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Baby Birds, Recently Hatched!

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I love watching birds! We have a bird feeder in our front yard right in front of our porch swing and I love to sit on our swing, listen to worship music and watch the birds.

Whenever I take the time to notice birds I’m always reminded of how joyful and care free they are and how it’s God’s desire that we live the same way.

Jesus said this:

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? – Matthew 6:25-26 (NASB)

We’ve had 5 eggs in one of our hanging flower baskets for quite a while now. Yesterday, while I was on my porch swing I thought I was hearing extra bird chirps so I grabbed my step stool to find this!!!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Fame or Faithfulness?

I’m a thinker. I love to process life and I also love to write about life!

Our family just finished up a week of volunteering at our church, St. Louis Family Church’s JUMP Camp. I know all four of us would agree that it was one of the best weeks of our life!

I felt really fortunate that my husband Steve took a week of vacation so we could take on a group of 1st graders together. They were cute, cute, cute and oh so funny!

You could literally publish a book on the adorable things they say!

Our twin girls, Angel and Starr, were each assistant leaders for a kindergarten group and loved their first experience as JUMP Camp volunteers. There is no doubt we will look forward to this adventure every June.

All together, the 4 individuals in my family had a 4-day span of time to influence the lives of 49 individual kids.

This whole experience got me thinking about how many people waste countless hours of their lives as well as major amounts of energy working to become instantly famous or an overnight success.

In contrast to this idea, I kept thinking about the “seemingly little” things that God gave us to be faithful over at JUMP Camp this week. Things like patting our first graders on the back, looking at them in the eyes when they talked to us, letting them know we were truly interested in hearing what they had to say, speaking encouraging words over them, and my personal favorite – taking the time and effort to set their eyes on Jesus!

One day as some of the kids and I were sitting in the church auditorium talking and waiting for the JUMP drama to begin, I started sharing with them that “Jesus never stops loving you.”

I explained to them that even when they make mistakes in life Jesus will never stop loving them. I said, “Jesus doesn’t just love you when you do everything right and stop loving you when you do something wrong. No, He loves you no matter what and He always will.” I told them if they will remember this it will cause them to love Jesus so much and help them to want to be obedient to Him!

Right after our conversation ended one of the girls named Ava grabbed a sharpie and wrote this (below) on the back of another kid’s JUMP shirt and then throughout the week she wrote it on other kids’ shirts as well as Steve’s shirt (which I took this pic of).

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It kept coming up in conversation amongst the kids over the next couple of days in various ways that “Jesus never stops loving us.”

This got me choked up on several occasions because I know from personal experience that even if one of my kids – such as Ava – really gets that revelation and carries it throughout her life it will make all the difference for her.

I also rephrased this a little and talked to some of the kids on the final day of camp about how “Jesus will always love you.” At least one of my 1st graders, Sutton, grabbed ahold of this for herself. Here’s the proof. She wrote it on the sleeve of my shirt and probably on other kids’ shirts. We had a blast signing each others’ shirts all week so we wouldn’t forget each other!

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In the midst of all this, I began to wonder how many people on this planet completely miss seeing the value in “seemingly small” acts of faithfulness? How many do not see the importance of taking the time to speak a word of affirmation over a child’s life or purposely looking them in the eyes and staying engaged with them when they are trying to share a piece of their heart?

Actually, there’s nothing small at all about acts of faithfulness or random acts of kindness, but I also missed seeing the value of these things for many, many years. I did not comprehend the significance of simply being faithful to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead day-in and day-out. Why? Because I was too busy trying to build a good reputation for myself and forever trying to figure out how I could get everyone to pay attention to me.

In this world of viral videos and attention seeking it’s so important for us to avoid getting caught up in sensationalism and instead simply find our joy in being faithful to God every moment of every single day.

Of course, this will only be possible as we stay connected to The Father, practice the presence of Jesus and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Even then, we won’t be perfect because we’re human, but if we’re going to have a goal in life, let’s not let it be to see how famous we can be. Let’s let our goal be to see how famous we can make Jesus by being faithful to whatever He calls us to do!

Being the center of attention isn’t living the great adventure and it doesn’t bring lasting joy.

On the other hand, at JUMP Camp this week I noticed something interesting – the whole campus permeated with the aroma of joy.

When we spend our time helping others by pointing them to Jesus and making Him the center of attention, this is what it truly looks like to live the great adventure!

#LetsLiveTheGreatAdventure #LetsMakeJesusFamous

Special Note:  I want to clarify that I have nothing at all against viral videos and have gotten some great laughs while watching them myself at times. Bottom line is…everything always goes back to our heart. This is why I love being on this grace journey. Living under God’s grace keeps our heart cleaned out and our motives right!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Do You Really Believe God Is ONLY Good?

When I read this daily devotion (below) from Pastor Joseph Prince recently, I knew I wanted to share it with you.

First, some personal thoughts:

I’ve come to the sad conclusion that there may be more Christians who believe wrong about God in this area than those who believe right about God.

