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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Wise Choices


Wise Choices
 
Todays Post is a digested Bible Study lesson taught by our teacher Linda. 

How we live is an example to others.  The Scriptures tell us to "Be angry and sin not." 
 
Our teacher told how this week she was angry at a co-worker because she was misusing their resources.  She had to check herself and stay in control as she took the worker aside for a reprimand.  “Tell me about orientation and how you were told to do certain things?” 
 
The worker knew she was in the wrong and quickly apologized.  Our teacher wondered if this warning would correct her future behavior.  Are you praying for slackers on the job, and for those who make you angry?  Do they understand your expectations? 

Events such as this can cause us to be anxious and stressed out. 


Philippians 4:6-8 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  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.


This verse is a wonderful verse to remember.  It is helpful to write it down and take the words apart.  Murmur the scripture to yourself as you write and read it.  Allow the Words of God to alter your behavior.

We have been studying the journey of the Children of Israel and the Ten Commandments given to Moses on the Mountain.  In the Old Testament the Law was given and God said, “I will be your God.” The people broke the covenant. 

In the New Testament Jesus died on Pass Over, and a New Covenant was received.  Fifty days after the sacrificial Lamb was the Feast of Pentecost.  At that time, the Holy Spirit fell and three thousand were saved as Peter preached.

Both events had similar sounds and symbols; Wind, fire, smoke, and voices.

At Sinai the fire was visible but the people were kept away from God’s Presence.

In the second Chapter of Acts, tongues of fire came down on the people praying there and they were filled with God's Presence, and Peter was changed into a powerful leader.

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Understand the evil in Peter’s day –  there were many gods, idol worship, fortune tellers, and sexual sins.

Wickedness continues also in our day as babies are slaughtered while still in the womb, schools are teaching against Godly behavior, sexual sins continue and many are not worshiping the True God, and Christians are being executed for their faith in Jesus.

Peter called Christians to Holiness and reminded them in 1 Peter 1:18-19  That you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
 

So how can we treat one another? - - In love, caring about each other and watching how we speak to others.  Can we walk in forgiveness when we are offended or treated wrongfully?
 
 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Finding Lost Causes



Jesus Seeks the LOST until He Finds Them
 
Finding Lost Causes

Walking out to get the paper and the mail, I tucked the newspaper under my arm and scanned the mail.  Most of the mail was junk mail, and I make it a habit to shred our address before disposing of the envelopes and contents. 
 
Reaching the house, I shredded the addresses and tossed the envelopes into the waste basket then went about getting ready for lunch.

Usually I set the newspaper on the kitchen table, and hubby and I do the jumble puzzle together, but where was the newspaper? 

I must have dropped it on my way back to the house.  So dog Luke and I retraced our steps, to no avail. 

Perhaps I placed it on the desk in the office when I shredded the addresses, but it was not there.

Robert said, “No matter, it will show up somewhere, let’s eat our lunch.” 

Hubby asked me to pray over our food and I did - - adding the comment, “Jesus you know where that newspaper is, will you please tell me, cause it is disturbing my peace.”

As I sat down, - - in my spirit God told me where the newspaper was.  Can you guess?

That still small inward voice said, “Go look in the wastebasket where you threw the envelopes.” 

Hurriedly I jumped up and told Robert, “Jesus just told me where it is and look He was right.”

If you have ever misplaced your keys, wallet or your Bible, then you can relate to this story.

Jesus told parables about the lost coin, and the lost sheep to illustrate joy when the lost is found. 

Perhaps you have some lost sheep in your family. 

Take heart for they are not really lost, - - they just haven’t been found yet.
 

Luke 15:6 "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them; 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was LOST !' 

Luke 15 7  “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one LOST sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!”





 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

HEEDING THE VOICE OF GOD


HEEDING THE VOICE OF GOD
 
Pastor Allan was ministering the Sunday morning message and I took notes and edited it here for you. 
 
The Azusa Street revival in the early 1900’s was a historical outpouring of the Holy Spirit and major Pentecostal groups were formed.  Today there are prophesies going forth preparing the land for Revival and a new Jesus movement. 

Thousands of young people are praying for revival over the Bay Area and a large group recently met in Sacramento to pray on the steps of the capital building for the State and Nation.

Pastor was talking with a minister friend, and he asked “Do you ever get the cart before the horse?”  His friend answered, “I try to avoid that because I don’t want to breed Ishmaels.”

