About encourager1963

Tracey L. Moore (a.k.a. The Purposeful Poet) wants to take you down a spiritually poetic trail and challenge you to be your best for Christ. God taught her lessons and spoke to her through poems that were catalysts for her own spiritual and emotional transformation, and now she seeks to take her readers on a journey into wholeness. Her spiritual insights based on the Word of God inspire personal growth and transformation, prompt readers to look within themselves and to take inventory and the mental and spiritual steps needed to move towards more abundant living. After writing poetry and keeping personal journals for many years, Tracey has honed her craft and now her life purpose is to help others come to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to facilitate their wholeness through rhyme and spiritually inspiring, encouraging words that that heal. She holds a M.A. Degree in Christian Counseling from Oral Roberts University, and currently resides with her family in Norfolk, Virginia. Learn more about Tracey at www.TraceyLMoore.com

THE TOP TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF UNRIGHTEOUS ANGER

Angry woman with fists

Today I want to talk about the emotion of anger. We all get angry sometimes. Anger is an emotion created by God, and actually, there are two types of anger: righteous anger and unrighteous anger. Jesus displayed righteous anger, turning over tables when He saw people had turned His Father’s house into “a den of thieves” (Matthew 12:13). However, the Bible says to be angry and sin not. When we get angry and then allow that emotion to make us act in ways contrary to God’s Word, we end up displaying unrighteous anger.

Righteous anger can quickly turn into unrighteous anger if we are not careful.  How do we know if we have slipped from righteous anger into unrighteous anger that totally displeases God? I’m glad you asked! Here are the top ten characteristics of unrighteous anger:

  1. Anger about something that is not a direct violation of God’s Word, or a preference that you have set up as a law.
  2. A superior attitude that forgets its own imperfections and weaknesses, and looks down on others because of their flaws.
  3. Withdrawal from the person without any thought given as to how you can help the person grow and become better.
  4. A condemning attitude with the thought that this person can never be any better and fails to see that he or she is a work in progress just as you are.
  5. A failure to pray for the person to be enlightened and have a change of heart about their sin and for the Holy Spirit to help them change their ways.
  6. A failure to examine yourself to see if you have committed the very sin you are angry about when you see it in others.
  7. Talking about the person to others with absolutely no intention of gently confronting them and helping them to grow.
  8. A failure to give thought to what is possibly fueling the behavior or to see the person through Jesus’ eyes.
  9. Holding on to anger about the person’s sin for long periods of time, far more than a day, and letting it taint your behavior towards the person.
  10. Lashing out at a person in anger with un-Christlike behaviors and attitudes.

Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” I think that Paul is encouraging us to make sure that when we see sinful behavior in others, we don’t allow ourselves to be tripped up by sin ourselves, especially the sin of unrighteous anger. You cannot be steeped in unrighteous anger and be a restorer. Therefore, anger should be like a flare, which is defined as “a sudden brief burst of bright flame or light.” Likewise, our anger should “burn out” quickly because only then can the Holy Spirit use us to make a difference.

Which one of the top ten characteristics above do you fight against the most? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

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PATIENCE IS YOUR FRIEND

Patience street sign

Have you been waiting on God for something? Waiting for what we want and need is hard sometimes. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” One of the best anecdotes for heartsickness is to develop the fruit of the Spirit of patience.

What Is Patience, and Why Do We Need It?
Patience is the ability to stay peaceful on the inside and wait for what you want and need without agitation, even when things are not going as you had hoped on the outside. We don’t like to talk about patience because we don’t like to wait. We want what we want when we want it. But patience is our friend. Patience keeps us peaceful. Patience gives us the ability to endure hardship like a good soldier. It’s through faith AND patience we inherit the promises. Patience breathes life into our faith by allowing hope to remain intact for the long haul.

Examples of Patience
There are many examples in the Bible where the saints had to wait many years for God to bring their hopes and dreams to pass:

  1. The Israelites were in bondage hundreds of years before God delivered them.
  2. Joseph was in prison 12 years before he went to the palace.
  3. Jesus Himself had to wait 30 years before He started His ministry.
  4. The woman with the issue of blood waited 12 years to get her miracle.
  5. Abraham waited 23 years to get his son of promise, Isaac.

Time after time, we see that God’s people had to wait on Him for many years before they received what they hoped for. I’m not saying you will have to necessarily wait as long as they did. But what makes us think we won’t have to wait? Why do we give up on our dreams so easily?

