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Monthly Archives: July 2015

July 30, 2015

Do We Really Believe?

Written By Judy Smith

Believe- to as accept true or real; to hold onto religious beliefs.

Beliefs- something that is trusted or believed.

woman praying

Sometimes we as Christians have a belief system, but do we really believe? John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 In my thirty years before Christ there were many who let me down and did not keep their promises. I didn’t trust anyone. When I welcomed Jesus into my life, I said that I believed, but I was still working hard to earn my salvation. I studied God’s word and prayed believing, yet I was still trying to fix everything and trying to make it happen.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Did I really believe that I had received salvation? I began to search my heart. As I studied the scriptures I discovered that the disciples struggled with unbelief even after being taught by Jesus for three years.
Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. In Mark 9 the father of a demon possessed son brought him to the disciples and they could not cast the demon out. Jesus said in verse 19 “O faithless generation how long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me. In verse 24: Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!”

I began crying out to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief,” and thus began my journey to greater belief and greater faith. Let me encourage you to do this daily; and let me encourage you today through scriptures. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Hebrews 11:1 NASB Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Here is the definition of faith for us to live by today: being completely assured of what we hope for, and absolutely certain of what we do not see. Though everything around us goes against that hope, we have complete confidence in God. We believe in God, and that He can do the impossible. Perhaps the question is “will He?” Does God love me enough to help me? The answer is absolutely yes. Even though God has shown His love for us in Christ, we must still accept His love by faith; fully believing that He will not fail us. God loves you, believe it!

 Psalms 42:11 ESV Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God…

Every morning we have an option. We can either choose to be discouraged, or choose to hope and believe. It is a decision that remains in your power. We can govern our attitude, especially when meditating on the God who can turn everything around for us. Our circumstances need not dictate our mood.

Are you discouraged? Put your hope in God. Believe! He will certainly bless you. Psalms 43:3 NLT Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.

Blessed is the believer. Luke 1:45 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said. There is so much peace in simply believing and knowing that God will do as He said. Even at her young age, Mary knew to believe. Perhaps that is the reason God chose to bless her with being the mother of the Messiah, because her faith was so strong; she believed. Certainly it’s not always easy to rest and believe in God’s promises. When you believe- really, fully trust- that God will do as He says, you will experience a deep abiding peace, faith, and belief that bless you. You will know His presence and power in a way that will amaze everyone.

Lord Jesus we want to have Mary’s faith; the kind that believes the impossible. Thank you for blessing and strengthening our faith!

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July 23, 2015

Band-Aids & Broken Hearts

Friends sitting together

Written By Remaliah Evans

They say time heals all wounds… I beg to differ. Time is a band-aid that covers the wound. As time passes the pain seems to diminish, until we hear a song or see a photo that brings us back to that heartbreaking moment. And the pain resurfaces because the wound was never healed, it was merely covered.

A band-aid is never a remedy for a broken heart. A band-aid covers a wound but it does not heal it. A heart can be broken by betrayal, prodigal children, a departed loved one, disappointment over shattered dreams, a breakup, or a divorce. What do you do when your heart breaks?

My heart was first broken when I was sixteen and I was betrayed by the person I trusted most, the person who was supposed to protect me and love me unconditionally. I did not know what to do because I had never felt that type of pain before. I was confused, hurt, frustrated, and angry and I felt powerless. I knew that I never wanted to feel that way again so I made promises to myself. I said I would never trust anyone again, I would stop crying, I would never give anyone the power to hurt me like that again, and I would stop feeling. If I could just stop feeling then I wouldn’t feel the hurt, or so I thought. I built walls. Walls are another type of band-aid. They hide the wound, but they do not heal it. Walls are also not boundaries. Boundaries are fences with gates, so you can allow people in at your discretion. I built my walls with the intention of keeping everyone out, even though I secretly hoped that a trustworthy person would get a ladder and climb over the wall. That secret hope was immature and unfair because people should not have had to jump through hoops to get to know me. Jesus Himself knocked at the door of my heart and waited for me to answer.

