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    Filling Our Need

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010, 1:00 PM [General]

    To the young boy who lost his family God says to him:
    “I am a Father to the Fatherless and a protector and comforter of those who have lost their loved ones” Psalm 68:5 

    To the Soccer Mom who cheated with her husband’s best-friend God says:
    As far as the east is from the west is as far as God has removed your sins from you. Psalm 103:12

    The sixteen year old girl who struggles with the thought of not being cared about God says:
    I think about you so much that you cannot possibly number them! I can’t even count them, they outnumber the grains of sand and when I wake up you are still with me! Psalm 139:17-18

    The homeless man who feels forgotten by the world God says:
    Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she would have no compassion on the son of her own womb? Even if she forgets, I will never forget you. I have engraved {tattooed} you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:15-16

    The Former Nazi General wondering if God could love someone like him God says:
      “I have loved you, my people, with an EVERLASTING love, With UNFAILING love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3-4

    And to everyone else, God has a word for you……

    Listen…

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Get Up And Love

    Thursday, February 25, 2010, 1:08 PM [General]

    Many of us, if not most of us are quick to say how much we love God. God is the center of our joy, our very reason for living. God is our "this" and God is our "that" - we love God from the depths of our soul and spirit.

     

    Loving God is a beautiful thing, but is our love something we just say?
    Or do our actions back up those words?

     

    One way we love God is by loving his people. John 14:15 says, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." There are many commandments we could discuss, but let's look at a particular one that says: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." John 15:12

     

    Loving the way God loves us is a huge task because God love is unconditional. God knows EVERYTHING about us - the good, the bad and the "oh I hope no one finds out about this" - yet, He loves us.

     

    We disobey and disappoint God...yet He loves us.
    We don't listen to God's mandates...yet He loves us.
    We are too busy to spend quality time with God like we should...yet He loves us.
    We ignore His instructions and then beg for mercy when we fall down...yet He loves us.
    We gossip, lie, cheat, steal, fornicate, abuse our temples, etc...et, He loves us.

     

    We continue to do that "thing" we keep asking for forgiveness about and promise never to do again... yet He loves us. Now turn the tables and look how we treat those around us. Does our love for God's people even come close to the love God shows towards us?

     

    Are we willing to see the good in people instead of always emphasizing the bad? Are we willing to help that sister or brother struggling with that addiction, or are we just going to continue to talk about them?

     

    Will we reach out to that family that we know is in need or will we assume the next person will assist them? Will we pray for that couple whose marriage is suffering or just speculate about what took place? Will we embrace that young woman prostituting her body for attention and teach her what it means to love herself, or will we just turn our heads?

     

    It's time out for being a Christian that simply talks the talk. Love is not passive - it's active. It's not just words, it's actions. So ask yourself, what will I do today to love on God's people? How can I strive to love others as God loves me?

     

    Perhaps we will never make it to that place of loving as God does, but each day, we can work to get one step closer. So stop talking about love...

     

    ...get up and love!

     

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Loving God's People

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 5:58 PM [General]

    It goes without saying that often in life we feel alone. We feel as if we are standing against the storm alone, fighting the rising tide alone, dealing with the difficulty alone, and living the great moments alone.

     

    Life has been so unkind to so many of us that we have failed to cultivate or revisit the art of being close to persons and knowing the joy that comes from true and genuine fellowship.

     

    We can find ourselves seeking to be alone because we feel it is safer and we won't be hurt. The real truth, however, is that we are missing out on what God has purposefully put in our path: His people.

     

    God knows we cannot make this journey by ourselves and still know the fullness of the joy God has for us. What God has for us is intricately woven into fellowship and cannot be fully experienced until we allow ourselves to embrace the community of which God has us a part.

     

    He has given us His people and now we must learn to love again. Jesus said that we would be known as his disciples 'by our love one for another.' God allows us and teaches us how to love and just what love means.

     

    He teaches us that within the confines of God's family, we must learn how to love and to forgive. We must learn how to care and to be compassionate. We must learn how to celebrate and to serve.

     

    I must admit...I love the people of God. They have been my instructors in life, my companions in suffering, my cheerleaders in success, and my friends in life. The writer of Hebrews said that we should not take this love 'for granted.'

     

    We should seek out ways to build upon it and to encourage one another. We have a community that is always looking for new ways to inspire and to edify us. In the midst of a world that wrestles with the meaning of love, God has placed us in a community that seeks to practice love.

     

    Let us not be naïve; the church is far from perfect. It has its flaws and makes its mistakes, but it is the bride of Christ being prepared for her Lord.

