Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thirsty Thursdays: The Power of God

Power: The ability to do something; the ability to act or produce an effect. A few synonyms for the word power are, control, authority, strength, rule and command. As children we tend to associate power with something large, if it’s big it’s strong. As we get older we still to an extent believe big = strong but when it comes to people we associate power with ones position because of the influence they have. The importance of power is very obvious in our society; Forbes magazine even comes up with a list of “The Worlds Most Powerful People”. If we were to combine the top 100 most powerful people and multiply their power by one million trillion billion it still would not compare to the power of our almighty God.

God’s power is so immense it is immeasurable; there is no limit to it.  Yet many people today doubt him and underestimate just how much he can do.  We search all over for help and when we cant find any we give up. When really the answer to our problems was there all along.  In Matthew 8 we see what happens when you understand and believe in the Lords power. “A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man “I am willing”, he said, “be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy”. Just like that, leprosy gone.

As we continue reading we come across another example of understanding and believing in God’s power. A centurion asked the Lord for help because his servant was paralyzed and “suffering terribly”, Jesus asked if he would like him to go to his house and heal him.  The centurion, understanding exactly who he was dealing with said “8 Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” The centurion knew Jesus didn’t even need to be in the presence of his servant, all he had to do was speak it and it would be done. Because of his faith in Jesus’s power, Jesus healed his servant right there on the spot. TRUE POWER!!! (Bet no one on the Forbes list can do that)

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t changed and he hasn’t lost any power. We just lost sense of how powerful he is and all that he can do. We either doubt him, or we don’t even go to him, instead relying on ourselves or some other human who has no real authority or control and is extremely limited in what they can do. God is Alpha and Omega, the creator of it all, controller of it all, he can instantly heal you or change your situation. Just cast your cares and concerns up to him, pray, seek him, ask for help, believe, and let him do the rest.  

Stay Thirsty My Friends!

Thirsty Thursdays: Ron

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Warrior Wednesdays: Ask, Seek, Knock!

"Ask, and it SHALL be given you; seek and ye SHALL find; knock, and it SHALL be opened. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" Matthew 7:7-8. What an incredible promise from God! For all of you who are not fans of the King James Version the word SHALL means WILL. Ask, and it WILL be given to you; seek and you WILL find; knock, and it WILL be opened.  

To understand the power of this statement let's establish some principles:

1. This is God's word
2. God can NOT lie

With those two key principles we should believe this promise with our whole heart. All we need to do is ask God for the desires of our heart, seek after him, and continue to knock at his door and he WILL bless us! 
God wants us to be persistent in pursuing him. "People often give up after a few halfhearted efforts and conclude that God cannot be found. But knowing God takes faith, focus, and follow through. Don't give up in your efforts to seek God. Continue to ask for more knowledge, patience, wisdom, love and understanding. He will give them to you." (Tyndale, Life Application Bible)

When we are going through tough situations and feel as though our prayers are going unanswered the key to enduring is asking, seeking, and knocking. When we go through tough times it is important to remember that God tries us to build our character.  "The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts." Proverbs 17:3 " Our trials develop our character. Even though they can be difficult "It takes intense heat to purify gold and silver. Similarly, it often takes the heat of trials for Christians to be purified. Through trials, God shows us what is in us and clears out anything that gets in the way of complete trust in him." (Tyndale, Life Application Bible) If we ask for something we will receive it. If we seek after God we will find him! How great of a promise is that! He did not say we may he said we will. It is a guarantee!
Have you ever asked your parents for a sandwich and they gave you a rock or asked for chicken and they gave you a snake? I hope the answer is no! God says " If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ASK him?” I know a new grandfather who was so happy about his soon to be grandson that he bought him a huge TV before he was even born! If he was so excited about his new grandson and willing to buy him such an extravagant gift how much more can God give to us as long as we ask?

 Personal Note: This particular reading hit home with me because I have been quoting this verse for the past two days. Lately,  I have been asking God to help me draw closer to him and for doors to open in my life. However, I felt as though my prayers were going unanswered.  These scriptures reminded me not to become frustrated with my current circumstance but continue to ask God and seek after him. I need to become a God Chaser through pray, bible reading, and even fasting. Eventually, I WILL have the desires of my heart because God promised.

Stay Blessed and Continue Warring for Christ!
Warrior Wednesday: Brittney

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Transforming Tuesdays: If Our Hearts Hold Our Treasures & Desires, Then Who Is At The Center Of Your Heart?

Did you know that the first person that a child falls in love with is their parent?  However, did you know that your parents have loved you long before they met you? Interesting huh?! Well, God feels that way about us <3

Today’s reading focuses on possessions and their value to the heart.  Did you ever stop and realize how important your heart is for the body?   It is the most important organ because once the heart stops…you know the rest.  But here are some fun facts that I’ve gathered just to illustrate its importance:

1.     The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.

2.     Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.

3.     The heart does the most physical work of any muscle during a lifetime.

4.     Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly: that’s how hard the beating heart works to pump blood.

5.     Because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.


These facts are actually really interesting!  Although the heart is not as big as our other organs, its function to our bodies is probably one of the most important.  But, bigger than the heart is the creator of the heart: Jesus Christ!!!

Let’s focus on the functions of the heart.  The heart allows us to love, it allows us to be kind, and it allows us to have compassion among other things.  When you think about the heart you think about all of the treasures, which includes everything that we feel that is near and dear to us.  We store these things, thoughts, and feelings in our hearts because it is our sacred place.  I know for me personally, in my heart I hold my fears, loved ones, secrets, and my hopes and dreams.  It’s so easy to list the things that we can see and it’s also easier to forget the most important thing that we should treasure in our lives.

Does God hold a special place in your heart?  Is he your greatest treasure?  I know that when I was younger God was at the center of my heart.  Now that I think about it, I loved him so freely it was like second nature.  As I got older I struggled with keeping him at the center of my heart.  I’ve always known that God loves me and I knew that I loved him, but I struggled with showing his love in my everyday life.  Matthew 6:24 says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (KJV).  I would party on a Saturday and then show up to church on Sunday; I would struggle with forgiveness; I would treat people the way that they would treat me; I would doubt God.  Everything that I used to do did not exemplify that God was at the center of my heart.  This was because actions speak louder than words, and my actions were showing that I was willing to serve the world rather than serving the God who would give me the world.

Fortunately, as I grew older I’ve grown closer to God and I have realized the extent of his grace and mercy in my life.  Honestly, I can say that today as I write this blog, God is at the center of my heart.  I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that he remains there because without him there is no me.  He comes before my hopes and dreams; before aspirations; before I love anyone else.  And I know that as long as he is at the center of my heart, I have nothing more to worry about. I am back at the place where I once was when I was a little girl.  I can talk about God’s grace and mercy freely, I desire to share his goodness, and I want everyone to get to know him like I know him.

I pray that everyone places God at the center of their heart like they place anything else at the center of their heart.  He is greater than money, gold, wealth, and anything else that the world places value on.  God’s love is invaluable…we can’t put a price on it. 

I challenge all of you to get back to that innocent love for Christ.  I challenge you to express that God is at the center of your life through one act today. This can include: praying for someone, reading the Bible openly, professing your love for Christ openly, witnessing, or even forgiving someone.

A Simple Prayer of Love:

Dear God,
I pray that everyone reading this blog today will learn to place you at the center of their hearts; that we will treasure your will in their lives. I pray that we all will learn to love you freely without limits.  I pray that you soften our hearts toward you and that you continue to guide our footsteps toward your ways.  I pray that just as you have given children the ability to love their parents effortlessly, that you give us that desire to exemplify that love towards you.  I pray that we will not stray away from your word and that you will keep us right where you want us to be.  Lastly, Lord I pray that because you WILL be and ARE at the center of our lives, I ask that you give us the passion to want to please you and be more like you everyday.  Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy; for anything we do in our lives will never amount to what you have done for us up on that cross.  Amen.

Here are some children who show that God is at the Center of their HEARTS:

Love freely like a child...God is at the Center of his HEART

Out of the mouth of babes...This little girl understands at a young age who is at the Center of her HEART

Children unashamed of the gospel...Can you guess who is at the Center of his HEART?

It's NEVER too late to Transform your Tuesdays :)
Transforming Tuesdays: Jamera

Monday, February 25, 2013

Merciful Monday: GOD KNOWS!

It is human nature to seek approval for the things that we do. We often see this trait in children, seeking the approval of their parents so that they can receive their reward; whether it be a gift, piece of candy, a pat on the back, a hug, or an “I Love You.”

Though seeking approval is a trait inherent in us all, it is important to remember whose approval we should seek. Matthew chapter 6 discusses this topic in detail.

  • “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others for you will lose the reward of your Father in heaven” Mathew 6:1
  • “Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:4
  • “When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

A lot of times we get so caught up in worldly aspects and forget that God is the one from whom we should seek approval. Maybe you were overlooked for a promotion, didn’t receive that special award for your hours of community service, or didn’t win first place in the talent show. Don’t fret. Remember that your goal is to please God in all that you do.

In my final semester of college, I had to take Senior Seminar, which was basically the culmination of all of my studies. I had to write a 25 page paper on “gapology” (I KNOW, RIGHT! WHAT IS THAT?!), and boy was it rough. It also didn’t help that I didn’t like my professor too much, but that is beside the point. I spent countless hours and sleepless nights in the library all semester, and when the paper was due I had done all I could do. I ended up getting a C+ in the class, which was really hard for me because it messed up my Dean's List run! I was seeking the approval of my professor and was kind of jealous of those who received As. But deep down I had to accept that I had done all that was in my power to do, and know that God saw my labor and my dedication to my work.

I shared that story to show that even when you can’t see the fruit of your labor here on earth, as long as you are doing what you know to be right and following God’s commandments (such as the Ten Commandments we read about last week), you will see your reward one day. God sees your hard work and he knows the sacrifices you have made for him. Like he told Moses, “I know your name. I know all about you. And I am pleased with you” (Exodus 33:12). Furthermore, Proverbs 15:11 says, “Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord. How much more does he know the human heart!” GOD KNOWS YOUR NAME, YOUR HEART, AND YOUR ACTIONS BEFORE YOU MAKE THEM. HE KNOWS ALL ABOUT YOU WITHOUT YOU EVEN TELLING HIM! Isn’t that an awesome! Let's remember to seek the approval of our Heavenly Father above all else :)

Merciful Mondays: Jael
For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31

Sunday, February 24, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER FEBRUARY: Remember to Rejoice because GREAT is Your Reward

But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Mathew 5:44

This is something that I personally struggle with. We are all human and often fall short. There are times when I or my loved ones are in an insulting situation or are falsely prosecuted and the Human in me reacts in an un-Godly manner. I am sure we can all (in some way or another) relate to this.

When these situations arise we have to remember (as well said in yesterdays great post), "Blessed are you when people insult or persecute you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven". Reading that post really motivated me to find a more Christian-like outlet for my emotions.
I thought to share a mental exercise w/ the fellow bloggers. Let's try this exercise as often as possible when we are faced w/ a negative or insulting situation. Before we React in Response to the insulting situation, lets Remember: Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world! Then Rejoice and be glad because GREAT is your Reward!But do not forget to pray for that person, this will Represent your Christian principle.

 Now I am sure this won't be easy but the more we work at doing this, the easier it will become. All hard work brings a profit but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23  We all know this proves to be true, not only w/ Christianity but w/ most things in life.
When I read that scripture my mind instantly went to my sister who is currently in law school. When I go to bed at night she is up studying. When I wake up in the morning she is up studying. There has been many mornings when I awaken she is already at the head of the table studying. I often say to her, " I don't know where you get the strength".  She usually responds, "God, prayer and reading the bible. Mommy always tell me he will never give me more that I can handle". Talk about inspiration.

I say that to say, no matter whether it is physical (manual labor, kind acts of generosity) or mental (reading, prayer, seeking knowledge) labor; you get out of whatever it is you want, what you put in to it. Same goes with living for Christ. It takes more than just prayer, or just going to church on Sundays or randomly paying your tithes. Faith without works is dead James 2:26. Many times we pray for things we are not willing to work for. God is most certainly capable of providing above and beyond what we so desire, but are we doing our part. We have to remember to put in the hard work to get the desired results. Most importantly, when God rewards us with the fruits of our labor we can not forget to give him THANKS! For he is the Reason!  

Hope I was of some inspiration to the fellow bloggers!

!Never Let Anyone Steal Your Joy!


Salvation Sunday: Put it on the altar

Have ya been hurt by somebody and just held onto it? Have you had any grudges that just wears you down? Have you had little things that you stress about? Well, the good news is that you don't have to hold onto it at all. In Matthew, we hear about the turning the other cheek concept. If someone does something to you, you don't automatically do the same thing to them. You have to show them love and don't let it bother you. If you have any issues, give it to God and let Him deal with it. There's this song and the words are "what a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs He'll bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God. Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." I'm always keeping this song in mind. Many times I will stress the small things and it messed with my health and well being. And then people will tell me stop stressing and bring it to God. Ever since I have done this, I am less stressed. And I don't stress the little things because I bring it to God and I trust that He will do it.

Another part in Matthew is talking about how loving your enemies and blessing those that curse you. I feel that this is a very hard thing to do. If something does you wrong, God wants us to forgive them and love them. Jesus talks about how we should love all the same way. Matthew 5:46-47 says "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?". Publicans were public contractors or Jewish tax collectors. Now, Jesus is comparing His people to tax collectors. He's saying that the tax collectors love those that love them. And he also says to try to be like God who is perfect. The thing is we're not perfect and we will never be until we get to heaven. However, this doesn't mean that we cant try to act like it or try to improve ourselves. Therefore, love your neighbors, enemies and friends. You never know by you loving your enemies, you might be the one to save them and bring them to Christ.

I challenge you this week to show low to all that you come into contact with. And I also challenge you to bring stuff to God on a daily basis and let Him take care of it all.

