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Showing posts from October, 2011

You Can Do it!

Peter Marshall said
"We are too Christian really to enjoy sinning, and too fond of sinning really to enjoy Christianity. Most of us know perfectly well what we ought to do; our trouble is that we do not want to do it."
Something moved inside of me when I read the words of Mr. Marshall today. I find myself being pulled towards things that can harm me so often that I wonder at times if I have the strength to stay the course. The answer is YES! In Him(Christ) I live and move and have my being. With God all things are possible. In fact Philippians 2:13 says,"for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." God is working IN me to bring out the desire to do what He wants me to do and the power to actually do it. Don't let the pull of what is harmful take you away from Him who can only be helpful. There is abundant life in Christ waiting for you: YOU CAN DO IT!

Remembering Betty May Martin

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A couple years ago I had the wonderful privilege of meeting a strong woman of God named Betty May Martin. Our church was involved in doing some teaching and loving on some ladies in our community and she was one of them. She was full of fire and always smiling.
One day after a service she came up to me a grabbed my arm and said, Pastor Joe, I never knew church could be this fun! She had found the joy of the Lord in a very personal way and it not only lit up her countenance, she had the strength of five men!
I feel blessed to have had some time with her and look forward to being with her one day again where she will probably hear me say to her, Betty May, I never knew heaven would be so fun!
Jesus enjoy her and thank you for letting me meet her and get to know her just a bit.

I pray for comfort and peace to her family and that they would experience the same joy that Betty May showed me:)

Happy Birthday Betty!

Memorial Service Saturday Oct 29th

Good Hands

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)
You are loved by God today. Feel that embrace. Know that He has an amazing plan for you that brings hope, help and healing. His goal is for YOU to be complete, lacking no good things.
May you begin to see His path and receive clarity in your mind and consistency in your journey!
Your in good hands with Jesus!

Build Up Confidence

Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ"
I love to start new projects and get involved in new things. I especially love it when God begins something with me that he has not done before. I like the excitement and the anticipation of considering how everything is going to work out. But its not always easy. If I am honest with you I must say that there have been many times when I wondered if what the Lord had started with me was going to be completed. Will I lose interest before God allows it all to happen? Will I be faithful enough to stay in the game even when I don't like what is happening?
I am realizing more and more that everything happens in a season and everything happens for a reason. And the way to finish is to build up confidence: confidence in knowing that what God begins will be completed.
Hang in there today and take this promise to heart. You can be co…

Cheerful Givers

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1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person?
Have you ever seen a need in someone and even though you had the means to meet the need you walked around it? I would guess we all have. At some time in our lives we have seen or heard about something that needed attention and turned a deaf ear. To have what you need, see a brother or sister in a desperate situation and then do nothing is a tragedy. This is not the way that God set up His church. This is not the love of God. The love of God sees a need, feels the pain, and responds with hope AND help.
We know that God loves cheerful givers. Cheerful, not careful:) Open your heart along with your eyes and your wallets this week and use what you have been blessed with to assist someone who is not as fortunate as you. Look for places to plant seeds of kindness. I will guarantee to you, based on the Word of God, that you will reap a bountiful…

Love Equals Light

1 John 2:9"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."
There are many people claiming to walk with the Lord that act completely different than the Lord would desire. Reading today's verses lets us know that love makes all the difference. Hatred is a characteristic of living in darkness and love shows that you belong to the light. You are the light!
What to know what to do and which way to go in your life? Choose to love. Want to stumble less? Choose love. Maybe the Beatles were on to something....LOVE is all you need!

Shape Up!

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Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Phil 4:4

Great advice...instead of worrying, pray! There's a great deal of "life" happening all around us. So much that its very easy to worry about everything. How are we going to make ends meet? Will my child be ok at school? Is my marriage strong enough to endure temptation? What if I get sick?
All of these questions can lead to long periods of worry. Worry often develops into anxiety which breeds stress and can even make you more sick. Paul taught us in Philippians to not be anxious about anything. Don' fret it and don't sweat it. Don't hurry through it and don't worry through it. How do we do that? We shape up! We let our praises shape those worries into prayers to God! Imagine being able to take every unmanageable situation and place it in a perfect size box that could be managed, close it and put it a…