My heart was broken several more times as the years went on and I kept covering up the heartache. I covered it with denial, inner vows, food, partying, and busyness- whatever I could find that would make the pain go away, even if the pain only went away for a little while. Then I rededicated my life to the Lord and started attending church. I was a hot, mean mess. And just to make sure that God and I were on the same page I told Him, “I’m here for You, and for You only. I don’t want to make no friends and I don’t want to be involved. I just want to get right and come on Sundays.” The plan was to stay isolated so no one could hurt me or see my brokenness. God had a better plan and despite my best efforts I ended up in a small group.

In that group God showed me through His word and through incredible friendships that He is love, therefore I must love. 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. [S]he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” When they taught on this passage, I realized I could no longer refuse to love others. Later the Lord showed me that my unhealed heart made it impossible for me to love unconditionally.

Finally I yielded to the process and I asked God to heal me. Together we are tearing down walls and taking off band-aids. He led me to support groups, counseling, and to integrous people who told me the truth. I am still in the process. This past weekend I was talking with a friend about some old dreams that did not work out and I started crying. I thought that I had already dealt with the disappointment; however the Lord showed me that I was still heartbroken. He is faithful and He reveals to heal. I used to refuse to cry, now I let the tears flow and I ask God to heal me because He promised me that He would heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds in Psalms 147:3. I have a long way to go but the band-aids are coming off. Now, I give my heart to the Healer.

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July 16, 2015

A Positive Life

Written By Lynn Waters

I have been recounting the fantastic Life Builders Conference we had with Havilah Cunnington.  I didn’t know who she was walking the fine lineuntil I listened to her “I Do Hard Things” series on YouTube.  I enjoyed the series, learned a lot, and I was very encouraged by her upbeat ideas. If you attended the Conference you received her workbook and you can review the teachings on YouTube follow along with the workbook.

She has made it possible to take just ten minutes each day and be encouraged, because she knows how busy our lives are.  She has four small boys and she ministers, so she is quite busy.  If she can take to time to create the videos, we probably have time to watch them.

What is more, you can look at them as many times as you wish. They are there 24 hours a day.  You can listen first thing in the morning before the kids get up or late at night in your pajamas after the kids are asleep. After hearing the teachings, I would go to bed thinking about how I can be a better person.  WE CAN be better.  We can all improve ourselves in some way.

Havilah Cunnington has various books, and videos on YouTube to choose from.  This means you don’t have to stop listening to the fantastic speaker and have the Conference become a memory, you can keep it going for as long as you want.  You can make it an everyday event and be encouraged daily.

We can encounter much negativity day in and day out, so it is good to add positive bible-based teachings to our lives.  This could move us forward into new and positive areas and give us a brighter outlook on life.

Positive people attract positive people, and they are also likely to exchange great ideas, best practices, and ways to remain positive on a daily basis. Your positive disposition will also influence and affect your family.

I think we all want a happy positive life, moving toward what God wants for each of us.  A life where we encourage others to reach their goals, and others encourage us to reach our goals.  A life where we wake up each morning with a positive plan for the day, the week and the year. This more positive life begins as we spend time with God, and in the word of God.

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July 9, 2015

Praise.

A Poem and a Prayer.

by Ruby Heaton

What Kind of Praisers Are We?

Do we only praise God…

When the sun shines on us?

When everything goes our way?

When we get exactly what we ask for?

Do we still worship God…

When we fail?

When God delays?

When God tells us no?

Do we praise God…

When our dreams are shattered?

When people betray us?

When we hit bottom?

When we’re in the dirty dungeon

In the midnight hour

Can we still praise God?

Paul and Silas did.

Praise

You praise God,

Through hell or high water,

When you know who God is.

You praise God

When your memory is intact

Because you’ve trained and disciplined

Your emotions to stay out of the way.

You praise God

When he becomes real to you.

You praise God

When you’re fully submitted to him.

You Praise God

While everything crumbles around you

Because your faith is high.

You Praise God

When you know his voice

And you’ve followed it

So you know where his paths lead.

