I can’t Win the Day if I do not first win the morning. I get up and go upstairs to have my time with God. I need my Bible and cup of coffee. Psalm 16:5 reminds me, Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.”

The first time I came to Harborside, Kurt was teaching on Exodus, and he said you can be in a storm and still be in the will of God. That was the beginning of my journey with God at Harborside. At Harborside I found great friends. I love how the church has become more and more diverse. It has helped me accept more people and learn from them. The women in my connect group help me, never give up on me and hold me up when I struggle with worry or fear of the future.

I know I don’t win every day, and that is okay. I just remember that there are no guarantees; we’re not guaranteed past today. The Apostle Paul never lost sleep over his past transgressions, so we shouldn’t lose sleep over not winning every day. Ultimately, God has forgiven us.

When I read the scripture, and observe throughout the day, I see the Lord taking care of me and the plans that he has for me. I see the way God has me in His hands. Every Monday morning, I meet with another woman from church and we pray for Harborside. After about three weeks of praying for the church we started praying for each other, and our children, and their churches. This prayer time encourages me tremendously. At the end of our prayer time we usually find a real peace. It is a great way to start my week.

I am learning that Winning the Day is knowing that I made a connection with God today. It doesn’t mean everything went perfectly, but it does mean that I connected with God. And that is winning enough.

Wendy Stutzel

The people who have been most helpful to me in my life pointed me to God. We all need people in our lives who help us win. We need people in our lives who remind us of the victory we inherit by just belonging to God.

My biggest obstacle is when I look around at other people and think that I am not as good as they are; or I think they are better than I am. I catch myself thinking that I need to be more like other people and less like myself. I keep forgetting my identity in Christ. I am learning that if I can surrender in worship, I feel I get released from all that. Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

In those moments when you feel most discouraged, God shows up even more. Understanding I am a child of God means I only need Him and His acceptance and not the world’s. Just wait on God. Have faith. It always gets better. Sure, sometimes it gets harder first, but just keep waiting. See and experience what God will do next. Then you are ready for a win.

Orlando Corteo

I win the morning by trying to wake up with positivity followed by scripture reading and prayer. I win the night by ending the day with a little bit of scripture reading and a lot of prayer. As I have grown in my faith at Harborside I found that I have a bolder spirit.

Over the last few years I have been a part of a ministry called Second Chances. Through this ministry, several others from Harborside and I go into local strip clubs and bring a message of hope, love and grace to the girls and other workers there. Last year there was another church who decided to picket outside one of the clubs where we often bring gifts and prayer. These picketers yelled at the girls and told them they are going to hell. This left the girls we had been caring for upset and confused. I personally don’t think we have to spend much time telling these girls they are going to hell because they are already living in their own personal hell. What they need is the grace, mercy and love of Jesus. When we showed up days after this other church picketed, the club bouncer opened the doors wide for us so we could come inside and be with them. The bouncer shared that when the manager of the club confronted the picketers he told them, “We already have a church who loves us, so get off our property.”

I have learned that the assumption that people want to live in their own sin is simply not true. People want something better. They want hope. It is every Christian’s job to tell others there is hope available and to help others walk toward that hope. By going through the Wildflower’s Connect Group, early when I first started attending Harborside, I learned how much of God’s love and healing was available to me. That group and what I learned while participating with other women in that group would probably be my most winning moment to date.

James 5:19-20 says, “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” I am learning more and more to be present in the moments with other people and to love them like Jesus loves them. When we do this, we win the day.

Desiree McElroy

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WIN THE DAY: Middle School Group Leader Content