Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

Shine Brightly

Shine Brightly

How do we talk to others about God? How do we effectively share our faith, and encourage other people to draw nearer to God? There is a balance and effectiveness that is very important. Many of us have experienced someone in our lives, that has made us feel uncomfortable when they spoke about what we “should or could” be doing in our faith walk. These conversations probably made you cringe and want to crawl away. When we feel we are being directly “preached at” we experience the same emotion as when we feel we are being “judged”. God does not want us to walk around telling people how they ‘should be’. This leaves people feeling a sense of condemnation. God desires for us to share the good news in a loving, compassionate way. God wants us to live a life of righteousness and love. Through our own faith journey, we gain spiritual wisdom. This wisdom will allow us to shine brightly in our daily walk. We are all on a spiritual growth journey. We will be able to show our faith…the love of God…simply by what we reflect in our own character. This refection will draw people to you. They will want to know what it is that makes your light shine so brightly. There are times when we will be able to encourage others with what God has done for us. There will be opportune times, that God will provide…that will give us the wisdom to share the story of Jesus and the salvation we are able to receive freely. Allow the spirit to flow through you, by focusing on your daily walk with God. God will guide us all, and use each one of us in a special way, to spread the good news of Jesus and the promise of eternal life and everlasting love.

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 TIMOTHY 4:16

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, The Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 JOHN 2:1-2

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Navigating Change

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Are you hungry for love, peace, calm, joy & balance? Most of us yearn for that on a daily basis. Life is about the choices that we make. God gave us free will…the free ability to make the choices that define our lives. It is our responsibility to choose what fills our lives. Every single aspect of your life is a choice you have made somewhere down the road. Sometimes we make choices that we seriously regret. Many times we attempt to recover from something we regret, but often make another negative choice. It is at this point, we usually start blaming other people or things for the negative that is happening. This is a common natural response…it’s called human nature. We can get stuck in that rut of life, or we can recognize what has happened. When we decide to pay attention to what needs to be changed, we begin to climb upward in our life. Balancing out life will require analyzing the choices you have made. It may not be easy to open your eyes, but it will bring you a whole new level of living. Ask God to help you open your eyes to what needs to be worked on. Ask Him to help you make new decisions, the right decisions, that will line up your life in a positive way. Ask Him to help you hunger for HIS will in your life. He will help you press through the difficult change, and you will soon look at your life and be amazed at how peaceful it has become!

Jesus said. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” JOHN 14:27
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” JOHN 15:5

For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. COLOSSIANS 1:13-14

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

 

© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Journey to Change

journey to change

Life is not easy. Sometimes it makes no sense, and we find ourselves facing difficulties that force us to walk a different path. Whatever you have gone through has required change. You have been molded, guided, and shifted in some way, to become who you are today. As we reflect back on those changes, recognize the good within whatever you have overcome. Some of us have had very rocky journeys. That doesn’t mean we look at the shame within the journey. That means we revel in the victory of who we are today because we were able to make changes…one step at a time. We have the wisdom to share with others, because of what we have been through. Maybe you aren’t quite where you want to be. Maybe you aren’t even sure of where you are going. Either way, you have a choice and an opportunity to go in a direction that is forward.

It may not be easy to see what your future can hold, but it is possible to look ahead with an expectation of something better. Don’t sell yourself short. Focus on today. Focus on how you want the next hour to go, and then the next 2 hours, and then the next 4 hours. Break life down into a realistic vision, so it is obtainable and gives you a sense of accomplishment. It may not be easy to get to where you want to be in the future; but through prayer, trust in God, and small steps, you will be able to achieve that change you desire. One day you will look back and be amazed at how far you have come, and how much wisdom you have obtained in the journey.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ROMANS 8:37-39

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

 

© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Because of God.

Screenshot 2019-10-29 09.50.27

The God Who Stays – Matthew West

I once thought I was a lost cause. I had given up; suicidal, hopeless, full of shame and guilt. Rape at a young age had taken away my self-worth and identity. I had buried it so deep within, locking that secret away…pretending it didn’t happen. That secret festered inside of me. The life I would attempt to lead was an exhausting effort to wear a mask, living in the flesh, trying to please everyone around me. In doing that, my choices were skewed, causing me so many more issues. I, myself, caused so much pain and at the same time, endured unimaginable circumstances. I thought I could never overcome the internal festering emotional pain. I drowned that pain with alcohol for almost two years. I did everything I could to eliminate myself from this earth. God had another plan. God saved me. Jesus held me when I could not hold myself. My family loved me through it and endured so much themselves.

I am eternally grateful that we have a God who stays. God never leaves us. God opens His arms wide and waits for us to receive His eternal love. Because of God I have been forgiven, renewed and restored. I live a purpose today. I serve and honor God because He is never forceful or condemning…He is peaceful, loving and patient with our hearts. He waits for us. He loves us. He holds us.

Tomorrow is a special day for me. I celebrate 10 years of sobriety. I celebrate the beginning of who I am today. I celebrate freedom. I celebrate HOPE. I am eternally grateful that God saved me. Today, I help others see the hope we have in Jesus. Today, I am a witness to the miracle of God and what can happen if we simply surrender our lives to “The God Who Stays”. Thank you, Matthew West. This incredible song is a testament to my nonprofit Light of Hope. Together, we are helping people see the hope.

