Sunday, January 31, 2016
Today ended the church's 21 days of prayer and fasting. The worship was great and the presence of the Lord very strong. By the end of service 15 people received the Holy Ghost. We had a guest speaker. Bro. Dean Byfield who grew up at Bethel. He and his wife are now doing Missionary work in France. Bro. Byfield preached a faith building sermon today. There was a point in his sermon that I started to think he was going to preach again what Bro. Davis preached several Sunday's ago. I believe God is wanting us to know that he is with us and fighting for us. Bro. Byfields' sermon was based from, Acts 2:22-24,32-36 with the title of "This Same Jesus". We read in the first chapter of Genesis that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Nothing existed before he spoke it into existence. When God began to speak, things appeared out of nothing into something. We must remember that anything that happens or is done in our life, we need to give God the glory. It's not look what I have done, but look what God has done. He is an all-powerful God; we see this throughout the Bible. God parted the Red Sea and in the wilderness he provided manna from heaven. God was and is always creating something out of nothing. He is a miracle working God. We like to say he is an awesome God. We must remember that he is still just as awesome when things are going good and when we hear bad news. He is the same awesome God when we get a bad report from the doctor or from our job. He is awesome all the time. Do not become discouraged, God knows best. God manifested himself in the flesh and walked this earth. Jesus was 100% man and 100% God, I Timothy 3:16. This same Jesus died on a cross for our sins, rose from the dead and became the Holy Spirit that lives inside of us. The same experience that happened in the upper room, still happens today. The same Jesus that walked the earth, now walks among us. His spirit wants to dwell within us. When we repent of our sins and are baptized in his name, he fills us with his spirit by evidence of speaking in other tongues (another language). My notes stop here; you could feel the presence of God drawing. Bro. Dean shared a recent story from being on the mission field. It was to build faith and let everyone know that God still fills those who hunger with his spirit. He then asked those who wanted to be filled with the spirit of God to come forward. There were many who came forward. He then said that if you were sick in your body and needed a healing to come and pray with someone who is wanting the Holy Ghost. He felt impressed by God that if you prayed for someone to receive the Holy Ghost, that God would fill them and also heal you. I couldn't get up there fast enough. I went up for my healing and for God to heal my Grandpa of his cancer. I believe God is able to heal my Grandpa and I believe he is able to heal to my body to have another child. The power of God came down so strong and by the end of the alter service 15 people had received the Holy Ghost. I am so thankful God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God is good.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
During the month of January, we tend to spend a day going through RJ's toys. In the past, he had a hard time letting things go and we decided to let him go at his own pace. He has a bin of things that are super special that he wants to keep forever. The rest were just toys he wanted to keep for when his friends came over. The clutter had become a bit overwhelming so, we decided it was time to look at all his toys. This year, he was on a roll. The repeated phrase was, “That Can Go". He let go of a lot of his old toys. We will give them away to the needy. I was happy to see how he had come to a point where he was able to let things go. There is less clutter and more room to play. God is good. On a side note tomorrow's fast is skip one meal and will also conclude our 21 days of prayer and fasting.
Friday, January 29, 2016
I'm presently enjoying and being blessed by as I watch online a live recording at Indiana Bible College. Once in a while I catch a glimpse of a familiar face, a son of good friends of ours. It made my heart swell with thanksgiving to see him giving praise to the Lord. Music is the key to open the heart for Christ to minister. God is good.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Tonight Bro. Wyser was the guest speaker for our Thursday night Bible study. He did more than teach, he brought an encouraging word from the Lord. It was very close to the same as what Bro. Davis preached two Sunday's ago. Bro. Wyser preached from Exodus 14:10-18 with the title of "Here Come The Chariots". God is a master teacher. We are the ones that struggle to learn his lessons. We tend to be skeptics and this causes us to not learn the lesson as well as we should. The Jews had been in slavery in Egypt for hundreds of years. They were worshiping the gods and idols of the Egyptians. When God brought the 10 Plagues it was to teach the Jews who the one true God was and to show the Egyptians that all their gods had no power over him. He had all power. Each plague he sent defied a god that was worshiped by the Egyptians. God did this to grab the attention of his people and get them to turn their eyes on him once again. To this day the Jews, still celebrate the Passover and remember how God delivered them. God was teaching them a lesson with the plagues and when they reached the Red Sea. He was wanting them to learn that if he brought them to it, he will bring them through it. God repeatedly tried to get this message drilled into their minds and hearts. Every lesson God teaches us is to prepare us for the next lesson. We are going through a process of levels. We need one to get to the other. After they went through the Red Sea, the came to the place of bitter water. Sometimes we go through things in our lives that are bitter water. A sickness, a loss of a loved one. God made the water sweet for the Jews. God will be with you through the bitter time. The water becomes sweet when we know that He is with us every step of the way. God cares about every detail of our life. God uses everything and he wastes nothing. Everything you go through, God will work for your good. Remember if he brought you to it, he will get you through it. He is shaping you during your time of bitter water. It would seem at times that God does not have a good sense of direction. For every great story, God led them through the wilderness, even Jesus. God will lead you through the wilderness because he is doing a work in you. If he led you right to your promised land of milk and honey it would rot you. God uses the wilderness to build our faith in him. We learn that no matter how impossible it is, God can do it. God gets all the glory. When the Jews were wandering in the wilderness they kept saying God had forgotten them. How could he set a table for them in the wilderness. When really God has not forgotten us, we have forgotten him. God is a great table setter. When we are in the wilderness, we discover more of God. We grow and develop depth in him. In the wilderness we get to experience the great miracles of God. When we are dealing with situations, we have a choice. We can complain, only see that the chariots are coming and forget all he has done, or we can remember all that God has done in the past. If God brought me to it, he will bring me through it. God will nourish me through the wilderness and he will take care of me. God is good! On a side note the fast for tomorrow is skip two meals (health permitting).
