Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Love Your Church Family as Yourself

Church members are a family.
Through Jesus, we are born again into a family that has one common thread - we all accept Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. Additionally, brothers and sisters in faith share a love of Jesus which should extend to each other. However, siblings in faith do not always get along.

Hurt feelings, angry feelings, and snappy words are all harmful to the family of God.
Guess who is thrilled with dissension among a church family? Yes, you know the answer - Satan, the master of dissension and deception. Remember the slogan,"What Would Jesus Do?, or WWJD." That slogan is a simple way for brothers and sisters in faith to decide how to handle difficult situations with each other.

In our heart, each of us knows what Jesus would do. In fact, if we are listening, the Holy Spirit himself, our communicator between the Son and ourselves, will tell us exactly what to do. At that point, it is up to each individual to decide if he or she is willing to follow the wise counselor's guiding, or not.

Additionally, the Bible tells us over and over that we are to love one another.
Let go of grudges, revenge, and anger right now! In the end, God and Jesus will judge the right and wrong of things. Love your church family as yourself and spread some peace, love, and joy today!

1 Peter 2:17 NIV
Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor

Romans 12:10 NIV
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves

Leviticus 19:18 NIV
"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

1 John 4:21 NIV
And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Verse of the Week - 1 Corinthians 12:12 - January 24, 2016

Sugar cookies are like church members.
Confused? Bear with me for a moment.

Sugar cookies all begin as cookie dough in a bowl.
The baker takes a ball of the dough, shapes it into a sheet, and cuts out cookies. A variety of cookie shapes and sizes are made from the same lump of cookie dough.The baker changes each sugar cookie with a chosen color of frosting, multi-hued sprinkles, and a variety of colored sugars. However, they all taste about the same; sugary and sweet. The decorations don't really change the sugar cookie,

Similarly, the members of the body of Christ, are made of the same dough.
All the members come together to form one body, or church, and are united by faith in Jesus Christ. A variety of shapes,sizes, and colors are seen in the many members of Christ's body.  However, the similarity between sugar cookies and church members ends here.

Christ gives each member a gift to use for His purpose.
Every member has a unique set of spiritual gifts that continue to shape and mold them into a different shape and size as they walk through life.

Christ himself is one body formed by three members; God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ the son of God. Jesus and the Holy Spirit were each given a purpose by God - to reconcile His people to Himself. Jesus died for us, the Holy Spirit was given to us, and now we also belong to the one body.

Psalm of the Week - 19:14 - January 24, 2016

Acceptable in Jesus' sight.
Four words that sum up how I try to live my life as a follower of Jesus Christ. 
He is my strength. 
He is my redeemer. 

Do I always succeed in letting my mouth speak acceptable words? Of course not. I am an imperfect human who is attempting to be like Jesus, one day at a time.

However, I do have to keep the meditation of my heart, or focus on him. The more I focus on Jesus, the less likely I am to speak unacceptably to anyone else. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Grains of Truth Number 11

There is little hope for us until we become tough minded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of soft mindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce soft minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., A Testament of Hope

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Running to Jesus Like a Child!

What an irresistible smile!
Early last week, I stopped in to see my daughter and grandson. Ashley knew I was stopping in, but Ashton didn't know Grammy was going to be visiting. 

My little grandson sat straight up and a HUGE joyful smile appeared on his little face when he saw me step through the door. He exclaimed, "GAM!" and lifted both of his arms straight up so I could pick him up for a big Grammy hug.

What an irresistible invitation! 
I scooped him up and held him close to me. Two, little arms wrapped around my neck and hugged me back. At the end of the hug, I looked at Ashton and he leaned his head toward me and said," Wuv u Gam." My heart swelled and overflowed with unconditional love.

I smile and my heart fills with love and joy every time I think about Ashton's greeting.
My three year old grandson's greeting will remain imprinted on my heart forever! What a treasure I was given; the gift of unconditional love from my three year old grandson.  

This morning, I applied my interaction with my grandson to my relationship with Jesus. 
I know I am Jesus' daughter. My love for Him fills me with love and joy. When Jesus shows up, I am going to sit up straight, smile a HUGE, joy-filled smile and exclaim,"Jesus!" Then, I am going to run to him with my arms uplifted for a big, loving Jesus hug.  

I know his heart will swell and overflow with unconditional love for me.
Every day, I am going to greet Jesus with a big, joy-filled smile as I run to him in prayer and tell him what is in my heart. 

