2019 Spoiler Alert ¡!

Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

There are different metaphors that have been used to describe life. A few that I’ve heard before are: 

  • Life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out just take another shot.
  • Life is like a box of chocolate you never know what you’re going to get.
  • Life is like a cup of tea, its all in how you make it.

And I’m sure you’ve also heard of life being likened to a book with different chapters. 

Life is like a book. Some chapters are sad, some happy, some exciting. But if you never turn the page you will never know what the next chapter holds.  There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.

2018 was a chapter that has come and gone. If you could think of a genre to describe that year what would it be… Drama? Horror? Action? Adventure? A thriller? A romantic comedy? 

As with any best selling book, you have reviews such as “Astounding. Thrilling. Lovely and amazing’ “a mesmerising novel”. How would you rate the year that has just gone by? What star rating would you give it? Did God (the BEST selling author of your life) keep you on the edge of your seat? 

When I was younger I loved reading. I’d spend hours after my bedtime turning page after page so that I would find out what happened to the characters I had fallen in love with. I had a few friends who would read the first chapter then skip to the last one and attempt to fill in the details, strange right? My thoughts exactly. Why couldn’t they just read the book normally and enjoy watching the story unfold? But then again it would be great to know the ending to a new beginning. For example, we have started the 2019 Book, you may have already set out goals or made plans that you want to know how they turn out. Unfortunately, I’m not here to fill in the minute details of what this year might hold for you but I do have something to share, it’s a spoiler though. So drum roll, please… GOD WINS!

I want to challenge you this year to increase your OPTIMISM. A more familiar synonym to optimism is HOPE. “Let your hope in Christ shape your future”. When God is weaved into the intricacies of your life there is truly no limit to the wonders He can display.

‘What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

What shall we say to anxiety and / depression

What shall we say to financial troubles

What shall we say to unemployment

What shall we say to educational problems

What shall we say to confusion or doubt

What shall we say to poor health and illnesses

What shall we say to failing friendships and relationships

What shall we say to challenges and obstacles

What shall we say to fear or other negative traits or habits

IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO/WHAT CAN BE AGAINST US?

We will certainly have opposition in this world, but what is the world compared to God? What is satan compared to God? What are the obstacles or difficulties we encounter compared to God? What are the trials and temptations we face compared to God? The Answer is resounding NOTHING.  You + God is always an unconquerable majority. When God is added to the equation it is impossible to find yourself on the losing side. To those without hope and faith it may appear that you are defeated but ultimately victory belongs to Jesus. He is our deliverer and provider. The Psalmist reminds us that With God, we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.” (Psalms 60:12)

As I mentioned earlier, God is the BEST selling Author and He has great plans for your future, you are destined for success this year.  With only a few days into the New Year I ask you; What do you want the review of this chapter in your life to be? Be optimistic and Trust that God has you in mind and He will cause you to have total victory. Everything will be more than alright in the end and if it isn’t, it simply isn’t the end of that chapter. The Word of God over your life outweighs the plots of the enemy against your life. God had a plan before the enemy had a plot. I pray that God will surprise you and surpass your expectations because absolutely nothing is difficult for Him.

I leave you with this excerpt from Jesus Calling: Do not be weighed down with problems and unresolved issues for Jesus is your burden-bearer. In the world, you will have trials and distress, but don’t let them get you down. Jesus has conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm us.

When you get a chance listen to the words of this song “Victory Belongs to Jesus by Todd Dulaney and be encouraged.

Once again Happy New Year, thank you for your continued support.

Stay blessed,

Dara xx

P.S : Are you living your best life? Check out how you can on last year’s New Year’s Post Living our best life in 2018

 

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Living our best life in 2018

First and foremost – Happy New Year!

New Year New Me? Does that sound like a phrase you are familiar with? Some people detest hearing that phrase as it seems unrealistic for one to completely change and be a new person after the clocks strike midnight on the 31st of December. Okay, so if it’s not new year new me, how can we make this year different from the last? A phrase that was thrown around a lot last year was “I’m living my best life”. For those of you who have never heard it till now – it’s a statement made at the end of a sentence declaring the actions you are doing are causing you to live your greatest life possible. 

I don’t know about you but I want to live my best life, not many of us would want to settle for a mediocre life. Towards the end of last year I noticed myself saying the phrase “I’m living my best life” more and more. Examples of when I believed I was living by best life included; travelling to France for my 20th, going to Disneyland, travelling to 5 different American states within 15 days, eating out and eating good good food, crossing things like golf, pottery and going to a west end theatre show off my bucket list. Even though those are all valid examples of living my best life, after coming across a tweet on twitter (see below) I believe there’s more to living your best life.

After seeing the above tweet I couldn’t help but consider the truth behind it: If I am not living for Jesus am I truly living my best life? I am reminded of Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Here we find a call for Christians; to represent Christ at all times – wherever we go and in whatever we say. The bible goes on to say in Psalm 37:4 – delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heartTo delight in something means to experience great pleasure and joy in his or her presence. This can only happen when we know that person well. Therefore if we are to delight in the Lord, we must get to know him better.

Earlier on in Psalm 16:11 David says; you make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermoreIt simply states in the Lord’s presence there is fullness of joy. David had full confidence that his life with God-both now and forevermore – would be marked by the highest and best pleasures. This is a life lived above shallow entertainments and excitements.  Thus to truly live our best lives we must actively seek to remain in the Lord’s presence.

I came across another tweet which stated: Our best life is in obedience to God’s Word! – not far from the truth is it. In Matthew 6:33-34 we are admonished to: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. What I then concluded was that in order to live our best life possible we need to be obedient to God’s word and a prime example in which we can show obedience to God is by seeking his kingdom above all else – Above all the trivial things this world fools us into being preoccupied with. Only then can the aspects of “living our best life” be our portion.

Now my final verses to share with you; Psalm 34:12-14

12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

Here are some Undiluted words to take away from that passage. If you want to live your best life;

  1. Keep your tongue from evil 
  2. Keep your lips from telling lies 
  3. Turn away from evil 
  4. Do Good
  5. Seek & Pursue Peace

I would say those are all pretty self-explanatory points and essential keys to follow in order to live our best life in 2018.

Now I leave you with Joyce Meyer’s words:

May your 2018 be filled with nothing but the BEST that God has in store for you. Go forth and  seize every opportunity to live your best life possible for God and yourself.

Stay blessed,

Dara x

P.S – Hope you’ve stopped collecting Ls, if not I guess you need to be reminded of last year’s New Year Post – https://theundilutedword.com/2017/01/05/a-year-without-ls/  😜<<
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A Year Without Ls?

Happy New Year!

It’s that time of the year when resolutions, plans & goals for the year are being made and also a time when some resolutions have already been broken. I am not here to suggest more resolutions for your list but I wanted to give some food for thought as we begin 2017, by reflecting on an experience I had in the last days of 2016.

Since the start of 2016 my family had planned to travel to Nigeria for the Christmas break and so by mid 2016 half of the ticket fare had already been paid. As the days drew nearer, the excitement grew more and more, it had been ages since we had all travelled as a family. The day of our departure arrived, we woke up early and got to the airport in good timing in order to check in and collect our boarding passes. To our shock the man behind the counter told us we could not check in until we contacted our Travel Agency as something was not right with our tickets. This was far from what we expected, to cut the long story short we sat and watched our 9:44am plane to Lagos, Nigeria fly out of Heathrow. Despite all our planning and praying something had gone “wrong” and was out of our control. It was not until we were all back in our house later that afternoon we realised what had really happened. We were not in Nigeria and we were really uncertain about the possibilities of getting another ticket / flight to Nigeria. My mum said I understand how those in 1844 must have felt. 😭😂😂 This was a perfect phrase to explain how disappointed we all were.(For those who don’t know 1844 was when seventh day Adventist Christians predicted/expected the 2nd coming of Jesus, but to their great disappointment he didn’t.) For the rest of that day, we were pretty much silent while we moped around. The next day: Tuesday, we didn’t have a confirmation from the travel agency about tickets to travel so we sat at home. After a while, my mum said even though we’ve been disappointed we have to somewhat carry on with our lives instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. That evening we watched 2 movies together as a family and laughed around. Despite our predicament, we enjoyed the family time we had because we are not all usually at home at the same time (apart from Sabbath’s when I’m back from Uni). Unaware of what was still to come, we laughed, shared stories and relaxed. Very late on Friday evening, we got a confirmation from our travel agent that we would be able to fly on Saturday evening and arrive in Abuja on Christmas morning. Wow? This was not what we expected, we were eventually going to travel to Nigeria, and now we had the extra opportunity of travelling to Lagos via Abuja (a place I had never been to). The excitement kicked in and to cut the long story short we went to Nigeria and spent the festive period with families and friends. For those of you who have me on social media (especially snapchat), you could tell I had a blast!

So what am I trying to say? Yes, we may have disappointments thrown at us but it is important to view them as positive experiences. Towards the middle to end of last year, all I seemed to see on social media were people talking about Ls ( Losses) which could have been financial, emotional, social, academical, related to friendships etc. you name it.  For example, my family not being able to travel to Nigeria on that day was a major L. It’s perfectly valid for these Ls to be seen as negatives, setbacks and disappointments so it makes sense for people to be determined that in 2017 they will not be collecting Ls.  However, from my experience that I described above, I learnt that even though we do have these setbacks and disappointments our responses to them are very important. My family and I could have spent those extra 6 days at home, feeling low, sitting in our rooms and not talking to each other. But we didn’t; we took advantage of the situation and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Every cloudy experience in our lives has a silver lining. I never really understood the phrase silver lining, but now I have a new light to its meaning. Cloudy experiences which we don’t understand are bound to happen, things we don’t like or didn’t plan but if we stay alert and optimistic we will be able to see the blessing that has been disguised into that experience. If we get bogged down on how bad the experience is we will not be able to receive the blessing. At first, it can be really difficult to understand how an L could be a positive thing but if we believe that all things work together for those who Love God (Rom 8:28); we will understand that some of those Ls are a display of God’s Love. Then we will truly understand that Every Disappointment is an Appointment with God. 

So in this New Year, I urge you don’t count your Ls (setbacks, disappointments and Losses), Pray that God will use those experiences to display His Love towards you and eventually make things work together for your good.

Even if sickness may be an L I collect,

I know that: The Lord will restore my health and heal my wounds. When I come to him he will give me rest. He will save me from my distress.

 Even if I may collect academic Ls,

I know that: He will make a way where there seems to be no way. When I ask God for wisdom, he will generously give it to me without finding fault. He shall grant me favour with my examiners, lecturers and peers.

Even if I may collect financial Ls,

I know that: God will meet all my needs according to the riches of His glory. He is also able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think. Because I seek the Lord I shall not lack good things.

Even if I may collect Ls from relationships with friends or family,

I know that: God will give me peace that passes all understanding. He will give me insight and direction in order to make the right decisions. The Lord will help me see my blessings in disguise. 

 Finally, to answer the question posed in the title: this year may not be free of Ls but it certainly isn’t God free.  Even though we may receive what seem like Major Ls, sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough. Pay attention to how God turns what seem like Major Ls into Ws ( Wins)

Wishing you a glorious & blessed year,

Dara x

P.S – Don’t forget to send your prayer requests on the prayer request form here.

Shoutout to my mood board 👊🏾

Living Fearlessly in 2016

Congratulations on starting 2016! If you think it was your alarm clock that woke you up on the 1st or this morning, try putting it beside a dead body and you will realize that it is the Grace of God that woke you up! I pray that the undeserving favour of God will follow you throughout this year. Once again I remind you to expect the unexpected; “As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned. That’s what you call God’s WILL.” 

Remember the famous words of Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. The God that we serve is all-knowing; not only does he know the beginning from the end he also knows the end from the beginning. If we are aware of this, Why do we always insist on things going our OWN way or get so discouraged when things are not working out RIGHT? Our definitions of “right” don’t necessarily correlate with God’s definition. We have to constantly remind ourselves that God’s plan> Our Plans. 