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
This song has been going through my mind today. I want to share it with you. “I have hope, I have hope when trouble comes my way I have hope, I have hope since Jesus has come to stay I have hope, oh yes when things are not well with me I have hope, it’s a beautiful hope and it sets me free If your distressed , Jesus says come unto me. If your depressed I know he’ll give you liberty Time may find you at the end of your line, but keep the faith its not too late the Lord will be on time. I have hope, I have hope when darkness fills the sky I have hope, I have hope since Jesus is ever nigh I have hope, oh yes through dangers I can not see I have hope its a beautiful hope that sets me free.” You can listen to it here. Also, my number one song sung by Darlene Zschech, In Jesus Name. God is good.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
RJ has been weepy all day. It seemed like everything was a trigger to bring on tears. It could be caused by a many of things or nothing at all. Regardless, his emotions have been all over the place from the time he woke up all the way to homework time. As parents this can be frustrating because you are trying to help your child navigate through life and grow as a person. Bob figured out what was needed and that was some laughter. He remembered a request RJ had made a while back and it was something that makes RJ giggle. Laughter proved to be the best medicine for RJ. When he went to bed tonight, he seemed to be more himself again. Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day and prayerfully, he will be back in full swing. God is good.
Monday, January 25, 2016
For many being warm is a part of everyday life. When we eat, we don't give it a second thought, we just do it. I received an e-mail from the school in the Appalachian Mountains. The snow has caused the school to be closed. One’s first thought is no big deal. For these children it's a big deal. The only food they eat is when they are at school. For many of them no school, means no food. This e-mail made me weep. Then I heard about the unexpected snow and temperature drop that took place in Taiwan. People are freezing to death. Their homes are not made for such large drops in temperature. Once again, something so simple, yet so big. I found myself having flashbacks to when I was a child. There were times when we did not have a home or food to eat. My husband tells stories about being so cold at night that he slept in his coat. We like to keep our home warm and we like to keep our fridge full of food. I wept tonight in thanksgiving for a warm home and a belly full of food. I ask that you say a prayer for Taiwan and for these Appalachian children. I don't have all the answers, but I know a God who does and I go to him in prayer. God is good. On a side note, due to the snow/ice there will be no 5am prayer at the church tomorrow. Tomorrow's fast is Daniels fast (health permitting).
Sunday, January 24, 2016
We woke up this morning to about 2ft of snow. Bob, Ross and RJ suited up and went outside to shovel a path through the snow. I could not get over how much snow had fallen in a 24 hour period. RJ and our dog Mozart had fun rolling in the snow. We decided to drive over to the church and see how things were. The view of the church in the snow was breathtaking. Of course due to the huge amounts of snow, church was canceled. There was no way anyone would be able to get through all the snow for church. The Miller family (missionaries to India) were still in town, so RJ and Miquel had a blast playing in the snow. They have never seen snow like this before, so it was a treat to see Miquel giggling as she made a snow angel. School has been canceled for tomorrow. Hopefully, things will be back to normal soon. For now we will enjoy the snow and hope for no more. God is good. Tomorrow's fast is skip two meals (health permitting).