In this past year I’ve heard many Christians place the blame on God for things that He has nothing to do with.

There are many who say they believe God is good, but if they would just stop and listen to their own conversations they would realize they do not truly believe that He is ONLY good; or they believe that part of His goodness includes Him purposely allowing them to suffer with sickness, disease and all kinds of bad things to teach them lessons and help them grow spiritually.

Instead of hearing Christians say things like, “I don’t understand why God would allow this to happen to me” I’m praying that I’ll begin to hear this more:

“I know this is an attack from the devil and God had nothing to do with this, but I’m sure looking forward to seeing how God is going to take this negative situation and work everything together for my good according to Romans 8:28!”

I know I can’t force anyone to believe a certain way about God. In fact, I myself had many misconceptions about God for far too long and I am on a continual journey to keep learning, just like everyone else.

Only God Himself can give a person a revelation of His true nature and help them understand that He is ONLY good.

I believe one of the things God has called me to do is to be a bearer of this good news about God’s true nature to anyone who is interested in listening.

Soooooo…here is that wonderful devotion from Pastor Joseph Prince!

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 Meditate On

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

God Is Not Out To Destroy You

The Bible tells us clearly that God is a God of love, and our God of love is a good God! He is a God who longs to do good to His people. In fact, God desires to load His children with benefits every day (Psalm 68:19)!

My friend, don’t ever be mistaken that a good God will give you sicknesses, diseases and all sorts of physical afflictions. God is constant and constantly good. Sicknesses, on the other hand, are always bad. They are part of the curse. Their purpose is to destroy a person.

Our good God gave us His Son, Jesus, so that you may not be destroyed but have life, and have it more abundantly! The Lord does not take away your life. Instead, He gives, multiplies and restores to you life and health. The more you meditate on and believe His love and goodness toward you, the more you’ll walk in an increasing measure of His health, wholeness and abundant life!

Joseph Prince

To receive Joseph Prince’s Meditate & Believe Right devotionals delivered daily to your email, just subscribe here: https://www.josephprince.com/meditate

To receive Joseph Prince’s Daily Grace Inspiration devotionals delivered daily to your email, just subscribe here:
http://www.josephprince.org

(I receive both of these in my email every day. I guess I’m just a glutton for the Good News!!!)

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If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Anger Management

Do you struggle with anger?

I had a bad temper for many years. I would explode over the littlest things at times.

Something I’ve learned on my grace journey over this past 4.5 years is that it’s impossible to get free from a problem if you don’t know what’s causing the problem. After all, I tried to get free from my temper for many years. In fact, so many years that I finally lost count. Since I tried and failed to get free in this area for 34 years, I think it’s safe to say that I clearly did not know what was causing my anger issues.

There almost always seemed to be something going on inside me (in my inner life) that left me feeling irritated. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but eventually came to understand that my wrong feelings were coming from wrong thoughts that were coming from my wrong beliefs about God.

Thankfully, when God set me on this extraordinary journey of grace, He began to unspool my wrong thinking. He then replaced it with right thinking, according to His Word. Of course, this is an ongoing process for all of us and it will continue until the day you and I see Jesus face to face.

1 John 3:2 says, 

Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory].  (AMP)

Even though, one day, we will be like Jesus in the twinkling of an eye, it’s also God’s will that we walk in victory over sin right here on earth. God has given us the answers to how this can be accomplished in His Word!

Yesterday morning I saw that we had a large bowl of grapes that needed to be eaten in the refrigerator. I’m always keeping an eye on our food to make sure we’re eating everything before it goes bad as I’m not a fan of wasting food. In fact, you should see me when I go out to eat with my parents and my siblings. I often ask them if I can take home any leftovers they don’t want – ha!

While attempting to pull the glass bowl out of our frig. that held the grapes, the bowl slipped out of my hand and shattered into soooo many pieces.

I was ecstatic that I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t feel disappointed in myself. I didn’t feel like a failure. I didn’t feel like I was stupid. And I didn’t feel angry! Wow, what a great feeling that was, just to be able to get down on my knees and begin the lengthy cleanup in peace.

Not only is this a blessing for me, but it’s a blessing for my family as well because for so many years these were exactly the types of things I would explode over. I knew it was both uncomfortable and unfair for my husband and kids to have to live in a hostile environment, which is why I kept trying to free myself.

For the most part, I was mad at myself for failing to be perfect so my family knew that I wasn’t angry at them, but the way us humans are made up – especially kids – I think they still wonder if there was something they could’ve done to prevent Mom’s temper tantrum. I have been on the other side of this scenario as well, at times, and there was definitely fear and discomfort attached to the whole angry scene, even though I wasn’t (for once) the one throwing the fit.

So now we come to the main purpose for this post – answering the question as to how anger management can be attained.

