND he was made whole!

So now. Now that you know success through Christ is possible. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

STRETCH OUT IN FAITH AND BE MADE WHOLE IN 2018!

Whole in your body – mind – finances – relationships – in your career – your walk with God – WHOLE in every area of your life!

Start today and get the puzzle out of the box,

Flip over the pieces,

Look for the big picture and start to

GET THIS THING TOGETHER!

Your success and wholeness in Christ is available and waiting to be STRETCHED OUT and PUT TOGETHER in 2018!

Will you go for it?

Getting this thing together one piece at time, Pastor Paula

God, can I just coast from here?

coastMy question to God.

“In this season of my life, can I just coast?”

His answer.

“Time to armor up, Daughter!”

Ephesians 6: 10-18 says we must suit up, (or in my words armor up) and fight the good fight of faith!

The enemy is sneaky and comes to steal our dreams, hope, joy, strength, healing, finances, sound mind, peace and more but God is our high tower and protection according to Psalm 91.

You and I must find what God would have us to do and take action with our next step.

Because I love you guys and want you to succeed in 2018 … here are 6 keys to help you get to your desired outcome in 2018.

1-Decide what you want and be specific!

Ask yourself; How will I successfully achieve my goals by the end of 2018?

Make a game plan and stick with it.

2-When you decide how 2018 will end, write your goals out plain and simple! Like Habakkuk 2:2 says.

Purchase a vision board at Wal-Mart in the craft section; paste it with pictures of your dreams and put scriptures with the picture cutouts.

So, if you want to lose weight; find a picture of your thinner self and an encouraging scripture.

3-You must look at your vision board every day!

Everything you want or want to achieve for 2018, you must keep it before your eyes!

4-Take inventory of your life!

Weed out negative thoughts going through your mind.

Take inventory of your attitude, people, places and things.

Purge when you find out what needs to exit.  Get rid of negative thoughts, attitudes, people and anything else sucking the life out of you!

5-Take time to make the year great!

Plan. Check yourself. Clean out your life. Keep it moving. Enjoy the journey!

6-Make a decision that you will not live with regret!

Practicing these 6 keys will help you live every day to the fullest, develop a mindset of a champion and be aware of how great life really can be!

ARMOUR UP AND DREAM BIG BECAUSE 2018 IS ALREADY LOOKING AWESOME!

Revelation-Visitation-Habitation

As I recall the life of Esther, I become aware as she engages in relationship, that should we follow her path, we too can end up with the heart of our King.

Young Hadassah, Esther, once found herself isolated, abandoned, and overlooked. But all of that quickly changed for her when she determined herself to flow with the destiny that was now calling to her. This destiny, her destiny, had the capacity to seek her out and draw her into a life with the King who would prove to be a protector, provider, and nourisher.

Her path, our path, to the King begins with revelation.

Revelation is revealed knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Esther understands what the King desires when she puts her trust in the eunuch who knows the King better than anyone else. Like Esther, you and I trust Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into all truth so that we understand how to yield our will to the perfect will and desires of our Father God.

Secondly, Esther’s path to the King’s heart led her into an encounter or visitation.

Visitation is an encounter that has a beginning and an end.

After soaking and preparation for nine months, Esther was summonsed to one night with the King; a divine encounter. You and I too prepare ourselves for time with the King when we soak in worship and give Him unabandoned adoration.

Lastly, Esther finds herself chosen to be Queen and companion to the King; habitation.

Habitation is when relationship is bound as a commitment between two people.

Esther found herself with the heart of the King when all her desire was focused intimately on him. He was now the object of her affection and she was now his. His to love, protect, and provide for. When we focus our attention intimately on Christ our King, our heart fills up to capacity and overflows with Him and Him only. The issues of life fade, distractions fall away, as the audience of One permeates every inch of our heart-soul-and mind.

Esther and her life reveals to us it really is possible to find yourself ignored by the world and yet in the next moment able to capture the heart of the most powerful ruler in the nation. Her life’s story reveals the path to the King’s heart through wisdom (revelation), and encounter (visitation) which produces a dwelling place (habitation).

Esther, a life lived that shows us how understanding leads to one night, that equals a lifetime.

and the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight … Esther 2:17

Thank you Esther,

Paula (gentle hugs from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as the farm)

PS Join me for Paula LIVE on Facebook everyday at 12 Noon Monday-Friday, Wednesday 7pm. It’s Your Spirit-Led Life Now! See ya’ll there!