     

    A love for God's people can help us all to realize that we should not live out our lives' journey by ourselves.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    A love for God's people

    Monday, February 22, 2010, 1:04 PM [General]

    Life is God's gift to us, but what we do with that life is our gift back to God. One of the most expressive ways to show God our attitude of gratitude is to share the life of God's love with others.

     

    We live in a world that is screaming for love in all the wrong places. As a society, we have lowered our standards to believe that it doesn't matter where the love comes from, as long as it packaged with a label called "love". Most often we find that what we call "love" is actually lust disguised.

     

    One can always use this example as a gauge to measure if something is love or lust: If it is true love it's always looking for an opportunity to give. If it is lust it is always looking for an open door to take.

     

    We have crossed the threshold of a new age, we must hold fast to the core values that have made us sober and secure. Jesus tells us that on these two hang the entire laws of the prophets according to Matthew 22:38-40

     

    As we walk out and share this love with others, we should exemplify the horizontal and vertical love of God. This model displays the insignia of the cross. Then we take up that cross daily (the love of God) and carry it to a lost and dying world that so desperately awaits it.

     

    Today we are being faced with a challenge that we've never been faced with before. We are openly commanded to love a people who do not think or live like us. We must find a way to channel that passion and conviction into loving them with the same conviction that must be modeled beyond words only, it must become tangible.

     

    John 13:34-35, Jesus explicitly declared,

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

     

    The only way the world would ever believe that the Kingdom of God existed and that God had a sincere heart towards humanity was if those who had been in the presence would show the love of God towards each other.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Hope for my future...

    Thursday, February 11, 2010, 1:16 PM [General]

    The other night, my momma and I got into a great discussion about my future. I've been praying these last few months for God to give me clear direction of what's next. I feel blessed beyond measure with what he's given me, from an amazing and supportive family, to wonderful friends, and a job that keeps me busy. I have a wonderful church and am involved in various ministries there.

    However, I feel God is calling me (and really, all of us) to do something more that will build His kingdom, but I'm just not sure what that is yet.

    Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel the tug of God so strongly on your heart but you’re unsure what to do and where to go next?

    It's an exciting feeling, and I've had it many times before, because I know God is preparing my future. I feel I've made some pretty big leaps in my past, trusting God to catch me on the other side, and He always has. He's always honored those decisions.

     

    This past year, I have really latched on to The Parable of the Talents, found in Matthew 25. The parable tells of a master rewarding his servant who used what was given to him to increase his earnings. Read the passage really quick. I believe God gives us all talents and He expects us to use them instead of burying them in the sand. By doing so, He entrusts us with more and says "Well done, good and faithful servant."

    For me, I'm driven to ensure my talents are being used to increase His kingdom. And I'm praying that God continues to give me opportunities to do just that.

    My request to you this week: Join me in that prayer. Not only for God to make His vision clear to me, but to ignite passion and vision in YOU so that you can be placed "in charge of many things."

    Let's build God's Kingdom together!

    0 (0 Ratings)

    JESUS LOVES YOU!!!

    Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:18 PM [General]

    God loving us first was the beginning of our relationship with him. We must develop a love for God in order to complete the relationship. No matter how much He loved us there could not be a relationship until we loved him in return. Relationships are not one sided. It is not just God loving us but us loving God that completes and defines that relationship.

     

    To have a healthy relationship and to reap the benefits of that relationship there must be a mutual love for one another. If our relationship with God is not what it should be then we have to look within ourselves to cultivate and deepen that relationship. There are many one sided relationships with God and one sided relationships in the world. In our relationship with God it is not Him that is lacking in the relationship. It is us.

     

    I have always had a love for God. Even as a teenager I knew that there was a God and I knew that He loved me. I knew that from a simple song that goes like this....

     

    Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so....what a wonderful song. I am sure most children heard the song while growing up. It is a simple song but a powerful song.

     

    The song is so powerful that it is known all over the world. Back then I had no idea how much God loved me or how much He sacrificed for me. All I knew was that He loved me because the song said that he did. Even as baby Christians that is all we need to know, at first. But, as we get older and mature in the things of God we have to grow in the understanding that we must reciprocate that love.

     

    If we never develop a love for God we can never understand what He did for us and how much He loves us. We will never understand love in any of our earthly relationships either. We will never understand unconditional love. Not understanding can prevent us from totally submitting to God and His ways. It will interfere with the desire to build a strong relationship with God and to walk in obedience. It will keep us from finding our purpose and from living a life sold out for God.