Here’s what I would’ve told you years ago if you had asked my advice on how to get free in this area (even though I wasn’t at all free myself). I would’ve said something like: I understand. I struggle with having a bad temper as well. Just be more determined and try harder and I bet you’ll get a handle on your temper.

I guarantee you I wouldn’t have pointed you to Jesus or encouraged you to actually trust in Him to do the work in you by His grace. But back then, I sincerely thought I was living my Christian life the correct way by simply trying harder. Not sure why it didn’t dawn on me that, as a Christian, I should’ve been enjoying a life of stability and peace, but it didn’t. Or, when it did, I would just try harder to attain those qualities too.

Honestly, I believe what had to happen in my case and is the same with everyone is we just have to completely run out of self-effort energy before our great awakening can come. We have to be emptied of ourself before God can come and pour in His grace!

Thankfully, as a result of God’s grace in my own life, I have a brand new list of advice today for anyone who would ask me how to manage their anger problem.

Here we go…

Hang Out With Jesus

Hands down, this is the most productive thing you can do in your life. I have lost count at this point of how many things have gotten quickly solved as I have refused to worry about them and instead taken them to my Savior and held a normal conversation (just as if I was talking to a friend, because Jesus is my best friend) about my situation. Problem after problem has been solved as I have leaned into Jesus, trusting Him to do what I could not do.

There is nothing that compares to your relationship with Jesus. Having a close personal relationship with Him is fulfilling in every way! I am sad that I traded relationship for rules all those years as a Christian. I made my Christianity all about what I thought I was suppose to do for God instead of about my relationship with Him. I missed so much, but believe me, I am rapidly making up for lost time!

I’ll never trade my relationship with Jesus for anything… ever again. It’s too valuable. It means everything to me. There is nothing that compares to the priceless privilege of knowing Christ.

The Apostle Paul coined it perfectly.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. (Philippians 3:8-9a)

Read and Study The Bible

Do this, but do not do it out of duty. This was something I did out of duty for years. As a result I went through a period of time at the beginning of my grace journey where God really made it clear to me that He did not love me because I read a certain amount of the Bible every day or because I studied it. He loved me JUST BECAUSE I was His daughter. He didn’t love me for what I did. He loved me for who I was. I remember there being a period of time for a number of months that God kept drilling this truth into me, whether I had days where I read the Bible or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it pleases God to see us pursuing Him and one of the best ways we do this is by reading and studying the Bible. But the reason He is pleased when we do it is because He already knows how much His love letter to us (the Bible) is going to impact our life.

Still, I had to get to the point where I totally separated my who from my do – who I was as a child of God as opposed to what I did for God. I began to see over this period of time how I had, for most of my life, equated being righteous with doing right things. I sure wasn’t receiving God’s gift of righteousness based on Jesus’ finished work on the cross. In fact, I didn’t even understand fully what it meant… yet.

Look at this good news:

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 – NLT) 

Also, check out Romans 4:1-5 about Abraham and how he became righteous.

Trust me, when you get this settled and begin to believe that your righteousness is not based on what you do or do not do because it is a gift of righteousness and is solely based on what Jesus did for you, you will not be able to stop reading and studying the Bible. I guarantee you! But I just wanted to take the time to explain to you that, for me, there was a transition period since I was very legalistic and mixed up about where my true worth and value came from and how God truly felt about me.

It was pretty nerve racking for me at first, going a day, or more, without reading the Bible and feeling like I was still ok. It took time, but it sure proved to me how entrenched I was in doing good works to feel right with God.

So absolutely read and study your Bible, but let God show you that His love for you would never ever change, even if you never picked up your Bible again. This is grace. It’s God’s unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor and you must learn to receive it, even and especially when you have done nothing to earn or deserve it. Otherwise, it’s not truly grace that you’re putting your trust in – it’s yourself and your own works.

I read something just the other day that someone had written to make the point that others should read the Bible, but it was written in a condemnatory type of way that would cause most people who read it to become fearful that they better read the Bible… or else.

This is not the proper way to encourage others to read the Bible. Even though people may be scared into doing it after reading a statement like that, their actions would not be coming from their heart. They would merely be doing it out of duty in an effort to keep God happy with them. 

This is one of the reasons I spent almost all day yesterday writing this post – so you would see God’s true heart toward you and not get under condemnation when you read books, articles, statements, posts or hear messages that try to put you back under the law.

Once you start truly living by God’s grace alone, you’ll quickly know the difference, like I did when I read that statement. Right away I said to myself, “No, that’s not true.” I don’t just believe anything and everything people say anymore and swallow it hook, line and sinker (like I used to) and you shouldn’t either.

Reject Guilt and Condemnation 

When you fail, I highly encourage you to reject any and all feelings of guilt and condemnation. Here’s why. Guilt and condemnation serve no productive purpose. Receiving it actually weakens you and pulls you into more sin, more often. I know. I lived in this cycle for years and it never did me one bit of good. It never freed me from my bad temper or helped me with anger management. But making the decision to forever reject guilt and condemnation was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

The day I realized that by freely accepting guilt and condemnation I was saying that Jesus’ finished work was not really good enough to pay for my sins completely, I cried and cried. I saw how I had been dishonoring Jesus for so long by saying, in essence, that I needed to add my own sacrifice (of guilt and condemnation) to His sacrifice to make it complete. Once my eyes were opened to the deception I had been living in I knew I would never want to mess with guilt and condemnation again.