Adjusting Our Expectations is a Must
When we study our Father’s ways, we will be much better able to hang on to our faith for longer periods of time because we know how He operates.  For example, we know He’s an “eleventh hour” kind of God. He’s usually not early, but He is NEVER late. So why do we get so impatient expecting Him to show up early on?  We know what we should expect from God based on His impeccable track record, but for some reason, we keep expecting Him to be different. Knowledge of God and how He operates will help you to maintain your peace and patience in times of difficulty. The key lies in knowing that what you are going through will not last forever because everything is subject to change but the Word of God.

Therefore, be encouraged. Be a hope addict and let patience fuel your faith for the long haul. Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” God said, “Wait on the Lord” twice. That’s important because patience will result in your heart being strengthened. Lack of patience, which eventually leads to full-blown hopelessness, will make your heart sick. Which will you choose?

How has patience proved to be a positive thing in your life? Please leave your comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

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HOW TO GET YOUR DESIRES FULFILLED

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All of us have desires, or longings that we are waiting for God to fulfill. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This promise, just as every other promise of God in the Word, is CONDITIONAL. If we want the desires of our heart to be fulfilled, we have to delight ourselves in the Lord.

Let’s break that down. What does delight mean? The definition of delight is to be happy because of, or to enjoy something very much. The Apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”  The definition of rejoice is to feel joy or great delight. To rejoice in the Lord, is to delight in him. Therefore, delighting in the Lord apparently is super important because Paul felt that it was necessary to repeat it.

So as you can see, if you want the desires of your heart to be fulfilled, you must delight in the Lord. What does that look like? How do you know if you are delighting in the Lord? Here are ten questions you can ask yourself to make that determination:

  1. Is He first in your thoughts when you wake up?
  2. Do you enjoy spending time alone in His presence?
  3. Do your hunger for the Word?
  4. Do you attend church regularly?
  5. Is Christian/Gospel music your first choice when you turn on the radio?
  6. Do you keep His commandments?
  7. Do you hang around people who love Him and love to talk about Him?
  8. Do you have a burning desire to tell others about Him?
  9. You are a tither who wants to honor God with your giving?
  10. When you think about what He’s done for you, do you get overwhelmed with gratitude?

If you delight yourself in the Lord, He WILL give you the desires of your heart! That is a promise. But what does that mean? First, He puts the desire in you for the things He wants you to have. God through His Holy Spirit is able to influence your desires and change them over time. Second, He will give you the things you desire. You see, He has no problem giving you things you desire when you delight yourself in Him because He is fully confident that you will not make idols out of those things.

Child of God, as you delight yourself in Him, you think like He thinks, and your will eventually will line up with His will, which is His Word. When that happens, you know you will receive what you ask for because according to I John 5:14-15, if you ask anything according to His will, He hears you, and if He hears you, you know you have the petitions that you ask of Him. Therefore, if you are delighting yourself in the Lord and have a desire that is yet to be fulfilled, hang on to your faith. Rest assured that He put the desire there because He wants to fulfill it.

What are your thoughts about delighting in the Lord? Please leave your comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Photo courtesy of Diana Simumpande (unsplash.com)

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Patience street sign

You’ve heard the old adage, “Patience is a virtue.” However, many of us struggle with God’s seemingly slow timetable when it comes to doing things in our lives and the lives of others. As you well know, God is not in a rush to do most things. Sometimes He will act suddenly, but usually after a long wait time. He is more like a crockpot than a microwave oven when it comes to cooking up things in our lives. The reason is that God is the most patient person in the universe.

I John 4:8 says, “God is love.” I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” Therefore, it follows that we must conclude and accept that God is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. He is patient with you.”

The definition of patience is “the ability to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” That’s exactly how God wants us to be. He says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Perfect means mature, and God expects us to mature and progress as we continue on our spiritual journey by developing patience in the following areas:

Be patient in waiting on Him. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” God is omniscient and omnipotent, and He knows what is best for you. As you wait on him, let that truth empower you to remain content and anxiety free in your circumstances until your change comes.

Be patient with other people. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble, gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” When we are patient with others, we are showing love. Again, love is patient, and you have the ability to be patient because of the fruit of the Spirit that lies within you as a believer. Also, it helps when you remember if you are able to do something better or faster than someone else, it’s only by the grace of God.