    God's love is not conditional and He will never stop loving us no matter what. God does not have human characteristics. His love endures forever. When we grasp the concept of unconditional love we are able to establish a right relationship with God and with our families, friends and neighbors. We then will realize what God did for us. I can think of no better scripture than this:

     

    “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

     

    Until we understand the dynamics of such a love we will never quite understand why it is so important for us to have a love for God and not just a love for God, but the same type of sacrificial love that He had, has and will always have for us. Sacrificial love for God will lead us to lay down that bad habit and/or that relationship that we know is not right. It will lead us to sacrifice our time, our money and give up that ungodly behavior and much more.

     

    When we really get to know God, we will develop such a deep love for Him that we will want to please Him.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    What are you focusing on??

    Friday, February 5, 2010, 12:39 PM [General]

    We really have no idea how powerful we are. We tend to see ourselves as tiny individuals in an enormous world, doing our best to sway the tides that come between us and our fulfillment. But there is a truth that can change this perception, destroy the feeling of victimhood and bring true freedom:

     

    What you focus on grows.

     

    Our focus creates our reality. If we are focused on what is wrong in our lives and our worlds, what are we going to see? What’s wrong. But if we are focused on the things we love, the things that inspire us and fill us with joy, we start to see the beauty we were so blind to before. You can transform your experience of life in an instant, just by choosing to focus inwards. Just by bringing your attention deep into yourself, instead of getting caught up in the dramas and worries of the world around, you can break lifelong patterns of discontent and preoccupation.

     

    So if it’s so simple, why don’t we do it? I know why: because we don’t want to. We don’t want to be happy: we’d prefer to fight for what we think should be fixed. We don’t want to surrender: we want to win. We don’t want to embrace our reality: we want to chase our ideas of how things should be, instead of accepting them as they are. Why? because we are convinced we know best how our lives should be. The truth is, our idea of the perfect world has been forged by the opinions of so many, by the fears and insecurities caused by so many life experiences, that it is not really our idea at all.

     

    Children don’t do this. They embrace what they have without question.

     

    I am not denying the importance of working towards a better world. I admire any activity that helps unite humanity and improve the quality of life on this planet. But if we are focused on what’s wrong, even with the intention of making it right, we are perpetuating discontent and inconformity. Let’s focus on what we have achieved, on the wonderful, incredible world we live in and the passionate and inspired individuals who are giving their best to humanity every day. Let’s focus on what we can give: on the ways we can lead more joyful, fulfilling lives. Let’s focus on being fully present, on knowing ourselves, accepting ourselves, embracing ourselves. Then naturally we will share that love with those around us.

     

    What are you focused on right now? On the frustrations of the past, or the worries of the future? Why don’t you try, just for today, to focus on enjoying each moment? On giving the best you can in each situation that is presented to you?

     

    Give it a try. Discover the power of focus, and in doing so, take responsibility for your own happiness

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Eliminating Doubt

    Thursday, February 4, 2010, 1:35 PM [General]

    Sometimes it seem like it takes a very long time for the things that we are trusting God for to happen. We began to get anxious and even doubtful. When we deal with other people it is understandable that we might have doubt because we are dealing with human beings who are just doing the best that they possibly can. With God and His promises there is no reason to doubt.

     

    God has done and will do everything He said He would do and more. When things do not happen as soon as we would like them to or when we have waited as long as we think we should or when that break through takes time we can find ourselves in doubt. We get anxious and wonder where God is or if He heard our prayers. All sorts of things enter into our mind and the wait seems endless. We try to be patient, but it seems as if it is taking forever.

     

    We often ask, "When God...When?" Often in my life as I prayed about certain things I have felt so anxious, even impatient at times. Sometimes to the point of saying, "Will this thing ever happen?" Other times asking, "Did I hear God clearly?" "Did I get my signals crossed?"

     

    Then I began to doubt and question what I thought I knew. At other times I tried to work it out myself and just got in God's way. It is hard to be patient and wait, especially in today's world filled with instant gratification. However, we must be like Abraham who had the faith to believe that God would do what He promised. The Bible tells us that Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform (Romans 4: 20-21, KJV.)

     

    I remember as a young girl listening to older believers talk about the importance of 'knowing' something. I never could understand why people in church insisted that you 'know that you know that you know' something (followed by a head shake). At the time I had no idea what in the world they were talking about. I just knew that they believed what they were saying. But now I know and can relate to what they were saying.

    I know that I know that I know (head shake) that God is in control.
    I know that I know that I know (head shake) He will do just what He said.
    I know that I know that I know (head shake) He may not come when you want, but He is right on time.
    I know that I know that I know (head shake) He is all knowing.