Now, I do feel a godly sorrow when I sin and a need for repentance. These two things come very naturally when a person lives under grace because a revelation of grace causes us to love Jesus more and more! But for the most part, I’m thrilled to say I do not allow the devil to bury me under guilt and condemnation any longer.

Instead of focusing on my sin, I turn to Jesus! I focus on Jesus and His finished work on the cross and how He perfectly paid the price for my sin. God is helping me grow in grace and He is more than willing to help you too!

And believe me my friend, when I say that growing in grace will take you light years (spiritually) beyond any place that guilt and condemnation could ever take you, I am not kidding.

Continue in God’s Grace

Another really important thing that I have learned since my grace journey started is how grace works, practically, in my everyday life. I believe this is one of the major reasons I could remain in peace yesterday morning when I dropped those grapes and shattered the glass bowl. I have learned that even when I fail I still need to receive God’s grace.

I have a lot of personal stories as well as stories from many of my friends in my book, I Tried Until I Almost Died, about how we found that God’s grace very practically applies to our everyday lives. But for the purposes of this post I’ll just say that when I think of grace I always think of God’s unconditional love, God’s gift of righteousness and the truth that, as Christians, we have complete forgiveness for all of our sins – past, present and future! (I also go into great detail on these three aspects of God’s grace in my book, with lots of scripture references)

When I continue to receive God’s love, righteousness and forgiveness, even and especially when I have failed, I have discovered that the very grace I just chose to receive is what changes me from the inside out.

After I began this new journey in January of 2012 I had to make the tough decision to begin receiving God’s grace right in the middle of my failures. It’s not hard for me anymore, but it was difficult at first because, again, I was used to relying on my own actions/behavior/works/efforts as a pre-requisite to accepting God’s grace. Unknowingly, I had re-defined grace and my definition was the exact opposite of what it actually is. I was wrongly defining it as merited, deserved and earned favor; meaning I would only accept it if I had earned it or felt like I deserved it.

If I lost my temper, I wouldn’t receive grace.

If I was late arriving somewhere, I wouldn’t receive grace.

If I didn’t read the Bible that day, I wouldn’t receive grace.

My list was endless and I was FOREVER trying to improve myself in my own strength…but I kept failing.

No wonder I had anger issues. I always came up short in some aspect of life in my own mind.

When I finally made the switch and began receiving God’s unconditional love, gift of righteousness and complete forgiveness right in the middle of my failures (including times when I made the poor choice of losing my temper), rapid transformation began happening in my life – changes that were taking place in my heart from the inside out!

Get To Know Who You Are In Christ

I can’t even stress enough how critical it is that you ask God to help you get real solid in knowing who you are in Christ. The best way to do this is by getting the promises of God planted securely in your heart.

Here are two great resources to help you learn your true identity in Christ!

Knowing Who I Am In Christ from Joyce Meyer Ministries

Who Am I In Christ from Open Bible

As a result of me being much more rooted in knowing who I am in Christ than I used to, when I broke the bowl yesterday morning here’s what happened:

Instead of thinking and saying “I’m so stupid. I can’t hold on to anything.” (which is how I used to think and what I used to say), I thought, no big deal, I’m a new person in Christ now and breaking this bowl doesn’t make me stupid. In fact, I’m smart because I have the mind of Christ according to 1 Corinthians 2:16.

Instead of thinking, I am a failure, this is what came to mind; I am complete in Christ according to Colossians 2:10.

Instead of throwing a fit and freaking my kids out as I had many times in the past, I remembered that Jesus has given me His very own peace according to John 14:27.

Even when I meditate on scriptures like this next one that reveal God’s character, remembering how loving and kind He is makes me want to be the same way!

15 But you, O Lord,
    are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry
    and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
            (Psalm 86:15 – NLT)

There really is no end to the possibilities here. The more you and I get grounded in God’s promises and come to know our true identity in Christ the more stable we will be. When we have a good day and we respond in peace and love as I did today, we’ll be so thankful to God for helping us pull on those promises and when we have a bad day and do not choose wisely, we’ll just keep receiving God’s grace which will in turn continue to change us from the inside out.

Be Positive

One of the reasons we get angry when things go wrong is because we immediately begin to fear that it is going to mess with our plan. Yesterday I had planned on going to the grocery store and was working to get out of the house soon so I could be back home before heading to another appointment. This is when I dropped and shattered the bowl.

I definitely admit that this issue with never wanting anything to get in the way of my plan was one of the biggest things that caused me to explode in the past. I would have probably yelled, “Great, now I won’t have enough time to go to the store before my 12:30pm appointment. How stupid. Nothing ever goes my way. Why can’t I just hold on to things. I drop everything.” 

