Tis The Season – For a Change of Heart

I should probably preface this post by saying it is not at all strange for me to be thinking or daydreaming about all things Christmas, no matter what time of year it is. You see, I am a Christmasaholic. Even as I sit in my rocking chair on my front porch enjoying this beautiful 72 degree May evening in Kentucky; I can’t help but wish it was almost Christmas again.

My mind was repeating, the song “Pretty Paper” by Randy Travis. If you’ve ever heard it, I’m sure the unique voice of Mr. Travis is ringing through your ears with those familiar words. I slowly rock back and forth as I watch the sunset over the horses in the field, humming the holiday tune. But the rocking stopped, and I felt myself scowling as I paused on the following lyrics:

“Crowded street, busy feet, hustle by him
Downtown shoppers, Christmas is nigh
There he sits all alone on the sidewalk
Hoping that you won’t pass him by
Should you stop? Better not, much too busy
You’re in a hurry, my how time does fly
In the distance the ringing of laughter
And in the midst of the laughter, he cries….”

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My feelings of holiday spirit quickly shifted to ones of concern and sadness. How often have I been guilty of that very thing? How many times have I been too busy or distracted to notice someone I could help? I’m flooded with conviction as I think of this morning’s drive to work. It was pouring rain; I could hardly see through the windshield. Through the rapid swiping of the wipers I could see a man riding his bike in the same direction I was headed. A raincoat synched around his face and wearing a backpack; I am confident he was doing what he could to get to the school that’s a few miles down the road. The next thing I know, I am looking at him through my rearview mirror as I drive on. I could’ve stopped. I could’ve put his bike in the back of my SUV and got him out of the rain. Yes, I would’ve gotten drenched, and I had no way of knowing if he was a good person or not (you know, all the excuses I let justify me not doing the right thing). But isn’t that the point? Sacrificing for someone else?

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2

My heart aches at the thought that our world, or should I say, the people in it, can be described much more accurately by the lyrics of that Christmas song than by the example set by our savior.

Think about the last time someone did something nice for you that was a complete surprise. Those moments in life when people go the extra mile to encourage and lift us up really makes us feel special. Why do their actions have that effect on us? I’m sorry to say that they probably stand out because it’s so different from what we experience the rest of the time. Day in and day out, most of us are forced to deal with people who care more about themselves than they care about others.

We have allowed ourselves to become a people who are no longer willing to carry the burden for someone else. We make every excuse in the world to justify our behavior. “I’ve got my own problems; I can’t worry about them right now.” “Someone else will do it; I just don’t have time.” Or my favorite, “I just don’t feel called to do that.” So engulfed in the business and worldly things we have worked so hard for; we are suffocating from our toxic self-centeredness as we choke God out of every aspect of our lives and effortlessly make those in need around us invisible. Just look away, don’t make eye contact…the second you are out of sight, they are out of your mind.

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These quotes from Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love are spot on:
“God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” – Chan isn’t referring to how we love our families and friends. And neither is God.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43

How are you doing in that area of life? How often do you find yourself showing love, compassion, and respect for those that aren’t your favorite people in the world? One of God’s greatest commandments is for us to love our neighbor as ourselves. To regard their needs and desires as highly as we regard our own. THAT is what God measures our lives by…are we imitating the life of our savior and putting the needs of others above our own?

“It is true that God may have called you to be exactly where you are. But, it is absolutely vital to grasp that he didn’t call you there so you could settle in and live your life in comfort and superficial peace.”

Chan is reminding us that God didn’t create you and me to merely exist and make our goal in life to get as much money as possible so we can be as comfortable as possible. He puts us where we are because He has something for each of us to do at that very moment. I passed that man on his bike and FAILED! God’s plan was still fulfilled. Someone did stop to help him. I drove right past an opportunity to serve and glorify God and be used by Him out of complete and utter selfishness. So He used someone else. That shouldn’t be a relief to anyone. I want to stand before a Holy God and hear Him say, “Well Done Daughter, Well done.” Not, “Is this all you did with the time I gave you.”

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?” – I don’t think Mr. Chan needs my help explaining this one at all, do you?

There was room…

This past weekend my husband a I decided to take our three boys to the Ark Encounter. So we got a hotel room booked and took off in a mad dash toward northern Ky!

We live around the Paducah, Ky area so it was around a five hour drive. We arrived at hotel and I could tell the kids were excited and were fairly talkative for teenagers. We soon fell asleep and woke up and heading toward our adventure. I will tell you, it really is in the middle of nothing, but it is a gorgeous, hilly area! We parked, got our tickets, and before we knew it we were on a bus that takes you up the huge hill to the ark! We got off and let me tell you the size of the ark was amazing! Even three teenagers were really awe struck! We took our pics and walked up to the entrance. I seriously felt God stirring my heart, as we approached the bow, we could not believe how massive the ark was. I immediately asked God :

” Lord, this work was truly the work of your hands, Noah, was just your hands and feet.” I heard God speak to my heart and say ” There was room.”

Me not understanding at that moment went on, as we entered I thought to myself…

How many prayers that must have been said? In building this ark and the real ark?

How much faith must have taken for Noah to trust God truly?

How difficult it truly is to have faith at times, how many times did Noah wonder if He was crazy?

I couldn’t help relate that to my life, I see what Noah was called too and I see how big things resulted from his continued obedience. Small steps, Big steps, and in-between steps. The steps that Noah must have stumbled upon, and steps that left him possibly scratching his head. Nevertheless, they were steps of faith. Just simply believing God and believing His word.

Until you have seen what this simple man and his family were called to, you can not fathom it. The ark is so large that you without a doubt you know that God, Himself, could only have planned it. Every detail, every single thing was thought of with tender and careful love. To prepare a place for us all.

The same thing for you and me, what we are called to can only be accomplished by God alone. We are just the hands and feet of what He is doing in the earth. Our job is to receive instruction and follow through with the steps. Oh! That sounds so simple when I write it out, but how hard it is at times when I am walking it out. I struggle with holding or keeping the faith! Especially when I am just overwhelmed by what God is asking!

As I walk through and I see the handiwork of God, I hear that still, small voice say again, ” There was room.” I simply just listened, but not putting it together.

We get finished at the first level, and there is a place where a short movie is being played. I literary said to myself, ” Lord, there is so much room and space, even with all the animals being kept there is so much wasted space???”

I sat down on a bench with my kiddo’s and we watched a video, I looked around again and thought….

“Lord! There is so much room???? Why??? Why didn’t the people listen and get on the ark?”

and right there in the middle of a crowd of people God said to me,

” There was room for all of them, they had a place, they had a purpose, but they had a choice in it all, I made provision for them in hoping they would choose me.”

And the light-bulb went off in my mind and my heart. The people missed God’s plan and purpose for them because they thought it was crazy! They thought Noah went insane, but what they didn’t realize that God was all along trying to save them. God still faithfully provided for them, but because of their choice to not believe God, they perished. But, God! Faithful and True made room even for their rejection, my goodness, that is how much He loves. He would call a man to make a vessel for people who would never choose Him.

We are right in the middle of Holy Week, and I began to think of how the Jew’s did the same thing, they missed God, because they did not think he would come as a lamb because they wanted a mighty lion! How they missed Yeshua because He came for the least of these. How many people in our world think Jesus is a myth! How many won’t be in heaven because just like the people in Noah’s day thought Noah was a fruitcake! It hit me in so many ways this week that even if what God has asked of us to do never leads to one person, believing and trusting in Jesus, it is not in vain. God used Noah and not one soul other than His family entered that ark. Think about the heartbreak God and Noah felt like as that door, the way, closed tight. They knew that a choice leads us to life or death. Noah never saw those people again, what agony haunted him, I can’t even imagine. But even greater than Noah was Father God. How grieved He must have been having to close that door. I won’t get into the theology about it, but what I want you to think about today is this simple truth. There was room on the ark for every single person who wanted to live, they just had to believe. The same today, there is room at the supper table of God for you. There is a seat with your name on it, and the Son of God, Jesus Christ, with open arms saying, ” Believe In Me?”

Will you today, believe God?

You can have peace with God by saying this simply prayer to Him

Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Jesus, I am a sinner, I am lost! I believe you died for all of my sin. I believe that you rose again, proclaiming victory and life in you. Jesus, come into my heart, help me know you, change me and guide me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!

If you prayed that prayer I want to welcome you into the family of God! I love you, and I pray that God would raise you up mighty in Jesus Name! If you will comment or email me I would be honored to send you a Bible. You can email me @ mystrengthmysong5@gmail.com

DON’T MISS IT

DON’T MISS IT!

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.”  (unknown author)

Isn’t it just like us, humans, to overcomplicate things?  I have recently had a realization that is going to change the landscape of my everyday life.  God has already revealed His plan for my life. And yours!!  And yet I, like many believers, have spent so much time making “doing His Will” way more complicated than it actually is.

Over the last several years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of some incredible works.  I have participated in two mission trips to Uganda where I witnessed God’s glory in a way that forever changed my heart and how I see the world.  I have watched our church family here in Kentucky transform into a church determined to spread the gospel as far as it can reach.  After seeing so many miraculous and wondrous acts of God, I allowed myself to be convinced that that was the only way He could use me.  In the “Big Stuff.” You know, the important stuff like mission trips, and church planting, fostering children….so I sat and prayed, “God, show me your will!”  “Lord, I just want to do Your will, please reveal what you want me to do next.”  “God, I’m still here…waiting for you to tell me the next big thing….” (crickets, lots of ‘em).

He was listening, He always is.  He was just waiting for me too.  So, to give me a little nudge it the right direction, he sent my friend Akim from Uganda to shake some sense into me.  He came all the way to Kentucky in the middle of winter to visit the non-profit organization he works with here and in Uganda.  I grew very close to him on my trips there and was thrilled to have him come and speak at our church about mission work.   As we were standing around catching up, he asked how I was and what I had been up to the last several months.  I responded with something like, “Oh, just going to work and church and chasing my teenager around.  I have been praying for what God wants me to do next.  I am seriously considering quitting my job to go into full-time ministry.”  My tone must have been dripping with a bit of frustration. I could tell by the look he gave me when he asked, “Quit your job so you can what? Be in full-time ministry? Are you not in full-time ministry everywhere you go as a believer in Jesus Christ? Does He not have you right where He wants you in order to make the biggest impact at this very moment? Are you surrounded by more people that need to hear the gospel at your work or at your church?”  Oh, how I wish you could read that in his soothing Ugandan accent just as I can hear it in my mind.  I wonder if I looked like how I felt at that moment.  You know that feeling where you want to crawl in a hole and cover yourself up?  Even as I type this, I am shaking my head.  Praise the Lord for His patience with us and the gentle nudges He gives to remind us of His Word and promises.

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The Great Commission wasn’t meant for special occasions, huge church events, and mission trips.  We are called to be everyday missionaries on the lookout for the opportunities God places in front of us, big and small. Everyday missionaries are those who practice life on mission where God has placed them.  As followers of Jesus Christ, our lives have a mission. God has a purpose and plan for us. In fact, He wants to do more “in” us and “through” us than we can even imagine. But it is not about us—it’s about Him. EVERYTHING we do—our jobs, our parenting, our words, our actions, our life’s mission—should be done with the intention of bringing glory to His name.  Never missing the chance to shine a light in this dark and fallen world.

1 Corinthians 10:31— “… Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.” (ESV)

We are everyday missionaries, and God has created each of us in a special way to take part in His plan. From high school students to retirees, from stay-at-home moms to CEO’s, we each have a part in the greatest story ever told. This is a story about an extraordinary love.  Too many people think that only “extraordinary” believers can be used for Christ.  God has called each of us to live a life on mission wherever we are – no matter our age, occupation, biblical knowledge, or busy schedule.

He’s asking us to see what He sees. Opportunities within our realities.

DON’T MISS IT!!

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. 1 Peter 3:15

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Kindness Doesn’t Cost a Thing, yet it’s the Richest Gift You can Give.

I am always amazed at how God uses difficult situations in our lives to offer us an opportunity to stop and take a good look around and within.  Generally, in those moments, it’s much easier to become self-focused; worrying only about what we are going through and ways to overcome it.  But the more I listen to God’s Word in my life, the clearer it becomes that, that is not how He intends for us (believers) to respond.

Over the last week or so, I have had the unfortunate experience of having multiple kidney stones.  Several of which were too big to pass, leading to a surgical procedure to place a stent in my left ureter.  And yes, it IS as painful and uncomfortable as it sounds.  Even though I was dealing with pain and the stress of trying to make last minute plans and arrangements because penciling in a surgical procedure wasn’t on my radar, I could see God’s sovereign hand all around me. Even though it was a “last minute” procedure, everything fell right into place. Each nurse and medical professional that I came in contact with seemed to genuinely be happy.  They were very kind and accommodating.  One of the nurses even liked the snow as much as I do.  That might sound odd, but around “these parts” in Kentucky, most people don’t like the snow.  But there is a small niche of us crazies that actually pray for it.  We had a good laugh about it as they wheeled me down to the operating room.  What better way to get someone prepared for what can be a terrifying situation?  I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face and laughter still lingering in my heart.

As I woke up in recovery, I can remember opening my eyes, and the first thing I could hear the staff discussing was the opportunities for foster care and adoption.  Again, I instantly began smiling.  My husband and I have recently started the process of fostering, and it was as if God was using that moment to give me confirmation.  Still being a bit groggy from the anesthesia, I’m not at all positive what I said, but I do know that I interjected myself into the conversation.  They smiled and happily allowed me to join in.  Possibly just for entertainment purposes, nevertheless, it was very kind of them.

Once I had spent the necessary amount of time in recovery, they wheeled me up to my room where my parents were waiting for me.  At that moment, my new nurse walked in.  As she was introducing herself and starting to take my vitals, I can remember looking up at her and wondering why she looked sad.  She was never rude or cross in any way, but my mother and I could tell something just wasn’t right.  She seemed very busy and was struggling to juggle everything.  It also appeared as though she might not mesh very well with the other staff members.  It was apparent that she was the outcast and the sadness was from being lonely.  She was always surrounded by people but still felt alone.

I went out of my way to smile and talk to her.  I told her what a good job she was doing and to take her time.  I told her to go finish up whatever it was that she needed to and not to worry about me.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  She cracked the first smile I had seen from her and sighed a breath of relief.  As she would walk in and out of my room, bringing me things to sign or asking me questions, it appeared that she walked a little taller and was even beginning to laugh a little.  She thanked my mother and me for our patience and instantly tried to make us understand why she was struggling.  We again encouraged her and let her know that she has a tough job and is doing the best she can, and that’s all that matters.

God blessed me with so many compassionate people as I was going through that procedure.  Maybe He sent my mom and me there to be a blessing to that nurse.  All I know is when we left, and she wheeled me out to the truck, she hugged me and had a smile on her face.  Even if that smile only lasted a few minutes, I am thankful that God chose to use my situation to put it there.

Could I have been inpatient because I was in pain and wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible? Yep.  Could we have treated her like everyone else had been treating her, perpetuating her misery just because we were too worried about ourselves to notice? Yep.  Do people do that to her, and others, EVERY single day because we live in a society that is so consumed with self that we aren’t even able to see the pain and heartache of those around us? YEP!

We often ask how things have gotten this bad or why everything and everyone seems broken.  We live in a world that simply doesn’t show or receive enough kindness.

We go about our days with our headphones in, and instead of being aware of those around us, we often choose to exist in our own little world. Sometimes we’re just not conscious of our surroundings, but often we are entirely aware but make the conscious decision to stay introverted and ignore the fact that there are people besides ourselves on this planet.

People who are hurting.  People who may be doing just fine. People who may need a kind gesture or smile.

Despite the needs of others, we often choose to be stingy with our acts. Why are we acting as though kindness is costing us time or money?

So, to sum up these ramblings… compliment someone’s shoes if they stand out to you. Share your umbrella with the person without one. Strike up a quick, cheerful conversation with the cashier who probably feels invisible a good part of time unless someone is irritated. Reach out to those in need. It may not seem like much, but these little compliments, gestures, and conversations could go a long way in making someone’s day and changing the world.  Who else is going to do it? BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD!

”Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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“LOGGING” By Rhonda Lange

Matthew 7:1-6

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2) For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3) And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5) Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6) “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Ok, think about the last time you talked about someone. Was it good? Was it bad? Was it judgmental?

I have heard several people make the comments: “that’s not for me to judge,” or “we are not to judge people.” This is partially true. We do have to be extremely careful with the word “judge.”

In Matthew 7:1 the word “judge” comes from the Greek word Krino, which primarily denotes to separate, select, choose, hence, to determine, and so to judge, pronounce judgement. (from the Vine’s Expository Dictionary)

In Matthew 7, Jesus is telling us to be careful about judging others, because how we judge them is how we will be judged. Ouch! Hope that judgment you last made was an easy one, and not a harsh one. Luke 6:37 says “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.” John 8:7, Jesus said “he who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Jesus also tells us we need to look at ourselves before we go judging others, because most of the time we have a tree sticking out of our eye when we are trying to tell someone about the tiny speck in their eye. He calls that being a “Hypocrite!”