Be patient with yourself.  Matthew 22:39 says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Since love is patient, you love yourself by being patient with yourself. When you condemn yourself for your failures or for not being where you think you should be in life, you are not being patient or loving towards you. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God is patient with you, and He wants you to be patient with yourself.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Patience is better than pride.” That says that impatience is a form of pride. Patience is a form of humility. Impatience is a form of idolatry. Pride says, ” I know better than God what the timing should be or where I should be on my journey.” Pride looks at others and thinks, “Why can’t you be as far along as I am?” or “Why are you struggling with that? What’s taking you so long?” Pride says, “I am responsible for making my own way, and I will make myself pay for my own sins and short-comings through self-condemnation.” Therefore, let’s be determined to defer to the timing of God, be patient with others when we have gained mastery in areas that they have not, and be patient with ourselves when we fail to live up to our own standards.

How is God teaching you about patience at this time in your life? Please leave your comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Photo courtesy of Tom Pickering via http://www.freeimages.com

CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Anthony_Bourdain

Last week, we were informed of the tragic suicidal death of Anthony Bourdain, world renown chef, author, storyteller, and star of CNN’s popular show, Parts Unknown. Apparently, Mr. Bourdain was struggling in his emotional life behind closed doors, although he looked as though he had everything to live for. He had fame and fortune, and traveled all over the world, taking one excursion after another. He appeared to be at the top of his game, but in private, he battled the demonic and was not able to overcome the sadness and hopelessness that had overtaken his soul.  This is such a tremendous loss, and I am so sorry this happened. When I heard the news, I was completely stunned.

I have no idea what Tony Bourdain’s spiritual state was when he chose to leave this world on his own terms. I am not judging him in any way because I Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” I pray that he knew the Lord as his personal Savior. However, after pondering this sad situation, I came to the following conclusions:

  1. It’s important to share the Gospel with people, even if they look like they don’t need it or want it. Jesus said the Pharisees were like whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27). Just because someone looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean that is a reflection of what is going on inside them. There is a popular song called People Need the Lord, and that is so true in today’s world. Regardless of what a person looks like externally, he or she is in desperate need of the Lord.
  2. We need to have an attitude of urgency. People are dying without Christ every day and being doomed to spend an eternity apart from our heavenly Father. We have to put aside our own agendas and pursue God’s agenda: winning souls. If we urgently share the Good News with others, perhaps we might be able to help those who are in the same desperate situation that Mr. Bourdain was and head off disaster. Our sense of urgency could end up changing the course of someone’s life.
  3. We must be as bold and relentless in sharing the Gospel as Satan is in spreading his deception and lies. The enemy is on the attack. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus said He came so that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). The enemy is bold in his attempt to destroy lives, and he boldly injects his lies into our minds as often as possible. He also is very persistent and does not give up easily. Therefore, if we are to win people to Christ and snatch them out of the kingdom of darkness, as believers, we must wage a fierce counterattack that is equally as bold and relentless.

In closing, I urge you to reflect on how you can step up your game in sharing the Good News. Who in your sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus? Who looks like they have it all together, but in reality, they are suffering in silence? Who is the Holy Spirit telling you to talk to, but you have turned a deaf ear to the still small voice? Is fear is keeping you from sharing the Gospel? If so, I encourage you to pray the following prayer I found on the Internet (http://voice-wilderness.org/questions-about-god/how-to-overcome-the-fear-of-man):

“God, if you will take the fear of man away from me, I will never miss an opportunity to speak for you. Wherever I am, if I feel your elbow in my ribs, I’ll say whatever you want me to say, to whomever you want me to say it.” Amen.

Therefore, let’s follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, die to self, overcome our fears, share the Gospel with abandon, and take as many people to heaven with us as possible.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

 

What is your strategy for getting better at sharing the Gospel with those who desperately need to hear it? Please leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of http://www.freeimages.com

A PROPER PERSPECTIVE ON WEAKNESSES

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Today, I want to talk to you about weaknesses. Yes, weaknesses. We all have them, and we don’t like to talk about them. The enemy continuously tries to heap guilt and condemnation on us because of our imperfections. Therefore, how you view your weaknesses can make all the difference in the world. In fact, if you don’t have the proper perspective, your mental health is destined to be adversely affected.