     

    That head shake was eliminating any doubt! That head shake meant that they were fully persuaded that God would do just what He said. Instead of doubting and/or being anxious and getting in God's way let's wait patiently and realize that everything is in God's timing.

     

    God's timing is perfect because everything about God is perfect. We need to get to the point where we do not want anything outside of His timing. If you are waiting on God for anything, wait patiently and He will bring you to that expected end.

    Eliminate any doubt in your mind and be fully persuaded that God is not slack on His promises.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Faith is an Action Word

    Friday, January 29, 2010, 12:49 PM [General]

    For as long as I can remember, I have been able to quote scriptures on faith. Over the years there have been plenty of occasions for me to share those same scriptures with those around me experiencing rough patches in their lives. Matter of fact, I can honestly say it has become second nature to speak life into anybody's situation no matter how bleak things may look.

    Even in my personal life, I've faced my share of difficult and trying times. Using those same scriptures or reflecting on how God has always brought me through, I have effectively ministered to myself.

    Then it happened - a test of my faith that I was not prepared for.

    On March 20th, 2007, my father suffered a severe stroke. Two days later, he fell into a deep coma that lasted for a couple of weeks.

    When the phone call came through, fear tried to replace every ounce of faith that I had. All of the statistics about stroke victims filled my head. Guilt overwhelmed me. The unknown outcome consumed my thoughts day in and day out. Everything seemed to trigger a river of tears and a range of emotions that I never knew were possible.

     

    At that moment, I couldn't remember one scripture on faith. At that moment; I forgot that God was a healer. At that moment I allowed fear to cause a complete interruption and breakdown in my spirit.

    I tried to pray but it seemed like I couldn't get any words out without breaking down in tears again. I tried to be strong and pull it together but it was just a front for those around me.

    But God.

    I remembered that I didn't have to do this alone. I remember that God had never failed me before nor was He going to start now. All I needed was to have faith the size of a mustard seed.

     

    "...if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20

     

    Do you know how small a mustard seed is? Surely (I thought to myself) I had that much faith. During this time, I heard a minister say both faith and fear require you to believe something you can't see. It was then I made the decision to choose faith - to really choose faith and not just to talk as though I had.

     

    Immediately, I felt the comfort of God's hands on my life and my family's life. I had felt alone and abandoned by God but the truth of the matter is I was never alone. God was just waiting for me to turn and trust Him. This is when scriptures became real to me. For every emotion I had experienced, God reminded me what His word said, and once I began to mediate on those scriptures and allow the Word to be made flesh in my life, healing began.

     

    Did the healing and wholeness happen overnight? Not for me. Does fear still try to rear its ugly head? Most definitely. But now I am standing on the Word of God and in spite of what is going on in the flesh, I can boldly say:

     

    "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Living a Surrendered Life

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 12:28 PM [General]

    As a child you did not have a care in the world. You knew that your parents/guardians would provide for you. You had food in your stomach and a roof over your head. You did not concern yourself with bills and transportation you just went with the flow. If you had to ride the bus with your parent you did so because that is all you knew. If you had to eat bread and butter for dinner you did so because that was what everyone else was eating.

     

    As you grew, your cares changed and life began to get real for you. Middle and high school issues, who to take to prom, how to pay for college. You got to college and had college issues and the burden of loans! Now you are a full blown adult making grown folks decisions. Sometimes you wish you could just return to the days when it was all so simple.

     

    Well actually you can, but it is a choice you have to make. You have to choose to live a surrendered life, a life in which you release all your cares to GOD. A life where you say if God can't do it then it can't be done. Now this is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. It takes time, some falling down and getting back up. It may take making some really big mistakes and transgressions.

     

    Finally, it takes a decision to release all control. It is a decision to live a life that is not your own, but led by the Holy Spirit. The best part is the Holy Spirit is omnipresent and omniscient and goes before you and has the road map. I would much rather follow the lead of someone with a road map than someone who is just going on a whim.

     

    Just imagine preparing for a road trip and your passenger states they know where they are going. As the journey proceeds the roads begin to look unfamiliar and street signs unclear. Your passenger finally decides to share that they actually do not know the way. As a believer you have confidence in knowing that the Holy Spirit will never give you false hope. The Holy Spirit knows the way no matter how unfamiliar or scary it may look. You can rest in the promise of God that he will never leave you nor forsake you.

     

    I encourage you to make a decision to live a truly surrendered life. This is the life of faith. Faith is not knowing what tomorrow will bring but, trusting that God wants everything good for you. To walk in faith and letting God have His way in every affair of your life is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. It is not going to be easy but I guarantee you it will be worth it!

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

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