Imagine your life is like a jiGsaW puZzle, with over a thousand pieces. Currently, you may be at the side pieces, experiencing the start of things that don’t seem to make sense. That is because you cannot see the full picture, you only see a small part. God has a perfect view of the puzzle, he knows what pieces fit correctly and he promises to help complete the puzzle of our lives. However, we struggle and venture to find our own ways of making the puzzle complete and “make sense”, which only leads to more frustration and confusion. In 2016, we should all cultivate a habit to trust God more as He is the only one who sees the whole picture. I love making declarations as it makes whatever you profess seem very real, so with that in mind make this declaration with confidence: I Declare that God is working all things together for my good. He has the master plan for my life. I don’t understand right now but I am not worried or afraid. I know all the pieces aren’t here yet. One day it will all come together and everything will make sense to me. I will see God’s amazing plan taking me to places I have never dreamt of. God is doing a new thing in my life in 2016, it has already begun. I shall not ponder on the former things of 2015 because God will make a pathway through the wilderness. 

As we’ve started 2016, the devil may try to put into you a spirit of Fear of the unknown. Not knowing what 2016 holds may ultimately cause us to live in Fear, but I want you to make these declarations (which are based on God’s promises) against fear.

The Lord shall fight for me in 2016, and I shall hold my peace – Exodus 14:14

The Lord himself has gone before me in 2016 and He will be with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me. I shall not be afraid, I will not be discouraged. -Deuteronomy 31:8

I shall be strong and courageous in 2016 because that is what the Lord has commanded. The Lord will be with me wherever I go in 2016. – Joshua 1:9

I shall call upon the Lord in 2016, and I shall be saved from my enemies. – Psalm 18:3

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death in 2016, I will fear no evil: for the Lord is with me, his rod and staff they comfort me. – Psalms 23:4

The angel of the Lord will encamp around me in 2016 and will also deliver me. – Psalms 34:7

The Lord is a shelter for me in 2016, a strong tower from the enemy. -Psalms 61:3

When I pass through waters in 2016 the Lord will be with me, I will not be swept away from rivers when I pass through them, when I walk through fire I shall not be burned for the Lord will be with me. -Isaiah 43:2

In 2016, God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

All weapons formed against me in 2016 shall not prosper, every tongue that shall rise against me in judgement the Lord shall condemn. This is my heritage as a servant of the Lord. – Isaiah 54:17

Wishing you all a happy, fulfilling and blessed Year!

Dara x

P.S – Don’t forget to send your prayer requests on the prayer request form here.

Praise Him in Advance in 2015

Hickory dickory dock, It’s nearly 12 O’clock, The Clock struck midnight, 2015 begins to unlock, Hickory dickory dock.

No matter how terrible 2014 may have been for you, 2015 is a brand new chapter! Expect the unexpected.  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). The fact that your eyes have witnessed the first day of this year is a sign that you have a purpose, the heart beat you have right now is not a mistake. Mavin Sapp once said “Praise will confuse the enemy” . While reflecting on this phrase, I’d like to share with you 2 Chronicles 20:22-23 where As soon as they began singing, the Lord confused the enemy camp, 23 so that the Ammonite and Moabite troops attacked and completely destroyed those from Edom. Then they turned against each other and fought until the entire camp was wiped out!” The praise that the singers gave to God, sent their enemies into confusion which led to them killing each other instead of the children of God; their opposition. Bearing that in mind, I urge you that in this year do not be a conditional praiser (Praising God only after you’ve been blessed). Be the individual that sees the obstacle right in front of their eyes but doesn’t allow it to hinder their faith in the Lord! This year, Praise The Lord in spite of your problems because He will get you through it all and it will confuse the enemy.

Even if I Fear the things that 2015 holds,

I will praise God in advance because “He has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”

Even if I have challenges in 2015,

I will praise God in advance because “All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me”

Even if I become ill in 2015,

I will praise God in advance because “The Lord will restore my health and heal my wounds”

Even if I feel weak and defeated in 2015,

I will praise God in advance because “The Lord will strengthen me, help me and uphold me with his righteous right hand.”

Even if I feel burdened in 2015,

I will praise God in advance because “I can Cast my cares on the LORD and he will sustain me”

Happy New Year! Stay Blessed

Dara x