God is with us,

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

 

Be A Light

be a light

As we look around us, we can hear and see so much suffering in this world. It is heartbreaking to observe the brokenness in so many world situations. This makes me ask myself the question, “What am I doing to make a difference?”

In all the ‘busyness’ we create in our lives, are we being purposeful in helping this world? No matter how hard you try, there is no way of tuning out of the world. World tragedies are happening all around us, and we cannot ignore this raw pain. It’s heartbreaking to see the evil, and the devastation surrounding us. So, what can I do to make a difference? Love. Pray. Be available. Trust God. In all the days Jesus spent on this earth…He loved. Jesus prayed. Jesus was available. And despite the suffering, the persecution and the horrific things Jesus faced…He trusted God. If I can learn to show love despite what the world says, I can make a difference. If I can pray for everyone…selfless, heartfelt prayers, seeking God in every situation…regardless if I know them or not…I can make a difference. If I can make myself available to help, to listen, to grow, to guide, and to learn, I can make a difference. If I can purposely trust God, regardless of what I may see, feel or hear, and show others how powerful it is to truly TRUST GOD, then I can make a difference.

Why? Why do I need to make a difference? Because Jesus asks us to be the example. We are the disciples of Christ. You and I can and will make a difference in this world if we make an effort to decide to just be truly loving people. God is with us in all that we do. He will guide us toward peace and hope if we seek Him. I want to know, that when I die, I made a difference to someone. I want to be remembered for being a light, a positive, spirit-filled, caring person. I choose to live for Christ. I choose a life of joy despite what the world says. I pray you will walk along-side me and seek the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. Love one another and make a difference.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. PSALM 85:10-12

Jesus said: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” JOHN 14:26-27

God is with us.

Layla

© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

Let go of your “shame box”.

shame

Letting go of pain and suffering is not easy. Often times things happen to us that are greater than we can even wrap our minds around. Sometimes things are so severe, that we bury them deep inside pretending they didn’t happen. Often times we have convinced ourselves that we were the ones to blame for the incident. Sometimes we become angry at God, blaming Him for allowing things to happen. The truth is, God is not to blame. The enemy is alive and real, and He will attack and attempt to devour us, in any way he can. God has given us free will to make decisions in our lives, and sometimes our decisions can be dangerous. It is not that we have decided to allow things to happen to us; but over the course of time, some of our decisions have left us vulnerable for the enemy to attack. God is still in the midst of our lives, but He waits for us to call on Him, versus forcing Himself on us. We are in control of who controls our lives. This does not mean things will not happen to us. This means we have the ability to allow God to guide our lives if we let Him. When we develop a relationship with Jesus, we begin to gain wisdom and understanding, which will help us make better choices and decisions. My life began taking a turn toward healing, once I began understanding this.

I’ve often been asked how I overcame some of the things I faced in my past. Reflecting back on this question always brings me to a deep understanding of how great our God is. Years ago I was violently raped. Many years went by before I ever spoke about it. I had buried the violent incident in my ‘shame box’ deep within my soul. I pretended it didn’t happen. I pretended it wasn’t there. I put many other things in that same ‘shame box’. It’s amazing how much we can collect over time. Eventually, we have to let our ‘shame box’ open up enough to face the truth. The only way to true healing from pain, resentment, bitterness and suffering is to face the truth and walk through it. It took me so many years to come to that understanding. Remembering the details of the violent violation is one of the most painful things I’ve had to journey through. But it’s also one of the most healing things I’ve overcome. Not only did it allow me to release the resentments and the festering pain, but it allowed me to forgive my perpetrator. Many of you have walk-through serious incidences in your life, that you have placed in your ‘shame box’. Conveniently tucking away the incident, leads to deep-seated pain. This pain can consume our lives. Depression, isolation, bitterness, sorrow, and resentment can build up over time. It’s time to open up the ‘shame box’ and clean it out for good.

God is not an author of shame. He is an author of love, hope, and joy. God desires for us to find healing in Him. Jesus understands the suffering, and His love can cover all your pain. Shame is something we carry around as punishment to ourselves. Again, shame is NOT of God. We are forgiven, redeemed, and cleansed from any mistakes we have made; when we allow Jesus into our hearts. As we process through our days, pray for God to allow you healing. Jesus understands. Jesus suffered, carried all our sin and shame to the cross, and died for us. He is our comforter, our healer, our Savior. He knows what you need. He knows how to walk you through it, and He will carry you every step of the way. His arms are wrapped around you every second of every day. Release your heart and mind to Jesus and you will find peace, healing, love, and comfort in Him.

Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. PSALM 34:5
 
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.” ROMANS 10:9-11
 
God is with us.
Layla
© Layla Freeman 2019
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018 
http://www.laylafreeman.com
laylaslight@cox.net
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 

HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE  – $9.95 

AMAZON – Hope In the Struggle 
Light of Hope  
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560