Latest Entries »

Praying for Peace And It Does Not Come

  • I’ve been a committed Christian for over 40 years.
  • I’ve served in vocational ministry for over 30 years.
  • I’ve earned a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry.
  • I’ve preached over 1,000 sermons.
  • I’ve memorized hundreds of Scriptures.
  • I practice spiritual disciplines such as prayer, solitude, and fasting on a regular basis.

You’d think that with that spiritual pedigree, I should always experience God’s peace or at least when I lack it, should immediately regain it through prayer, quoting scripture, etc.

Not so in my experience.

One of my all time favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That verse, as do many others, implies that when we feel anxious and lack peace, if we turn to the Lord, cast our anxiety on him, pray, and yield our wills to His, then emotional peace should readily follow.

When I’ve done these things, sometimes I have regained His peace. At other times I haven’t. Not only have these experiences perplexed me, but when I faced difficult times with our oldest daughter’s rebellion and chronic illness with our youngest daughter, no matter how hard I prayed and quoted scripture, peace would sometimes elude me.

When peace didn’t come, an accusing voice inside me would add to my misery by suggesting that something must be wrong with me.

Maybe I didn’t have enough faith (so I would try to muster more of it).

Perhaps unconfessed sin was in the way (so I’d confess any unknown sins that I may have somehow missed).

Possibly I didn’t pray correctly (so I’d reframe my prayers).

Mostly these techniques failed. So I soldiered on, figuring something was still wrong with me.

My neatly packed theology hit a brick wall. It was like when Neo in the movie The Matrix said, “Something was just not right, something was missing, something was lacking, something bothering me like a splinter in your mind.”

My spiritual coping strategies fell short. I don’t mean to imply that we reduce Christianity to pragmatism. We love and obey God simply because He is God and is worthy of our worship and allegiance. Even so, I finally allowed my honest questions to bubble to the surface.

Why, if I did the right things, did peace not come?

Then… I began to understand how our brain works.

I began reading about the brain and enrolled in a master’s program in neuroleadership (a process that applies neuroscience insights to leadership principles). I began to understand that our brain is not simply like a computer, but also like a pharmacy. It’s constantly releasing chemicals into our blood that profoundly affects emotions like peace, anger, fear, and anxiety.

I’m learning that I can be right with God in all respects, and yet not feel emotional peace in the current circumstance. What a relief to learn that lack of peace does not necessarily mean I’m messed up.

As a result of these new insights, I have begun to see how we can use this incredible gift from God, our brain, for healthy living and productive leadership.

Have you ever struggled with this issue? How are you dealing with it?

This week’s article is written by Charles Stone (www.charlesstone.com), author of the book, People Pleasing Pastors. Submitted by Russ Olmon, President of Ministry Advantage, and Deb Mertin, certified Ministry Advantage coach. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to www.ministryadvantage.org.

What would it be like if you call in to pay a debt, and you hear your balance is zero? That would be nice indeed, wouldn’t it? Well, this is just how nice it is to hear that your debt in sins has been paid in full. Read on:

Paid in Full

One day Satan went to visit Jesus in the Garden of Eden. Satan and Jesus were having a conversation, and Satan was all happy and boasting. (Luke 4: 1-12; Job 1: 6-12)

“Yes, Lord, now I have everybody captive, (well nearly everybody down there). I set traps, I used the baits of temptation, and I know very well what each one of them can’t resist.  I nearly caught them all!” (I Pet 5: 8-9; Eph 6: 10-17)

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked, as He was praying to God the Father.

Satan answered, “Oh, I am going to have some fun with them! I’ll make them divorce after they have been married so the foundation of humanity will never be able to be established ‘the family’.” (Mt 19: 4-6; Mal 2: 16)

“I will make them hate and abuse each other, and I will make them fall into alcohol and drugs addiction.” (Rom 13: 12-14)

“I will teach them to make weapons and bombs,
so that they will kill each other. I am really going to have fun!”

“And when you are tired of playing with them, what will you do?”
Jesus asked, as He continued praying.

