Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where Does Your Strength Come From?

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Bridges are strong structures. Only part of them is actually attached to the earth. The rest of it is suspended to the pillars that are built. God is the pillars, and we are the attached to Him for strength.
If you will remember, I have been writing Scripture all year from this one lady's blog posts. These Scriptures have the tendency to really minister to me.
This month happens to be about strength. I do not believe in consequences. I believe that God ordained this month's Scripture writing, KNOWING what I would be facing this month.
Isn't it just amazing to love and serve a God like that? One who knows what you need before you even know it?
I mean, I don't know this lady who is posting this Scriptures, so she certainly doesn't know me. 
These verses are really helping me through this tough time. I am battling with all types of emotions. I love my job, but it's coming to an end. I am staying as long as I can because I need the income. But it's not easy. I'm just going to be honest.
I NEED God's strength to deal with everything I'm feeling and thinking. I NEED God's strength to fight off the enemy and his lies. I NEED God's strength in the words of my family and friends who are encouraging me through this.
How on earth do people live this life without a relationship with God? I seriously do not understand how they can.
I wanted to share some of these Scriptures today but maybe someone who reads this needs some strength. One of my favorites is posted above. 
Isaiah 40:28-31(NLT)
28 Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.
 2 Timothy 1:7(NLT)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Isaiah 43:1-5(NLT)
43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.O Israel, the one who formed you says,“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
1 Chronicles 16:11 (NLT)
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
I think we all know pretty  much how to have a relationship with a human being. We have to communicate with that person. You most talk, then you must listen.
God wants that with us too. He wants us to draw strength from Him. But we've got to talk to Him, and we've got to listen for what He wants to say.
When we read God's Word, He can speak through it and give us strength. (And many many other things.)
If you need strength for something you are going through, I beg you to take the time to pray and read the Bible. If you need prayer to help you through, just ask. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Please pray for me

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV

I really wanted to lighten the mood and post a gif of Will Smith singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air song. LOL Because, "this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down."
My work church is making changes. I am one of those. They have eliminated my job.
This puts me in 3 different emotional states: depressed, fearful, and rejected.
I am FIGHTING. But I need you to come along side of me and pray with me.
I have already applied for some really good jobs. So, I am applying and praying. Which honestly is all I can do at this point.
I know in my heart that God is my Provider. He will give me the perfect job for me.
BUT... my mind is thinking ahead to what if I don't find a job in time? (My last day is December 31st.)
I would appreciate any job leads and all the prayers you can pray. I figure the more people talking to God about little ole me, the better He will hear us. LOL
Thank you in advance. I am thankful that I have friends and family on this journey with me.
God bless you today and always!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

If you are saved... are you still a sinner?

"But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." Romans 5:8 NLT

Last night, we finished up our Book study of my Pastor's book Graceology. I highly recommend it! You can buy it here: Graceology on Amazon
Chapter 15 is called "No Longer  A Sinner".
This sparked some great conversation in our group. We had already been digging into the Bible on another topic, so this just took us back in to research. I've been studying on it this morning too.
I said after we are saved, we are no longer sinners. One of my best friends said we all still sin, so we are still sinners.
We agree that we are righteous, through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. That's the ONLY way we are righteous. We can not do anything to make ourselves righteous.
However, we still sin.  I believe that God's Word explains that we are not still "sinners".  
Romans 5:9 NLT says, "And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation." 
Romans 5:18-19 NLT says, "Yes, Adam's one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness brings right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one person obeyed God, many will be made righteous."
I think we can all agree that Jesus makes us righteous. So when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. Therefore, we are not seen as "sinners".
Do we still sin? Yes. But being a "sinner" means you are not saved.
In Luke, we see another example of this, if we were still sinners, I don't think Jesus would have worded this this way: Chapter 6:32-34 NLT JESUS said this:
32 "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even "sinners" love those who love them!
33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get any credit? Even "sinners" do that much.
34 And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get any credit? Even "sinners" will lend to other "sinners" for a full return."
I do not believe that Jesus would use this wording if it wasn't for the fact that believers are not classified as "sinners" anymore.
Yes, we sin. Yes, grace covers those sins. NO, that doesn't give us a license to sin.
As a believer, when we sin, we know when we are doing wrong. We don't ENJOY our sins anymore, for the lack of a better term. 
I just don't think we should call ourselves "sinners" if we are believers fully living for God and striving to be like Jesus everyday.
What's your take on all of this? I would love some discussion on this topic. 
God bless you today and always!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nothing New Under The Sun!