You praise God

Because your love is so deep

And you really believe.

Have you arrived at the place where you can praise God on the mountain

Or deep in the dark valley?

Have you arrived at the place where you have to praise God

Because that’s what you were created to do

And you’ve stepped into your destiny and power?

Prayer:  God teach us how to worship you in ways that please you. Help us to always remember who you are and all you have done for us.  May we long to worship you, so that praise is on our lips and songs come out of our heart.  In Jesus name. Amen.

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July 2, 2015

Are We Stuck Or Walking In His Promises?

Written By Judy Smith.
If you think about it, we are stuck on planet earth until further notice, or as the hymn says, “till the roll is called up yonder.” I am so looking forward to that day, but for now I had better make the best of my time by choosing to pray and get unstuck.

Sometimes we stay stuck too long and then we take up emotional residence by getting comfortable and decorating that woman prayingstuck place with “I can’t, I tried, and I don’t wanna.” We need the Holy Spirit to reveal why we are stuck, and we need the Holy Spirit to empower us. Repeat Acts 3:6 to yourself, “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” We must keep walking!

John 12:35 Ask Jesus’ light to shine into your stuck places, “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.” Let the Holy Spirit reveal to you why you are stuck, and He can empower you to change yourself and your circumstances.

Imagine what will happen if we step out of our routine and deliberately walk in His ways, and stop trying to do it ourselves. 1 Corinthians 1:9 NASB God is faithful; through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

I used to have an answer for most problems in life and I had much to say about almost any subject. I now have fewer answers because I have discovered that God is faithful. I say it because through experience, I know it is true, and I have discovered that it is true no matter what is happening in my life. My child is sick and I don’t know what to do; God is faithful. I lost my job and I don’t know how I will pay my bills. God is faithful. My husband has been diagnosed with a fatal disease. God is faithful! My husband has left me and my heart is torn in two. God is faithful!

Through my troubles and trials of life, and with my forty-four years of knowing Jesus as my Lord and Savior, my expectations are still high. If the whole purpose of my life is to learn to love God and to show His love and compassion to the world, then what He is doing in me is more important than what He is doing for me. I have discovered through many tears and struggles that if I bring every damaged, jagged edge of my life to Him, He will continue to mold me to become the woman I am called to be, and I will not be stuck.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, as your sister in Christ, I urge you mediate on these words of life: God is faithful.

Pray bold confident prayers. 2 Corinthians 3:12 AMP Since we have such glorious hope (such joyful and confident expectation) we speak very freely and openly and fearlessly. Jesus is looking for men and women who will pray bold prayers. We often pray, “now Lord, I just ask that You protect us. God if you would just help us in this situation.” These prayers sound as if we are afraid to ask God for very much. In this context the word “just” means barely enough to get by. God wants to give us exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to Ephesians 3:20. That’s something to be grateful for! God wants to hear bold, confident, faith-filled prayers from thankful people who are secure in their relationship with Him. Don’t be afraid to ask God for too much because He loves you and wants to do more for you than you can imagine.

When you belong to God, you never have to fear. He is stronger than your circumstances. He is stronger than any enemy you could face and His perfect love will always protect you.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; instead perfect love drives out fear.

Hebrews 13:6 ESV So we can confidently say, the Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Ephesians 1:4 He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.

Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him, you also trusted after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory!

You are His beloved child. He chose you before the foundation of the world, to walk with Him along paths designed uniquely for you. Concentrate on keeping in step with Jesus instead of trying to anticipate His plan for you. If you trust that His plans are to prosper you and not harm you, then you can relax and enjoy the present moment. Your hope and your future are rooted in heaven, where eternal pleasures await you. Nothing can rob you of your inheritance of unimaginable riches and wellbeing. Sometimes He gives us glimpses of our glorious future to encourage us and lead us on. But your main focus should be staying close to Him. He sets the pace in keeping with your need and His purposes.

So get out of the rut and don’t be stuck! We have been set free by the blood of the Lamb! We are free indeed!

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