“Oh, I will kill them all, and their souls will be mine forever. Lord by all respect, it’s their decision.” (I John 3: 8-10)

“How much do you want for all of them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, you don’t want these people. They aren’t anything good.
Why do you want them if they neither follow you nor love you?
Many hate you! I have seen many of them cursing you, and even denying you. What’s more, they love me a lot.” (Mt 24: 10-13)

“You don’t want these people!!”

“How much?” Jesus asked again.

Satan looked at Him with a nasty face, and replied, “All your blood, sweat and tears.” (Is 53: 4-10; I Pet 2: 24)

Jesus said…”DONE!”

And He paid the price. (II Cor 5: 21)

How terrible it is that people don’t seek God, and then ask themselves why the world is going to Hell? How terrible it is that we seek the newspaper everyday to read tragedies and gossips, and we never seek to read the Bible?

How insensible it is that everybody wants to go to Heaven, thinking they can get there without having to believe, without loving God, above all things, doing what the Bible says…the Laws of God?

It is terrible how some people can say ‘I believe in God’ but still follow Satan. (Who as a matter of fact, does fear God) (II Tim 4: 3-4; II Jn 1: 7-11)
Don’t you think it is outrageous that the obscene, vulgar and crude message is allowed freely to pass through the internet, but when it’s a message about God, we think about it twice before we share it? It is forbidden to speak publicly about Jesus in the schools, places of work, self-helping groups, etc., even after knowing what He did for us. The Romans didn’t killed Him, our sins caused His death, that we may be forgiven, and know Him in His glory with the Father.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Just thought of sharing this story of a scenario with Satan and Jesus, and the price Jesus paid for our sins. Author is unknown, but I thought it very interesting. Hope you do too. Share your feedback.

 

Why Do I Feel Discouraged?

Sometimes the storms of life are raging so rough, and the heart easily gets discouraged. However,  as the song writer sings:

“No matter what storm clouds may rock this ship of mine, the light of my Savior will lead me safely through the night. Though my ship may be rocky and my sails may be torn I shall rest in the eye of the storm.”

Sometimes the bills are mounting, and the tribulations  seem like they won’t go away, but in Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus reminded you:

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Jesus is clearly encouraging you that tomorrow has so much worries of itself, and it is already sufficient, so stop worrying about it, as you have too much on your plate. But instead leave tomorrow in His hands, and seek Him, and His Kingdom first, and everything shall be given unto you. So when the storms of life begin to rage, and you begin to feel discouraged, remember that Jesus is a provider and a deliverer!

 

As you prepare to go deeper into 2017, I would love to share the fact that God is waiting on you. You need to allow Him to lead you, as you go through your journey. His voice is calling out to you, and you need to answer Him, by saying, “Savior, don’t you pass me by.” I heard the voice of Jesus saying, “my people need me, as they continue to fight their battles on their own, and are getting no results.” Let Him fight for you (Exodus 14:14).

jesus-hold-my-hands

Jesus is passing by your way today. As He passes by, listen to His voice, and hears what is your ultimate purpose for 2017. The Lord will instruct you and teach you the way which you will go. He will guide you with His eye (Psalms 32:8). Avoid the distraction of the enemies and the naysayers. It’s not about what others think, but what God has already instructed you to do. He has given you a vision, and He is getting ready to manifest Himself to you through that vision. Get yourself prepared, as you hearken unto His leading and directions.

The time is getting shorter everyday, and you cannot sit idly by, while your vision perish. God is not waiting for you to be equipped, because He has already laid down the foundation for you. He has the blue print ready to go. He is just waiting on you. As you seek Him more, and lean not to your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), He will guide your every step of the way. All you have to do now is to let go and let God, as you tell Him, “Savior, don’t you pass me by.”

New Year Message

We wish everyone a Happy New Year. The year 2016 might have been a great year for some, while it was a rough year for others. Notwithstanding, 2017 is an opportunity to start fresh. It’s the beginning of new dreams, goals, objectives and aspirations.