Stay blessed and enjoy the day!!!!

Salvation Sunday: Steven Gable

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday Sacrifice: LOOK like LIGHT, TASTE like SALT

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how
 can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except
 to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. ~Matthew 5:13
I always wondered what this verse meant… We are the salt of the
world???... I was confused every time I would hear someone say this…
 But now I get it!! It’s like unseasoned flavorless chicken (If you don’t
 eat chicken, think of another food that you eat that tastes nasty
 without seasoning).  Unseasoned flavorless chicken is horrible!!!! =/ (NO
 BUENO!) So, when given this unseasoned flavorless chicken you are
 faced with two options either throw it away or eat it to not offend the
 cook. If you take the latter option, you’re more prone to ask for salt or
 pepper and for my fellow foodies out there maybe even seasoned salt
 to give it an extra kick. We have the master chef (Jesus) to make us
 salty and flavorful, however, the world doesn’t.  So, basically the world
 we live in is like that nasty unseasoned flavorless chicken, and we
 have the salt that it needs to make it taste good! 
 We are also the light of the world. Ever wonder why people always ask you why you are so different, or every wonder why random people just come up toyou and want to tell you their whole life story. It’s the light you have on the inside of you, in other words, it’s the Jesus living in you. It attracts those who are living in this dark world without a light (w/out Jesus). We are in this world to share our light, our saltiness with others so that they too may, “…glorify your Father in heaven”. It’s our mission. On the other hand, it sometimes repels people. The light we have is such a bright light that it turns people off. Sometimes people might dislike you just because they see how your life is so blessed and how favored you are.  
So, don’t be afraid to be the salt and light of the world. I mean really,
 have you ever heard anyone say they don’t like salt on their food, or
that they don’t like light?! Everyone enjoys both in some way; whether

it be salt

on watermelon to bring out the sweetness, or watching the sunrise to

 catch the beautiful light rays as they hit the sky. So, don’t
 be afraid or ashamed. God called us to be the salt and light of the
 world. He called you. Just remember this whenever you feel like giving
 up on sharing your salt and light with those who are lost in this
 world, Jesus said…

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

     ~Matthew 5:3-11


 Stay in peace, not in pieces =)
Saturday Sacrifice: Hannah


Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Fellowship: How do you worship God?

Let’s begin with why worship God starting with Jesus in Matthew 4:10
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Worship is an expression of your reverent love and devotion to God. Jesus love and respect for God caused him not to fall down and worship the devil.
So in these verses Jesus worship was the act of physically standing on his feet and following God’s command to not worship anyone except God.

To clarify worship let’s look in Exodus where God was speaking to Moses.
Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
What is offering?  First, let’s define it.
Offering:  something offeredespecially: a sacrifice ceremonially offered as a part of worship.
To simplify this definition I defined ceremony, sacrifice and worship to come up with this comprehendible definition:

Offering- something offered that is a sacrifice of great value stressing careful attention to form and detail as a part of worship.

These verses display God's call of Israel to WORSHIP him through bringing him an OFFERING. God did not ask for pennies or dirt, but he asked for Israel's best possessions. These verses and the Exodus reading demonstrate our definition of offering.

Offering- something offered that is a sacrifice of great value stressing careful attention to form and detail as a part of worship.

So the original question, How do you worship God?
Ask yourself am I bringing an offering to church that applies to this definitions criteria? Again this isn't just referring to the monetary offering. That is part of worship because it’s part of your best.
For Example I will apply criteria to my offering.
 The offering I bring every Sunday is sitting in the front of the church and singing along with the song leaders.
1.      Great Value? My image is of great value to me and I know my singing isn't pleasant. Also I use to be the only one in that row that is awkward.
2.      Stress Careful Attention Detail? I stand and pray within the songs thanking God for the week. I am consistent in sitting in front.
3.      Sacrifice? I don't enjoy singing out loud, so only for God. I don't enjoy sitting alone, only for God. I despise standing for long periods, only for God.

Evaluate your offering for this is God's command to worship him. Worship him with your best offering.
To the uncertain people who want to do something but are just unsure. Proverbs 4:5
5"The thoughts of the righteous are right"

By faith and by his spirit are we righteous. Then by faith whatsoever you conceive as your worship is right.
 Be careful not to compare YOUR worship to OTHER'S worship as we are all different as God intended us to be. The scripture God lists many different offerings, so he knows all of our worship will be different. Some worship by crying, dancing, running, jumping, singing, waving a hand and any response. The only identical part of worship God Requires is Great Value. You sitting in front may be nothing to you, but it is a sacrifice to me. That shows Great Value is measured INDIVIDUALLY from within.

Deuteronomy 6:5
"And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength."

Evaluate your offering For God only and bring it to your church For God only.