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Found this on FaceBook today and wanted to pass it on. Sometimes it is easy to fall into wanting to receive love a certain way, but the best way is to give it. If we delight ourselves in Jesus and the things that He considers most important, we will have all of our needs and even many of our desires fulfilled. We will be fulfilled. This will find its way somewhere into my next non-fiction book, Delighting Daily in Jesus.

Pictures like these and more can be found on FaceBook.com/ACoffeeBreakWithGod.

May your day be one of victory that overflows with His Spirit housed in you!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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My husband said the most interesting thing the other day. He said, ‘The Lord wants us to become untouchable, but we want to remain untouched.’

Think about that for a moment. How can we ever be overcomers if there are never any challenges in our lives for us to overcome? I admit, I don’t like dealing with stress. There are days when I feel like I’m being pulled in about fifty different directions. Sometimes life is difficult. Homeschooling five kids is no easy walk in the park. Just being a wife and mother isn’t always easy either. It’s not always easy following the Lord’s call in my life. But, it’s good. I would never exchange my life for all the world has to offer.

It’s so easy to get annoyed when we think something unfair has happened. When we’re trying to get out the door, of course that’s the time the baby needs a diaper change (and complete new outfit!). When we’re tired, of course that’s the time that someone loses something (for the fifth time) and needs it right now! When we’re not feeling well, of course that’s the time a child is grumpy and frustrated with math.

God wants us to learn to not hold it all together ourselves. He wants to walk closely beside us. He wants to answer our prayers. How can we learn to delight in Him if we never bother to talk to Him? Or worse, we spend hours in prayer and walk away unchanged?

We’ve got to grow our faith. We’ve got to seek the Lord in our lives every day. If I don’t come out of my prayer time unchanged, I just wasted the Lord’s time and mine. If reading the Bible doesn’t change me, that time spent was hardly better than reading the latest best-seller.

What does it mean to walk WITH Jesus? What does it mean to DELIGHT in the Lord? I know it isn’t always easy or fun or even safe.Take a closer look at Psalm 23:

(v1) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(v2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (v3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
(v4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(v5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

Say what?! This has me walking through the valley of the shadow of death and sitting down with my enemies standing in the same room! We think of Psalm 23 as being so pastoral and ‘relaxing’, but it’s not. There’s tough stuff going on there. I’ve sung such lovely songs with those verses, but what’s the reality?

I want to draw ever closer to the Lord. I want to dwell in His house forever, but I don’t want to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I don’t want to eat at a table before my enemies. Unfortunately, I can’t have one without the other. Pastor Forkpa said, “God cares less about your comfort than He does about your character.” If I really want to get close to Jesus, if I really want to become untouchable, then I have to do things His way. You know what, that’s really the best way!

Related article: ‘Mess…or Miracle?’

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Passing the Mantle Conference

Just some thoughts for this week. I was so privileged to go to the Passing the Mantle Conference in Bartlett, IL this past week. It was so…amazing. From morning until night the Lord spoke through great men of God words of conviction, encouragement, and enlightenment.

This is one of those times that I will be digesting for months. I have 16 pages of typed notes. (I’ll be sharing some of them with you in the weeks to come. ūüôā ) The preachers were so anointed. They included great men like Pastor Gonzales, Pastor Sisco, Pastor Hernandez, Pastor Black, Pastor Hoffman, Pastor Yonce, and Pastor Boettcher.

The thought that I want to share with you this week is this: Your future is not based on your failures. It is based on your Faith.

It is so easy to fall prey to Satan’s attacks when you fail. When you make a mistake, Satan whispers words like ‘Failure, You’ll never get it right.’ ‘You’re so stupid.’ The list goes on. And we fall for it. The thing is, we don’t have to listen. God doesn’t care about our failures so much as our faith. He doesn’t want a perfect vessel for His service, He wants a WILLING vessel.

Jesus loves you and that’s why He came here to die for you. He conquered from the cross for YOU. He conquered the grave and rose from the dead all for YOU. He gave YOU His Spirit and His power (Acts 2:38). He even gives you His mind (I Cor 2:16). And, as you press nearer to Him, He shares His heart with you as well.

Remember, it’s not about your failure, it’s about your Faith. Your Faith determines your future!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Building Walls of Faith

Have you ever been hurt? I know I have. It seems the defense mechanism of choice is to build a wall, so you can’t get hurt again. The problem with walls is what do you allow in? And, what are you keeping out?

In prayer this morning, I realized that those walls are actually good things–when used properly. Instead of building walls of FEAR and keeping everyone and everything out, we need to build walls of FAITH. Let our Lord be our help and our hope. Let Him be our rearguard. Hide ourselves under His wings. Use that shield of Faith!

Instead of building walls because we don’t want to be hurt again or just simply don’t want to have to deal with things, we need to build walls in our lives to glorify the Lord. In fact, we need to work together with Jesus to build those walls–of faith, love, protection, hope, and joy!

When we set out to build walls by ourselves, they become defensive and keep out those who love us. These kinds of walls prevent us from becoming the people who our Lord desires us to be. Another problem with building walls by ourselves is that there are often holes in them that Satan’s fiery darts can get through, thus making us even more alone, and more miserable.

Recently, I’ve been purposefully allowing the Lord time every day to just love me. It’s not an ego thing, rather, it’s a reality thing. There’s no pride, just love. I can tell you that it is making all the difference in the world. Because I am getting a greater grasp of God’s love for me, I can give more and greater love to the people around me. The other night, as we sang ‘I’m not ashamed of You’, I realized that He was not ashamed of me. It’s so easy to have super high expectations of ourselves to the point that we think God is going to reject us, when just the opposite is true. He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us in spite of ourselves. We know we’re not perfect and so does He. The thing is, He has the power to change us, if we’ll let Him. He doesn’t condemn, He loves and transforms.

Rom 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” (KJV).

When we build walls of Faith with Jesus, rather than walls of Fear all by ourselves, we are set free. God’s kingdom has come into our lives and it keeps getting bigger. Those walls protect us and free us to create and build and do all those great things the Lord wants us to do. And, we get to do all this with Him and those precious people around us. We are fulfilled and energized to do more than we ever thought possible. We get to live the way we were meant to live, bold, joyful, hopeful, and fulfilled.

What has the Lord spoken to you about recently? How has He ministered to your heart? Let me know in the comment section below! ūüôā

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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God and the Golden Rule

Do you want a closer, more intimate relationship with the Lord? I know I do. I want to walk more closely with Him every day. I want to hear Him speak to me. I want to know His thoughts, His heart, His mind.

Recently, I’ve been reading the book pictured here by Dale Carnegie. Our pastor has assigned it to us to help us as a ministry team to be more effective in building our church, reaching out to others and ministering to the needs of those around us.

As I was reading some of the suggestions in this book, I got to thinking, what if I treated my Lord more like this?

For instance, in the first section, ‚ÄėFundamental Techniques in Handling People‚Äô, Mr. Carnegie says

  • Don‚Äôt criticize, condemn, or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want.

How often do I complain to my Lord? How often do I argue with Him and criticize His way of doing things? That’s not submission. It certainly doesn’t make His job any easier, and it doesn’t make my life any better. It’s a poor attitude and needs to stop.

How often do I give Jesus honest and sincere appreciation? Do I remember to thank Him? Do I praise Him for the innumerable blessings He has poured out on me? He has given me every breath I take. He has given me food to eat, water to drink, a warm house and warm clothes to wear. How can I not thank Him?

I don’t have to arouse in my God an eager want. He already wants nothing more than to bless me and make me more like Him. However, do I let Him? Do I submit to His will and follow His lead for my life? Do I even realize just how much He loves me and how much He gave to show that love? He has invested His very life into me (and you too!). What do I do with that knowledge? Do I work with Him or against Him?

As I ponder these things, I am humbled. I know I have a long way to go in blessing my God as much as He has blessed me. If I truly want to grow closer to Him, I need to check how I treat Him. As I apply His own ‘Golden Rule’ to the way I treat Him, our relationship grows and flourishes. You know the Golden Rule don’t you? ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you. So, why don’t we treat Jesus as we would like to be treated ourselves?

I would love to hear about your own journey in growing closer to Jesus. Be sure and tell me about it in the comments below! God bless you all!

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How to Be Saved–and How to Stay That Way!

There are so many people out there with sermons and pamphlets and books about how to be saved and make it to heaven–and this is just in Christian circles. I’m not even including other religions out there. I just wanted to be a little radical and throw out into cyberland what the ¬†(gasp!) Bible actually has to say on the subject.

First off, a quick overview. The Old Testament is basically the story of the Jewish people and their relationship with God. He chose them as a race for His own to be a witness the rest of the world. God’s idea was to bring all people to Himself through the Jewish witness. The Old Testament is divided into several parts, history, prophecy, poetry, and law. You cannot fully understand the New Testament without the Old Testament. It’s like starting in the middle of a book or movie and not knowing what went before. My purpose of this post is to focus on the subject of salvation, so I won’t go into much detail on the Old Testament. Just read it for yourself. It’s great stuff and very useful for today.