We need to take our problems with someone to God first. Ask Him to reveal our “plank” and remove it. Then ask Him if we are suppose to go to that person. If He does, ask Him for the words – Do Not use your own words.

Now, where we are suppose to use judgment is with the enemy. Verse 6 tells us we are Not to associate ourselves with the enemy of the Gospel. This is not talking about those who just don’t believe. It is talking about those who are against God, His people, and everything He is and says is right and true.

We all struggle with walking this line; but before we open our mouths – shut them and take it to the Lord.

This world is so full of division, unkindness, and hatred – let’s not be a part of that. Let’s let God’s light shine through us, and shine bright in this dark world. Galatians 6:1 says “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”

Also, lets remember we are not fighting against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), we are fighting against satan and his army.

So, that person we are talking about or confronting, needs our prayers more than our gossip or opinions. So let’s do some “logging” so we don’t knock them in the head with our plank because we think we are right or because we just don’t like what they said or did. Always take it to God first, get in His Word and show them His way and what He says about the situation.

This is the month of love, what a better time to start loving our enemies and our neighbors, than in the month of February.

Matthew 22:39 “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 5:44 “But, I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who cruse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”

Let’s show this world what God’s love looks like!

Friends or Foes

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(Photo Credit: Cristen Smith https://www.facebook.com/cristen.smith.1656)

Last night, Monday to be exact I have been having a home Bible study for local women. I have really enjoyed the past two weeks we have gathered. Some are old friends some are brand spanking new. As I was listening to them speak, I repeatedly heard them bring up these words. I am lonely, I have little or no connection to my fellow sisters in the faith, I have never been mentored or discipled by another woman. To me, someone who is called to minister to other women realized at that moment that Jesus was giving me just what I prayed for and what I believe they had also longed for. Women’s Ministry is important, and I want to stress that. Women need ministering to, and there are important issues that need to be talked about and prayed about with other women.

I can’t be the only girl that seems like this?  I can’t be the only hungry girl for scriptures? I can’t be the only girl that wants mentorship? What I have found in six years of ministering to women is this:

  • Women acknowledge that they need Jesus on a more intimate level.
  • Women want to understand and rightfully divide scriptures.
  • Women want discipleship, fellowship, and friendship.

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(Photo credit: Cristen Smith https://www.facebook.com/cristen.smith.1656)

Those are the three major points I hear over and over again. Today I really want to address godly friendships and the scriptures that really give us insight into healthy and meaningful sisterhood relationships. I am reminded of this scripture

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11

This is how we navigate life, we store up the word in our hearts, so we know what the standard of relationships is and even when we choose wrong to help us navigate our way back to Jesus’ standard.

So here we go…

The first point I want to make is this:

Friendships can be essential or detrimental 

Here is scripture to help us have wisdom in our friendships with each other. Remember, iron sharpens iron. We can help each other with these guidelines and standards. Remember no one is perfect, but if we see these qualities, we can understand that these relationships will be detrimental to our hearts.

Proverbs 20:19English Standard Version (ESV)

19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.[a

 

  • Point being don’t associate with a gossip

 

Proverbs 22:24-25English Standard Version (ESV)

24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

  • Don’t associate with a person with a hot temper

Proverbs 24:21-22English Standard Version (ESV)

21 My son, fear the Lord and the king,
    and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22 for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
    and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

  • Don’t associate with a disloyalty

 

Proverbs 28:7English Standard Version (ESV)

The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
    but a companion of gluttons shames his father.

  • Don’t associate with self-indulgence

Proverbs 29:3English Standard Version (ESV)

He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

  • Don’t associate with immorality

 

Proverbs 4:23-27English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24 Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25 Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26 Ponder[a] the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
27 Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

  • Most importantly watch over your heart <3

 

Proverbs 13:20English Standard Version (ESV)

20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

 

  • Don’t associate with the fool

 

Friendship is a beautiful and an excellent thing, but they can be destructive and deadly too. Building godly friendships means we need to forget ourselves and ask ourselves these questions.

  • How can I build them up?
  • How can I meet their needs?

 

Another point I want to draw out is this are we willing to risk rejection? Sometimes we when we won’t settle for less we will get rejected by others. Are we prepared to risk that? Are we willing to love sacrificially? Another question I ask myself is this: Am I ready to love them at whatever costs? Am I willing to commit myself to their spiritual growth?

