You Can Have Victory Over Envy

I just noticed that last week's message was on comparison and this week is envy. Must be that time of year! I hope you enjoy today's message and it helps you in some way! Shout out to my friend Tammy Weisweaver (pictured here at the conference yesterday), and here's her barre studio if you want to check it out! (For all you out of towners - she's got online classes too!) B Present.

If you haven't checked it out, go to a class at her studio and see how she shines. Walk through your envy and defeat the lie of the enemy!

Here are a few resources that I mentioned plus 2 songs

"True Confidence has no room for jealousy and envy. When you know you are great, you have no reason to hate." - Unknown

"With envy out of the way you'll have more rom for your own greatness." - Danielle LaPorte #truthbomb

Your verses are:

James 3:16 AMP

"For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition) there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices."

Hebrews 10:19-25 AMP

A Call to Persevere in Faith

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

For some reason this is the song that kept playing in my head when Tammy talked about how we're made to fly and the second one is one I've never heard. What AN AWESOME SONG!!



Comparison 2.0: To Moms, Young People & 2016 Graduates

The One Key to Overcoming Comparison

It doesn’t matter what stage of life you are in friends - college student, 20 something, 30 something, working mom, stay at home mom, single mom, grandmother - it doesn’t matter. We are all confronted with this comparison thing. The difference is in what we do with it. Are you going to sit in it and have a pity party? Or are you going to recognize it's the enemy playing a trick on you, trying to divert you from your focus?

Will you choose to focus on God's plan for someone else that has nothing to do with His plan for you? Or will you focus on Him and let Him show you His beautiful plan for your life...that one that's already unfolding?

Here's the deeper part from the message I heard at church on Sunday: The roots of comparison we have go back to when we were kids. Whatever we thought was our disadvantage, is the barometer we used to compare our walk to someone else's. I know I had two, and every time I get insecure today somehow it relates back to how I felt with these two - struggle with weight and being a child of divorce. I am NO longer a victim of either of those, no matter what the circumstance. But let me tell you, my insecurity about them kept me lost and addicted for a long time. As Pastor Bob said, he kept that comparison and resentment in his heart for over 20 years. I get that. I was brought not only back to childhood but back to my first day at Notre Dame when the only thing that repeated in my head was "I'm the only one overweight." "I'm the only one with divorced parents." Wrong. It's no wonder I dove into the drink believing that.

Believe who GOD says you are. This is especially for you graduates. There will be many opportunities to compare yourself to others in many areas I won't even get into. If it shakes you, don't let it break you. Get away and figure out who God says you are by getting in the Word or downloading the Bible App. He will show you who you are to Him. You will get all the advice in the world to follow your dreams and create a perfect life. It is good to have dreams. But it is better to have something to fall back on when they don't work out. Oh and it's not a bad thing if they don't because failures are what make you a success. Failures, contrary to popular belief, are the greatest lessons. You know the road will get tough so just remember when you are comparing. Wait a minute and remember this: I can seek the only one who truly knows me. The sooner you get that the world will always give you reasons to compare and tell you that you aren't enough - the sooner you can find the one who will always tell you the opposite. Just know that NO one has it all figured out. No one is beating you in the race of life. God's got you EXACTLY where you are supposed to be and he is walking with you if you let yourself notice Him. So as soon as you say, "Well I don't have that," think of all the things you DO have. Think of the fact that God designed you JUST as you are for a specific purpose and no one can take that away from you. 

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

This image is courtesy of Elephant Adventure and my friend Margaret Sheyka Stough who posted it on my page.

Here are the resources I mentioned below that can help you work through this a little bit more.....

2) A great article called "Find Contentment by Killing Comparisons", by Anne Peterson from Christianity Today speaks to that comparison game we play on Facebook.

3) Another great article called, "The Life and Death of the Proverbs 31 Woman" by John Greco from In Touch Ministries.

4) Verses

Romans 12:2 says it best. I like the NLT,

"Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

John 16:33 NIV

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Hebrews 12:2 NIV

"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

And a song that may not help you now but maybe one day. Heard it last week and it was just perfect.

 Bonus song:







The Willingness to Let Go of Our Weakness

Here is your message via audio this week! 

Additional Resources Mentioned...