Habakkuk’s Complaint Habakkuk 1:2-4

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
    But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
    but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
    Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
    I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
    who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
    and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
    so that justice has become perverted.

If you remember, I write Scripture from a lady's blog posts. Today's Scripture writing was Habakkuk 3: 17-19. I wrote it, and felt like God wanted me to read some of this book.
This is one of those books of the Bible that we forget about. I know it's not one I personally have studied or anything. However, these first few verses really jumped out at me.
Aren't we going through this same thing in 2017? Destruction, violence, people arguing and fighting, the law being paralyzed, no justice in the courts, the wicked seem to outnumber the righteous.
My Bible study teacher, Mr. Earnest often quotes Ecclesiastes 1:9, "History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new."
SOOOO.... we look at our world and think "This is so awful." "The world is only getting worse." "Where is God in all of this?" 
Actually, it's history repeating itself. There is nothing new under the sun.
I will answer that last one for you. God is right here. In the midst of it all. He's watching us kill, fight with, and be mean to each other.
Now, let me show you God's answer to Habakkuk...
The Lord replied,
“Look around at the nations;
    look and be amazed![a]
For I am doing something in your own day,
    something you wouldn’t believe
    even if someone told you about it.
This particular time in history, before Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection, God was raising up the Babylonians against Israel. The only way God could get through to people was through judgement. God's Old Testament ways were different when Jesus came. At this time, this is how He was having to deal with disobedience and the like. 
I do not for a minute believe that God wants all of this violence to keep happening in the world.
One of the 10 Commandments tells us to NOT kill. So, I don't think God is endorsing killing.
I think it's time we ban together, ask God for help, and join forces. All races. ESPECIALLY ALL CHRISTIANS.  We are allowing the enemy to keep us separated. 
We can talk about what we think should happen until we are blue in the face, but the truth is, it's all talk. The government and whoever else will do what they will, regardless of what we say. By us fighting and being mean to each other over issues, they are winning and getting what they want:
A DIVIDED country!
Things have always been bad. There is nothing new under the sun. What I think is it is 2017 and we have the internet. We know things almost immediately after they happen. Heck, we can even watch things happen LIVE action through social media.
Where do we go from here?
I will tell you... we need to RUN back to God and ask for Him to unite us through these hard times.
Habakkuk wrote a song Chapter 3: 2
This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk[a]:
I have heard all about you, Lord.
    I am filled with awe by your amazing works.
In this time of our deep need,
    help us again as you did in years gone by.
And in your anger,
    remember your mercy.
Will you join me in this prayer? Let's ask God to show us mercy again and help us in the time of deep need.
God bless you today and always!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

No Weapon!

Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)

17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

The enemy of our lives will come at us in unexpected ways.
Let me tell you one thing. Claim this Scripture DAILY if you have to.
NO WEAPON formed against me will prosper.
I am God's daughter. The Most High's daughter. I am blessed and highly favored.
Nothing the enemy can throw at me will keep me down.
He might knock me down for a minute, but my faith and trust in God is so strong, that I WILL NOT stay down for long.
This week, the armor of God Scriptures have been brought to my attention too. So, I"m putting on my armor daily and letting those fiery darts just fizzle out on my shield of faith.
My sword is God's Word, and I will speak it out loud until the day I die.
I am not a slave to fear. I will not allow fear to over take me. 
And let me tell you one thing.... the prayers of the righteous WILL avail!
I have had more people pray for me in the past 24 hours, and it's amazing.
Whatever you are going through, stand firm on your faith. Do not let the enemy get to you. 
You are God's child, and He will provide and see you through, even the hardest times.
God bless you today and always!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What Is Marriage FOR

23 “At last!” the man exclaimed.

“This one is bone from my bone,
    and flesh from my flesh!
She will be called ‘woman,’
    because she was taken from ‘man.’”