Friendship is not just taking, but a large part is giving your time, energy, and love. I am praying today we take each scripture and not apply them to others, but to ourselves and ask ourselves this question:  HOW DO I MEASURE UP AS A FRIEND TO THESE SCRIPTURES?

Lord, help us be good to one another. Lord, help us to cultivate beautiful and meaningful relationships with our fellow sisters. Help us, Lord, to be honest with you and ourselves on our weaknesses. Lord, I thank you so very much for setting the standard of love. Lord, I pray for each one of my sister-friends today. I ask that you would touch them and give them wisdom in how to be an excellent friend. Heal our broken spots, Lord so we can walk in love with one another. In the mighty name of Jesus, I ask these things. Amen!

Washed by the Water

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In our service to Jesus sometimes we have to make hard decisions. They are sometimes hard to carry, sometimes they come with a price. I am reminded of what Jesus said and did for the disciples in
John 13:6-8
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
 …6He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later” you will understand. 8“Never shall You wash my feet!” Peter told Him. Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.”…
I can relate to Peter. Peter’s heart is in devotion mode, but his flesh needs constant washing with the Word. Jesus knows the heart. Jesus saw past the quick response that Peter gave and saw a heart that was devoted but lacked understanding. Peter replied to Jesus,
Never will you wash my feet, and Jesus said, “Peter! If I do not wash your feet, you will not have business with Me.”
Peter complied because his heart was devoted, and Jesus washed Peter’s feet signifying that nothing is below us in service to Jesus and that in Jesus washing us with the Word of God we will be able to remain in Him and devote ourselves to service.
Even the most mature Christian will become ineffective if we refuse Jesus, and deny Him to wash our feet with the Word of God. With that washing, our lives will bring glory and honor to Jesus. We must determine ourselves to duty and anything that might hinder us to do so we must lay to the side so that we can bring glory to Jesus. We must Abide in Christ. He is our source for service, without Him will we fall away.
John 15 Abide in me, and I in you.
My point being Jesus is telling us Abide in Him, then He remains in us.
He never leaves nor forsakes us; we are the ones that decide where to abide.
We leave Jesus; He never leaves us.
 Jesus is our source.
 Jesus is the Word of God.
 Jesus has made us clean.
branches colors countryside environment Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com
So, today if you are facing another decision, another boundary, another problematic circumstance. I am praying for you, Jesus never said that our journey through this world would be easy. He did say He would be with us and help us through our troubles. One day we will no longer feel the pain of stress, sickness, or sadness.
One day we will not feel the frustration of being wronged, betrayed, misunderstood, or accused. One day we will be standing in front of Jesus wrapped up in his everlasting arms, and we will understand everything. This life is difficult at times; I pray we give each other grace. I pray that today for both you and I that we will sit for a while and allow the water of the Word to wash over our minds, hearts, and souls.
I am praying this verse over all of us who are in Christ and are in service and who are facing difficult decisions.
Galatians 6:9
 Let us not grow weary or become discouraged in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap, if we do not give in.
woman in the fields Photo by Kaat Houben on Pexels.com
No matter what Jesus is asking of us or leading us to, you can know this. There are reason’s and things that we don’t understand, but we can trust that He always has the best for us.
Abide in prayer
Abide in the Word
Abide in Worship
The Father gave us the best rescue that is Jesus. He did not withhold His very own son. (John 3:16) We can’t out give God. Trust Him, and know that whatever He may be asking from us it is because it is for our good and His glory.  Remember His ways are greater, and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55).
I am reminded of what I wrote in my journal:
 Today I wasn’t perfect, I might have even acted like an idiot trying to figure it all out! I am reminded of the Word. His thoughts and ways are higher and greater, My ideas and thoughts are a path to rebellion.
Love you, friends

Down Deep In My Soul

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We all feel discouraged or forgotten about at times. We can get so discouraged in our walks with Christ that we can forget His promises to us. That He will be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). That He will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5/Deut. 31:6) He never promised that it wouldn’t be hard or that it wouldn’t be painful but, He did promise to use ALL things for good. Eventually, with time, He will use even the bad things in our lives for our good (Romans 8:28), He promises that His love for us is everlasting. (Jer. 31:3) Yes, in this verse He is directly talking to Israel, but since we are now the spiritual descendants of Abraham we have all of God’s promises, it is truth and grace, and it is beautiful. We are grafted into Jesus. (Romans 11:17). Because we are grafted in, we are spiritual descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29)
If you feel the least bit of insecurity/ rivalry or discouraged/forgotten about. Cry it out to the Lord, listen He already knows what is eating away at you. He knows why, when, where, what, and how it all started. We just have to speak it out to Him so that He can affirm and make us secure in Him again.
I received encouragement from an incredible woman Friday! Someone who I greatly admire and mimic in the faith, which is scriptural. Hebrews 13:17 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
She gave me a Psalm to read, just thought I would pass it on.
Psalm 18:28-39
28 You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You make your saving help my shield,
and your right hand sustains me;
your help has made me great.
36 You provide a broad path for my feet,
so that my ankles do not give way…
39 You armed me with strength for battle
No matter where in the journey we are with God we need two crucial things in our lives we need:
 *Regular prayer time/relationship with Jesus
*Word of God
*A few spiritual mentors who spur us on & encourage us, correct, and teach us.
I might not have it all, but what I do have I am incredibly thankful for.

Relationship Through….

 

Lord, let me say this with love in my heart and grace in my words.
If we do not know what gifting or calling we have in Christ Jesus may, I suggest something friend.

See, just out of being a follower of Christ Jesus does not mean He just poofs things into existence. He is not mystical. I mean He could, in His sovereignty if He desired to but, see, God is after something. He is after you! He wants you to speak to Him through prayer. He wants you to know His character through the pages of scripture. He intends to reveal to you personally.That means not just through a Pastor or a teacher

they introduce, they don’t produce Jesus for you or I.

( So, cut those men some slack! Pastor’s have responsibility’s, Yes, but they are not Jesus. They can’t be everything to you or I.)

Okay, getting back on track Jesus only reveals His callings, directions, instructions, constructions, healings, truth, discernment. To those who pray. I have talked to so many and have read from so many that say: “God just didn’t call me; as he has called you.”
Well, my dear, that would be canceling out hundreds of old testament scriptures and new testament scriptures. The fact is if you sincerely don’t feel like God has called or purposed you for anything. Can I ask you these questions?

1.)Have you asked Him?

2.) How is your prayer life? Do you have one?

3.) Are you seeking His face and will through prayer and scripture?

4.) Are you trying to read scripture to find the answers you that only make you feel good? (Quick fix of Jesus to make you feel good)

Only you, can truly answer these questions. Find time today, to seriously consider what your answers are.

Then,pray about them and most of all ask for help with each one. It is a daily walk with Jesus He knows that already, we are the ones that have to figure it out. He knows our hearts and character better than we know ourselves. It’s time we get to know God’s heart and character through scripture and prayer. I thought of this scripture in

Matthew 7:7

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened into you:

So, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to give us all of Him.That we may seek His will and the scripture says: seek , we shall find. Lastly, if we knock open the pages of scripture to seek and ask the Holy Spirit will open the door of His Heart to guide us correctly and effectively. He hears us. ❤

12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Jeremiah 29:12

These are all questions every single purpose-driven Christian ask ourselves continually. It’s a constant battle against the flesh. It rises and falls in the blink of an eye. This is the battle that God has enabled us to remain in victory. Not because we can but, because the Holy Spirit can.  God did not give me more gifting than you; that’s absurd. He gave me talents and through getting to know Him in Scripture and through many prayers He showed me who I am in Him.

That’s the million dollar formula see, no big secret or prayer I said. It’s just relationship and Him being God. You can have all that He has given me and more. Whatever you see it’s Jesus. It’s not one smidge of me. You wouldn’t love me, but you love Jesus in me. That is the compliment of a lifetime! I’ll take it, sweet sister!

That verse is a promise to every child of God through the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior. He is renewing me every day and He will you too; if you will pray and study.
He is always right there we just have to seek Him out through the Holy Spirits guidance that’s how we actually fellowship with Him. I pray, if you do not know Jesus Christ the Savior of the world, that today would be the day you meet Him. If you would like to know more about Jesus Christ contact me at:

www.mylordmystrengthmysong.com or find us on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimberlyFerren

Or find us on Instagram @mylordmystrengthmysong
Of course, you can always message me on our Facebook page, and I will respond as quickly as I can. Just click, the message button above. Even if you just need someone to talk to. I would love to serve you in that way.

Like always, I depend on each one of you to get my post in news feed by sharing, liking, commenting. I am forever grateful and honored to serve you in this way

Love always,
Kim
#Prayer #Relationship #Scritpure #Study #Love #Seek #Ask #Knock