Abraham had heard the voice of God promising him a son.  But time passed, and in Genesis chapter 16, Abraham heeded the voice of his wife.  He already had heard from God, but her suggestion seemed like a better idea.  “Take my maid and have a child by her and this will fulfill God’s promise.”  It is easy to second guess God, and we need to realize that today we are reaping Abraham's bad choice.

When God speaks it pays to listen to His voice.  Ishmael was basically an illegitimate child.

We have been guilty of breeding Ishmaels.  Society is a reflection of where the Church has failed to step up and obey the Voice of God.  Basically we are not united, not of one mind, and not of one accord.  We have to trust in God and his voice, and get off our prideful pedestal.  

However, God loved Ishmael and blessed him.  We need to look at people around us and see them the way God sees them.  God knows their potential and has a good plan for each person.

We need prayer warriors mobilized because we are in a spiritual battle. 

Follow your call and allow God to take you.  He wants a willing obedient heart.  God desires that we have a personal relationship with Him and walk in the Supernatural bringing forth the living water.

Jeremiah 17: 13 O Lord, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You shall be ashamed. “Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, Because they have forsaken the Lord, The fountain of living waters.”

The children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their wrong choices.  They listened to the voices of the ten fearful spies instead of listening to God’s voice.

Abraham finally got it – but it took a drastic test of faith.  He was prepared to offer his son of promise as a sacrifice, but God had prepared a lamb.  This test was a picture of God sending Jesus to be the Lamb of the World.

It is important for us to pray for our spouses to be strong and not cave in and become discouraged and depressed.  There are real issues in life. 
 
Many people today struggle with infidelity, drugs and alcohol.  You may think it is not possible to get off meth, but with God it is possible.  Allow God to work on you to be an over-comer.   He can remove the taste, the appetite and bring deliverance.  Let God rebuild your relationship with Him and with your family.

We must be united – going in the same direction following God and listening to His voice.  God will make a way.

Battles are ahead and there are cities to win and mountains to be removed.  It is time to rise up and walk, perhaps to even walk on the water. 





 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lion’s Revival


LION'S REVIVAL
 
Our church has a relationship with The Bridge Ministry in a near by town.  We recently helped them set up a crusade where many souls were saved and healed.  We were privileged to enjoy as our guest speaker Dominique from the Bridge.  I took notes and present a digested sermon here for you.

“A bull dog takes hold and will not let go.  God is releasing goodness all the time, even when we can’t yet see it.  Do you need a financial break through, a healing, deliverance?  Contend for it. 

It is not a building it is the condition of our hearts, and a willingness to enter the refreshing.  Put yourself forward and maintain your earnest desire for God to move in your life.

Be reminded that Jesus always listened to the Father and then he repeated what He heard. That is how we want to minister; to listen closely and then do as we heard from God.

What is going on here in Oroville?  This place is an armory.  Before going out to battle, the soldiers came to the armory to be outfitted.  In this place is deliverance, healings, and weapons to fight our enemy.

The battle is not with flesh and blood but Spiritual forces and souls are bound with chains that hold them captive.

The enemy can’t beat Jesus, so he tries to blind us with distractions. He desires us to bounce between revival and depression. 

It is simple to win – just go to the armory and take up your spiritual equipment.  Your sword is the Word of God.

The revival in the 70’s was the lambs outpouring.  It was gentle and peaceful.  We are now stepping into the Lions Revival.  Can you hear Him roar?  As Christians you have already received all from the Lord.  Now it is time to go forward and expand your capacity to receive and give out.

Isaiah 54:3-4  “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes.

For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.

There is no shame of the past; for we are the miracle that other’s need.

John 7:38  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Water is life giving.  If our dam was full and it broke; towns below would be flooded. 

Gideon was the least likely person to be used of God.  He came from the poorest village, the poorest family and was the youngest child.  Besides that he was fearful.

God sees us the way He created us; A mighty person of valor – honorable – bold and courageous.  That is how He saw Gideon.  Fire came out of the rock and burnt up the sacrifice - - and the angel departed.  God spoke from heaven and said, “You shall not die, go and do your first assignment to tear down the alters of the false gods, and cut down the groves.

Relate how you can be a Gideon.  This demands a response.  Forget what your family and others think of you.  Be a part of the living river; the water of life.  Once you say yes, there is no turning back.  Step over the line and no retreat.

We need both fire and water.  Grace for today for fresh fire to go forward for God.

Be the revival, for God will impart and equip you and He will go with you."

 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thou Shalt Not Covet


 

Notes from our Bible Study, as our teacher Linda taught the lesson.