  • Matthew 18:3  And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Luke 18:16   But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
  • Luke 18:17  "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
  • 1 John 5:1    Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Psalm of the Week - 36:9 - January 18, 2016

From Psalm 36:9, Dr. John Gill wrote six points in his Exposition of the Entire Bible:

  1. thy light shall we see light; God is light itself, the Father of lights, and the former of it in every sense; in the light of his countenance, and the discoveries of his love, 
  2. they that trust in him see light, or enjoy comfort; and in the light of his Son Jesus Christ, the sun of righteousness and light of the world, they see the face of God, and enjoy his favour, and behold the glory and excellency of Christ himself; 
  3. and in the light of the divine Spirit, who is a spirit of wisdom and revelation, they see their sins exceeding sinful, their righteousness as nothing, and a preciousness in the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; 
  4. and in the light of the divine word they see the truths of the Gospel in their native simplicity and excellency...
  5. ...and in the light of faith, which is the gift of God, they have at least a glimpse of the unseen glories of the other world; 
  6. and when the beatific vision shall take place, they shall see no more darkly through a glass, but face to face, even God himself, as he is in Christ. 

Verse of the Week - Hebrews 12:2 - January 18, 2016

As a faith-filled woman of God, Jesus leads me each and every day. I willingly and obediently walk down his path for me.

Before my husband Jack died of inherited emphysema, 
he asked me what I would do after he went home to Jesus. Jack knew I had owned and ridden a motorcycle before I had children. Additionally, he knew about the motorcycle fund I started the year my oldest daughter was in eighth grade. He wasn't surprised with my answer - I was going to buy another motorcycle and start riding again. 

About 4 weeks after Jack died 
I found the exact motorcycle I was looking for a bright read, 1999 Harley Davidson Sportster with some added on bling.  At 46, with 13 years of sobriety I began riding a motorcycle again. I have a reason for mentioning I had 13 years of sobriety. 

You see, when I rode a motorcycle before
I was a party girl who had an empty hole inside herself. The hole was where faith and Jesus are supposed to be. Speeding down Virginia highways on my bright red, 1981 Harley Davidson Sportster, drinking Jack Daniels whiskey, and attending all night parties was how I spent most of my off duty hours. 

Fast forward to 2005 
Here I was standing beside another bright red,1999 Harley Davidson Sportster. The moment I started that motorcycle and pulled out onto the highway, a short period of mid-life insanity began. I had no idea how to be a sober, Jesus loving, motorcycle gal. However, I continued to do two things:
1. I kept reading my bible, praying to Jesus, and keeping a prayer journal.
2. No matter where I traveled, I found and attended a 12 Step meeting.

Jesus continued to lead me each day.
I started seeing a woman about my age filling up her trike at the local gas station. I knew Jesus was leading me because this woman was wearing a patch on the back of her jacket and vest that showed a hand holding a bible. This is how I learned about Christian Motorcyclists Association. I attended a few Bible studies, went on a few rides, and learned more about Jesus lovin' motorcycle riders. 

Now I had a living example to show me how to ride a motorcycle, love Jesus, and be sober. Through her, I met a half-dozen other ladies who all rode their own motorcycles, didn't drink, and loved Jesus. Even though I was off the narrow path for a time, Jesus continued to love His bewildered daughter who continued to pour out her pain and anguish to Him. Yep, this is when Jesus called me into motorcycle ministry.

I finally learned how much Jesus loves me. 
He loves me so much that he died for me. We are not insignificant to Him. He died for me and he died for you.  
"Jesus came into this world instead of being in the form of God, he appeared in the form of a servant; instead of the glory which he had with his Father from eternity, he suffered shame and disgrace; instead of living a joyful and comfortable life on earth, he suffered a shameful and an accursed death; and instead of the temporal joy and glory the Jews proposed to him, he endured the shame and pain of the cross:.. Christ underwent so much disgrace, and such sufferings; namely, for the sake of having a spiritual seed, a numerous offspring with him in heaven, who are his joy...set down at the right hand of the throne of God; Which is in Christ sits as God's fellow, as equal to him, as God, and as having done his work as man, and Mediator"      Excerpt from John Gill's Commentary

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Verse of the Week - Isaiah 43:2 - Week of January 11, 2016

Before I surrendered to Jesus, life was just exhausting. Good times never seemed to last very long as I tried walking upstream against the current of life. I made goals and put all of my willpower behind making things happen. Anger was never far away because people just wouldn't cooperate with my plans! 

Acceptance of people, places, and things was beyond me. I fought life to make it fit my own idea of how life should be. I was bossy, aggressive, and judgemental. Anger finally gave way to depression and self-medication. The guilt, shame, and remorse over my behavior became a cycle that lowered me into my own personal pit of despair. 

The night I surrendered myself to Jesus, I told him I would do anything he wanted me to, if he would just make the pain go away. From that night on, Jesus was in charge of my life.I slowly learned how to let go of life and grab onto Jesus. My personal slogan is,"I can't - He can - I think I'll let Him."  He is always beside me. 

Let Jesus walk with you today and part the waters of life before you. No matter what is happening in your life, He will be with you. 

