Category Archives for "Weekly Encouragement"

October 15, 2015

Recognize Your Season

Know Your Season

Written by Tina Cobian

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.  A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what has been planted.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

It is 5:10 on a Monday morning and I‘m headed out the door on my way to work.  My drive in is usually dark due to the early morning hour but today the dawn is quickly breaking through the night sky and the asphalt of the usual dark streets has now begun to reflect the early morning sunlight.  The transformation of daylight is only one of the marks of the season’s change.  The weather is also changing and the green leafy trees have begun their makeover into an array of browns, orange, red and golden yellows. On this particular morning I can almost see the finger of God pointing to the horizon as the sun begins to peak though.

My heart races, my eyes are open and I sense this season of change is more than just an annual event written in the almanac.  His voice is clear although it is a mere whisper in my ears.  It is as loud as thunder and as gentle as a soft warm breeze.  On mornings like these I wonder how I arrive at my destination. I am completely captivated by His voice and He has all of my attention.

He shows me the beauty in the colors of the leaves and I realize that although lovely to behold these changes signify the death of the leaf.  Soon they will dry, wither and fall from the branch.  It is a necessary cycle preparing the tree for the next season of life.  As the season continues, the rains will come.  Each drop of water will aid the process gently removing the unfruitful parts of the tree to make room for the newness and life that will soon come.  I see myself and what I have walked through so clearly.  I had not relinquished the unfruitful leaves in my life so willingly at first, but as I have surrendered each and every fruitless branch, He has been faithful gently prune it in preparation for new areas of life.

This has been a season of transformational change for me in so many ways.  There have been areas in my life that were dead and fruitless.  Those areas seemed so beautiful to my eyes and yet it was time to allow the removal to take place.  Just like the gentle raindrops washing away the lifeless leaves from each branch, He has washed away these areas in my life.  Some of the changes were painful and there seemed to be a time where I even mourned the loss of these areas.  God walked me through this too. He allowed me the time to process and when it was time He called me to stand up, and grow up.  I would not have come to this place of thriving life if I had not allowed the pruning process to occur. 

A time to break down, and a time to build up, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.  Ecclesiastes 3:3-4

When the dead leaves fall to the ground they are transformed further.  They break up and become nourishment to the tree, bringing it strength and feeding it for the next season.  The leaves go into the ground and become a type of fertilizer which is then absorbed by the root.  The useless, dead leaf is now once again part of the tree, but this time in a way that gives life.  Those things that have been removed out of my life are areas where I have gained strength.  Each learning process will forever remain in my memory, not as a source of pain, but as a remembrance for growth.  I share with you these areas of victory because God has the ability to transform every dead thing that was cut off into an instrument of change and seed for new life.  I am reminded of one of my favorite scriptures.  It was one of the first ones I learned and it has carried me through many situations.

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

I arrive at my destination and I am about to enter the building I see a tree at the entrance.  There are benches and tables under it.  Sometimes at lunch we sit under this tree and it provides shade from the sun.  Even during the triple digit heat of summer, it provided shelter and a cool place to rest.  I study the trees structure. The trunk is weather and time worn, but wide and strong reaching past the three stories of the building’s height.  Its branches spread out across the yard and stretch towards heaven in a stance of praise and surrender.

Breakthrough has come and the new season is here.  I see it, feel it and every fiber of my being is alert to what is breaking forth right now.  It’s time for me to embrace this newness and walk in the fullness of His plan for this season of my life.  My heart is surrendered to Him and all that He desires to do in me.  I sense His nearness and I know that His plans for me are good.  I can’t help but smile, because I know He is with me here, now, and always.

October 5, 2015

A Season of Change

A Season of Change

Written By Amber Lawton

I am enamored with autumn. The change in weather, captivating colors, warm sweaters, and intimate gatherings make this the best season of the year. Even the fragrance of autumn invokes warmth and friendliness that the other seasons do not share. You see, spring carries the excitement of new life, and fresh blossoms. While summer is about the outdoors, cook-outs, and travels. Winter may be cozy, but is so over-chilled any reason to stay indoors is welcomed. This brings us back to autumn. Autumn, in my opinion, is the centerpiece of community. We can once again gather to drink hot coffee, pumpkin flavor of course. We hold dinner parties, and engage in meaningful conversations because we are less likely to be distracted by a beach ball flying in our face. If married with children, this is the season where our children have returned to school, which means bedtimes, routine, and order are back in place. In the movies, this is the season when couples really fall in love.  I could go on.