Such a small gift but BIG love.

A small little gift gave me BIG love!

Round. Yellow. Smiling and with sunglasses on.

There it was just sitting there, smiling back at me.

I knew what was ahead of us. Hungry, hurting and forgotten people. Yet tonight seemed as if tomorrow would never come.

For snuggled up in the pillows on my bed was Smiley. That’s the name I gave my gift. This cute, little, round stuffed smiling pillow would be called Smiley.

Smiley was a gift from my roommate who was sharing her room with me for the night. You see tomorrow we were headed to the mission field to help those who couldn’t help themselves. But for tonight we were both grateful for a clean room, an inviting bed and a warm bath.

As for Smiley, well, he was an expression of love. That’s what I felt when I looked at him; just love.

I held Smiley in my hands and as I brushed his yellow fur back and forth I thought; isn’t it interesting how something so small, child-like, and unexpected could bring such a warm tangible feeling of love? Then I realized the expression of love I felt was actually coming from the one who surprised me with the gift.

The one who was sharing her room with me. The one who was traveling to the mission field with me. The one who was investing her time, energy, and effort in helping me to fulfill my assignment was actually the one who was the giver of love.

And then I thought of how our heavenly Father gifted His son, Jesus, to us that we might know He was thinking of us, that He was delighted to call us family, and that He joyfully awaits our return home. And then I felt really loved!

Sleep came so easily that night as I snuggled up in the deep covers and burrowed my head between the pillows. And just as my last prayer was said, I took one last peek to see if Smiley was still beside me smiling as he always does.

Love somebody today because you are greatly loved,

Paula (smiles from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as the farm)

God so loved the world that He gave … John 3:16

 

Paula is LIVE on Facebook everyday at 4pm Monday-Friday for Your Spirit-Led Life Now!

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Little Prayer Big Results

“Dear God,

Please help me to align with your perfect will so that I might walk out my assignment in the earth today.

In Jesus name I pray, amen.”

That was my prayer as simple as it seems, yet, instantly I felt a rush of strength and positivity like a jolt of morning java hitting my veins.

I’ll admit that the reason for this prayer was because I was tired, a little frustrated, and well, I just wanted to correct someone else’s thinking to be honest.

Little did  I know that God was working on me, not on the other person. See, it’s not really about us fixing anyone else. Is it? It’s really all about letting God align us, our mindset, with His perfect way of seeing our human-ness, our humanity.

As our Abba (Daddy) God, He sees us as His children whom He loves with an unending, unstoppable LOVE. A LOVE so deep that if cannot be exhausted or drained. His LOVE simply has no end and endures forever!

Well, on this particular day, I’ll admit that I needed to line up my attitude with Daddy God’s perfect way of seeing things!

So I decided to ask for help as I said my wee little prayer.

As I asked for help with this day; immediately things became clearer to me as compassion welled up in my heart for the other person. I could instantly see their point of view and understand how hard they were trying to work through their own situations in life.

And then … I started to let go … let go … from the inside out.

As I let go; I immediately noticed that I began to relax. All that irritation that I was just experiencing suddenly slipped from my emotions as my happiness and strength levels returned.

I was amazed; simple amazed. How could such a tiny, itzy-bitzy, wee little prayer have such dramatic results?

It was then that I realized that I had just had a life-altering, learning experience with Daddy God; who was now teaching me right in the situation I was in.

How cool is that? A simple, short, honest prayer that yielded quick, tangible results and just for me.

What a teacher. What a teacher He is.

After this encounter, I felt like I could once again help my friend that was in need of a listening ear, a gentle heart, and genuine smile from me.

My entire demeanor changed as I once again began be there for a friend.

So let me ask you. Will you consider, the next time you run out of patience, or want to change someone else’s way of seeing things, or simple run into a situation that is beyond your control as you are walking out life, will you consider using my little prayer that has such big results?

I give you permission today to use the tiny, wee prayer that He gave to me.

Today as you pray, be amazed as peace, strength, and understanding instantly download into your inner most being and you too once again are able to be walk through the chaos of life with more compassion and patience than you ever have before.

It works. A little prayer with big results.

And now you know,

Paula (from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as ‘the farm’)

that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me; and I in thee …  John 17:21

 

 

 

 

Why am I here? [destiny whispers]

It seems to reason, that humankind has one silk thread in common.

It’s when we inhale one of those deep, cleansing breaths and ponder…

What is this thing called ‘life’ all about? Why in the world I here? What’s the purpose in all of this?

Those were my exact, meditating thoughts that tumbled over and over in my heart as I searched for a restful night’s sleep. (Puzzling enough, those of us who are mindful of God and even those that are not so mindful, all ponder this age-old question.)

As my eyes began to fill with sleep I drifted off and encountered an amazing night vision where my destiny began to whisper and be revealed to me.

As I share with you what I dreamed be encouraged to not dismiss your dreams so quickly because God could just be trying to reveal something to you that’s amazing about your own life.

In my dream I appeared in a vast auditorium, stage left. An associate I immediately recognized greeted me. He took me on a tour of a facility that apparently I was or about to be steward of. We made our way down some steps into an altar area and crossed over to the other side of the stage. There I could see a media command center where a team was working on editing video footage. The cool part was that everyone there knew me by name! Seeing all of this flushed me with excitement and I felt like I was getting a glimpse of and even being propelled into my own future! I felt like DESTINY was letting me see what my future was to look like.

Then, instantly I was alone.

I now found myself in the center of a stage at the bottom of steps looking up. In the center of this stage was a dazzling bright light that shone on a violin. This was no ordinary instrument by any means. It was extravagant! Such craftsmanship. It’s color was so vivid and rich looking. I quickly realized that this violin was suspended in mid-air! Nothing was holding it up. Not knowing what else to do, I reached out to take the violin in my hands while thinking, “Should I try to play the violin?” But before I could reach the violin, I heard a commanding voice say, “You are not the violin. You are but the microphone that magnifies the sound of the violin in the ears of the people and you are to keep your instrument in working order.”

I awoke with ease and an understanding, an impression, that DESTINY was whispering to me. Somehow this little glimpse had revealed to me what I was here for …. a worshipper that releases the loving heart of a heavenly Father to His people.

I pray, as you rest tonight, that you too will have an encounter with your destiny. That you will know why you are here. That you will know what your life’s purpose is and how you will bring Him glory in the earth.

Reading from Waltz with Me,

Paula (from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as ‘the farm’)

I am the vine and you are the branches. Abide in me as I abide in you then you will bring forth fruit but without me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Let your DESTINY rise! You are here for a purpose and a plan. God’s got this ….

 

Forgiven ! [free to be me]

Our paths hadn’t crossed in many years. He said, she said, we said. Abrupt endings, lingering conversations, unanswered questions all lay like china on a table set for a dinner party.

Endings …

An ending of our friendship shrouded in misunderstandings, loss, and hurt.

Would we ever recover? Would we share our life experiences again? Would we be happy for each other ever again? Questions.

Questions that I never wanted to answer to be completely honest with you. And from the feel of things, I couldn’t sense that anyone else was seeking the answers either.

Dormant years passed without expression. Suppressed emotions found themselves packed beneath layers of unforgiveness. Selected forgetfulness some may even say but unforgiveness never the less.

Until the day we met again.

By this time many years had passed and life had taken us both in different directions. But one thing remained …

Our unspoken ending.

Who would be the first to bring “it” up? And by the way, what exactly was the “it“?

Tiptoeing lightly, we both genuinely enjoyed our lunch, the light conversation, and yes, each other’s presence until the years that had been walled off began to overflow their banks.

Like a gentle rain; unfinished conversations, unanswered questions, and perceived misunderstandings began to mist the air that we both were breathing.

I could hear the words that were being spoken to me but that wasn’t the way I remembered our ending. I could hear the words that were being spoken to me but that wasn’t the way I remembered the way I acted or responded oh so long ago.

Or was it?

To truly forgive ourselves and someone else; one must look through someone else’s eyes and see through the lens of their perspective. When we do, it’s easy to realize that there are both real and imagined misconceptions; hurts. This day I realized that misconceptions can cloud our vision and make it murky and hard to clearly discern and see the truth.

At first when we talked, I wanted to defend my point of view and how I perceived the death of our friendship. The death that had happened so very many years ago.

As I looked through the windows of my distant friend’s soul, I saw what my friend was seeing. I heard the words my friend heard. I saw the actions my friend saw oh so long ago and I wept.

Had I been so wrong? Had I acted so unkindly? Had I spoken those words so harshly?