Before, I would have immediately started thinking about how this accident was going to mess up my whole day. But as a result of hanging out with Jesus and letting God help me renew my mind with His Word day in and day out, this is what came out of my mouth yesterday (while I was in the floor picking up grapes and glass).

After my initial thoughts I shared above that it was ok that I dropped the bowl… I have the mind of Christ… I’m complete in Christ… I can live in the peace Jesus gave me regardless of my circumstances; I then went into thinking through my plan for the day.

First, I called to see if I could re-schedule my other appointment for later in the day (which did work out). Then I started telling my girls how God would work this whole situation out for the good. I was in the floor on my hands and knees, preaching to my kids!

I said to them, “Maybe I wasn’t suppose to be out on the road (driving to the grocery store) at that particular time. Who knows – maybe I would have been in an accident and God is protecting me from it.”

Also, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me the idea of having Starr take a picture of me shortly after I started the clean-up. I said, “Starr, can you take a picture of me cleaning this up. Maybe God wants me to write a post from this to help others!”

I just kept purposely finding one thing after another that was positive about the situation. (notice: I was positive instead of negative… on purpose)

One of the coolest things about God is how He can work everything in our lives together for the good (if we continue to trust Him) according to Romans 8:28.

You will find, as I have, that as you continue in God’s grace, the bad days become less and less and the good days increase. And when you do have good days, if you’re established in God’s grace, you won’t find yourself thinking, “Cool, I’m getting so disciplined and self-controlled. knew could do this if I just kept trying. You’ll find yourself saying, “Thank you Jesus for coming and dying for me so I could become brand new in You. You’re so kind! Thanks Holy Spirit for producing Your fruit in my life. I am so thankful for Your help!”

Before you read this post, maybe getting rid of that bad temper and becoming stable and solid seemed like a near impossibility to you, but hopefully this post has encouraged you that when you know what’s truly causing your anger it will help you take the proper steps toward living in freedom.

In Conclusion

Maybe what’s making you angry is that your not receiving God’s unconditional love, gift of righteousness and complete forgiveness when you fail.

Maybe what’s making you angry is that you’re trying to follow all the rules instead of just hanging out with Jesus and letting Him (the person of Grace) change you from the inside out. (see 2 Corinthians 3:18)

Maybe what’s making you angry is that when you sin you are letting satan bury you underneath a mountain of guilt and condemnation instead of remembering that Jesus is your great High Priest Who understands your weaknesses. Maybe you just need to be reminded that you can go boldly to the throne of God’s grace with confidence so that you may receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need.  (see Hebrews 4:14-16)

Maybe what’s making you angry is that you’ve been thinking negative thoughts about yourself. Maybe you keep identifying with your old nature (the one you had before you got saved) and you need to begin identifying with your new nature – the new person you are in Christ! (this is where those 2 resources about who you really are in Christ will come in handy)

Maybe you’re angry because you haven’t taken the time to renew your mind with the promises in the Bible. It’s impossible to think anything different than what you’re currently thinking unless you take the time to plant God’s promises in your heart. Doing this doesn’t have to be complicated though. You can meditate on one promise per week in order to get the truth so engrained in your thinking that it begins to come up naturally in place of your negative, self-defeating thoughts.

Here’s an idea that just came to me: You could even write one verse per week on a 3×5 card and carry it around with you wherever you go until you have it memorized!

Another really good resource for getting God’s promises embedded in your heart are those Bible promise books that you can find at any Christian bookstore or online. These books are cool because they have the promises divided up in categories and have multiple verses in each category.

As a result of you regularly reading and studying the Bible and finding a way to get God’s individual promises planted in your heart one by one, you’ll find His promises coming up in you naturally, anytime you need them.

Since this has been a huge part of my path to freedom I included a section at the end of my book called God’s Promises To Live By. I wanted to provide anyone who was going to be reading my book in the future with yet another resource to help them renew their mind!

Now that you have more of an understanding as to what may be making you angry, be sure to remember to take your specific situation to God in prayer and rely on Him to help you. And remember that God is always supplying grace to you from His end, but in order to keep that pipeline open so you can receive His grace on your end, you just need to refuse to get into self-effort mode trying to manage your own anger and let the Holy Spirit show you how to manage it.

Being led by the Spirit will always bring you successful results!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Living From A Place Of Security

Here’s a little one-minute video clip from my most recent speaking engagement for your encouragement!

WE ARE IN and we are in to stay…all because of Jesus. Live from this place of security and you WILL naturally produce the right behavior/right responses/right actions.

It’s not the other way around. You’re not suppose to try to produce right behavior/right responses/right actions so you can earn your way into The Father’s love.

No way, my friend. You Are Already In!

Click here to watch this 1 minute video:

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Regarding Your Dream – Don’t Put God In A Box

What’s Your Dream?

