Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye Richard
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Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!  

Being Strong and Courageous

www.courtnayerichard.com

I want to start this post by quoting one of my favorite Scriptures found in Joshua 1:9, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Sis, this was a command for Joshua and it is also a command for us today.

The Bible tells us in Romans 15:4, “For as many as have been written before have been written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

If you need to be encouraged or need hope today or later on in the year (or in life for that fact), you can always rely on this encouraging command.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “How can a command be encouraging, Courtnaye?” And I would say, “Because when you are afraid or feeling discouraged, this verse can totally be encouraging. It is God giving you direct and clear instruction through His Word, sis.” That’s why I love it so much!

So if you ever find yourself needing a fresh charge of confidence or hope, remember God’s Word, “Be strong and courageous!” When you feel fearful and cast down in your spirit, remember God’s Word, “Do not be afraid or discouraged.” If you ever feel like God is not with you, remember His Word, “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

For me personally, I love this verse especially when I am about to embark upon something that seems intimidating or bigger than me. The Holy Spirit reminds me, “Hey, be strong and courageous!” It quickly reminds me that I am not alone. God called me. And since He called me, He is with me.

Actually, being strong means having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks. It also means being able to withstand force or pressure.

At the time when God was commanding Joshua to be strong and courageous, he was about to assume the role of leading the children of Israel into the promised land. God knew that there was valid reasoning for Joshua to be afraid or discouraged because of what lay ahead of him and just because of the possible, "Who me, God?" factor. Yet, the Lord reassured Joshua that he was the chosen successor of Moses and that He was going to be with him the entire time.

In other words it was if God was saying, "Go forth boldly. I've got you!" And if you’ve read the book of Joshua, then you know that God was definitely with him.

So when God calls you and I to do something that is scary or maybe daunting, God wants us to face whatever it is with strength and courage. The word courage simply means the ability to do something that frightens you or strength to face the pain or grief. Being courageous as Christians is all about bulldozing our way through the fear and conquering whatever it is that’s in our way to accomplish God’s will in faith. It’s also plowing through knowing that God is with us, no matter what.

There is no better way to take on a new task, position, illness, or scary thing than to know that you’ve got the Almighty Father with you. His Spirit dwells within us. Knowing His Word and having His command to be strong and courageous is comforting! My sister, He is with you. So, do not be afraid or discouraged.

Also, remember that Jesus is coming back soon, and those who endure unto the end, shall be saved. Let God change you from the inside out.

Questions to ponder: Have you ever felt so afraid that you were too fearful to move forward? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt like giving up or "Why me, God?" Does this verse help you to trust God to get moving again or be reassured of His presence and supernatural help?

If you need prayer, please leave your prayer request in the comment section or you can email me directly at insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com and I will pray for you. I'd love to hear from you. Also, discover more resources from my ministry and find out more information about upcoming events and booking for your next conference or event by visiting www.courtnayerichard.com. Let's connect and let me know how this post ministered to you today! ~Courtnaye

 

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Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).

 

 


Devotional Time Layout for 2020

                          www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

As we prepare to take on a new year, it’s a good time to look back on what we did that worked and what didn’t work throughout 2019. If I look back on this year, I had a great year - thank God! I'm so grateful to the many prayers that He answered, but also understanding of the ones that He didn’t answer in the way that I may have wanted. Father knows best, right? Right. But as we go into 2020, let’s develop a plan for our devotional time that is even more impactful than 2019!

With that being said, what does your current devotional time with God look like? Do you like the method? Is it a good location? Is it enough time? Are you getting all that you want out of it or would you like a new or improved layout? If you’re open to doing something different or adding on another helpful technique, I’d like to share with you a few suggestions of how to create a devotional time layout for 2020. Remember as we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

The first thing that I would suggest is to reassess. Look back at what worked for you in 2019 as it relates directly to your devotional time with God. If something good worked, keep doing it. Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. ;-) However, look back again and write down a few things that didn’t work for you and get ready to try something new.

Okay, let’s dive into this layout!

Location, location, location! Mix it up! You don’t have to do your devotional time in the same place all the time. Switch it up sometimes. Jesus spent time with God on the mountain (see Matthew 14:23). He spent time with God in the wilderness (Luke 5:16). He spent time with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). Catch a few points here.