God Himself purposely built strengths and weaknesses into each of us when He fashioned us in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That means He knew what imperfections you would possess before you ever showed up on planet earth. The question is why did God “equip” you with weaknesses? Believe it or not, weaknesses serve several good purposes:

  1. They differentiate us from the Creator. God’s perfect, we’re not. This is a simple but profound truth in that if we were perfect, we would be God. Therefore, our weaknesses force to recognize that God is on a different and higher level. Matthew 23:8 says, “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” Therefore, we must reverence Him for Who He is, the Almighty Creator of the Universe.
  2. They equalize us as human beings. Regardless of what strengths you may have, how beautiful your exterior, or what your socioeconomic status may be, the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Our heavenly Father built in weaknesses so that we would not get a haughty spirit and think that we are better than others. Everyone has strengths, and everyone has weaknesses. That truth keeps us grounded and helps us to fight pride, condemnation, and inferiority the devil attempts to heap upon us.
  3. They keep us dependent on God. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul asked God to take away the thorn in His flesh three times, but God refused and said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” He forced the apostle to depend on Him, and our weaknesses serve the same purpose in our lives. God built in weaknesses so that we won’t become self-sufficient.  They are a necessary part of our existence that keeps us divinely connected to the Father.
  4. They force us to depend on each other. Because of our weaknesses, the Body of Christ is unified. Our weaknesses compel us to be an interconnected group of people who need each other. I Corinthians 12:21 says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” Therefore, God allowed each of us to have weaknesses so that we can depend on each other to get the help we need and provide access to spiritual gifts we lack.

So, you see?  Weaknesses aren’t so bad after all. They are nothing to be ashamed of, and we can freely admit that we have them. The enemy is the one who wants to shame us over our weaknesses, but God is merciful and will never reject us because of them. In His wisdom, He lovingly built “flaws” into us for an express purpose. Therefore, we need to embrace the righteousness Jesus died to give us and remember that we are accepted at all times by God in spite of the weaknesses He has “blessed” us to have.

What is your view on weaknesses and how have you come to terms with your own? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

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POSSESSING YOUR PROMISED LAND

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All of us have a “Promised Land” that we are striving to reach. Surely we yearn to get to the eternal Promised Land called Heaven. However, each of us has a unique and personal Promised Land that God wants us to possess on this side of glory.

In the Bible, Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun were only two of twelve spies who inherited land in Canaan. Numbers 14:24 says, “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (italics mine). Therefore, if we want to inherit our Promised Land, we must have “different spirit” as well. A different spirit will cause you to stand out from others and put you in position to be blessed. What does that entail? What are the characteristics that Caleb had which set him apart from the other spies?

  1. He agreed with God. The Lord said to Moses, in Numbers 13:2, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” God had promised He would give the land to the Israelites, but they did not believe Him. Caleb said in Numbers 13:30, “We should go up and take possession of the land.” Therefore, Caleb was in agreement with God. If you want to possess your Promised Land, you and God must be in agreement about what He says is yours in the future.
  2. He had a positive attitude. In Numbers 13:30, Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Now, that’s a positive attitude! Those with a “different spirit” have to be positive in spite of negative circumstances. They walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). They have to have a “can-do” attitude that refuses to be denied.
  3. He was fearless. Caleb said in Numbers 14:9, “And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” He had no fear. Why? Because he knew as long as the Lord was with them, they had nothing to fear. He had placed His confidence in Almighty God and was willing to take a risk.
  4. He followed the Lord wholeheartedly. The definition of wholeheartedly is having complete sincerity and commitment. In other words, Caleb was “all in.” He did not waiver in his commitment to God, and He was willing to follow the Lord’s directions no matter what (Numbers 14:24) and thereby was able to possess his Promised Land. Remember, if you fail to wholeheartedly follow God’s instructions you, too, will run the risk of wandering in your own wilderness for years just as the Israelites did.

Do you want to possess your Promised Land? Then you too must have a different spirit. That means that you must be determined to be positive in spite of what you see in the natural. Furthermore, you must get in agreement with God’s Word, have faith, and speak the Word of out of your mouth regularly. Finally, a different spirit will require you to be fearless, follow God with your whole heart and refuse to be double-minded. Make up your mind to follow the Lord wherever He leads without question, knowing that only those with a different spirit will possess the land. Are you one of them?

 

How do you see having “different spirit” helping you to possess your Promised Land? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of http://www.freeimages.com