I know there’s a dream God has placed in your heart and He is the One who will cause it to come to pass!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)

My dream is to help people by setting their eyes on Jesus! Whether I do that with my own kids, on a stage at a speaking engagement, at the grocery store with the checkout clerk or at the water park at Six Flags, it matters not to me.

It can be one person at a time or a big group of people.

The reason it doesn’t matter to me if I fulfill my calling in mass numbers or one or two people at a time is because I understand that whatever I do I am to do it unto the glory of God, not unto my glory.

Completely disconnecting your worth and value from what you do and placing it in Christ alone will be one of the most important decisions of your life. It’s a very restful, peaceful place to live!

When my book, I Tried Until I Almost Died, came out in March of 2015, God put the word longevity on my heart and spoke to me to believe for my book to have longevity. He was showing me at the time and has reminded me since, not to put Him in a box regarding how He is going to cause people to get ahold of and read my book.

So many times we think we have it all figured out how our dream should come to pass and you’ve probably noticed that so many times God takes us a different path than how we imagined it would be.

During the 2 years when I was writing my book I cannot tell you how many times I tangibly felt help going out to the people who were going to be reading it in the future. It would overtake me at times. I would feel it so deeply and think, “Oh my gosh, people have got to get this book so they can get a revelation of God’s grace and start living in the freedom Jesus died to provide for them.”

I know this could sound really arrogant if someone took it wrong, but when I was feeling and thinking these things, it was not from the standpoint that people should get the book because it was MY book and MY book was the best book in the world. It wasn’t like that at all.

It was the fact that I knew the book was all about Jesus and I so desperately wanted to set people’s eyes on Jesus (the person of grace) because I know HE is their freedom! He is everything they need!

This is exactly why I haven’t felt funny at all about giving away my own book when out and about, as the Holy Spirit has opened up opportunities. It just is simply not about me and I really know that deep down inside. But for safety sake, I have many accountability partners in place that will call me out if I ever start thinking it’s about me.

My book never got on the New York Times Best Seller list or even close, but that doesn’t matter. God can and is doing the things in my life that He wants done in His own way and His own timing! In fact, since He knows everything, He knows the exact right timing when a person is ready to pick up my book and receive a revelation of His amazing grace.

A person really has to have come to the end of themselves and their own reliance on their self efforts before they can get this revelation. This is why it took me 34 years of my life, as a Christian, to wear myself out and come to the place of knowing I couldn’t live the Christian life before I could come into a life-changing understanding of the person of Jesus Christ (the person of grace).

And it’s always a journey. I realize I have so much more to learn and that is extremely exciting to me.

But how many people do you think there are out there that just give up on their dream if it doesn’t come to pass in the way they imagined it would? Have you done this? If so, it’s time to start dreaming again!

Don’t get me wrong. My book has done well, but I have a desire to see it go all over the world and help set people free and I will NEVER stop believing for this to happen. I will keep believing God to do this in His own way and in His own time until my dying breath. And in fact, He is already causing this to happen, one person at a time!

I was talking with someone the other day and we were discussing how, especially in America, people are addicted to everything needing to be big. We connect big with famous. But guess what, Jesus ministered to the one here and the one there, day in and day out, and Jesus turned the world upside down!

For a while now, I’ve been collecting a new pile of testimonies from people who have read my book. I just added 12 new ones on my book page if you want to check them all out, but here are some of them.

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“I minister to the girls in the jail in my county and we talked about your book last night:) There is a copy of it in the jail and the girls were telling me last night they have an on going list to see who gets it next”

– Tina from Port Saint Lucie, Florida

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“I’m in first year of university in England, an international student. I bought your book before going home last year for Christmas! Talk about best Christmas ever. I felt so free!”

– Toni from Nigeria

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“Started reading your book for the 4th time over the past weekend. Always love the reminders and new things I discover while reading it. Through your book this revelation of grace changed my whole life. I know once people get it they’ll never be the same.”

– Eluny from Jacobs Bay, South Africa

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“I know it’s late, but I had to share this with you. Mike has just started reading your book. A friend I lent it to kept it for quite awhile. His words: “Sandy’s book is awesome! I am devouring it!” It is helping him so much!”

– Amy from Chelsea, Alabama

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“Oh my gosh you’re book is so powerful!!!! I have had my own struggles trying to live under the law, trying to “earn” God’s favor and love! I’ve been learning and growing more in this area because of you’re book!  I can’t believe how I’ve been missing this in my Christian walk!”

– Dara from St. Louis, MO

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“I just finished this book this morning!! My daughter said it changed her life, and she had been wanting me to read it for the past 1 1/2 years! We are purchasing books as gifts for friends. Thank you so much! God is on the move in a mighty way!”

– Pam from Kentucky

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“I believe the reason this book is making such a huge impact is because it is soooo real! No sugar-coating, no excuses – just a bold proclamation of what life was before receiving the gift of righteousness and the amazing grace of our Lord and Champion, Jesus!!!”