Psalm of the Week - 29:11 - Week of January 11, 2016

I love the fact that this verse says the Lord "will give" and "will bless" his people. The verse doesn't say "if" the Lord will give, or "if" the Lord will bless - it says the Lord "will." 

I am one of His people. I know the the Lord will give me strength and bless me with peace. This doesn't mean I will never find myself in noisy, chaotic situations. It means I will be given an inside peace that cannot be shaken. No matter what surrounds me, I will be blessed with strength and peace. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Call to Pray for Christians in Africa

I awoke at 3:30 A.M. CST and felt led to get up and pray for missionaries. After praying for missionaries worldwide and by continent, I felt led to pray for missionaries and Christians in Africa. Then, I started writing this post.

Our brothers and sisters are being killed and persecuted right now! Buses are being stopped and searched for Christians by armed militants. This isn't a movie, it is real and taking place right now. Christians are being beaten, jailed, and killed in Africa because of their faith. I am calling upon my brothers and sisters in faith to pray to our Lord Jesus,
Scripture Prayer
Lord Jesus, we pray to you so that the flood of great waters will not reach your faithful missionaries and followers in Africa. Let them be surrounded by songs of deliverance in the form of prayers from their brothers and sisters in faith who abide in safe lands around the world. 

Lord Jesus, I know you are faithful because God is faithful. Walk with the missionaries and faithful who have answered your call in Africa. Keep your angels close to them as they walk through the waters and pass through the rivers of persecution and opposition. Surround them when they are under fire so that they will not be scorched or burned by the forces of the Enemy. Let your people hide with you so that they may be preserved from trouble.

Jesus, reach down your hand from on high and deliver and rescue your faithful followers in Africa from the mighty waters of whatever troubles they are facing from the hands of their enemies. Protect them as they spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Isaiah 43:2
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! 2"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. 3"For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; 
Psalm 32:6
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. 
Psalm 144:7
Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Psalm of the Week - 51:10-12 - Week of January 4, 2015

Can you believe that 2016 has arrived? Where did 2015 go? Time has begun to fly by faster every year. 
My Focus on the Lord
My focus on the Lord thinned a little as an action packed 2015 holiday season arrived and progressed. November - December was filled with activity deadlines and therefore stressful. Stress tends to drain away some of my willingness and joyfulness. Now that January 2016 has begun, I feel the need to renew my attitude with Psalm 51.

What Caused David to Write Psalm 51?
King David wrote Psalm 51 when the prophet Nathan came to him after David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Not only was David guilty of adultery, but he was also guilty of having Bathsheba's husband, Uriah, killed.  The prophet Nathan was successful in his intervention with David.  

David confessed his sin, his guilt, and his love of God. Next, King David asked for forgiveness in verses 1-9. These verses contain a powerful example of a personal repentance. God forgave David, just as he has forgiven me.

My Attitude Renewal
My attitude renewal begins with praying verses 10-12 as a personal prayer. 

My Personal Prayer
O God, create in me a pure heart and renew my spirit. Make the spirit within me steadfast. I love you Lord, do not cast me from your presence, or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Restore me Lord. Restore me to the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit that will sustain me.  

Verse of the Week - Acts 9:31 NIV - January 4, 2016

2016 is here! How did you celebrate New Year's Eve? Bill and I had a Game of Thrones TV marathon with our Season One and Season Two DVD sets. We talked about making New Year's resolutions, but decided not to make any. However, our pastor gave us a New Year's resolution during worship service.

Brother Jimmy's Challenge
Brother Jimmy challenged us to adopt the following parts of Acts 9:31 as an individual and a church resolution. 
  • Personal Peace 
  • Peace between the members of the church
  • Fear of the Lord, or reverential awe
  • Listening to the Holy Spirit

The Early Church was Blessed
Acts 9:31 tells us that that the early church was blessed because they included reverence and awe of God in their daily life.  Additionally, The church will increase in numbers when the church body is living in peace, have reverential awe, or fear of the Lord, and are following the counseling of Holy Spirit. 

My NIV Discipleship Bible footnotes include four sentences about the biblical truths expressed in verse thirty-one of chapter nine in the book of Acts:
  1. "Timid" does not belong in the church's vocabulary. The Spirit gives the church strength and courage to accomplish its mission.
  2. The Spirit works with the entire church as well as individual to provide power and guidance in the astonishing mission to witness to every person on earth. 
  3. Church growth depends on God's strength and encouragement provided by the Holy Spirit. 
  4. The result is a reverent, worshiping, witnessing church. 
Bill and I are accepting Brother Jimmy's challenge. 
Our New Year's Resolution is to have personal peace, be a peacemaker at church, continue to worship God with reverence and awe, and to continue listening to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. 

Are you going to accept Brother Jimmy's challenge? 
We hope you are because living a joy-filled life before leaving Earth is what God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit want for you. Come on brothers and sisters, grab onto the joy and spread the Good News!