Saturday, January 23, 2016
We woke up to a winter snow storm in full force. The ground was already covered in several inches of snow and the wind was blowing pretty hard. When it calmed down a bit, we all went outside for some snow fun. After a while, the wind picked up and we decided to come back inside. We warmed up with hot chocolate and settled in for a snow day spent indoors. The news is saying its the 3rd worse storm in our history. I believe them. I don't think I have ever experienced a snow storm like this. Due to the severity of the blizzard like conditions, there is a travel ban until tomorrow morning. Later in the evening, Bob and I went out to see how things were. The snow was so high it reached his knees. In the backyard, the snow was up to the bottom of the tree house. I am sure that is due to the way the wind is blowing the snow. RJ's sandbox is completely covered. As I type, it is still snowing and predicted to snow until around midnight. We are thankful to be inside and warm. God is good.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Today I purchased food for the weekend and prepared to ride out the predicted Blizzard of January 2016. Presently, in my area, the snow has not yet arrived. We took advantaged of this and had a playdate with our visiting missionaries. RJ and Miquel hit it off in church class last night, so they got together today to play. Watching them play together, you would have thought they have known each other their entire lives. It's amazing how children are able to be stress free. She's adorable and I'm glad we were able to have her over for a short time. Who knows, tomorrow's snow may bring a lot more fun for the two of them. We will have to wait and see, depending on if we can open our door or not. For the time being, we are thankful for our warm home and food to eat. God is good.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
Tonight for the Thursday night Bible study, we had a guest speaker. The Miller family who are missionaries to India gave wonderful testimonies of what has been happening in Bangladesh and India. After showing a video about India, Bro. Miller preached a sermon on the power of the name of Jesus. His main text was from Acts 4:2. When God performed a miracle, he caused a stir. He taught the disciples to do everything in the name of Jesus. We read in the Bible that signs and wonders will follow those that believe in and follow Jesus. Bro. Miller shared several stories of their time in Bangladesh and India where they prayed for the sick in the name of Jesus and they were healed. When you bring your situation to God with faith believing and call upon the name of Jesus, he will hear and answer. Whatever the devil plans to harm you, God turns out for our good, when we call on his name. There is power in the name of Jesus. God is good.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
I received disheartening news today regarding my Grandpa. It's bringing back a flood of memories from when my Father-in-law was in the hospital going through chemo. I don't like cancer and I don't like what it does to people that you love. I had just finished reading an e-mail with not so good news regarding his health and then it was time to pray. RJ said his regular prayers and ended with a plea to God for healing to take place in his Great Grandpa's body. He said it with such faith. My heart cried out at that moment for God to hear my little boy's prayer. I believe God can heal. I'm asking you to join us in prayer for him. With God all things are possible. I believe he healed many when he walked this earth and I believe he still heals today. God is good. On a side note: fasting for tomorrow is Daniel's fast (health permitting).
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
I believe Old Man Winter has arrived. It was super cold today. There are predictions of a possible snow storm this weekend. I don't mind one good day of snow, I'll take it. However, let's keep it at one day and then go back to a warm winter. Regardless, snow or not, I believe winter has finally arrived. God is good. Tomorrow fast is skip two meals,health permitting.
Monday, January 18, 2016
Tonight we read the story of when Rebekah was chosen to be the wife of Isaac. I have heard this story preached and nothing "jumped out" in a manner of something I had not discovered before. However, it did cause me to pause and think. The servant had come with a mission. He had been sent by Abraham to find a wife for Isaac. To make sure he chose the right wife, he prayed that whoever she was, that she would not only give him water, but give water to all his camels. Rebekah’s destiny was set when she went above and beyond for a stranger. Imagine if she had decided to just give the servant water and let the camels fend for themselves. Her kindness granted her a great reaping. Even when her mother begged her to stay a little longer, she chose to leave as the servant asked. She followed protocol all the way to the time she got married. She was very wise and observant and thus obtained great things for herself. How many times have we been face to face with greatness and we missed it? Her actions that day set her on her course. Do I believe she had already been chosen by God? Yes. As the servant was praying, she appeared. Even at this moment, she could have missed what God had for her. She made the right choice and was blessed beyond measure. In this journey called life, keep your eyes open, the greatest blessing can come from having a servant’s heart. God is good. On a side note: Tomorrow's fast is Daniels Fast.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
As I type, I'm looking out the window at snow covered grounds. We have about an inch of snow on the ground, RJ is pretty happy about it. Today Pastor Davis preached a sermon that really encouraged me. He preached from Exodus 14:10-14 with the title, "God Still Has A Plan". I didn't write the entire sermon because towards the end, I was deeply moved and on my feet. There are days when I hear a sermon and it's good. Then there are days when you are sitting there wondering if the preacher had been listening in on your prayer time with God. Today's sermon was like that for me. I cried a lot and gave thanks to God for loving me enough to give a sermon like today to Pastor Davis. He started off with a story about a young couple who had many dreams for their baby boy about to be born. When the day arrived and he was born, they were so happy. Then news came that their baby had been born with Cerebral Palsy. Their ideas and dreams had been shattered. Contrary to what doctors expected of him. He grew up and overcame many obstacles. He became a mighty preacher of the gospel, despite his physical handicaps. Bro. Allen Oggs wrote a book, "You Gotta Have The Want To". He made a positive impact on people all over the world. If he had never been born with Cerebral Palsy, he would not have had the same impact. God had a plan. The Israelites found themselves in a trap. God was leading Moses and Moses was leading the people. They were staring at the Red Sea, unpassable mountains to their left and to their right and coming from behind them was the Egyptian army, ready to take their lives. We need to understand that the devil will never stop pursing you. It does not matter how long you have been a follower of Christ, the devil will always be hounding you. There is nothing to worry about when this happens when you have Jesus living inside of you. The Holy Ghost gives you power to overcome and be everything Jesus wants you to be. The devil is like a dog on a leash. He leaps at you in attack mode and the angel of God is standing there holding him back on a leash. He can't harm you. Only God is omniscient. When disappointment comes your way, stand strong. When hardships come your way, stay faithful. When you keep your focus on God, the devil is helpless. Remember, greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. No matter how messed up things can become, remember you are a child of God. God still has a plan for you. Sometimes we put ourselves into a bad position. Sometimes what we are going through was sent by the devil. Other times it can be God has allowed it to bring you to a certain place. When we reach out to God and call out to him, he answers. He will forgive you and put you back to where you need to be. God will do what he needs to do to let you know that He is in control and he is taking care of you. King David sinned against God. His child born from sin, was sick. David humbled himself before the Lord. When he heard the child had died, he cleaned himself off and worshiped the Lord. He was not happy because the child died. He worshiped God and gave thanks for the terrible mercy of God. It hurt, but God answered and he chose to give thanks even when it hurt. We need to stop trying to figure it out and start trusting in God. Later when we look back, we can see how it all connects, sometimes, we won't ever see how it connects, but God is still good. We need to come to a point when we stop blaming ourselves and others. We need to shake off the disappointments, failures and bitterness. We need to move forward into the new plan God has for us. Shake it off and move forward. The Israelites obeyed God, just because they obeyed God didn’t mean that things were always going to be perfect. Trouble will come. Daniel obeyed God and found himself in the den of lions, God had a plan and delivered him. The three Hebrew children were thrown into the fire and God delivered them. Joseph was thrown in jail and God delivered him. They all stayed faithful even when they didn’t understand. They just stood and waited on God and God delivered them. We are to fear not, when trouble comes our way. The power of fear is so strong that it can cause us to fail. We must not allow fear to come into our minds and hearts. God has not given us the spirit of fear. God is able to supply all our needs. God is fighting for us, he has a plan. My notes stop here. The presence of God swept into the sanctuary. The congregation was on their feet shouting, "God is fighting for us." We have been going through a lot of stuff. I have been walking day by day, one step at a time. This past September I had another miscarriage. I have given God thanks in all things. My faith in him did not waver. This does not mean that it doesn't still hurt. I needed to hear this today. I needed to hear that in the middle of the pain in my heart, God still has a plan. I may not ever understand why my dreams of having more children have not come to pass. Did I sin? No. Is it genetics? Yes. God is still good. I trust in him and truly believe he does have a plan. I lift my hands in praise and worship and know that no matter the outcome, God is in control and he has a plan! God is good. On a side note: The fast for tomorrow is eat nothing from 6am-6pm (health permitting)
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Tonight we attended the funeral service for our friend Bro. Bill. I think it was the sweetest and most joyful funeral I have ever attended. Everyone who spoke had the same story. He was known for his faithfulness to God. We will all miss him a great deal and in our sadness, we have joy because we know he is where he wants to be. He was ready to go to Heaven to be with his Lord. I'm glad to have known him. A man who loved God with his body, mind, heart and soul is now walking on streets of gold. I'll miss seeing him at his spot tomorrow in church. I'll miss seeing him do his dance for Jesus. I will not forget the example he gave to worship God, no matter what. He praised when he didn't feel good, he was faithful no matter the circumstances. Thank you Bro. Bill for being our friend and thank you for being an example to all of us. Tomorrow, I will lift my hands in worship and give thanks that he no longer is suffering in his body and is now doing his dance with Jesus. God is good.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Last weekend we painted the walls in our living room and hallway. This weekend, we finished hanging all the pictures back on the wall. We changed some around, but for the most part, it's the same. Each picture brought back so many memories. It's funny, I walk down the hallway many times a day and I see the pictures, but don't "see" them. Some pictures made me laugh, others made me realize how quickly time is flying by. I was hanging memories up on the wall, not just pictures. When I started to hang my Grandpa Brollier’s picture, I wanted to cry. He's not feeling well and the cancer in his body is not being kind. I know God is able to heal him. The last I heard he was still making jokes. I miss him and wish I could see him. I have a lot of digital pictures, but I'm glad for the ones in print, they bring back happy memories in an instant. God is good. On a side note: Tomorrows fast is skip one meal.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Tonight in our church Bible Study Pastor Davis taught on "Commitments From Hebrews”. His main text was from Hebrews 10:19-25. The rules from the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus when he died on the cross. We read of many wonderful truths in the book of Hebrews. The Holy of Holies was a special place and only the priests were able to enter in. After Jesus died on the cross, he tore the veil from top to bottom, to indicate that we were all now able to approach the Holy of Holies. We can now boldly enter the presence of God. The blood of Jesus Christ covers us, cleanses us and enables us to enter in. In the verses 23-24 of Hebrews 10 there is a phrase that is repeated. This phrase is, "Let us do...", They are instructions of commitments that we are needed to have applied to our life and walk with God. Pastor then told a story about a pig and a chicken that was walking down the road. They came across some starving children and the pig and chicken wanted to do something for them. The chicken turned to the pig and said, let’s give them bacon and eggs to eat. The pig thought about it and told the chicken that he could easily give the eggs, but if the pig gave the bacon, he would have to be totally committed. There is a difference between being involved in something and being totally committed. When you are committed, you pledge yourself, obligate yourself with a fixity of purpose. It takes everything we have to be committed to Christ. Living for Christ is not always easy. Rough times will come. It costs something to be committed to God; it cost Abraham his give up his son, Esther to risk her life, Steven death by stoning, Paul his life and Christians were stoned. What does it cost you to be committed to your Lord today? We don't have a perfect life. If you are not able to live for God now, how are you going to be able to live for God when things really get rough? Commitment cost. Mathew 16:24 we read to deny our self and take up your cross to follow Jesus. Mathew 19:29 it says to love God more than you love your family. Matthew 10:39 we read to Love God more than the things in this world and even your own life. We are to love him with all our hearts, mind and soul. There needs to be a 100% commitment to Jesus Christ. The first "Let us" phrase indicates that we are to be committed to stay near the presence of God. To be drawn near into the holy place we need to prepare first. The alter in the church is an important place. It is not just for sinners, it's for the church. We need to have a place in our home, where get alone with God and connect with him. This is vital. When you are in the presence of God, he changes everything. You can't expect others to get you into God's presence. You need to reach out for him yourself. When you are truly lost in his presence, you feel completely whole. Nothing else matters around you, just being in his presence. Many times pastors lose focus and the church becomes a theater. Pastor Davis read somewhere that the job of the pastor is to feed the sheep, not amuse the goats. Programs and structure are good. More importantly is to have a move of God and to be in his presence. If we have "good church" and do not have the presence of God, we are wasting our time. We must have a supernatural occurrence with Jesus Christ every time we come to church. We must draw near to him. Pastor didn't finish his lesson. The presence of God was very real tonight. God is good. On a side note: The fast for tomorrow is skip two meals, health permitting.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
We were reading tonight from Genesis chapter 18. The story where Abraham was talking to God. I know this story by heart and have read the passage many times. Tonight, something jumped right out, that I never realized before. I always knew that the two men he met up with were Angels. It never dawned on me that when he was talking to the Lord, it was face to face. The men walked on towards Sodom, but Abraham stayed to talk with the Lord. I always took it as he was chatting with the Lord, but didn't see him. Kind of like how we pray today. If I read my Bible right, that was not the case. He was standing there talking to the Lord and when they finished, the Lord walked away and Abraham went home. Abraham knew who he was talking to. He was a friend of God. How can you be a friend unless you are very close with that person? The Lord was standing there talking to him and it was not out of the ordinary for Abraham. I sat there in awe. Imagine if I'm at the park and the Lord just walks up to me and says hello. We take a stroll and talk about things. The situation with Abraham took place before Jesus came and died on the cross. I know his spirit lives within me, so he's really with me everywhere I go. And yet...I catch a glimpse of something greater. You hear stories all the time from missionaries about someone coming to their rescue and finding out later that they didn't even exist. I had this same experience when I was in Taiwan. I was driving a car on a very crowded street and a Chinese lady on a scooter collided with my car. She went down on the ground and I stopped immediately. I didn't know what to do. My Chinese was basic and how in the world do I deal with this lady lying in the middle of the road. The police came and I was praying under my breath for God to please help me. When out of nowhere appeared a Chinese man in a suit who spoke perfect English. He translated everything and helped me. He gave me his card and told me that God was with me and to not be afraid. He then walked down the street and before my eyes disappeared. I didn't have time to process what had just happened. I went to the hospital with the lady and did as I was instructed. She was going to be fine and I was not in trouble. I called the number on the card and was told that no such person existed. I knew then that God had come to my rescue. How many times have we come face to face with God in our lives? He wants to have a relationship with you that runs deep. He wants to be not just your savior, he wants to be your friend. God is good.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
We received news today that Bro. Bill passed away. We are sad to hear that he is no longer with us. At the same time, we rejoice for we know that he is pain free and dancing on streets of gold. I have a deep respect for Bro. Bill. I loved watching him shout and dance on the front row at church. As his body began to break down, the light of Christ shone brighter day by day. It did not matter how his health was, you could see the glow of the Holy Ghost in his eyes. We lost a devoted saint of God and Heaven gained a mighty worshipper. We will miss you Bro. Bill. God is good.
Monday, January 11, 2016
RJ requested to read from the Book of Daniel in the Bible. I know this story well, but still like to hear it. Even though they were in a strange land, they did not forget who they were. At a time when they were supposed to be killed due to an angry ruler, they sought God and God delivered them. When Daniel revealed the dream, he was taken from nothing and became something. God not only saved his life, he promoted him. I was thinking about this. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place of great discomfort. We are in an unfamiliar situation where we just don't fit in. These things do not matter to God. When he places you somewhere, it's for a reason. He will take your nothingness and create it into something wonderful. God is a mystery. He likes to do things that show us, he is in control and nothing is too hard for him. I believe we are in the last days. I believe much darkness is coming. I am not afraid of this, for the light of Christ is within me. I will walk day by day. I will move forward and I pray Jesus shines through me. He is the hope and the light. God is good. On a side note: The fast for tomorrow is Daniel Fast.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Tomorrow begins our 21 days of prayer and fasting. The theme for this year is, "Follow". We are focusing on God and seeking to follow after him. Pastor Davis preached a dynamic sermon today. I don't remember him giving a title, however he did keep saying one phrase over and over again, "Jesus Changes Things." His main text was from Romans 8:1-11. He also read from: I Corinthians 6:9-11, II Corinthians 5:17 and Ephesians 2:12-13. We need to have the spirit of God within us. If we do not have his spirit within us, we do not belong to God. If we are only in the flesh, we are not able to please God. We need the Holy Ghost within us to enable us to do what is pleasing to the Lord. Jesus changes everything. When you have an encounter with him, it changes your life. Jesus encountered thousands of people. Mathew was a tax collector and after Jesus came into his life, he became a disciple. Mary Magdalene had an evil spirit, after Jesus, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul was a great persecutor of the church, after Jesus, he became the protector of the church. There were also others who had an encounter with Jesus and nothing happened. One man asked to burry his father, you never heard of him again. Another was a rich ruler, he went away sorrowful. Jesus was not different with them. The difference was how they responded when Jesus came into their life. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still makes a difference today in the lives of many. When you respond to him, he will make a change. Please keep in mind, we are all in the process of our walk with God. We all make mistakes. The difference is that we get back up and God helps us to keep going and continues the transformation in our life. We must remember that there is power in the name of Jesus. This power makes all the difference in our lives. It does not matter what you have done in the past. When you have an encounter with Jesus, he transforms you, Jesus changes everything. Jesus will pick you up, meet you where you are. He will not leave you where he met you, he will take you to another place in him. He meets us and gently pulls on your heart. If you do not want to go, he will not make you go. He does not force himself upon us. He will change your entire life. When you are filled with the Holy Ghost and you feel a tug on your heart that maybe something is not right, listen to that tug. God is speaking to you. If you feel something or somewhere is not a good place to be, leave, that is his spirit speaking to you. If you ignore the prodding of his spirit, he will eventfully leave you alone and stop talking to you. It's so important to not quench the spirit of God in your life. Focus on being in his presence. When you fall, get back up, do not focus on your failures. Jesus changes everything! The main destination is to not just change you, but to change your eternal destiny. He wants to pull you out of hell and give you heaven. God is good. On a side note: Tomorrow starts our 21 days of prayer and fasting. Please know that if you chose to follow along with us, you are not required to do the exact fast listed for the day. The point is to fast and pray. R.J. wants to join and said he wants to give up candy and sweets, except if it's a special occasion. This is between him and God and it's acceptable. Tomorrow is a total fast from 6am-6pm (health permitting). Use wisdom in how you fast. It's important you are praying and reading the word as you do this. Without prayer, it's a diet or just not eating. Prayer is vital to fasting.