– Linn Dee from Hillsdale, New Jersey

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“I’ve read this book twice. I’m now reading it a third time. This book has done such a healing in me like you have no idea. Every time I read it something else comes to life.”

– Debbie from Limpopo, South Africa

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So whatever your dream is, I really encourage you not to put God in a box as to how that dream needs to come to pass. If He put the dream in your heart, He will definitely cause it to come to pass! I encourage you to keep your eyes on Him and always do what you do for His glory alone!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Relationships – Communication Matters

I’m dropping in today to say, it’s ok to be human. Steve and I have a good marriage, but we would like it to be better. Recently, the Holy Spirit reminded us that we need to set aside more time for communication.

In other words, we haven’t been taking enough time just to sit face-to-face and communicate with each other. As a result we’ve been feeling disconnected and we realize that’s a very dangerous road to continue traveling down.

We love each other. We are simply human and got too busy.

It was a huge undertaking for us to learn everything we needed to learn to incorporate as a ministry (Freedom Living Ministries), get a brand new website up and then go straight into selling our home, buy a new home, downsize (which means you have to throw away and give away a lot of stuff), move in and do a remodel on our new home.

We don’t regret doing any of it and are certain we were led by God to do it all, but each of these projects has taken waaaaaaaay longer than what we expected so at this point we’ve been working extra hard for almost a year now. It’s all been a bit too much.

Part of the problem was that I allowed life to overtake me at times instead of saying, “Nope, that particular part of this project will have to wait till later.” In hindsight, I see clearly how I could’ve handled some things differently. It’s a good lesson I learned for the future.

And concerning taking our new home and doing a fixer-upper on it, we definitely do not regret it, but so many things went wrong along the way that someone finally piped up saying, “you guys could’ve had a reality TV show called The Joys of Remodeling.”

For instance, we had our wood floors re-sanded and stained. We were originally trying to get a gray color but because of the red oak floors underneath the stain, it came through as green and brown.

Do you know how much dust it causes in a home when wood floors are sanded? I’m sure many of you have had this done too. Well, guess what? We had to have ours sanded down twice. Oh the sawdust!

Thankfully, the second time we chose a black stain and it ended up turning out absolutely gorgeous!

But the floor fiasco was just one of many things that went wrong. I’m not kidding. It got to the point where it became quite hysterical.

And there were definitely things within each of these 3 long-term projects that we could not put off. For instance, we had contractors lined up to do the remodel on our home (who all ended up doing an amazing job, by the way) and we weren’t just going to cancel on them and say “We’re feeling overwhelmed. You’ll have to come back at a later date.” They had cleared their business schedule for us. That would not have been fair to them.

In addition, last summer as we were working on getting a new website up, we couldn’t just ask the guy helping us, who had also cleared his schedule to work solely on our project, “Can we take a two month break?”

So in the midst of all this I began to feel trapped at times, by the enormous workload.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever felt trapped by life? – overtaken by life?

As a result of everything going on, although Steve and I continued to go on dates and communicate some, we did not keep our marriage in the place of priority that it should have stayed in and there were decisions we should have made that could’ve prevented this from happening.

The busyness of life can be a very dangerous thing sometimes. Everything happens so fast. One day into the next and the next and before we knew it we were feeling disconnected and discouraged about our relationship.

I thank God for our Helper, the Holy Spirit, Who has clearly showed us what we believe will be a very helpful first step back in the right direction which is to simply take more time to communicate with each other, face-to-face!

It’s a good thing we are receiving help from our Helper because we’ve been married long enough to know that we absolutely cannot mess around with this kind of stuff. Let that disconnect continue and the devil would certainly make sure someone else came along who we just might start feeling connected to.

That happened to me once, you know. It was much earlier in our marriage. Thankfully, I can sit here and type that NOTHING ended up happening, but I came dangerously close to letting something happen that would have torn my entire family apart as well as sabotage my destiny.

I didn’t have the close relationship with God that I do now because I was living under such a heavy load of legalism and didn’t even see God properly back then. I didn’t have a revelation of His deep and unconditional love for me.

Having a close relationship with God is such a safeguard for us!

But make no mistake about it – satan would love nothing more than to take us down by any means necessary – not just Steve and I, but anyone who is a follower of Jesus.

WE CANNOT give him the pleasure of doing that. EVER.

We must keep fighting the good fight of faith and stay on our journey because we are bearers of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Our wonderful helper, the Holy Spirit, always has our answers if we are willing to listen and follow His leading!

Steve and I are committed to keeping it real. Thankfully, Jesus gets right in the middle of our real lives, including the difficult seasons, and always causes us to triumph! (see 2 Corinthians 2:14).

Guess what? Steve and I are on the path to having a better marriage than we’ve ever had before. How do I know? Because of God’s promise to us in Romans 8:28.