Yet, we are so captivated by the beauty that surrounds us, we don’t consider all that is being removed.

 Instead I would like to consider something this season also represents, but is to some extent ignored, and that is transition. Foliage fades from vibrant greens to serene oranges, and browns before floating to the ground. The bright scorching sun is overshadowed by clouds. Gardeners prune back the once brilliant landscape as plants are no longer producing. This cycle of death is what leads us into the serenity of winter. Yet, we are so captivated by the beauty that surrounds us we don’t consider all that is being removed. One day I was in what was an intense study for me.  The words “intentional, deliberate friendships” had been playing over and over in my head. Partly because I realized I have a smaller group of close friends than I used to, and partly because I questioned my decision to decline an offer to “hang out.” Saying no has become fairly new for me, and lately I have used the word more than I have in the past 5 years. So I asked God, “Show me characteristics of what being intentional looks like. Show me how to receive others well, and to be deliberate in my actions towards them.” He showed me many different aspects of relationships through different individuals in the Bible. Then, right in the middle of the lesson I asked for, was a lesson I needed. It was after putting together the list of characteristics that He then showed me Autumn.

 Autumn is significant to the season of friendships or relationships falling away. The desire to be a well-liked person can overshadow what God is doing in your life, pushing you into a place of loneliness. We are surrounded by beauty as change is manifesting, but if we don’t allow ourselves to embrace the pruning we will miss it. In order for new plants or fruits to grow the lifeless and fruitless must be removed. Autumn is a season of transition because it is a season of cleaning out or making room. That transition brings winter into a cherished space. The winter is where we can sit in His serenity. In the winter is where we find His peace. In the silence of our alone time we can hear His voice clearer, and feel Him strengthen us. Below the cold desolate surface, in the richness of the soil He has planted us in, are new seeds waiting for the time to spring forth and bring fruit.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1,2b (HCSB) says “There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven… a time to plant and a time to uproot;”

 My prayer is that you find the beauty in the uprooting.

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September 24, 2015

Walk With Jesus

woman praying

Written By Judy Smith

In John 16:33 Jesus “these things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Tribulation can be defined as pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing or distress.  To me, tribulation is like putting a lot pressure on the freedom Christ has given us. It feels like bench pressing a weight you can’t lift without putting everything you have into it. So I start my day praying, petitioning, taking authority, binding, loosing, and committing everything into the hands of the Lord. And He truly has given me supernatural strength and peace in the midst of the storm.

 1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.  I know in whom I believe in, and I know I am an overcomer. I know this too shall pass. The hard part is saying strong and walking through it. It’s not by might nor by power but by His spirit.

 We are more than conquerors through who Him who loved us Romans 8:37. I know that in this the enemy is trying to wear me down and get me frustrated and discouraged enough to make me give up, but instead I choose to allow the Lord to use all this to make me stronger than ever and to come out on the other side of this with an even greater faith. Thank you Jesus!

 Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Thank you Jesus that when you are on our side, we have nothing to fear!  My hope is in the One who overcame so that I could become an overcomer.

 Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. True hope begins with the daily pressure we face, through tribulation we grapple with the truth of God, who He is, and what He has promised. Pressure produces perseverance- the ability to keep going and be patient because we see that God had never let us down. And perseverance produces character because our lives are not based on daily challenges, but on God’s eternal truths.

 That truth produces hope which does not disappoint because you have seen His goodness. Through it all we know Him and love Him more. And that is what is truly a reason to feel encouraged and hopeful. We need to praise Him and hope our way through our tribulations because in them, He is doing wonderful things.

 His love helps us endure all things. God wants us to be assured of His love and never allow anything to separate us from it. With a heart full of gratitude, we can rest in the knowledge that God loves us in good times, and He loves us in the hard times. God loves us on the days we act right, and He loves on the days we don’t act right. Thankfully His love is unconditional!

 He loves us based not on what we do, but on who we have become through The blood of Jesus. In other words we need to know that we are God’s beloved children and how to separate our “who” from our “do.” We won’t do everything right all the time, especially during tribulations, but we are still in right standing in God through Christ. I can celebrate through my tribulations because He loves me through them.

 Even though I want to please Him with my actions and my attitude through it all I know that His love for us is deeper than that, I know that through this troubling time in my life there is a mighty battle going on for my peace of mind but I when I shut out the world and focus on His presence, I can enjoy sitting with Him in heavenly realms. My greatest strength is my desire to spend time communing with Him.

 As I concentrate on Him, His spirit fills my mind with life and peace. I choose to stay in constant communication with Him as I walk through this season of my life. I refuse to worry, because worry is not faith.

 Psalms 5:3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up. 

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September 17, 2015

Prisoner of Fear

Prisoner of Fear

Written By Remaliah Evans

I was four years old watching Shaka Zulu and then I could not sleep later that night because I was afraid of being kidnapped. My Mom explained that no one would kidnap me, she prayed with me, pled the blood of Jesus over me, and then made me memorize 2 Timothy 1:7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Since that day whenever I am afraid I say this verse because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This verse has carried me through many situations.

Still, I struggle with two major fears: fear of failure and fear of success. I have been blessed to work with the same company for ten years. However I should have found another job years ago. But I didn’t. I didn’t leave because I was afraid that I would fail in a new position or get fired because of cutbacks. I didn’t leave because I was afraid of what it would be like to succeed in a new position. Would the responsibility of success eventually crush me? Would I become a workaholic? I was paralyzed by fear. I updated my resume and I looked for jobs but I didn’t look too hard because I was afraid. I was very picky about the positions I would apply for, and although I was “looking” I only applied to a handful of jobs each year.

Fortunately for me God knows how to shake me up and get me moving, but I was quite stubborn. I kept adjusting and adapting to changes that were designed to guide me into a new position. Instead of taking the hint, I decided that I would rather deal with being uncomfortable than face the fear of failure, the fear of success, or the fear of the unknown. Until my admin quit. My admin had been with me for three years and she was overqualified, so she decided to move on.

When she quit I realized that she had the good sense to move on, and I didn’t. I was angry at myself for staying longer than I should have. I was angry because I realized that I had allowed fear to hold me prisoner. I had even received a prophecy that said, “The prison door is open, all you have to do is walk out.” I didn’t get it at the time. Honestly, I just got that right now. To top it off I had another prophecy confirming that there had been not one, but several times where I could have transitioned out my job and I chose not to. That truth was hard to hear.

I now refuse to turn down opportunities simply because I am afraid that I might fail, or because I am afraid that I might succeed.

As angry and as stupid as I felt when my admin quit, I must tell you that it was another six months before I even applied for a new position, and I did not get the job. I’m still here, in the same position. The good news is that I am now facing fear head on and still declaring that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Every day. The other good news is that I now refuse to turn down opportunities simply because I am afraid that I might fail, or because I am afraid that I might succeed. I had even stopped writing for some time because I was afraid that my writing would not make an impact. Throughout this whole process I have seen the Lord’s faithfulness and I have seen that no one is more committed to me than He is. No matter how strenuous and impossible the situation, God’s grace is sufficient.

It was never about the job, success, writing, or moving on. It has been about knowing Him more intimately.  Trusting Him, and trusting Him enough to follow Him even when the future seems uncertain.  I am no longer a prisoner of fear.

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September 3, 2015


pretty young african woman looking up

Written By: Ruby Heaton

Hello Ladies, I sense God is calling me to encourage you…

 To keep on praying,

To keep on fasting,

To keep on believing,

To keep on fighting in the Spirit,

To never give up,

To not back down,

To not lose hope.


God has called and chosen you to be intercessors and warriors,

Before you do anything else,

Even after you step into your future and callings,

You will always need to pray and war!


God has brought us together to bond in unity,

To build up and encourage one another,

To lift up one another’s needs,

To cover each other with prayer and fasting,

To link arms as we step out for the kingdom,  

To do amazing things,      

To war and win as a mighty army,

…All in His name and for His Glory.


Thought for the Season

What is you dream, your vision, your desire and your hope? What has God told you to do? What steps are you taking to get there?


Join me and let’s seek God’s plans for us in this season. Get a journal and set some time aside to read the word and pray and ask God to show you His plans for you. The answer may not come right away. Your answer may come as a vision, unction, a dream, something you sense, a desire, or a word someone gives you that agrees with your spirit. It may be long or short. Perhaps God wants to give you just a glimpse. Don’t concern yourself with the length, just write it in your journal. Continue to pray over it and it will make more sense as you plan out steps to fulfill it.


Remember when we want to know God’s will there are three things that will always concur. I found this in the book, How to Know God’s Will by Robert M. West.-


1. The inward impulse

2. The word of God

3.  The trend of circumstances


God in the Heart, impelling you forward; God in His book, corroborating what He says in the heart; and God in circumstances, which are always indicative of His will.


A Blessing for my sisters in Christ

Be blessed as you come and as you go,

May God’s favor and joy chase you down,

May you always be the head and not the tail,

May you walk in wisdom and love, inner healing and health,

May you grow bolder for the Lord daily,

May you grow in authority and power daily,

Until you can speak to those mountains that block your way and command them to move,

Until you can cast out demons, free all your loved ones, and lead them to a closer walk with God,

May you always be a light that shines bright,

May you always have more than enough so you can share with others,

May God’s peace always be with you.


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August 27, 2015

It’s Time to DO WORK

Do Work

Written By Tina Cobian

What would happen if day in and day out you just never tried to do anything? By anything, I mean ANYTHING. You don’t pay attention to clocks and rise when you feel like it. You don’t go to work because you don’t feel like it.  There is no showering, or grooming for you of any kind. You simply “step over” the trash in your home because you don’t want to take the time to throw it out and cleaning is just too much work.  During the day you lay down some more, nap a little and watch TV, while of course sitting down on your trash ridden sofa. You eat whatever makes you happy for the moment and at night, or in the wee hours of the morning you retire to your disheveled, smelly bed to sleep until the next day begins…whenever you decide that is.

 Some of you may be completely disgusted by the picture I just painted.  But can I say that some who may be meticulous cleaners, organizers, and hard workers who never miss a day of employment sick or not, may also be living this kind of lazy-life existence? Sound funny? Well what if I told you that it is possible to suffer from emotional, spiritual, mental and even relational atrophy? It is. Proverbs 29:18 very clearly tells us that without a vision the people perish. So it is possible to neglect ourselves in the areas where most people don’t see.  Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it!”? It’s true.  Just like our natural muscles suffer and degenerate with disuse so does our spiritual, emotional, and mental strength and acuity. 

 Atrophy does not only occur after disuse.  It can also occur as the result of an injury.  Have you kept yourself separated from others because you are “too busy” to make time for family or friends?  Or is the real reason you avoid too much time with people because you have experienced hurt in past relationships and you fear opening your heart again to others.  If you are nervous or anxious about building relationships here is a solution Paul gives us in Philippians 4:6 & 7. He says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So in other words…Seek ye first…  Matthew 6:33

 Atrophy does NOT have to be permanent. Exercising the atrophied areas can build you up and make you strong where you were once weak. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be pain along the way.  It happens, but we can grow through it and emerge stronger. When you work out for the first time in a LONG time you get sore. Even if you are normally a physical person you may have switched up your exercise regimen or done something that you normally don’t do. In the fitness world this is referred to as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). This pain can be alarming to a person who is new to exercise but someone who is used to exercising knows it and will be able to skillfully work through it because they know the soreness is part of a process that will lead to greater stamina and strength in that area.

 Daily life makes it easy to neglect our health and growth in areas that we think are “unseen”. We are all busy but prioritizing is the key. For instance, how much time is spent watching television or trolling the social media sites? Could Facebook or Instagram stand a little less attention from you? Think about it. Could you replace ONE hour a week of social media time with actual human interaction? Could you attend a bible study or even sit down to read or pray by yourself in an effort to grow spiritually?  These are the areas you can explore and only you (and God) know where you can give a little more.

 Those who run marathons must train for this even if they are normally very physical.  They must discipline themselves on a daily basis, watching what they eat, how much water they drink, and of course building their stamina for the race ahead of them. They push themselves to the limit and stretch the boundaries of their muscles and mental status keeping their eyes on the prize, the goal, the finish line.  For some winning that race means crossing the finish line, no matter what number they are.

 Others race against their own previous record.  They want to push past what they were able to achieve before.  For you and I…putting on those tennis shoes and making it to the starting line may be worthy of a gold medal. 

 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

 You can do it…Flex that muscle…It’s time to DO WORK!

August 20, 2015

Winning the Battle of the Mind

walking the fine line

Written By Judy Smith

I have always struggled with the thoughts of my mind. My mind runs a hundred miles an hour and I have a huge imagination. As a child, I would use my imagination to escape. I was alone on the farm with my grandparents and there were no other children living nearby. So I pretended and used my vivid imagination to take me out of my pain. As I grew older I had to face reality and I toned my imagination down.

After becoming a Christian I discovered two scriptures to decree over my thoughts daily. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

We need to bring even our thoughts into obedience to Christ. We are to have a change of heart, and we must also have a change of mind. Obedience signifies attentive hearing and listening with compliant submission and agreement. We have all had strongholds in our minds. Strongholds are established ways of thinking that are contrary to the truth of God. This is why we are to take every thought captive. Behind a stronghold is also a lie- a place of personal bondage where there are unscriptural ideas, confusion, or an ungodly belief that we think is true.

Some of the weapons that pull down these strongholds are God’s word, the blood of Christ Jesus, and the name of Jesus.  Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

When I war and decree and declare the scriptures over my mind, I see change. I am sure this battle will continue the rest of my life because the enemy will always want to rule our minds. Resist him. Satan has declared war on us and our minds are the battlefield on which the war is won or lost. Satan loves to place wrong thoughts into our minds; thoughts that are not in agreement with God’s word, hoping we will meditate on them long enough for them to become reality in our lives. We can cast down these wrong thoughts and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

Be thankful that you can choose your own thoughts and that you are not a prisoner to any thought that crosses your mind. Think good things that agree with God’s word on purpose. Think about God’s love for you, and the good plan He has for your life. Think about how you can be a blessing to God by simply being available for Him to work through. Thinking right thoughts will close the door to wrong thoughts and in the process it also closes the door to the devil.

Release the thoughts of worry. Matthew 6:27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or the span of his life? Worry and anxiety manifest in physical illness and disability. It is one thing to know that we should not worry, but it is quite another to be the thankful for that truth, and then actually stop worrying.

Cast out the stronghold of worrying. What helped me let go of worry was realizing how useless it is. Let me ask you: how many problems have you solved by worrying? Has anything ever gotten better as a result of worrying or being anxious? Of course not.

The instant you begin to worry or feel anxious, give your concern to God in prayer. Release the weight of it, and totally trust Him to either show you what to do or take care of it Himself. Prayer is a powerful force against worry. Years ago we sang a praise song that said If I know the Lord is taking care of me what do I have to worry about? And if I know the Lord is going to see me through, why don’t I sing and shout? When you’re under pressure, pray about your need instead of fretting or complaining about it. Take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ!

Understanding alone will never bring peace. That’s why God has instructed you to trust Him, and not in your own understanding. Many of us have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over our life. But the world presents you with an endless series of problems. As soon as you master one problem, another pops up to challenge you. The relief you had anticipated is short lived. Soon your mind is gearing up again, searching for understanding instead of seeking God.

The wisest of all men, Solomon could never think his way to peace. In Ecclesiasts we see that his vast understanding and wisdom resulted in feelings of futility, rather than fulfillment. Ultimately, he lost his way and succumbed to wrong thinking and began to worship his wives’ idols.

God’s peace is not an elusive goal, it is not hidden, and it is not unattainable. You are enveloped in peace when you are in His presence and in His word. As you look to God and draw near to Him, you gain a greater awareness of His peace and love. What do you have to worry about?

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August 13, 2015


Written by Tina Cobian

I wanted to share my recent journey with you. But I need to give you a little bit of background before I start.  I was a Spirit-Filled Christian who had not experienced true freedom because I lived with unacknowledged rejection in my life.  It led to diabetes so severe that I found myself hospitalized several times each year.  Through rejection I continuously built up a wall within my heart until there was not enough room to sufficiently love the One who gave me life.  This was the thing I found to be the most unbearable of all.  BUT GOD…I love how the King James Version puts it…

But God, who is rich in mercy, for is great love wherewith he loved us,  even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5

A defibrillator delivers quite a shock as well, but it can also bring a lifeless heart back from death.

Many times I ran to the alter asking God to “just heal me instantly.” If it had been that simple then the next words you would be reading would be, “The End.”  My journey was different because God knew what was best for me. Simply removing the problem from me instantly, would not give me the tools I needed to stay healthy.  After many conversations with Him asking Him to show me what was wrong, He showed me that I was walking in rejection.  Funny thing is after all of that asking I did not respond very positively to the answer.

When you have been in darkness for a long period of time, and there is suddenly light, it can hurt a little bit. Your body and mind have gotten so adjusted to the dark place that it becomes a place of normalcy and comfort. A bright light can be a shock to your system. A defibrillator delivers quite a shock as well, but it can also bring a lifeless heart back from death.

Working through the pain is a necessary part of the process.  When God turned on the light I made a choice to flip off the switch and continue to squint through life.  I look back at myself and feel like I was the proverbial Smegal with “my precious.” Rejection may not have been a golden ring, with an elvish inscription but it had me just as weighed down and I was not who God created me to be.

As the years went on rejection got progressively worse and more aggressive until it affected my family, health, and even my employment.  I was overwhelmed and overcome with sickness due to the many issues that ensued as a result of unrepentance.  There I said it.  When you allow rejection to fester in your system; you have first allowed a seed of un-forgiveness to take root and grow.

In your anger do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27

My body was ravaged by diabetes which led to neuropathy in my esophagus, high cholesterol, pain in my feet, and poor vision.  I began to lay my hands on myself as part of my daily prayer and I would pray Psalm 103.  I believed it, declaring healing over every area.  I was still sick, overweight and unhappy.  Little did I realize John 1:4-5 had already gone to work in me.  I recognized rejection and asked God to forgive me. I had to learn to forgive and release my pain to God.  It was difficult to relinquish what I thought was my right to hold on to and although I didn’t see it right then, change was coming.

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome. John 1:4-5

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalm 103: 1-5

Again, I had gotten very sick and spent days in and out of the hospital but I still pressed in believing that God was (and is) my Healer.  I was home on medical leave and it had only been one week between doctor’s visits.  Upon my visit she pointed out I had gained 8 pounds during that one week.  She was worried.  My cholesterol was through the roof and she feared a heart attack, stroke or both.  She began an aggressive regimen of cholesterol medication and added a new medication to help my body absorb insulin better. I went home feeling a bit defeated but I continued to believe the words within Psalm 103…He HAS healed ALL of my sickness and disease.

Tina before and after

I remember crying out and saying, “I can’t do this by myself God, please help me.” I spoke to an amazing brother in Christ later that day who encouraged me and prayed for me. He said that God showed him that He was going to renovate me from head to toe. “Just like on HGTV”, my house was going to be gutted and made brand new, not one old thing would be left, it was all going to be new.  He saw it and he believed it and so did I.

The next day I got up and my appetite had changed.  Whereas I was always ravenous before and never felt “full” I started having to remind myself to eat and force myself to finish even the small amounts of food I was eating.  (He satisfies your desires with good things Psalm 103:5)

The weeks that followed would include me studying, investigating and learning how to eat healthy.  I knew I had a hold of God’s hand and He was walking me through this and I was determined to be faithful to the process with Him. Every time I felt frustrated, angry, or stressed, every time I remembered pain, He pulled me closer in to Him and reminded me that He was with me and I wasn’t going to walk through these changes alone. Like a skillful surgeon He began to gently and lovingly remove diseased areas from me.  Each time He would show me what He was removing and then He would teach me how to deal with that area to keep it from growing back.

Weight started to come off, literal weight and that’s not all. I was no longer eating enough to sustain the level of insulin being pumped into my body so the doctor began lowering my dosage.  Each week my doctor would shake her head as she looked at the numbers. “This is wonderful” she would say. “I am sure that pretty soon you will not need me.” I was sure of it too. Months went by, my mindset had changed and my physical health had continued to show progress by leaps and bounds. Through it all I nestled myself into the heart of my God and listened to His voice, the voice that had called me forth from death to life.

I was sitting in the doctor’s office going over recent blood tests and my continued progress.  She looked at my cholesterol levels…normal. She told me not to take the medication anymore.  She moved on to other items and reviewed my daily blood sugar levels….  “Amazing” she kept saying.  “These numbers are all normal. We have to lower your insulin intake again.”  As she continued on with my test results her eyes widened and she pointed at the computer screen.  “Look at this!”  She exclaimed. There in black and white were my blood tests showing my average blood sugar level over the last three months. The number was that of a person WITHOUT diabetes. Then out of her mouth came these exact words, “These are not the numbers of a diabetic! You have reversed your diabetes!”  It was not me, but my God for He HAS healed all of my sickness and disease.

I had asked for healing many times and separately I had asked God to “help me lose weight”.  I even went through the process for bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) because it can alleviate or eliminate diabetes. God shut those doors and I didn’t have surgery.  There wasn’t going to be a “quick fix” for me or an easy out.  God wanted me healthy, renovated from head to toe and if I had gone under the knife of a natural surgeon all of the other problems would have remained.  There was still the issue of rejection and ungodly soul ties that He wanted me to deal with. God knew exactly what I needed and wasn’t allowing me to settle for anything less than complete wholeness.

Psalm 103:14 says, “He knows how we were formed.”  In other words, He knows what we are made of and He is quite aware of those things we think we have hidden. They are never hidden from Him and He loves us too much to leave us in a broken state. When He heals, He heals it all, complete.  I think about this journey and I am so glad He chose to heal me this way. It has brought me closer to Him and it’s the beat of His heart that keeps me going daily. His very gaze sustains me. Rejection lost its hold on me because I am forgiven and whole now – I am indeed free.

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August 6, 2015

How God Loves Us

Life Builder Seminars Blog

Written by Lynn Waters

I was recently reading my daily devotional about how God loves us. As I was reading this a scripture jumped out at me: Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, not any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When you think about it and let it sink in this verse tells us that nothing or anyone can take God’s love away from us.

Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” Now this is God promising each and every one of us that He will never leave us. When we meditate on this we will know that no matter what happens to us and no matter what we go through or how much we sin and walk away from God, He is always with us and will never leave us.

Isaiah 49:16 God says, “See I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” Now this is the verse that really had me reeling. God has inscribed me on the palm of HIS HANDS. Yes, each and every one of us is inscribed on God’s own hand. This verse in the Amplified says, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; [O Zion] your walls are continually before Me.”

Wow, how cool is that? God has placed within the palm of HIS HAND, me, little old me.  Because He loves ME so much that He wants to have me close to Him. Just think about it a little. If we are in His palm, He can’t THROW us away, He can’t DROP us and He can’t LOSE us, ever. He doesn’t have to look down from His throne in heaven to see us He only has to look at His hand.  How far can you get your hand away from your face? Can you get it far enough away to not see it? No.

This means that God wants us to be close to Him always. He can’t and won’t let you go and He loves you and me so much that He wants us to be with Him.

What does this mean to you? Does this put God in a different light for you? Can you see that God wants to spend time with you and He is there to go through every day and every trial with you? He is ready to help you always and in everything.

Does this make you want to spend time with God? He is waiting for each of us to come and spend some time with Him. Whether it is five minutes or an hour, He is there and ready to listen to every thought and problem. For us to sit down, turn on some wonderful Christian songs and praise God. God will come and bring us peace and joy, and He will love us. He will help us to know we can get through the day and every day that we live. He will help us to go through every problem we face and come out stronger and wiser.

He is the first and last we need to seek each and every day- at the start of the day to help us through tests and trials, and to see others as He sees them. And He is there to end each day, to give us peace and deep sleep to face the next day.

God says, Come to Me and I will be there every time you seek Me.

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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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