Layla’s Light Blog – Encouragement

What a difference “thank you” can make.

“Thank you. Great job. I appreciate you. You are making a difference.” Do you realize how much just a few words of encouragement can change a person’s entire day? How often do we hear words of praise? Many of us work hard at helping others on a daily basis. So often, the jobs that people do, are jobs of service to other people. How often do you take those services for granted? Waitress, nursing, teaching, counseling, law enforcement, cashiers, bank tellers, ministry, postal workers, construction, road service crew, bus/taxi drivers, you name it; the list is endless. Every job we do is a service of some type. Recognize what other people are doing to serve you. These people work hard. People need to be recognized. We should never take these people and their services for granted. They make such a difference in our lives.

Yesterday, my nonprofit, Light of Hope, was given a surprise award. We received an honorable award of “Non-profit of the Year”! This touched my heart so much. As I reflect back on the last four years, I’m amazed. I was so emotional after receiving the award, as the shock of this award sunk in. My daughter, Ashley, lives on through Light of Hope. Her memory is kept alive through our daily efforts. God has had His hand on every step of the last four years. We trust in His guidance in everything we do. He has lined up my amazing team of people who make things happen. Our hard work and dedication are making a difference. Our mission is to help, encourage, equip and educate as many people as we can. We are so grateful for this recognition, and for the support and encouragement from the community. I’m forever grateful for the people who serve beside me, for the community who has embraced us, and for the ability to serve the needs in such a passionate way. It’s things like this award, that help us keep going, and give us motivation. We know God has much in store for us in the future. God has many things in store for your future as well. Each one of us can make a difference in this world, no matter how small the task. Everything matters. 

God desires us to love one another. God asks us to encourage one another and build each other up. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11. Let us focus on being positive and encouraging. Say “thank you”, to someone today. Tell someone you recognize their hard work and effort. If you will speak uplifting words to at least one person each day, you will be a part of what God calls us to do. Love and peace. Encouragement and hope. These are the things of value. These are the things Jesus taught us. Let us focus on being a source of encouragement and hope for someone today.

 If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. ROMANS 12:8

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. HEBREWS 3:13

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
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 
400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
1801 N. Hwy. 66 Catoosa, OK 74015 
918-373-4560 

The greatness of “what if”.

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What if? That question has crossed everyone’s mind. What if I had done things differently? What if I had said this or that. What if, can go on and on. We could all spend a lifetime looking backward asking the ‘what if’ question. This is human nature, and something we all tend to do. Unfortunately, most of the time we are asking those ‘what if’ questions…we are thinking of the mistakes we made in the past. This kind of thinking creates guilt and remorse, and can seriously hinder our future. There is no human being on this earth that hasn’t made mistakes.

The past is something we can use as a very positive part of our life. Take a look at what you are questioning in your ‘what if’ statement. Instead of focusing on the negative that encompasses that situation, find the positive. There is positive in every situation…always. We must make the effort to see things differently, and use the situation as a guide and a resource for our future. This is called wisdom from experience. I don’t care how awful things were in the past, there is a positive lesson to come out of it.

What if you were able to use your experience to help someone else avoid making the same mistakes? What if you analyze the journey, and begin seeing where God redirected you and helped save you from more destruction? What if we recognize where we tend to block Jesus out and begin to open up our hearts to seek His help? What if…we stop hiding from our past, and release the guilt and remorse to Jesus? What if we REALLY take to heart…the unconditional, never-ending, love and forgiveness we have been freely given? What if we surrender the past to God, and pick up our cross to follow Jesus. Our lives are in our hands. We can choose to keep looking back and hold onto past regrets, or we can make the choice to give all that baggage to Jesus. Today, think about the baggage you are dragging around in your heart. What if you placed that baggage in the Hands of Jesus, and allow Him to carry it away for you? What if?

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

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet, was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. HEBREWS 4:14-16

God is with us.

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
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 

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