From my trembling lips came the words, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”

Gently, I felt warm hands on my face and I heard these words, “It’s all okay because I love you. Sister.”

And I felt oh so FREE! And she felt oh so FREE! And we felt oh so FREE!

Forgiveness is liberating and brings so much freedom with it that you want to jump for joy!

Question: Are there unspoken words between you and friends that are waiting to be said? Will you be the first to say them? Will you be the first to ask for forgiveness and give forgiveness?

I promise, JOY is waiting on you when you do.

Lord you are good and ready to forgive and plenteous in mercy – Psalm 86:5

Forgiven feels so good,

Happy Paula (from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as ‘the farm’)

Sweet Dessert for the Soul / June 17, 2016 / (c) Paula Douglas

http://www.pauladouglas.org / pdm@pauladouglas.org

 

 

You got this!

“Knock it out of the park!” [He said].

Didn’t he know how tired I was? Was he aware that I had been burning the candle at both ends for weeks now? Did he know that I had a pain buried deep within my chest that throbbed like a toothache after eating ice cream?

Obviously not. But those were the words that spewed from his mouth as I pushed my tired body off of my chair. I hoped that I could stand and give a somewhat coherent talk. A talk that would somehow encourage and motivate others to not give in, give up, or give out in this ‘fight’ called life.

Somewhere between his words and the push, everything changed.

I remember reading a story in Our Daily Bread that cited a recent study of 200k employees. According to Our Daily Bread, these employees were interviewed and asked, “What is the missing ingredient that can make them more productive?” To my amazement their answer was simplistic and directly to the point. These employees simply wanted to be appreciated and given affirmation from their superiors! This research concluded that receiving affirmation is a part of our human basic need.

I acknowledge he is my superior …

I acknowledge I was in need …

And at the time, I didn’t know what I needed but I knew I needed something!

And then those unplanned words rolled out of his mouth and off of his lips. His words that stopped me in mid-air, like I was suspended, hanging between reality and unconsciousness.

“Knock it out of the park!” he said to me. “Knock it out of the park!”

For a split second I turned and looked at him in utter amazement. Never before had I ever heard those words of affirmation spoken by him to me.

I melted and became empowered all at the same time! And I LOVED it!

With one simple statement and in a hair of a moment I was energized, felt loved, and knew that I had the confidence of someone I hold so dearly.

Needless to say, it was a FANTASTIC night all around!

Instantly, because of his words, my tiredness was … gone, just gone.

Gone … was the wonder if I could do this.

Gone … was the need to be affirmed by the one that I hold so dearly.

Like a volt of electricity the audience became energized and encouraged, the host was thrilled with how the event turned out, and now I was recharged, revived, and renewed!

And it was all because of those simple words, “Knock it out of the park! Knock it out of the park!”

So the research proved to be right.

As part of our basic human need, what will make us productive in any area of our lives, is to feel appreciated and receive some kind of acknowledgement that we are capable, and yes, that someone noticed!

So Dad, thank you for the words of encouragement that caused your girl to “Knock it out of the park!” one more time. Your words give me life and make me want to do better, help others more, and enjoy every moment we have been given!

Still in the game,

Paula (from the lil’acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as ‘the farm’)

Encourage yourselves and build up one another ~ I Thessalonians 4:11

 

The Art of Living & Loving

Remember these familiar words?

Faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (LOVE).

cofettiballoons1Strong words from I Corinthians 13 the so-called LOVE chapter of the Bible. I call it my goal chapter!

It starts by saying – I can speak with the tongues of men and of angels but if I don’t have LOVE I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Now I don’t know anyone who wants to sound irritating like that; do you?

It continues by saying – I can have the gift of prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and have all faith so that I can remove mountains but don’t have LOVE, I am nothing. I don’t know anyone who wants to equal a zero; do you?

It clarifies the ability to give of one’s self by saying – I can give all my goods to the poor, give my body as a martyr and don’t have LOVE, it still profits me nothing. I don’t know anyone who wants to put in that kind of effort and get nothing in return; do you?

The Art of Living & Loving

This concept of the ‘Art of Living’ implies that there must be a flow on our life’s path or journey as we travel to our intended destination of home. Home … that place in our Father God’s heart; the place where we originated.

Being Spirit-led in this ‘journey home’ should be and can be the passionate desire of every believer’s heart or else we take a chance of becoming self-led which can take us into some places we never intended to go let alone stay there!

Our Spirit-led heart wants to go ‘home’. Back to the place of the warmth of the Father’s embrace. Yet, He asks us to LOVE in this pilgrimage that we are on, until we see Him face-to-face once again.

So now the concept of LOVING as we LIVE comes into view!

The Father’s expectation of our expression of life is that we illustrate the canvas of our life with the colors of His LOVE.

And what does the color of real LOVE look like?

  • It looks like our FAITH that believes Daddy God is aware of every aspect of our life!
  • It looks like our HOPE in our creator God alone as the answer to all things in our life!
  •  The color of love KNOWS that His LOVE is all consuming and limitless with possibilities towards us and the life that we are now living because of His son Jesus Christ!

So today I am challenged, as I engage in life… to put on LOVE!

I am going to put on LOVE like a coat; a garment to be worn.

The coat of the LOVE of the Christ, covers all of my inability to love, to understand, to be patient and kind. This coat is called Jesus. The one who understands all the things that you and I  go through in life! Yet His life was lived with us in mind, knowing that today you and I would rely on Him and His ability to overcome this troubled world with all of its problems and difficulties.

This coat of LOVE is a warm coat. A coat like the arms of a mother as she embraces her child and kisses away the pain. Warm like the glance of approval from a dad who is pleased to call you his child. Just warm like the sun shining on your face through the window on a cloudless day. Just warm.

So now you know.

You know my goal in life is to embrace and be wrapped in LOVE. The LOVE of the Christ.

I want to LOVE more. I desire to LIVE more. I am going to BE more. More like Him.

Will you come with me on this journey of perfect LOVE?

Will you enjoy the warm embrace as you flow with your creator and let Him orchestrate this thing called life?

If your answer is yes, then you have just joined me in the ‘Art of Loving’!

Wrapped in His warm LOVE,

Paula (from my lil’ acre, with Miss Kitty, lovingly known as ‘The Farm’)

Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Connect with me on Facebook at pauladouglasministries, on the web at pauladouglas.org, on Instagram / Periscope / Twitter at pauladouglas518

Paula is available to speak at your next event-Office 843-558-1592.

 

His love satisfies {more please}

I had a friend who was in the middle of a pretty intense transaction. A transaction that would change her life for the better and in reality would profit me a little too. Her situation would change, and that would make her “really happy” and because I was there for her, I would benefit by “being a trusted friend.”

I actually thought the entire set of circumstances were about her and what she was going through.

Little did I know how aware of the situation God truly was and how His thoughts about everything were so different from mine.

I say different because I found out He was watching how I behaved and the motive of my heart as I prayed for and encouraged my friend along life’s journey.

He was listening. He was watching. Me.

Me. He was examining my heart as I helped a friend in need.

Upon waking one morning … I heard so clearly … God speaking to me …. about me ….

I thought God would be downloading me with the solution for my friend, right?

Nope. Instead He whispered, “I didn’t do what you expected but I sure am going to bless you!”  And then He let me know when to expect the blessing.

With His whisper came unexplainable excitement and anticipation! Joy overwhelmed me as I began to weep.

Weeping because as I had laid down my life to pray and seek God for someone else, He saw and fulfilled my need before I even ever asked.

Now that’s love.

Pooh Bear got it right when he told Piglet, “Love is not spelled, it’s felt.”

I felt God’s love in a tangible way that day. Love that surrounded me like a warm blanket on a winter’s day. Love like a mother’s embrace that can make all the hurts of life go away. His love that would fulfill my need while I was seeking Him to help someone else. Now that’s unconditional love.

Just like He promised to me on that day, He delivered! My blessing came and brought with it great delight because I knew that God really did care about me.

I want to encourage you today as you selflessly go the extra mile for others, put in extra time on the job, and stand with your family, know that God is watching and waiting for an opportunity to bless you beyond your wildest dreams. He is the God of more than enough and He cares for you!

So in this season of love’s expression, stop and wait for His warm embrace.

He’s your healer, your savior, your strength and provision. Trust that He is watching and listening and that He cares.

Like mine, your blessing of love is on the way,

Paula (from the lil’ acre, with the critter, lovingly known as ‘the farm’)

before they call, I will answer and while they are yet speaking, I will hear Isaiah 65:24

Sweet Dessert for the Soul / Paula Douglas (c) / January 16, 2016 / pauladouglas.org