We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (CEB)

If you have been feeling discouraged about a particular relationship in your life, I encourage you to let the Holy Spirit lead you in what steps to take next and also take hold of this promise in Romans 8:28! It’s not just for us. It’s true for you as well!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Christ In You,The Hope Of Glory

I have good news

Jesus Is Alive!

I have more good news

Jesus Is Alive In You!

Ok… now that you know this, go ahead and completely enter God’s rest because if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, He lives in you and if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can today.

Jesus is the perfect everything you will ever need living on the inside of you. I don’t know about you, but that just flat out makes me relax.

Need provision? Jesus is your supply.

Need wisdom? Jesus is your wisdom.

Need a healing? Jesus is your health.

Need to be more patient? Jesus is perfectly patient.

What else do you need? You name it. Jesus is your answer!

Always remember that Jesus is not only alive, but Jesus is alive in you. As you can see, this Biblical truth has very practical benefits for your everyday life!

You will notice as you read these 2 sets of scriptures below that Jesus literally did it all. Christ in You is the hope of glory! (see Colossians 1:27)

Ephesians 2:4-10 (NASB)

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2 Peter 1:2-3 (NLT)

2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.3 By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.

Let me ask you a question. Do you see anywhere in these scriptures that the responsibility is on us to produce good fruit? I don’t. Instead, I see things in Ephesians 2 like not of yourselves, gift of God, not as a result of our works, but that there will be good works coming right out of our relationship with Christ and in fact that these good works were prepared beforehand so that we would (not might, but would) walk in them. Do you see how, with this change in your belief system from, “this is all up to me” to “this has already been provided for me to walk in” makes all the difference in the world?

Then we see phrases in the next set of verses in 2 Peter like God has given us (already done) everything we need for living a godly life and we have received all of this by coming to know Him. Then in verse 2 – as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord He will give you more grace and more peace. WOW!

Where are the self-efforts in these scriptures? Where are the works? They are nowhere to be found except where they will always be found when we make our existence, not about our own self-efforts, but about having a growing, vibrant relationship with the person of Grace – JESUS. They will be a result of our grace-filled, Jesus-centered, Jesus-focused, Jesus-conscious lifestyle.

Our self-efforts (works) aren’t a root leading to Jesus and His grace. It’s the other way around. Jesus (the person of Grace) leads us to the fruit of good works. Believe me, they will come. They will flow right out of your relationship with Christ Who is in you and is the hope of glory. They will flow effortlessly from Christ to you and through you. So relax and enjoy Jesus! He’s everything you need!

Jesus Christ living in you is indeed the hope of glory!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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“Mountains…MOVE!”

I hope this 24 minute video on the connection between right believing about God and walking in our authority in Christ is an encouragement to you. God put it on my heart to record this video a few days ago and pray at the end over everyone in need of a miracle/healing/breakthrough!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Good Friday Indeed!

Isaiah 53:3-7, 9

Amplified Bible

3 He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all

7 He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.

9 And they assigned Him a grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in His death, although He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

Friends, Jesus literally did it all. Our part is to believe that He really did. We get to wake up every morning and say THANK YOU!

We can be assured that:

Because Jesus was despised, rejected and forsaken, we are fully accepted.

Because Jesus was a man of sorrows and pains and acquainted with grief and sickness, we can live a life filled with joy, healing and wholeness

Because Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our guilt and iniquities, we do not have to pay the penalty for our sins or carry around the guilt

Because Jesus bore the chastisement due us, we can live in peace

Because Jesus took many agonizing stripes upon His body for us, we can live in divine health

We should take Jesus’ gift to us very literally and really believe in the Divine exchange He made with us, including the gift of righteousness that has been given to us, all because of our wonderful Savior!

2 Corinthians 5:21 says,

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (NASB)

This is a righteousness not based on our works, but on Jesus’ finished work on the cross! Isn’t that great news?!

Sadly though, for most of my life, due to the heavy load of legalism in my own personality, I spent almost 100% of my time thinking about myself, how I could improve myself, how I could overcome my weaknesses and how I could be pleasing to God.

Ahhhh, but once the legalistic blinders fell off my eyes and I saw the truth about Jesus and His finished work, I stepped off my treadmill of accomplishment and began to spend my days thinking about my wonderful Savior and everything He is and everything He did for me and how, because of the cross, God is and will be pleased with me as His daughter, always!

I’m telling you, I hardly ever thought about what Jesus did for me all those years because I was too busy thinking about what I was suppose to be doing for Him, but now, not a day goes by that I don’t remember and meditate on Jesus and His beautiful finished work on the cross. It’s all about Jesus and boasting about Him – who He is and what He has done and what we can now do because of what He has done!

Oh yes… it was a good Friday indeed when Jesus accepted His Father’s will in the garden that Friday and stepped in and paid the price in our place. He changed everything for us and our part is to BELIEVE that Jesus did indeed save us in every imaginable way, that He overcame for us and that His finished work really did finish it!

This is something we can do, not just on Good Friday, but every day, for all eternity!

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom