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Characteristics of Living Organisms–Physical and Spiritual, Part 1

English: A collage of organisms.

English: A collage of organisms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Feeding – All living organisms need to take substance from their environment to obtain energy, to grow, and to stay healthy.

Luke 4:4 – And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Matthew 6:11 – Give us this day our daily bread

1 Peter 2:2 – As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby:

If we don’t take in the word of God and apply it to our lives, if we are hearers only and not doers of the Word of God, then just like in the natural, we won’t have energy, we won’t grow, and we will not be healthy Christians. The very first thing that we need to do is begin to digest the things of God: Bible reading, prayer, faithfulness. These will be the things that sustain us. When we feel like we don’t have the energy to go on, the Bible declares that when we are weak then He is strong. Matthew 11:28 says “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Movement – All living organisms show movement of one kind or another, whether it be internal movement (moving substances from one part of the body to another) or external movement (move from place to place)

2 Corinthians 5:7 – (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

Psalms 101:6 – Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way

There is a point where you must stand your ground. Moses declares to the children of Israel to stand still and see the glory of the Lord, but there is also a time where we march. Where we take that leap of faith and move toward the high mark that God is calling us to.

The Bible says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. The Bible declares that if God is for us than who can stand against us? I submit to you today, that we put on the whole armor of God and march, in faith, knowing that God has already given His church the victory. We just need to increase our faith in God and know it.

James 2:26 – For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. I submit to you today, that if you have faith, you won’t stand still, but you will march and claim that victory that God has already given to you. There is a war. There is a spiritual battle for your souls. There is a lost and dying world out there and we have been put here for such a time as this. It is time to move. ‘Satan this is it. We’re tired of taking it. Satan we declare WAR!!!’ Satan is not just going to give us these souls. He’s worked hard to build his kingdom. Are we supposed to believe that he is just going to hand souls over? NOW is the time. TODAY is the day of salvation.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of sitting still. I just heard a story of an Apostolic taking her life. In my short time of being in church, I have seen soul after soul backslide and fall away from God. We have the truth. We have the revelation of who God is. We have the Victory. We just have to walk in faith and claim the victory as our own.

This is excerpted from an Inspiration preached by: Vernon McCoy

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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The Cure for Burn-Out–God’s Way

Me: “It’s impossible.”
•    Jesus: “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God,” Luke 18:27.

Me: “I’m exhausted.”
•    Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30.

Me: “I just can’t do it anymore.”
•    Jesus: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13.

Me: “I can’t figure it out.”
•    Jesus: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Me: “It’s not worth it.”
•    Jesus: “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.

Me: “I’m afraid.”
•    Jesus: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” II Timothy 1:7.

Me: “I’m frustrated and worried.”
•    Jesus: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” I Peter 5:7.

Me: “I’m just not smart enough.”
•    Jesus: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ,” I Corinthians 2:16.

Me: “I feel so alone.”
•    Jesus: “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5.

Me: “I’m burned out. I just don’t want to go on anymore.”
•    Jesus: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:19.

This is excerpted from an article called ‘God’s Cure for Burn-Out’. I do not have the source. If anyone knows who I can give credit to, please let me know.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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The Way to Be Perfect

: A mirror, reflecting a vase. Español: : Un e...

: A mirror, reflecting a vase. Español: : Un espejo, reflejando un vasija. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the issue of mercy and forgiveness and perfection. The Lord has been showing me that His idea of perfection is vastly different from the world’s definition—or even my own personal definition.

The world says you have to be perfect in every way, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employee, etc. You have to be the perfect homemaker with a spotless house at all times, especially if people drop in with no notice. You have to be a gourmet chef making nutritious and delicious meals daily that everyone loves. Your children have to like vegetables (seriously?!). You also have to look perfect, with the world’s idea of a beautiful, flawless face and perfect body. (Don’t forget you must have perfect hair too!) You have to act perfect, never getting upset over anything at all, unless it would be politically correct to do so. You have to be brilliant, always having the right answer, able to do something new exactly right the very first time. You have to be talented, able to play several instruments—with no previous training! You have to be athletic, no klutzes allowed! Frankly, it’s a bit ridiculous. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you are somehow of lesser worth if you don’t fit this impossible profile.

God’s idea of perfection is vastly different. His idea of perfect is simply…beautiful.

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

God’s idea of perfect can be found in studying and applying Scripture. His idea of perfection is having us be ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works’. He wants our focus to be not on ourselves, but on ministering to others. He wants us to be holy, set apart, a beacon of light to a lost and hopeless world. He wants us to align ourselves and our lives with Him and His ways. What are His ways? He forgives. He loves. He changes us and makes us better, right. He gives hope—here and in the life to come. Through His Word (the Bible) and walking daily in a close personal relationship with Him we can learn how to truly live a life worth living.

II Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

We are to reflect His image. Like a mirror, we are to reflect Jesus to the world. We are to reflect His very glory. As we become more and more like Him, we are daily better reflecting His glory, from glory to glory.

However, a mirror can reflect nothing if it is faced the wrong way. As mirrors, we must continually turn our ‘mirrors’, our lives to face Him so we can reflect Him to the world. When we fail, instead of beating ourselves up, we must confess our wrong-doing, ask for forgiveness, and then simply ask the Lord what He would have us do next. Again, instead of reflecting our failure, we need to reflect Him. That is His mercy. And that is where we can find mercy.

 

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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How to Make a Difference in a Big Way–The Butterfly Effect

Recently, I’ve been reading up on the Butterfly Effect. This is a phenomenon in which a butterfly flaps its wings down in Brazil and influences the weather up in Chicago. Wiki says it like this: “The phrase [butterfly effect] refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events (compare: domino effect). Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

“Note that the butterfly does not cause the tornado. The flap of the wings is a part of the initial conditions; one set of conditions leads to a tornado while the other set of conditions doesn’t. It’s possible that the set of conditions without the butterfly flapping its wings is the set that leads to a tornado.” (Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect).

So, at this point you might be thinking, all of this is interesting, but what on earth does it have to do with anything? Well, you are a butterfly. Therefore where and when and how you beat your wings is important.

Do you want your life to be better? Do you want to see the lives of those around you changed for the better? Then, let’s take a closer look at that butterfly.

Note, the butterfly does not cause the tornado, he is just part of the correct conditions in order for it to happen. How can we as Christians be part of the correct conditions for revival to happen in our lives and churches?

1. You need to be positioned correctly. You have to be under the anointing of the Lord. You have to be submitted to your pastors and the leaders the Lord has placed over you. You can stand right next to a waterfall and never get wet. You have to be underneath it in order to get the full effect. It’s not enough to just get misted a bit. If you want real change, you’ve got to get fully wet.

2. You need to be sensitive to the Lord’s timing. I may want all kinds of things and work with all my might and yet see nothing for my efforts. Remember, you don’t cause the tornado, you are part of the right conditions. If you allow the Lord to direct your efforts, it is then that you will see the change.

3. You need to have the right attitude. You can’t affect the kind of change you want with a bad attitude. You can’t affect the changes you want if you think you don’t matter. Each person is of tremendous importance. You matter. It’s not just what you do or say, it’s also how you do or say things.

4. You need to actually move those wings! It isn’t enough to be under the anointing and be sensitive to the Lord’s will and have the right attitude if you never actually flap your wings. The Lord has chosen to work through you to accomplish His will. As you flap your wings, you will see miracles begin to happen all around you and even on the other side of the world.

The Lord has great plans for your life. Partner with Him and see it all come together in ways you never expected. It is truly an adventure like no other.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Jesus–He Will Never Leave You

Psalms 34: 4-10, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing,” (NIV).

Recently, the Lord has been dealing with me about letting Him work in my life. Sometimes I can be a bit, shall we say, over-responsible. I try to get everything done and be responsible for all the things in my life that need attention. Now, that’s not a bad thing all by itself. However, the problem is when I try to do it all myself–without letting the Lord lead me. I get overwhelmed, cranky, and basically difficult to live with.

My husband had to go to Brazil on a business trip. Of course it was a wonderful opportunity and I was glad for him to go. Many, many wives have to deal with these things and are fine staying at home with the kids. Well, I missed him (not a surprise) and I didn’t sleep well. So, I tried to stay up late so I’d be tired enough to sleep. Unfortunately, I kept going to sleep later and later, and still getting up at the same time. As I got less and sleep, I started to get just a little impatient with my sweet children. We were all having a tough time dealing with Daddy being gone. (It’s been many years since he’s gone on a business trip. This particular one was part of his new job here in Chicago.) So, there were lots of emotions to deal with. Anyway, a dear friend of mine put her arm around me at our prayer meeting and prayed for me. The Lord spoke and told me that just as she was here for me, He had never left me–and He never would. Stop trying to control things and just trust Him.

Our pastor preached about lambs staying close to their shepherd and following him. Sometimes, when lambs get to wandering too much, the shepherd has to do something drastic. He breaks the legs of the lamb, carefully binds them so they can heal, and carries it on his shoulders. In this way, the lamb feels the shepherd’s heart beating and hears his voice. Once the legs are healed that sheep never goes astray.

The Lord showed me a vision of myself as some crazy lamb with its legs broken trying to pull itself around on its own. I had to chuckle. I am that goofy to try to do something like that. I am so glad that He patiently just picks me up and puts me on His shoulders. I want to be near Him always. I want to depend on Him and not try to do things myself. It is so good to trust the Lord. He won’t leave me.He won’t leave you either.

Isn’t it wonderful that the Lord would talk to us personally? He wants to speak to us throughout our days. We just have to learn to listen.

As I give up control and learn to trust the Lord more, I am so blessed. I get to see Him work amazing things around me and even through me. What could be better than that? I get to be the mom and wife that I yearn to be, all because I finally let go. It’s good to be carried around for a while. I like sitting on my Lord’s shoulders. There’s no safer place to be.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 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. 🙂 ) 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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