Here's where you can go to find Steven Furtick's book and watch some of his messages. The Book is called "Unqualified."

Here is Joyce Meyer's message, "No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper." It's actually the second part of 2 and I highly recommend watching the other one as well. 

Verse of the Day from the Bible App:

"When I said, "My foot is slipping, your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:18-19

Other verses from the message:

Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

And one more thing - 2 bonus songs. The first is speaking to me this week with this message and the second is a website that plays a song a friend sent to me and said, "How Healthy Voice is this?!" So take a watch or listen.

The second is an artist named Eric Peters. His song is called "Farthest Shore" and you can listen to it, learn more about him on his website.

He's got a beautiful voice and I love what it says right on the front of his website, "Eric has a soft spot for folks who, like him, struggle with anxiety, depression and are in recovery." 

Okay that should be enough to keep you busy!! Have a good week all!





Why You Don't Belong in a Box. You Belong to God.

Earlier this week I posted something on Facebook about boxes, what they are in our life and how it's okay if we don't fit into one. That's what I'm talking about in today's video. What I want to connect it to is honesty. 

I have been hearing messages all week about being honest. I try to live my life as open and honest as I can. But I'm human, so of course I'll find stuff that I'm not being honest about and call myself out on it - whether it's holding onto old pain I'm scared to share, or it's something small in my everyday life today. Either way, being honest and facing our stuff - big or small, is not easy. I think it's difficult because it cuts right to our deepest gut level pain - I mean the stuff that goes way deep, or way back. We keep much of it inside because we're afraid of rejection if we ARE honest in the crazy, tough world. And forget it if we do share and we get rejected, then we just want to craw in a hole - or a box, and hide. But, it's so much better to get it out, which is what I hope today's message and my honesty will help you get to.

This week in her videos, Joyce Meyer talks about the sexual abuse she suffered as a kid. It's ugly stuff. It's almost tough to watch. But it's necessary. It's necessary for her to heal and for God to work THROUGH her so others can heal from their pain too. It is very powerful stuff. It's not for everyone, and not for every venue, but it is - for those who are willing to be honest with themselves. (If you are willing, you can watch the series from this week here on her website. I have her app which is great too. "One Life: Part 1 and 2" are the ones you want to watch.

If you think right now about those things you may not be honest about, maybe there are obvious. Maybe they are so deep, you haven't faced them in years. But you've got to get them out because they make us hide our light thinking we're protecting ourselves from the darkness when we're actually keeping ourselves in the darkness (of our box.) 

If you keep it inside you, self-defeat is waiting in the wings. But you don't have to do that. #1  We have a God who loves us and wants to heal us. #2 He wants us to help each other. Read the verse below. 

Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
— James 5:16 AMP

We have created boxes in our lives. Somehow others seem to have the prettier ones, the ones that fit better in this world (or so we think) and we wonder why ours don't match. But the truth is we were never meant to fit into their boxes or into our own box we've created for ourselves.

We don't belong in a box. We belong to God. Drop your box. Drop your idea of the boxes everyone else has, or thinking you have to fit into what someone else thinks is right for your life and just be you. Let God make you who he wants you to be. 

Here's an image you can download to remind you.

Also, reflect on this music video. Love this artist and song, but heard it at about 8am coming out of a workout class yesterday morning and it just got me. Maybe it will help you process where you are at.




How to See Music and Nature as Gifts from God

Here's your message for today!

Your Value Does Not Lie in Your Weight: Your Weekly HV Message

Hey guys! Posted this video yesterday and the image is late but I think some of you might have missed it if you subscribe to my blog. Enjoy and share!!

It's Time to Readjust Your Course and Trust God's Plan

It's Holy Week and the story says that Holy Wednesday is the day that Judas betrayed Jesus. In the Bible it's simply a paragraph, but there is so much more to this story for us to learn. It applies to our lives more than we know and I'm only going to skim the surface here. So if you have time today, go a little deeper if you can and find where you fit in God's story with this.

I found this article in researching this topic, "You're Probably More Like Judas Than You Think", by Ed Cyzewski and Derek Cooper from Christianity Today on March 26, 2013. Read it if you can find the time. I love the subtitle, "We all want a Messiah whose plans mirror our own. But a true disciple surrenders the Master's will," and this line that gives us the choice, "We essentially have two options when God does not follow our plan for life: going our own way or readjusting our course." How hard is that to swallow. We expect God to follow OUR plan for life. But when it doesn't go as we plan, it's up to us to adjust our sails.