Exodus 20:17  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The Tenth Commandment, “Do Not Covet,” can lead to sin which violates the other commandments.  To covet has a unique significance that legislates thought and behavior. 

Coveting can lead to adultery, and crimes such as stealing and even murder.

The word covet means to want to own something that belongs to someone else.

It is okay to notice  a nice house, or car, but just be happy for the person not desiring to take what they have.

We cannot allow ourselves to covet, for only evil can come of it.  Choose your thoughts and learn to think on things that are lovely and of good report.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

King David looked and then desired to take Bathsheba for a wife.  He  made plans how this would work out and considered that since he was King he could do as he pleased.  The prophet rebuked him and David repented quickly.

King Ahab looked at Naboth’s vineyard and his wicked wife used false witnesses to secure the vineyard for her husband.  Her punishment was a grisly death.

We often think we have a right to do certain things - - as long as we don’t get caught.

Who is our neighbor?  The answer is clear; Everybody.

This doesn’t mean we are to be a door mat and allow ourselves to be taken advantage of.

Genesis 2:9  And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Eve noticed that the tree of Knowledge was pleasant to look upon.  The serpent beguiled her by saying “God is keeping back from you what you should enjoy.  This fruit will make you wise and you shall be like God.” The enemy appealed to her appetite and desire for enhancement and to be WISE. 

Eve coveted the forbidden fruit and said to herself, “It looks good to me – me – me – me.

The taste of the fruit of sin was sweet as honey but sour in her stomach.   She took and gave some to Adam her husband.  Innocence was lost and their eyes were opened.

Look – Touch – Taste – and Die.  That day Adam and Eve lost eternal life and died in their spirit.  Eternal Life can only be recovered by becoming born again through believing in Christ Jesus.  Jesus is Eternal Life.

The Premise to covet is the same today,  we must not covet riches, which might lead to gambling, desiring houses or lands, or the mate of another person.  We might even covet something so simple as a parking space.

Matthew 5:27-28  Jesus warns us not to look and lust for that is adultery in the heart.

To covet is connected to lust or wrong desire.  To think and dwell on a thing.

How we live today:

There are issues of men – even Christians with pornography.  We can’t look on these things without it affecting you.   You can’t continue to dwell and not have these acted out.

The battle is in the mind and our thought life.

Proverbs 4:23  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

BE Sober – Consider who you have offended by actions.  Have genuine sorrow and repentance.  Make that decision to forgive and ask forgiveness.   In relationships:  “Let’s work this out.

Job 31:1  Job made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look upon a maid.  God sees everything we think and do.   It pays to keep our heart with all diligence Psalms 64:6

Some sins are passed on through blood lines and Generational Curses - - evil follows in the family.  These curses  must be renounced and broken even if you never knew they existed.  (Click on the words above “Generational Curses” and pray the prayer there.

What do I do at night?  Seek and desire God and to learn His Righteousness.

Covet to Know God and His presence in a personal way.


 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Condition and Recognition


Be planted and rooted in Jesus
 
The Sunday service at Open Door Church was sparked with a thick awareness of God’s presence.  I took notes and relay Pastor Allan’s sermon digested to fit my page.  Pastor stated that for many months, he has been seeking God’s presence.  There are different levels of God’s manifestation.  The deepest is an intimate personal level.

Pastor said, he had a relationship, but lacked the intimate intensity.  Our walk is important, and are you willing to be called crazy?  Can you handle other’s criticism of your walk with God?  Drop those things that God puts his finger on.

A healthy church reaches all walks of life including all ages, ministers, teachers, leaders and followers.  The church must also have a heart for those who have messed up their lives and desire to find Christ.  The church must have a love for the lost, the unlovely, and those with addictions.  To be ready to go after the backslider and bring them back to Jesus. 

When Jesus ministered on this earth, the Religious leaders “knew it all,” with their study of the scriptures, but they failed to recognize their Messiah.

Understand that God recognizes and sees potential and something greater in every soul.

God can use a small band to do great things in this city.  Let God use you where you are and make God happy.

God desires to break the chains that bind, and release the captives through you.

Isaiah 58:6-8 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh??

When the storms come, trust in the Lord, and He will give you strength.  I am reminded of the scripture, we shall be like a tree planted by the water. 
 
God is not the author of confusion, and if He says to do it, and it seems hard, He will be with you.  If you know it is the voice of God, then trust.  God will use teachers, councilors and leaders to confirm and encourage. 

Pastor said, he was crying in the shower and his wife asked, “What is going on?”  He replied, “I am in my prayer closet.”