Unlimited Patience

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"But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."
God offers grace to those that need it most. He gives a chance to exercise faith and share His love. That love was displayed; it was shown by what He did on the cross. And that was the reason referred to in our verse today. Greater love has no one than this, that they give their life for another. He has UNLIMITED PATIENCE!
When I read this verse out of 1st Timothy I think of my life and how fortunate I am that God sent mercy my way. Mercy came running in my direction. Mercy offered me a clean white board, a second chance and the opportunity to right wrongs and walk His walk. Thankfully He had patience without limits!
Remember today that God is for you. He is praying for you, gently nudging you towards the right path and speaking through all that is around you…

Great Love

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Ephesians 2:4 "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus."
Know this today...you are loved by God! I mean really loved. He has made you alive, raised you up and seated you with himself! He lets others know of His goodness through what He has done for you and for me. Stop hanging your head and being discouraged. You have been made alive! Don't let circumstances drag you down...He has raised you up above them! Now take your seat with the King of Kings and let the day begin...this is your day to shine and the day of His favor working in your life!

My Prayer

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Since the day I heard about you, I have not stopped praying for you. I continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way. I pray that you would bear fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God and that you would be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might. I want you to have great endurance and patience while you give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued you and me 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. (paraphrase from Colossians 1)


Have an amazing day!

Forgive to LIVE!

Most of us would say that we would never knowingly tether ourselves to anything that can kill us or diminish our quality of life. Yet when we do not forgive those that have wronged us, this is in fact what we do. We may a connection to a conduit filled with poison that can contaminate and annihilate anything its attached to.
In Matthew 6 we are reminded this in the words, "But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." If you ever need forgiveness, you are going to have to have some forgiveness in your tank. Forgiving another does not take away their responsibility for the action. It has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you!When you extend forgiveness you sever the connection to the poison thoughts, actions and words that often go with an unforgiving spirit.
So the only thing you must decide today is whether you want the best quality of life you could have or that you would rather be attached to something that can ultimately dest…

Who's Fight are You Fighting?

"He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself,
And he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Proverbs 9:7

A scoffer is one who likes to ridicule and not the type of person that you and I should "hang" with. Often I find myself getting caught up in things that I should not have even been simply because...."I was only trying to help". Have you ever found yourself in someone else's battle and wondered why you were standing there in the middle of a war zone with wounded bodies all around you? You may have said those words too..."I was only trying to help".

Not every battle is yours to fight. I would imagine that at some moment today, another person will try to attach you to their mess either with a phone call of gossip, or a conversation over coffee full of envy or bitterness. Choose to say no to "trying to help". Remember, you aren't God! One of the definitions of a scoffer is: someone that is derided. In other wo…

Rhythm

"He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christ's followers in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church, until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ."
God had a plan. Create mankind in His image and equip him with some unique talents so that he could accomplish some incredible things. Gifts like apostles(messengers of God) and prophets(discerners of the future) teachers and evangelists...all for a great purpose: to work with God's people...the church...so that the church could move rhythmically and easily with each other. Did you get that? We were designed to all work together!
The last time I looked at the church in general, there was nothing rhythmical about it. Some folks were doing the twist, others the robot, and a few engaged…

Morningstar

How do you begin your day? Is it always a struggle to get yourself up in the morning? Are your most important thoughts deciding what you will wear and what to eat for breakfast? 
In the Psalms David told us that he would get up and begin his day with the Lord by calling upon him in the morning. Morning became a special time for David to hear from God. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus is called the Bright and Morningstar. What is a morningstar? I believe that his name here means that he is the dawn of a new eternal day. When we start the day with the Lord on our mind, we know that we stay on his mind throughout the day too. 
So why not spend some time with the Lord this morning and start the day off right with the Bible; which is the original breakfast of Champions! Let his star brighten up your morning and prepare you for the day ahead. Your problems may not all disappear but through each and every one of your trials you can look up to heaven and thank the Bright and Morningstar for the stren…

Catch Your Breath

2 Timothy 3 tells us this..."But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Life has a way of taking the wind out of your sails and knocking the breath out of you. There is a way to get refreshed. Paul told Timothy this about the Bible: it is inspired by God which means that God breaths it into us so that we can learn and manage life's challenges. Want to be wiser? Read the Word of God. Want t…

Endurance

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We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3
There are many people today facing situations that seem unbeatable. The economy is sluggish, relationships struggling, jobs being lost...if you had to name these things you could surely say that they are "problems and trials". But there is a good side to going through adversity. You get tougher. You get stronger. You develop endurance.
You may be facing a financial trial today that seems like a huge problem. Stay tough and rejoice in God's power and the hope of His help. Trust Him.  Emotional troubles? Again, rejoice knowing that God is going to come to your aid at just the right time with the perfect answer. In the meantime, smile about those powerful muscles that you are building!