Happy New Year

While there are so many different avenues that you may wish to embark on for 2017, you need to remember to make sure you are prioritizing your goals. When you prioritize your goals, you are able to make them more realistic and achievable, thus eliminating unnecessary disappointments. You should start prioritizing your goals, by setting both short and long-term goals. In so doing, you can accomplish what you set out to achieve for 2017.

Remember that life is not without obstacles, setbacks and disappointments. However, when you trust God to take care of you and your family, He will not disappointment you. All things work together for good, even when they seem like they are impossible and failing (Romans 8:28).

As you embark on your journey in 2017, trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God bless you all.

A Season To Be Joyful

Jesus

From Our Family To Yours

We wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas!

It’s a season to be joyful. Therefore, give thanks for what you still have, and is able to do. Do not worry about what’s already gone, and you’re not able to do anymore.

Remember the reason for the season, and that Jesus brought peace, joy and hope to this world.

Whether you’re staying home for the holidays or you’re traveling, please be safe.

God bless you and your family.

Hanging-by-a-thread

“The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.” Psalm 34:19 (NIV)

I have a dear friend whose husband didn’t want to be married anymore. Sure, she knew there were problems in their relationship, but this devastating news blindsided her. We prayed together. She sought counseling and even invited her husband along. Still, no matter her attempts to save her marriage, it was falling apart.

I’ve never seen her so helpless, so troubled, so lost. She was hanging on by a thread. I understand the darkness she was in and know the weakness and heart-wrenching pain because I’ve been there. Most of us have experienced terrible news that took us by surprise and left us hanging on by a thread.

Perhaps you’re there now. You may be experiencing a broken relationship. Maybe you need to be saved from some addiction or financial trouble. Whatever the case, you feel alone, scared and weak. Your situation is hard, wrenching and painful. You’re losing your grip on faith.

I could tell that my friend was losing her grip on her spiritual foundation. In her deep despair, all she had was a thread of hope to hang on to. What was that hope? It is the promise of God found in Psalm 34:19, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.”

Excerpt from Proverbs 31 Ministries (Author – Micca Campbell)

 

Holy Alphabet for Thanksgiving

thanksgiving-harvest

A lthough things are not perfect
B ecause of trial or pain
C ontinue in thanksgiving
D o not begin to blame
E ven when the times are hard
F ierce winds are bound to blow
G od is forever able
H old on to what you know
I magine life without His love
oy would cease to be
K eep thanking Him for all the things
L ove imparts to thee
M ove out of ‘Camp Complaining’
N o weapon that is known
O n earth can yield the power
P raise can do alone
Q uit looking at the future
R edeem the time at hand
S tart every day with worship
T o ‘thank’ is a command
U ntil we see Him coming
V ictorious in the sky
W e’ll run the race with gratitude
X alting God most high
Y es, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…
Z ion waits in glory…where none are ever sad!

‘I am too blessed to be stressed!’ The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.

Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.

Don’t Roll Over And Play Dead!

Whatever you are going through today, it’s not time to roll over and play dead. It’s not over until God says it’s over. When your tribulations begin to get more and more extreme, that is when you know that you should keep running the race. The breakthrough that will follow your time of testing will be well worth the effort necessary to overcome. With this in mind, you should exert every last ounce of strength that you have left to make it to your last lap of the race.

Many times you wait for the Lord to respond in the midst of a terrible tribulation, and wonder why He doesn’t respond more quickly. This can be seen in the Biblical story in John 11, where Lazarus, one of Jesus’ friends, whom He loved dearly got sick. Mary and Martha who were also friends of Jesus, sent a message to Him to inform Him of Lazarus’ sickness. But when Jesus heard the news, He waited two more days before going to Lazarus’ hometown of Bethany.

When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead in the tomb for four days. When Martha discovered that Jesus was on His way, she went out to meet Him, and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” However, Martha thought He was talking about the final resurrection of the dead. Jesus then went to Lazarus’ grave with Mary, Martha, and the rest of mourners. There He instructed them to remove the stone that had covered the entrance to the tomb. Jesus looked up to Heaven and prayed to His father. He then cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus come forth!” When Lazarus came out of the tomb, Jesus instructed the people to remove his grave clothes.