24 This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2: 23-24

I"m sure you are wondering why I'm writing about marriage, since I am not married.
Well, my Pastor started a new message series about Love and this week's message was on marriage.
He based it on a book called Love-ology by John Mark Comer. 
Here is something from Scripture that Josh pointed out that blew my mind!  Verse 24
Adam and Eve did not have parents. God created them. So, verse 24 was written for us.
I just thought that was very interesting...
Anyway... Josh said there are 4 reasons to get married:
  1. Friendship  Genesis 2:18
  2. Gardening  Genesis 2:15
  3. Sexuality    Genesis 2:24
  4. Family        Genesis 1:28
I believe that God wants us to be friends first so we have a strong foundation. Love is cool. Don't get me wrong. But being friends is a good place to start.
On the gardening part, Josh had us laughing. What he really meant was a calling. Adam's calling was to garden and take care of the earth. We all need a spouse who has a calling from God. A calling that they are trying to fulfill, and something that we can do with them to further God's Kingdom.
Sex is self explanatory. However, can I beg you to leave the porn and talking to other people alone? Sex should be a special intimate connection because husband and wife. Notice I said, CONNECTION.  Also, Josh said, "God created us and every part of who we are it's part of your humanity... BUT it's not the defining thing." If we let sex or our sexual preference define us, that's wrong. Our identity is in Christ. 
Of course, God said for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. That's what He wants for us. I realize some people battle infertility. I'm sorry that some do, but I just want you to know that God did not cause that in your life. He wants people to have children. Or to be parents through adoption. Or to mentor children and / or help with kids at your church.
Divorce is rampant in the church. I am even a part of those statistics... so let me tell you 3 mistakes Josh said we make.
  1. We get married for the WRONG reasons. (Just to have sex.Or just so we aren't alone.)
  2. We ask the WRONG questions.(Are you still friends? Are you connecting sexually? Do you have a date night just for the two of you?)
  3. We rate the WRONG person. (Don't always find fault in your spouse. Rate yourself sometimes.)
We should get married for the reasons listed above. They should be your friend, who you can participate in their calling with them, you are sexually attracted to each other, and if you are of age you can have kids together. (If you are old like me, then you'd just have two families joining each other... OR maybe you'll adopt. Like I still hope to one day.)
Marriage is a part of creation, NOT culture. That's why people all over the world, even in tribes get married. We were created for it.
These are my goals for marriage. I am praying for whoever God has planned for me.
Do you have this type of marriage? If not, do you long for something amazing like this? Let me know what you think.
God bless you today and always!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

God Is With Us!

Romans 8:38-39(NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There are so many things in this world that can cause fear. Fear is one of the enemy's biggest tools. It works for him so well because we fall for it.
According to fear is defined as:
"a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.,whether the threat is 
real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid."
Key word there, "imagined". I am guilty of this! I will hear something, or thing something and off my mind goes to the worst. That's fear.
Listen, the enemy uses people to make us afraid. Look at the incidents we are dealing with around the US. The enemy wants to keep us from living life. He wants to be afraid of everything.
BUT GOD...He tells us 365 times in the Bible to not be afraid. That's one for every day of the year! The Scripture I posted above is proof that nothing can separate us from God. The enemy wants you to think that we can be separated from God.
As a matter of fact, he longs to separate you from God. Now, he can't physically do that if you are a Christian, but he can keep you from praying, reading your Bible, and attending church. That's how he works. 
He knows how powerful we are in God, through God and with the Holy Spirit. So, he will pull out all the stops to keep us living in fear. 
In Psalm 37, we see the truth: Psalm 37:23-24(NLT)
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
    He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.
God DELIGHTS in EVERY detail of our lives. And WHEN we stumble, we will NEVER fall. He will hold us up.
So what do we have to be afraid of?
Sure, the world has gone crazy. People are hurting and killing innocent people, for no real reason. Yes, there are things that might happen to us all that will be difficult to go through.
We have Him and we should not be afraid.
If you don't have a personal relationship with God, I ask you to consider. I pray that you will read His Word, and see the truth that you are loved, that Jesus died to take our place, and through Him we have eternal life.
Eternal life is cool and all, but we have this now abundant life.
Let me just tell you... in case you think this.. my life is not perfect. Ok? I just trust God to see me through it all. My main goal in life is to please Him, to use my gifts and talents to bring Him glory, and share the Good News. 
If you need prayer for anything, but especially for fear, let me know. I'd love to pray for you.
God bless you today and always.