Thorns

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In scripture Paul was often irritated by things that were not godly and people who did not believe the things he was teaching. He was in a position to receive an abundance of divine revelation. God was speaking to him and ministering to others through him. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 we find him being attacked by this intense, wearying difficulty which he referred to a "thorn in the flesh". As most of us would do, he prayed that God would remove it. It lingered. He prayed again. Nothing. A third time he specifically prayed for the removal of this hindrance and still nothing happened to the hindrance. God was silent. But something happened in Paul.
Paul learned about grace. He learned the definition and magnitude of grace. For the Lord told him through this adversity that His grace was sufficient and that His strength would rise to the top when Paul's strength diminished. It changed the way Paul thought and they way he spoke. Now he would speak of the power of Go…

Armor All 3

I guess you can see the outfit coming together by now! Got the shoes, the body armor and tied it all together with the belt...well the other pieces of this spiritual warfare wardrobe are a shield, a sword and a helmet.
The shield was the size of a door and could weigh quite a bit depending on the size of the soldier. It was designed to completely protect the fighter. It was made of several layers of animal hide and needed daily care to stay flexible and ready to fend of the fiery darts of the enemy. You and I have a shield of faith that covers us too. We can move forward by keeping faith in front of us and using it to endure seasons of enemy attacks. Along with the shield came a sword which represents the spoken Word of God. This was a two edge sword that could slice and puncture the enemy. We use the Word of God to counteract the damage that the words of people can do. Faith comes by hearing that Word which is spoken...make your professions out loud so that you can hear them and your…

Armor All 2

After the belt of truth, Paul described some more armor that every spiritual warrior needs. Next came the breastplate of righteousness. The incredible awesome breastplate that covered the front and the back of the soldier. If kept shining and polished up it could blind the enemy as well as protect the soldier! From the waist down it looked more like a metal skirt. It ended just above the knee.
The belt held it in place and kept it in position. After the breastplate Paul goes to the footwear. Guys and gals like shoes but these were not shoes for comfort they were shoes for battle. Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. These shoe were strapped on up to the knee and on the bottom there were spikes: little ones for civilian wear and longer ones for soldiers. The idea was to strap on these shoes and help you stand your ground, firm-footed and ready to tread on all evil. So many folks today run around with their laces open and their shoes untied!
If you don't wear your …

Armor ALL

Ephesians 6 is where we find the suggestion by Paul to "put on the whole armor of God". The way to stand against adversity and eve rise above it is to be dressed properly. The armor of God has you covered in all areas.
It all begins with the belt. I don't always wear a belt and even when I do, its not what I would call the most important piece of my outfit. Yet in the armor the belt of TRUTH is crucial. It means everything because it ties the rest of the pieces together AND holds everything in place. The belt of TRUTH is the written Word of God. It's our blueprint for life. It maps out our course and answers our questions.
Do you read the Bible? How often do you put on your belt? The truth does not set you free. The truth THAT YOU KNOW is what sets you free! Put on your belt!

See you here tomorrow for some more pieces of armor!

The Whole Armor?

Yesterday we closed with the question...
How are we to be strong in the Lord AND in the power of his might?
Check this out:
put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles(scheming) of the devil” EPH 6:11 NKJ At first glance you probably recognize putting on the armor, the whole armor of God. Why would that be important? It’s important because there is going to be a very real evil all around you.  Most of us know how to dress for success but nothing about what to wear into a spiritual battle. There are so many terrible things that happen around us but we have been given POWER to handle all of them. That power comes in Christ.  If you want to know more about someone you have to spend time with them. You have to talk to them. Same with the Lord and getting tapped into His power. You communicate with Him through prayer. You read His word to find out the strategy that he would use to endure a touch season or a difficult decision. The whole armor of God has got yo…

Be Strong

“Finally, my brethren, be strongin the Lord and in the power of his might.” EPH 6:10 NKJ  Read this closely.  It seems to suggest to me that it may be possible for us to be strong IN THE LORD but completely miss the POWER that is available. Perhaps that is why we have so many organizations today and gatherings where people are IN THE LORD but few of them seem to have evidence of their being any life-changing/transforming power. We must be careful where we sit; even more so where we soak! So many folks are standing on the promises but not able to activate the strength and the power necessary to endure this season and press through to the next. We've got to find some enduring POWER. Where does that come from? How are we to be strong in the Lord AND in the power of his might?
Meet you back here tomorrow:)