Jesus talked to God wherever He felt led. What a great example! There wasn’t any one place. We see that Jesus spent time with the Father when He was on the mountaintop. Before He went into His ministry, He spent dedicated alone time with the Father in the wilderness (that was a time when He needed the strength of the One who sent Him to see Him through).

You and I will need the Lord when we go through our wilderness and preparation seasons as well (especially when we’re fasting and praying). Another point here for us to grasp is that He spent time with the Father when doing His will was going to be difficult (i.e. Garden of Gethsemane).

So in your devotional time layout for 2020, be sure to carve out time to seek God when things are good and normal, but also when you need strength for the dry times, preparation, and when He’s calling you to say “yes” to something that may be difficult.

Next, by all means layout a time to spend with God daily, yet don’t box yourself in. Schedule it when it’s best for you and be open to divine appointments. Remember, God is supernatural and Spirit, so as He leads, simply follow.

He may lead you to stop what you’re doing and just pray. He may lead you to pick up a particular book and read a direct passage that He knows you need for the moment or season you’re in. He may intervene and deposit a word of knowledge or wisdom just at the right moment (that you were never expecting). So be open to His interjections, interruptions, or schedule changes. Trust me, it will be all good!

Ready for another suggestion? Okay. Take a day with the Lord. Yep! One day out of the week for Him. Meaning, spend a few hours with Him alone. Go away to the park, pull up to the lake, or sit on a restaurant or coffee shop patio (I’m at Starbucks right now as I write this post - sitting on the patio under the open sky in His Word, reading, praying, and writing). Whatever getting away looks like for you, go for it, sis! Do something different! Do something fresh with the Father!

Here’s one more for the road! Layout what you want to read or study in January. Don’t just jump into the year without a plan. For me, I’m reading the book of James. That’s my focus!

Sure, there are other books and resources that I would like to read or watch, but I don't want to be wrapped up into too many things at once. I want more structure. And I want to be more focused vs. scatterbrained. So again, how about you? What can you focus on in January during your devotional time?

That’s really it! I hope that these ideas bring you even closer to our glorious Father. He longs to spend time with us. Whether that’s the moment we wake up, in the middle of the day, or late at night, He longs for it! And He loves it and us, because He’s all about relationship!

So if you’ve noticed that some things didn’t work last year, do something different in 2020. Again, if something you’ve been doing works, keep at it! The key here is to layout a devotional plan that will impact your life and the lives of others around you because you've spent dedicated time with the Father. So take some time before January 1st to lay it all out and jump into 2020 ready!

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Are you ready to take on 2020? Have you laid out a plan yet, especially as it relates to your devotional time with God? Let me know, sis. Also, do you need prayer today? If so, write it out here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.


*Have a women's conference or event, let me know and let's connect on the details!

For more information on booking me to speak in 2020, Click here!

Order your copy of IDENTIFIED TODAY!

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!


Getting Focused Spiritually

     www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org

Are you finding it hard to get focused spiritually these days? If so, what’s got you losing focus? What are you thinking about? What’s distracting you? Who is distracting you? What do you need to focus on today, this week, this month? Whatever it is, my hope and prayer is that you will learn how to get focused spiritually and begin moving even further in your walk with the Lord and God-given assignments.

For starters, I need to ask a few more questions. Do you ever struggle getting focused as you read the Bible or a spiritual book? Do you find your mind shifting to other things as you begin reading or drifting towards what you need to get done for the day? Better yet, do you find yourself reading a quick devotional and then jumping right into your day and then feeling like you’ve got a major accomplishment done? If so, guess what?

Tactics!

One of the reasons why we can’t seem to get focused or stay focused long enough these days is because of the intensified tactics of Satan. The truth is he does not want us diving deeper into the Word. He does not want us drawing closer to God. He does not want us growing stronger in our faith to counteract his fiery darts of doubt, fear, insecurity, and sense of lack. And he definitely does not want us to know the plans or promises of God, which are written in Scripture. And he for sure, doesn’t want us living out the Word and obeying it.

So, what does he do? He strategizes and comes up with all kinds of tactics to either distract us, get us disinterested, or too busy mentally and physically to stay focused spiritually. I've been there before! So I know what I'm talking about here, my sister. But let me go a bit deeper.

