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Don't Stop Believing'
by Shannon Heiden
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Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt. (Jude 1:5) NIV

Beautiful One, no matter how old you are, how much money have or education you don't have. No matter who supported you or who left you. No matter how many things you have done before that have never worked out, remember this; a mile is a series of small steps taken, a journey is a lifetime. So don't stop believing, never give up, and keep on keeping on, until you've done what you've determined in your heart to do. The prize doesn't go to the fastest, best looking, the most talented or even the smartest. The prize is attained, by the one who never stops believing that all things are possible. ( Mark 9:23) NIV

When Colonel Sanders was 65 years old, he received his first social security check of US $99. He was broke. In fact, he was homeless, living inside the back of his truck. His only asset was a secret chicken recipe.

He left his home in Kentucky and traveled to the many states in the US to sell this recipe. He offered his secret chicken recipe to many restaurants for free.

All he wanted in return was a small percentage of the sales. However, he was shown the door by many restaurants.
” Get out of here. Who wants a recipe from a white Santa Claus?” the restaurant owners shouted, referring to the dress code Sanders adopted: a white shirt and white trousers.
Over 1,000 restaurants rejected his offer. How many of you would have quit after making one or two unsuccessful sales calls?

On his 1,009th sales visit, one restaurant finally accepted his offer.

Today, Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets and fatherly Colonel Sanders’ statures are found all over the world.

He has changed the way the world ate chicken- finger-lickin’ good!

Beautiful One, how many times in your life have you encountered rejection? How have you handled those rejections? Have they left you in a state of confusion, scratching your head? Have all of the "no's" in your life propelled you into becoming paralyzed? ...or are you viewing them as another opportunity to realize that you are now, one step closer to receiving your "yes?

Dreams, we all them. Maybe you have a dream of having children, being married, owning a new house, writing a book, or running your own business? Maybe you want to go back to school, maybe your dreaming of a better job?

On a different scale, maybe your dreaming of a reconciliation with a friend or family member? Maybe you've been dreaming of quitting an addiction, improving your quality of life, growing closer to the Lord? It really doesn't matter what kind of dream you have, how big or small it is. What brings significance to our dreams is the simple fact that no matter who sees them or even approves, if you and I don't believe in them, they will never become a reality. They will be nothing more than a nice warm thought that we escape to every now and then.

Beautiful One, have you ever wondered why others are living out their dreams? Have you ever thought to yourself " they must've had all the advantages, others have had it easy, they had people who loved, supported and encouraged them. They had people who helped them along their way, that's why they have it all?"

Maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who have had people in the stands cheering for you. Maybe you couldn't possibly understand what it feels like to journey life completely void of support and nurturing. That's a good thing, for God surely intended that for each person that He assigned to this earth, to have loving supportive relationships. Relationships that compliment anothers life and adds a measure of acceptance and belonging.
Then, there are those of us who've been unfamiliar with encouragement and support. Since we struggled our way through life and didn't know the voice of love, we became uncomfortable with affection, support and encouragement. Often times when the Lord placed people in our path to help us and love us, we unconsciously rejected the hand that reached for us because we didn't understand the heart behind it.

When Israel was in bondage for 400 years, they were oppressed at the deepest levels. They were slaves, beaten down, deprived of their dignity and over a process of time, year after year they no longer fought against their oppressors but succumbed to them.

When a person has been in bondage, abused, or rejected and has never fully been introduced to true, genuine affection, even when they are brought out of their captivity, they still have the same mindset as if they were in Egypt. Just because their bodies may be delivered doesn't mean their minds have followed. That is why so many drug addicts return to their addictions, 7 out of 10 of the people in prisons, when they get out, will go back. You can deliver someone from their Pharaoh but if their mind does not get transformed and renewed, just as Solomon said; "a dog will return to it's vomit, just as a fool returns to his folly." (Proverbs 26:11) NIV

Beautiful One, at this very moment, today, it is vital to realize that it does not matter how you started out or what you have gone through. Yesterday is gone. It cannot be undone, it truly is a thing of the past. The things that have happened to you over the course of your life can either change you and help you to forge your way into your destiny, or it can repell you, leaving you carrying a huge bag over your shoulder everywhere you go. Weighing you down with all of the rejections and pains, tainting any opportunity you have for a significant future.

The beauty of our lives is this; we get to choose. You may not have had a say of what happened to you or how you started out. But today, if your voice stays silent and you suffer alone, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

Some of the greatest dreams are birthed out of the greatest turmoil and strife. For how will we ever know how beautiful it is at the top of the mountain, if we had never labored and suffered to get there from the bottom? Adversity and rejection happens to all of us. Pain is painful, rejections hurt. Whether you come from a great family, or had none at all is not the issue. The issue we all must settle is that our life has meaning, even if no one else thinks so. The very fact that we are here means that there is something more that God has planned for us. Something better, of great value, and if we will just believe in the One who can do the impossible, we will find our way into it.

God brought Israel out of their suffering. He delivered his children. But instead of taking them right into their destiny, He took them the long way around. He took them to a place of isolation, so that He could work on their minds and teach them to trust in him. Since they had someone telling them what to do, mistreating them day in and day out, and since they never got to make a choice of their own volition, God prepared a place for them where all the ugly tendencies they had developed back in Egypt would rise to the surface. He did this so that they could recognize what was in their own heart, forsake it, be heal of it and go on.

But this did not happen. Instead, all of the fear, anxiety and unbelief had overcome them and the ones who had been rejected for 400 years, rejected the very One who loved them and was trying to help them.

Beautiful One, is your Pharaoh taunting and tormenting you? Are you a child of God who has been set free, only to be a slave again to whatever is ruling you? Your oppressor could be anything; drugs, sickness, abuse, money, the way you look, people, your friends even a family member. What rejections have you allowed to render you ineffective in your own life and in the Kingdom of God?

Today, if you hear His voice, than you will know that your Pharaoh is dead! He was put to death 2000 years ago. The truth is, you may be in a prison of the past, guilt and regret may be your guards, but you are being lied to and the cell your in is not a locked one. The devil doesn't even have keys to his own house, not when your there. Your God snatched back the keys of death and hell and you are free to go! All you have to do is determine in your heart to do so. Throw your heart over the wall and your mind and body will follow.

Get out of the dungeon of the past, just leave. Forgive, forget and forge ahead. God in his wisdom and love for us, cannot allow us to go into the Promised Land with an Egypt slave mentality. He knows that if allowed, we would destroy every good thing in our future if we are not reconciled with our past.

Kernel Sanders was 65 years old, homeless and broke. He had faced rejection and humiliation a thousand times, but he never gave up. And because he didn't, because he didn't listen to the voice of another, he at the end of his life, witnessed his dream come to pass.

Beautiful One, you have a dream, God placed it there. Are you allowing any rejection of the past, from Egypt, to hold you back? Is there unforgiveness, unbelief, anger, strife, bitterness, or envy that has attached itself to you, that is hindering you? If so, release it today, right now. Choose by an act of your will to let it go and walk on.

You have so much significance, never allow anyone or anything to come between you and your inheritance, especially another person. If someone has stuck their foot out to trip you, use that foot as a stool to step on up into your destiny.......

It's never to late, you're never to old and all things are possible, to those who believe....

Beautiful One, just believe and never stop, believing........

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