We realize that America is sinking, but we must pray for our leaders.  We may not agree with them or like their serious mistakes, but we can pray that they have wisdom.

Pastor said, the more he gives the more God gives back.  It is important to help one another.  God wants our church to support other ministries, such as our local Hope Center and Rescue Mission.  Pastor was made aware of two young ladies who are committed for a two year mission in the heart of ISIS.  They need prayer for protection, provision, anointing and wisdom.

The rain drops are falling, and they are getting bigger and more intense. 

Let God use you in the spirit of Nehemiah to rebuild the walls.  Our vision is to see our city restored.  It will happen one neighborhood at a time.  It is Harvest Time and time to work while you pray. 


 

This One Is for All Us Expert Worriers by guest Lisa-Jo Baker





This One Is for All Us Expert Worriers


by Lisa-Jo Baker  via (DaySpring Devotions)

I’m a lifelong Sunday School girl, and I grew  up singing the old hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.
There’s one line that lingers in my head these days as the mornings come crashing down on me, and with them that old, familiar ache of fear, or worry, of not being able to control the future:
“Morning by morning new mercies I see . . .”
I was thinking about that line when I woke up today.
Most mornings when I wake up and stumble to the bathroom to put in my contact lenses and step on and off the scale and then head to the kitchen to figure out how to prepare breakfast without using the leaky sink, I’m not thinking about Christ’s mercies.

I’m thinking about my to-do list.
I’m thinking about my worries and how my hair has more gray in it than I remember from last month. I’m thinking about what we’re going to do if it turns out there isn’t actually a spot for my daughter in the preschool we’re counting on once fall rolls around. I’m googling you-tube videos to figure out how to fix the leak underneath our kitchen sink.

My mornings don’t involve a list of God’s mercies, they involve a list of my own worries.
I’m very good at it.
I’m an expert at the quiet panic that paces around my insides as the boys rush by and our little girl tells me she misses her friends.
I can rattle off all my very specific fears and worries without even having to think very hard.

There are all the boxes we still haven’t unpacked after our move last month. The shed and the kitchen projects I’m not sure when we’ll get around to tackling. The new school my boys are starting in less than three weeks and all the school supplies I haven’t bought yet.
There’s the old white minivan with the flat tires that require pumping every morning — the same minivan who long ago said goodbye to any hope of air-conditioning. There are the fish ponds we’re not sure yet how to take care of and the mouse who must have moved in while we were on vacation because the brand new bathroom mat I bought has long shreds chewed off it — shreds that now trail up and down the halls.
I can sit in the house of my dreams and miss it all because I’m so busy counting worries.

And then that old hymn rolls around in my head and today, instead of obsessing over the sink, I start to hum the tune I’ve known since childhood. And it reminds me of the God who has loved me since long before that.
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided –
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

That “All I have needed” part is what makes me stop. I come to a complete standstill. Right there in the middle of my kitchen with the slightly slanted floor.

Do I really believe that?
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Do I live like I really believe that?
I look out the window, and I can hear the cicadas. There’s a lawnmower in the distance and three very loud kids right here in front of me. And slowly another list starts to take shape in my mind.

These kids are my kids, and they’re growing up into the most fascinating tiny humans. They share their weird and quirky interests with me. They invite me into their fears, and they trust me with their insecurities. At night they lie back to back with me just because it makes them feel safe.

Just last night we built Zoe’s very first big-girl bed. She’s been sleeping in the same crib her big brother first used; it’s made the trek with us from South Africa to Michigan to Virginia and now to Maryland. And last night we moved it out of her room and I watched her climb into the bed that will rock her to sleep every night between now and teenagerhood.

I add that to the list of God’s faithfulness.

Along with the stories my boys tell of new friends at soccer camp. The neighbors who fed our fish for two weeks while we were gone. The brand new friend who comes over to fix my sink (turns out the pipe wasn’t broken, just a washer was loose). So, “learning basic home maintenance” goes on the list too.

And, of course, there are the big things like a home and clothes and warm food. But I’m waking up more to the little things — the ordinary glory of kids’ backpacks and their excitement at finding their feet in this neighborhood. Walks to the mailbox holding onto a tiny hand. Fresh chocolate chip cookies. Bike rides. New markers. Coloring books. Clothes warm out of the dryer.

His faithfulness is new every morning in a hundred different ways. On the stormy days as well as the mild ones. It’s the one thing that doesn’t change. 

I so desperately want to become an expert at believing that.

When I hum my favorite hymn, it reminds me of the God who has loved me since long before childhood.