The term “tactic” actually means a planned way of doing something. So just like you and I plan to spend uninterrupted time with God, Satan plans to interrupt that time by filling our minds with everything else that we need to focus on instead.

That could be anything from your To-Do-List, problems, email, social media, goals, food, money, relationship, kids, ideas, and the list could literally go on and on. It doesn’t matter what it is, really. His mission is to get you to lose focus on all things spiritual.

And if you’re not careful, before you know it, you’ll find yourself drifting away from Scripture, prayer, and your passion for spending quality time with the Lord and your love for Him will begin to wane (if it hasn’t already).

But here’s how you fight back and get focused spiritually…

Plan and Pray– As you plan out your day, include scheduled time with God…uninterrupted. You have to do whatever it takes to stay focused. If that means getting up earlier (before your hubby and kids get up or before your alerts start going off on your phone), do it. The main thing is to pray and ask the Lord to help you to stay focused on Him in prayer, meditation, and in His Word.

Listen as You Go– Meaning, listen to the Word on TV, YouTube, or Bible App as you get ready for work, a meeting, church, or whatever you’re getting ready for. You can listen as you do your hair, make-up, shower, or drive to your intended destination. The point here is to stop at nothing from getting closer to God and going even deeper in your knowledge, passion, and love for God. Fight for it.

Set a Timer– I totally do this! Set a timer and don’t do anything else outside of your time with God, until the alarm goes off. You can set it from your phone, clock, stove, microwave, or buy a stopwatch or timing device. And you can set it for 15, 30, 60 minutes, or longer. The Holy Spirit will lead you on the time. Just stay focused, sis.

Got a Goal?– What’s your spiritual goal? Do you want to read the Psalms or Proverbs through? Or how about reading the Bible through or focusing on the Old or New Testament? Maybe it’s reading a book of the Bible at a time? What about studying the parables, a Bible character, women of the Bible, or doing a topical/word study? Maybe it’s focusing on memorizing more Scriptures for application and/or teaching? Whatever it is, fight to get focused and don’t stop until you’ve accomplished your goal. You can even get others to hold you accountable.

Go Beyond a Daily Devotion– Go deeper. That could look like waking up on Saturday morning or on one of your off days (if you work) and planning to spend a few hours in the Bible, prayer, or reading or studying the Word. You could also carve out some reading time for one of those books on the shelf, Kindle or ibooks that you’ve been wanting to read. Crack open that Study Bible or software (if you have any of those), and dig in for deeper understanding and fresh revelation. The aim here it to encourage you to get focused and don’t let up until the Holy Spirit leads you to do so. He knows how much you need to fill up in this season, so you can have something to pour out when it’s time.

Listen sis, the devil has plans, but so can you and I! Fight back by being intentional with your time. When you and I go deeper into God’s Word, prayer, fasting, meditation and memorization of Scripture, we are a force to be reckoned with. We have even greater power against the wiles of the devil, when we are alert and focused spiritually.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8-9, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” This is about strengthened faith, growth in knowledge and character, greater love, encouraging the body of Christ, endurance, and fulfilling the Great Commission – the Gospel.

So, do whatever it takes to get focused and stay focused, sis. Remember to do what Colossians 3:2 says, “Think about things of heaven, not the things of the earth.” Shift your focus. God will help you. You are not alone in the process. Try it today and look out for the impact that it will make in your life, the life of others, and most importantly, your relationship with God. Get focused spiritually, my sister.

Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

QUESTION: Do you ever struggle getting focused spiritually? If so, why is it a struggle for you? Let me know, sis. Also, do you need prayer today? If so, write it out here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.


*Have a women's conference or event, let me know and let's connect on the details! For more information on booking me to speak in 2020, Click here!

Order your copy of IDENTIFIED TODAY!

*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!

Blogs

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Being Strong and Courageous
Courtnaye Richard

About Courtnaye Richard

Courtnaye is a Christian blogger who loves writing to help women grow in their walk with the Lord. It's all about real talk, real issues, and real life in the faith! Don't miss out on her weekly posts every Monday at 7:30am on www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org. For more info or questions, you can visit Courtnaye’s website or contact her via email. Also be sure to "Like" her page on Facebook. God bless!