In this amazing miracle, Many people put their faith in Jesus. Sometimes through the darkest moment of your trials and tribulations, you think that you can’t make it through to your last lap of the race. You then begin to think that God is not on time; however, you have to remember that even though He’s two days late, He’s still on time. Jesus deliberately waited two more days to go to Bethany, because He knew that He would do a great miracle for God’s glory. Therefore, He was in no hurry to get there.

Often times, God allows your tribulations to get from bad to worst, because He’s planning to do something great and victorious in your life. This is so, because He has a wonderful purpose for you that will bring even greater glory to God. Therefore, it’s time to be resurrected. Don’t roll over and play dead!

Excerpt: Enough Tribulations “Finding Peace in the Midst of Tribulations.”

Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.

Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).

Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.

The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.

It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Beholding Him Ministries

Grace, hope and Truth for each day.

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

Francine In Retirement

Seeing Life Through Photography

somebodylovesmeblog

Sharing God's love with the world, one heart at a time.

Karina's Thought

Encouraging and inspiring through God's word

deeclarknz.wordpress.com/

Woman to Woman and Heart to Heart...helping each other on our journey

Living For Jesus Christ Alone

Get accessed to sound biblical teachings regarding how to fruitfully live the Christian life that God intended you to live.

S.P.I.R.I.T Ministries

Inspired by: GOD

Christine's Poetry Blog

SHARING GOD'S LOVE THROUGH UPLIFTING POEMS OF FAITH BY CHRISTINE V MITCHELL

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

"Fresh Oil"

Fresh Oil is a secret place that is continuously being filled by the spirit of God. Fresh Oil will stay purpose driven to deliver compelling writings related to social injustice and spiritually rich revelations.

Distance Is Not A Barrier: Emmanuel TV Testimonies

A blog dedicated to sharing faith-building testimonies from the ministry of T.B. Joshua

The TB Joshua Blog

The Best Is Always Yet To Come...

66 Assurance Way

Spiritual Encouragement & Empowerment

Jesus Is My Joy Ministries/Devotions

My site has inspiration for you and TRUTH.

Empowerment Moments Blog

Empowering Minds To Believe!

Cross of Christ

By whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world

Phoenix - The Rebirth of My Life

Raise mental illness awareness. Stop the stigma. Save a life.

Precious Jewels

Every individual is precious to God. Each soul is priceless.

advocatemmmohan aksharaalu

A great WordPress.com site

Equipping The Saints

"equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ," (Ephesians 4:12)

Good Time Stories

Inspiring and Heartwarming Stories

humanangle

A fine WordPress.com site

The Bottom of a Bottle

Trust me, I've been there, I've looked, I've searched and I know now, that there are no answers to be found in the bottom of a bottle or on the edge of a blade! Fighting Hard, Recovering, Rebuilding, REBORN. Moving on from addiction to a new life.

Jubilee Journey

On the Road to Freedom, Reconciliation & Restoration in Jesus

Kev's Great Indie Authors

Supporting Indie Authors Worldwide

Mustard Seed Budget

FINANCES FOR YOUR MINISTRY

Redbird's Roost

The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Silence Teaches Us Who We Are

Silence, Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Jesus, God, and Life.

Living to Live Again

Exploring true identity in Christ

Laughing in Jamaica

the evolution of rodni

Life as an Alexander

Wife. Graduate Student. Jesus Follower.

hallelujahart

Biblical Calligraphy and Christian Art

GRAVITY OF GRACE

UNEARTHING THE VAST RICHES OF THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST

Annettejaco's Blog

Inspiring Articles

youngspark2

A topnotch WordPress.com site

a collection of writings

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Betty's Verse Of The DAY

Into His Arms I Fall

Prayer A to Z

Prayer A to Z excerpts, Bible studies on prayer

.....and a sprinkle of love

If only I had something witty to say.....

Rebecca Duvall

Author ~ Speaker ~ Blogger ~ Child of God

Petal Barclay-Smith Ministries

DELIVERANCE AND HEALING

VINE AND BRANCH WORLD MINISTRIES.COM

Taking the World one soul at a time

Men of One Accord

Just another WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: