If You’re In a Valley, This Post’s For You

“If You’re In a Valley, This Post’s For You” Day 3 of my video-blog mini-series:‪#‎PsalmPstudy‬. See below for personal study questions.

1) Go to http://biblegateway.com and read Psalm 23 in the KJV, NIV and CEV translations to get a rich, dimensional take on this text.

2) Who has inspired you to walk through your valley, as you’ve watched them walk through theirs?

3) In addition to Jesus, what other bible-characters “walked” through valleys? If time permits, do a name-search on 2-3 of them on Biblegateway.com and get encouraged by their story.

 

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You Can’t See It, But You Have It

Day 2 of my experimental video-blog mini-series titled, #PsalmPstudy. See below for personal study questions.

1) Word Search! Go to https://www.biblegateway.com/ and enter the word “soul” in the search box. Read 5 different verses with this word.
2) Ask yourself: what is the state of my soul? Consider: am I weary? burdened? lost? If you answer “yes” to any of these, pause to pray. Ask Dr. God to begin some soul-surgery in you today.
3) Look up Matthew 11:28-30. What #gains do you get if Christ is in your soul?

 

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Don’t Make Me Make You Lie Down!

Just for this week, I think I’m going to try something new. A 5-day blog mini-series (short video posts + optional study questions) titled, “Psalm Pstudy.” Here goes nothing! Day 1 #‎PsalmPstudy‬

1) Read Psalm 23:1 in parallel fashion. Go to https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/, select “multiple versions” and pick NLT, NIV, ESV, MSG. Pick something that speaks to you from each translation.
2) The bible often speaks to lambs, think of 1-2 ways we’re kinda like lambs.
3) What are some positives that can happen when we lie down? Think of a positive for the physical, mental and spiritual.
4) What is ONE literal way you can feasibly “lie down,” this week and rest in God?

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Can Any Good Come From This Bad?

In light of the pain caused by others, can there be any positive? Oh, heck yes! It starts with remembering the cross. Jesus endured the greatest pain by others OF ALL TIMES. He was betrayed by his friends, ignored by his family, forsaken by his followers. And then He died. Now that would be a miserable end of the story. But that’s not the story. The story is that He rose. In the ultimate way, He came back from the pain caused by others. And you. can. too. One of the greaProcessed with VSCOcam with j5 presettest joys in my life is Jesus bringing me back from pain caused by others and using that to help others in theirs. Our story can be used for God’s glory. You’ve been abused and healed? You’ve been betrayed and healed? You’ve been rejected and healed? You lost someone but have peace beyond understanding? You’ve raised a rebellious child and didn’t give up on him? Your spouse left you and you kept going? If Jesus helped us through our pain caused by others, we have a story to tell that others are desperate to hear. “Hide it under a bushel, no!” Let the power of God’s healing and let the story of your comeback, SHINE! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!! That is the good that can come from a bad. I hope this encourages someone today.

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My Pastors’ Power of Encouragement

imageWe don’t need sweet-nothing’s and pithy accolades to make it. But we do need encouragement. In Hebrews 3:13, the bible says: “You must encourage one another each day.” Did you catch that? EACH DAY. Raul and I are blessed to see this each day in Pastor David and Lisa. What does it look like? Imagine driving on a turnpike and getting a flat tire. And before you beckon for help, there are two people already waiting there with air to pump your tire and get you back on your way. That’s the power of encouragement–it’s turning a hole into a whole; something wobbly into something steady; something stuck on the side of the road into something that can return to the fast lane. That’s what pastors like David and Lisa have done for Raul and I. And it’s an eternally changing thing. Life is hard, God is good, and encouragement is its catalyst. Be an encourager. Let God use you to get others back on the road again. And side-note, if you are feeling DIScouraged, one way to counteract that is to ENcourage others. If you are discouraged that you are single, or jobless but you encourage someone who is dying of cancer or homeless-–in a way only God can maneuver, you’ll be encouraged, too. I hope this encourages someone today! 🙂

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Do Your Best Even At Your Worst

Sometimes, I’ll tweetphoto this line, “Do your best even at your worst.” When we are at our worst–in a bad relationship, at a bad job, in a deep depression, battling a long addiction–we can still do our best. And I don’t arbitrarily tweet that. I tweet that from experiencing it. In the first year of our marriage, when we were at such a horrible point where divorce seemed imminent, I did my best by not letting divorce be an option. When I have battled the “south pole” of bipolarity, also known as depression, I am definitely at my worst. How do you do your best when you are in the pit of depression? Your best becomes your refusal to give up. I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that many times I have been at my worst and did not do my best. But my heart’s desire has always been not to give up and to give it all I have. I don’t know where this post finds you today, but if you are at your worst–take heart–you can do your best.

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5 Pornography Considerations

Through conversations, comments and confessions, I’ve watched people’s addiction of pornography become a pervasive virus in both secular and spiritual spheres.  @XXXChurch once tweeted, “Sex was never meant to be watched,” and long before they did, Jesus tweeted, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman (man) with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her (him) in his (her) heart.” I’m not a porn professional nor a porn struggler; but as a pastor’s wife, I’ve educated myself on it because of its viral effect.  In no certain order, five considerations I’d offer:

1) Books for EVERYONE to guard against Porn:
For guys: Every Mans Battle
For girls: Every Young Woman’s Battle

2) Books for COUPLES affected by Porn:
Beyond Ordinary
Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken
Every Heart Restored
Shattered Vows

3) WEBSITES
http://www.covenanteyes.com/
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/
http://www.internetsafety.com/
http://dirtygirlsministries.com
http://www.xxxchurch.com

4) CHRISTIAN COUNSELING
For a recommendation, email me at heather@wondHerful.com

5) HOPE
There is nothing you can do that God can not undo. There is nowhere you can end up that God can not get to. Don’t give up. “The truth shall set you free.”

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How To Keep TRYING

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9

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In the Morning, Is There Anything Better Than Coffee?

“How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.” Psalm 119:103

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5 Things I Did to Forgive

Forgiving is a hard thing to do–that most of us (if not all) will have to do. A few years ago, I had to forgive. It didn’t quickly – it wasn’t an moment, it was a timeline. Now that I have, I wanted to share 5 things I did to get there:

1) Christian Counseling. Sometimes the pain is so big, deep and wide we need someone to help us manage it; and to simply be paid to unbiasedly listen.
2) Prayer. Pray daily for the people who hurt you, because a heart can’t coexist with the currents of prayer and hate running through it.
3) Read. “Choosing Forgiveness” “Exquisite Agony” “Total Forgiveness” and “Forgive and Forget” were very helpful books for my healing.
4) Set a goal. My goal (per the suggestion of my counselor) was to get my HEART to the point where it could say to my hurter, “I wish you well.” Forgiveness does not always mean restoring the relationship but it does mean restoring your heart!
5) Cry and Ask. I cried and asked Gimageod, “Why?” God became my closest friend during that time. I had a lot of tears and confusion. I learned there was nobody who could understand, handle and help me more than God. God lives in my heart – where betrayal and forgiveness takes place. You can’t get closer to me than in my heart. Many-a-day, I met Jesus there.

I hope this encourages someone today. If you are working through this, be happy to pray for you. Shoot me an email, heather@wondherful.com

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