The New Testament is divided into several sections too, just like the Old Testament. The first four books are the Gospels, which tells about Jesus, which means ‘God is my salvation’ coming in flesh. (That means God put on flesh and came to live with us humans in order to die for our sins.) After the Gospels, is the book of Acts. This is where you see people getting ‘saved’ for the first time. This is the book where the church was born and this is the book which shows people getting saved. After Acts, you have a bunch of letters, written to established churches, essentially about how to¬†live the new life you’ve been given. Finally, the last book of the Bible is Revelation,¬†a prophecy about the end of the world as we know it.

All right, how does a person get saved? Well, that’s easy: Acts 2:38 states it very plainly: Repent of your sins, Get baptized in Jesus’ name, and Get filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as the Spirit moves. It’s there, read it for yourself. It’s real, it’s a blessing. It’s from God. Jesus said in John 3:5 that in order to enter the Kingdom (be saved) you need to be ‘born again’ of the water and the Spirit. The ‘water’ here means baptism in Jesus’ name. The Spirit means being filled with God’s Spirit. How can you get the victory over sin without help? It is only through God’s Spirit that we can do anything worth while. Read the book of Acts. It’s great stuff and shows over and over and over how people got saved for the very first time.

Now, on to staying saved. Many, many people hate the idea of ‘losing your salvation’. Well, yeah! Wouldn’t it be awful to find yourself in hell? Hello! However, what does the Bible actually have to say about it? First off, you can’t ‘lose’ your salvation in the sense of suddenly waking up and finding it gone. God is not looking for us to make a single mistake. The only way you can lose your salvation is to walk away from it. Losing out with God is a conscious choice. Now, of course, no one is going to choose to walk away from God outright. Rather, it is much more subtle. It is through being tempted to go back to your old life. Revelation 3:16 is pretty clear about being either hot or cold, not lukewarm in the faith. God says He will spew or vomit them out of His mouth. This letter is written to a church, not the unsaved, but the supposedly saved! Over and over in the first few chapters of Revelation, Jesus talks about the things He has against these different churches. That’s the saved ones, folks! Jesus says to get it together or you will lose out!

So, now that you’re terrified, how do you stay saved? That’s actually easy. Seek the Lord. Read His Word (the Bible) and apply it to your life. If you read something in Scripture that says you should stop doing what you’re doing, Stop! If you read something in Scripture that says you need to be doing something you’re not doing, do it! Get to church. A¬†United Pentecostal Church–UPCI preaches the truth–but search the Bible for yourself to see if it matches what you are hearing in church. If they don’t match, stick with the Bible. That’s your bedrock. That’s your foundation.

Seek a church that preaches truth and then submit to that truth, even if you don’t like it or it doesn’t feel comfortable. God isn’t interested in your comfort, He’s interested in your character. He wants to save you from yourself. Staying saved isn’t that difficult, but it might (no, really it will) require change. I just hope I’m more than a little different in five years. I want to be more like Jesus, more mature, more kind, more good, more godly.

Staying saved isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s all about drawing closer to Jesus. It’s a joy. Staying saved isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something to yearn for, to seek after, to rejoice in. We get to know Jesus personally. What could be better than that?

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in encouraging posts

 

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Knowing God and Doing Exploits

“The people that¬†do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits,” Daniel 11:32 (KJV).

When I think of exploits, I think of brave souls on great adventures. Yet, in Daniel’s case, he didn’t seek to go on any great adventure, it was¬†rather thrust upon¬†him. What ended up happening was he had to make a decision, one that could very well cost him his life. Worship the king or die. For Daniel, this was no choice at all. There was one God and one God only that he would worship, that is Jehovah–Jesus.

I wonder if Daniel thought himself brave. He had been through so much, captured by a conquering army, forced to travel far from home and all he knew, pressured to conform or die. Yet, in all of that, he remained true to his God. He never wavered. This, bedrock loyalty, is an exploit all by itself.

“Great souls walk near enough to God so that He imparts to them His great heart throbs of truth. He leads them into all truth,” –Dutton. I think that was Daniel’s secret. He walked so closely to his God that he knew God’s very heart. That enabled him to take a stand for his God and be willing to go to the lion’s den without screaming or crying or begging for mercy. Daniel did indeed seek the Lord and walk very close to Him.¬†

I’m learning that walking closely with Jesus is a daily habit to cultivate. Because I can’t see Him, it’s easy to forget He’s there–to my shame. I may not be able to see Him, but I can feel His very real presence. I can¬†share my life with Him and press close to His heart.

I want to learn to walk with Him the way¬†Daniel did, and David, and John, his disciple. It’s about loving the¬†One who created love. It is a grand adventure, indeed, filled with exploits. No regrets. Every day is a new chance to press closer, to love better, to learn to be…more like Him.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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