How often have you been a Judas? "Yeah no God I'm not doing that. I got this. This is going to work out better for me." But how much do we know that what we think is better is more about our comfort than a real sacrifice? How much do we know that living for Christ isn't about getting what we want when we want it, but living for God and letting him guide our life? If you trust God, you know your plans haven't worked out according to plan. You also know that when they don't, God works it out for His good.

What's funny is how surprised we are when they don't workout. Are you one of those people who take this as an opportunity to compare your life to someone else's? I know that's where my Unhealthy Voice can go! I can look at people who've had everything go according to some sort of set plan and go, "Why can't it be that way for me?" But you know what? I have to stop myself. I've got to talk it out. My husband helps remind me how blessed we are to not have it all go according to plan, because it's reminds us whose got a better plan. The things we've been through make us trust God with everything we've got because we've got nothing else. All the things that someone else may see in my life as not working out - have been beautiful broken vessels for God to let His light shine through our lives. "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us." 2 Corinthians 4:7

My stepdaughter is getting ready to go to college and got into most of the ones she applied to except for the one she really wanted. But you know what? It's her faith and resolve that keeps her grounded because she knows that God's plan is better - and she readjusts her course. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, but her challenges in life have given her the chance to trust God's plan and adjust. Wherever she ends up I know it's God's plan. 

I think of "my" plans and how funny God can work things out.  I remember the season before we got married, right after my Dad died. I was trying to get Healthy Voice all figured out, lined up and organized so it could just thrive after I got married. Really? God had a sense of humor because how did he do it? He had my stepkids move in with us 100% of the time one month after our wedding date. We could certainly laugh about it - well talk about this not being the first year honeymoon! But we could also realize that God was going to use us to be present to them, and maybe be present to a couple who goes through something similar someday. God is always working things out for our good when we trust Him. It says so in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

But we gotta trust Him. If I wasn't trusting Him when they moved in, I could have had a year long temper tantrum. But I didn't. Of course it was hard, DUH! But building a marriage while raising kids - that was God's plan for that season. The same thing goes for us having kids. Do I want them? Of course! Finally, there is time to consider it, but you know what? It hasn't happened on MY time. So guess what - I have to trust GOD's time. Do I get frustrated? Of course! But again - the more I trust God, the more willing I become to follow whatever his plan is for my life. The more things haven't gone according to my plan, the more I've learned to trust God. 

We have ALL had those moments where we want our plan to work. We're like the toddler at the end of the grocery aisle crying, "I want this!" But God stands there, and lets us finish...and then He still loves us more than we could ever imagine. I mean - how cool is that? I thank God my old vision with Healthy Voice didn't workout because it would have been on my own will. I thank God I got overwhelmed and God brought circumstances that diverted me, because who knows where I'd be - probably all in my ego - a place I don't want to be. Today, as I have found the willingness to bring my vision for Healthy Voice back into focus it's so much more driven by God, because I want to serve God and no one else. So I don't have the same stress - cause it's not all me. I KNOW God is going to work it out exactly how he wants it.

I guess I tell you all this because I know I can be a real Judas. I can easily protest God's plan but every time I do - God reminds me that He's got a good one. I just have to TRUST HIM and I do.

But you know what? THAT is the beauty of Easter. God forgives us because he loves us. He's not looking for us to perform. He's looking for us to RECEIVE the great love He showed us by dying on the cross. I think back to all those things I was carrying around before I came to the cross and I remember just how overwhelmed I was, because I JUST couldn't forgive myself and then - there was God who just said, "Meredith - all of it. I forgive ALL of it." Even today, when I go through times or things that I've got to come to the cross on, I know that God will forgive. But it's up to me to go to Him for forgiveness - not a fix. Jesus isn't in the fixing business. He's in the healing hearts business and that's where I want to be, because that's what he's done and still doing for me.

A passage for you from Paul's words, Galatians 6:14-18 NLT,

"As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.

From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." reflection. I've had this song set up to play today since I heard it last week. I believe the lyrics are empowering and a great match for this message....I hope you'll listen.