Friday, January 08, 2016
We recently changed our home from oil heat to gas heat. We did this in conjunction with our neighbor. We needed to do something since our boiler was so old it was only running by the grace of God. Apparently, unbeknownst to us, when the boiler ran, soot from the oil had been filling the house and covering the walls. We didn't even realize it. Now that we have changed to gas, the air in our house is cleaner. Thus, we are in the process of cleaning the walls and repainting them. It's going to feel like a new home! Cleaning takes work, but the end result will be worth the work. God is good.
Thursday, January 07, 2016
I love Thursday night Bible Studies at church. I like it when I learn something new or have an ahah moment. I had one of those tonight. Every time I read about keeping the commandments of Jesus in the Bible, in my mind, I always thought it meant the 10 Commandments from the Old Testament. Tonight, I realized I have been right and wrong at the same time. We are instructed to keep all the commandments, this means Old Testament and New Testament. Of course that does not mean we are to go out and start offering animal sacrifices, since Jesus became the lamb, and shed his blood for you and I. Pastor's lesson was an eye opener for me tonight. His main reading was from I John 2:1-6 with the title of, "The Commandments of Jesus". Jesus paid the debt for you and I. If we love him, we will keep his commandments. Many say they are Christians, but do not do what he says to do. If you say you know and love Jesus, but do not keep his commandments, you are a liar. Not everyone who says, they are Christians are. If you are a true follower of Christ, then you follow his commandments. When you do this, it's not done out of fear, but because you want to, because you love Jesus. When you love someone, you will do something that pleases them. When you love someone, you care what they say and think. We can't just confess that Jesus is our savior, we need to apply it to our behavior and live in obedience to his word. Obedience is a stipulation. We receive certain things from our obedience to him, I John 3:22. If you say you love Jesus and find his commandments grievous, then something is wrong with your love towards him. If we say we are followers of Christ, we are responsible for everything in the book. We can not do this on our own, we need his spirit, the Holy Ghost, inside of us to be able to do this. The modern culture of this day, is based on their opinion. Your opinion is not what counts, what counts is what does the word of God say. God said it, that's settles it and I believe it. Where can we find his commandments? They can be found in the Old and New Testament. Pastor then put up a list of some of the commandments. There are many in the Bible. When you know and read his word, you will know these commandments. In our flesh, we are not able to do this on our own. God fills us with his spirit and gives us strength to do this. Here is a list of some of the commandments given to us by Jesus: Repent or perish, Be baptized, Be filled with the spirit, Abstain from idols, abstain from fornication, Put off the works of the flesh, Deny fleshly lusts, Follow holiness, Be holy in your behavior, Do good to them that hate you, Do not murmur or complain, Adorn yourself in modesty, Keep the traditions of the apostles, Contend for the gospel. Lay aside wickedness, Lay aside hypocrisies, Lay aside all envies, Lay aside evil speaking, Put off the old man, Love not the world, Be not conformed to the world. I read them and repented. I want to follow his commandments, I want to please Jesus more than anyone or anything in this world. God is good.
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
In the holiday rush, I forgot to mention that my niece Taylor got engaged! We like Michael a lot and are so glad they will be getting married. Taylor deserves the best and he's a really good catch. I'm looking forward to the day they say, "I Do". God is good.
Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Today a box was left on our doorstep. This box was filled with gifts from my family in California. RJ had a blast opening his gifts. Ross liked his very cool shirt and Bob was happy to see a box of chocolates (we will eat them up before the fast starts). I liked my piggy items and then at the very bottom of the box was one more gift. It was addressed to me. This was the most unique and special gift, I have ever recieved. I liked every thing I unwrapped. Most of all it was filled with love. I could tell she truly had me in mind for every item. I cried. My sister, Kala, taught me a very important lesson today. Her gift of love was wrapped in everything. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle and we forget to make it personal. Thank you family for your presents and for the love we felt flow out of the box. We love you dearly. God is good.
Monday, January 04, 2016
A while back I blogged about Bro. Bill. He came faithfully to our Home Care Group (Bible Study). I appreciated his deep faith in God. On Sundays, I would sneak a peek and watch him praising God from the front row pew. Sometimes, he would really get with it and put some of the young people to shame. Bro. Bill loves to worship God. Bro. Bill is not well and tonight, Bob and I went to visit him. He doesn't look the same on the outside, sickness has take a toll on his body. However, it was apparent that his sprit is still very strong. We were not expecting him to even know who we were, and that didn't matter. We just wanted to bring some fellowship to him. To our great surprise and delight, he grabbed our hands and managed to get out the words, "Manners". He knew who we were! We joined hands with him and prayed. We read the Bible to him and then sang some good old gospel hymns. One particular song got him very excited. His hands were up in the air and his mouth started moving. You could see he was feeling the presence of the Lord as we sang. I also think he was getting excited for what is soon to come. Soon, he will be walking on streets of gold with Jesus. His body may be worn and tired, but the spirit of God is alive and strong. He is fighting the good fight of faith. I believe, Bro. Bill will hear, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord". I would like to dedicate this song to Bro. Bill and share it with you. "There Is Going To Be A Meeting In The Air". You can hear it here. God is good.
Sunday, January 03, 2016
The first Sunday service of 2016, was an amazing one. We had a guest speaker and with the way praise and worship was going, I was beginning to wonder if he was even going to get to speak. He did and Bro. Tim Greene was anointed and preached the word! I have heard a sermon here or there about Jesus healing the blind man by using his spit. However, I have never heard it preached the way it was preached today. I will do my best to present it to you as he did to us today. He preached from Mark 8:22-26 with the title of, "Visual Memory". He started by declaring it was time for the miraculous. He fist gave the context of the story of what took place before Jesus healed the man. Before the healing took place, Jesus had just finished performing the miracle of multiplying the loaves and fishes for thousands of people. When he had finished this, he and his disciples headed on a boat towards another place. When they arrived, he was not greeted with kindness by the Pharisees and he decided to leave. God will not stay where he is not welcomed. As they headed back, the disciples were having a discussion and Jesus rebuked them for not having the eyes to see and the ears to hear the spiritual things taking place around them. When they arrived at Bethesda, a blind man was brought to him. The people had great faith that God would and could heal him. This time when Jesus healed him, he didn't do it as he always had done in the past. When he did his miracles, the majority of them were in an 8 mile radius. When God calls you to an area, you are mighty in that place and great things happen, because you are where He called you to be. You are not as effective in an area, God has not called you to be. He had done so many miracles in this area and all they wanted was a miracle. Their hearts were not in repentance towards God and he had become tired of this. He decided to change things a bit. He took the man outside of Bethesda and embarrassed him a little bit. Sometimes, God will allow you to go through something for a while to create depth in you. Bro. Greene was curious as to why Jesus spit on the man's eyes. Why would he do something so strange? After looking through the Bible, he saw that every time spit was used it was in shame towards someone. Spitting in the man's eye was a type of embarrassment. They man came to Jesus for a healing, but was not repentant in his heart. He wanted to be healed, but not changed. God wanted to do so much more than heal the man. When Jesus asked him what he saw, he told him he saw men walking as trees. His depth perception was off. This is the case when someone has been blind and then receives their sight. Bro. Greene, told a story about a man who had been blind and his eye sight restored via an operation. It took him a long time to learn to walk, because he had no visual memory of how things look. He had to develop them. They have to learn depth of things. This is the case in our walk with God. We will have a vision and purpose. Sometimes as we are walking towards that God has called us to do, it can become cloudy. We can't see as clear as we used to. When this happens, the tendency is to give up and lose hope. If we just keep walking and trusting in God, we will make it. In the process, we will gain a depth that we would not have had if God had just answered right away or if we had given up. When Jesus healed the man, he did not just heal him, the man was made whole. Jesus healed every part of him, inside and out. We can be saved, and still have struggles in our life. When we bring it to him with total surrender, God is able to deliver us of what we struggle with. He does not just want to heal you, he wants to save you. Bro. Greene then asked for those who were struggling with addictions, fear and other things to come forward. He said, it's like having a bit of spit in your eye. To come up front and admit you are struggling with something. He then had everyone pray for them. He prayed for God to bring healing and deliverance. The alter was packed. We all have our struggles. Not one of us is perfect. We all need God's saving grace. It was a powerful service. God is good. One a side note: collective prayer and fasting is January 11-31. I will post on my blog what the fast will be on a daily bases. We will be having 5am prayer every Tuesday and Thursday starting on the 12th. Please feel free to join us as we cleans our mind, body and soul. We will also be on an e-fast. No electronic entertainment for the 21 day period. Electronic entertainment that is edifying to the spirit is ok. Please be aware that if you have health issues to make sure you fast in a way that is not harmful to your body. To see a link of our 21 days of prayer and fasting, please click here.
Saturday, January 02, 2016
Today as RJ put it, was the last day of play. School starts again on Monday, this means hours of endless play are over. It's been a good break and I'm ready to get back into school mode. It always seems that after winter break, the rest of the school year flies by. Third grade for RJ, has been a very good and I know it's because he has had such an outstanding teacher. Tomorrow, we will attend church and I have no doubt, good things will happen. Soon, we will be venturing on our prayer and fasting. The details will be given tomorrow. As I have done in years past, I will share them with you on my blog. God is good.