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Archive for the ‘Abundant Life’ Category

I believe that the beginning of the New Year would be a great time to begin the healing process.  Forgiveness is the first step.  It is not easy but it is so worth the effort.  If you are struggling with unforgiveness, maybe this little article will help get you on the right track.  Please don’t live this year in the Prison of Unforgiveness.  Break free from the bonds and soar like an eagle. 

 

What’s standing between you and forgiveness? Recent scholarly research confirms what many already know—that forgiving others is a valuable gift for ourselves. Research shows that when we forgive, we have less stress, anger, and other psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, upset stomachs, and so on.I know many of us carry very deep wounds from the past, and can barely imagine forgiving those who have wronged us. It may take time, but I challenge you to commit yourself to forgiving them.

Maybe there’s a strained relationship with a child, a parent, a sibling or “friend”.  Do you own some of the blame for the way things are? Maybe it’s time to ask for some forgiveness. Imagine how powerful an exchange like that would be!

Here are some steps to forgiveness from the researchers:

First, we need to change our expectations of others. Instead of having “rules” for how they behave, we should have “preferences.” After all, we can’t control how others act. Maybe you’ll never have a perfect relationship with your dad—or your teenager–or your sibling. But you can probably accept them a little more for who they are and—from there—build a good relationship.

Second, we need to try to see the other person’s perspective. Maybe your dad never got what he needed from his father. His wound may have made him incapable of providing what you needed. Maybe your daughter is under a lot of stress with all she’s dealing with at school. Considering the other person’s perspective can make a big difference.

The third step is to move from blaming to acceptance, and then move on. Moving on may mean building a new, better relationship. Often, that’s what forgiveness brings. But also realize that your forgiveness doesn’t depend on them. If they don’t respond or even if they reject you, you have still forgiven, released the hurt feelings, and committed to go on with life in a positive way. What a burden that can lift!

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Also,  to my friends that have somehow gotten away from the Lord…You have been on my mind the past couple of days.  God and the church are waiting with open arms for you to come back.  We miss you.  We love you.  I think that the song I co-wrote with my brother, Keith, sums it up quite well:

Come On Home

Verse 1

I saw that look in your eye, that far away dream, of days gone by you were so happy and free.  And I knew you remembered the good times we had, serving Jesus every day through good and the bad…

Chorus

And nothing’s changed as far as we’re concerned.  We love you now just like we did back then.  So, Come on Home where you belong.  You’ve been away for much to long.  And Jesus wants to take you back again.

Verse 2

You see, I know how you feel, ’cause I’ve walked that road so far from home, afraid and alone.  Oh, but I see the Father, with His arms open wide, longing just to hold you again by His side…

 

music and lyrics by: Ronda Hurst and Keith Layne

© Nelon Music Group

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While talking to a friend not to long ago (a new pastor’s wife), I realized that she had lost the “wonder of it all”. She was bogged down with the cares of the church and people that she felt like had not treated her, her husband (the pastor) and the saints of God right. After trying to encourage her I began to think about it and how we can allow such things to overwhelm us if we are not careful. I guess this would be especially for my pastor wife friends, however, good for everyone. 🙂 Don’t lose the “WONDER OF IT ALL”. Our relationship with God is so important. We cannot let it go. Our everyday devotions are so important. We cannot let them go. Our time reading HIS word is so important. We cannot let it go. NOTHING should be allowed to come in between our relationship with the Lord. Well meaning people cannot take that away from us or we lose “the wonder of it all”. Jesus said that he came to give life and that more abundantly. And yes, that still means for us too. Not just for the people we are trying to reach and who are in our congregations. The best thing that you can do for the people you are trying to help is keep your spirit fresh and prayed up. I still get thrilled with Jesus! I keep falling in Love with Him. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. When I go to church I still love lifting my hands and giving Him praise. I love to dance before my Lord. He is the “wonder of it all”. If I lose that, I have lost everything. Keep the faith, ladies! Keep believing! God can do anything! He can take care of any situation! The next time you enter into your church, enter with the intention of receiving a blessing. Keep the “wonder of it all” alive and well in your life. Keep Jesus your very best friend!

The Wonder of It All!

Who can compare? Who could replace?

I’m overwhelmed by who you are. I can never be the same.

I lift my eyes to meet your gaze. Oh how you take my breath away.

I can never be the same beloved friend.

I bow down. Adore your name.

I cry out worthy, worthy.

You are God.

There is none beside you.

I have been captured. I have been captured.

You’re the wonder of it all.

You’re the wonder of it all.

(words and music: Sarah Parsons and Paul Sims)

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” Why do some people always see beautiful skies and grass and lovely flowers and incredible human beings, while others are hard pressed to find anything or any place that is beautiful?”

There is a housing project in a large city that is overrun with violence, gangs and drugs. In the midst of this despair, however, there are people who choose to see what is positive and good in the world, not what is depressing and tragic. There are parents, for example, who are attending high school with their own children, determined to get the education they didn’t receive as teenagers. They are focused on what lies ahead, and they are excited about their future opportunities and the good fortune that has come their way.

We have all heard stories like the one above. People that decide to pull themselves up by their own “boot straps”, as the saying goes. Most of you who read this post today are not in these kinds of desperate situations and yet we allow life to get us down. Here is something that may help you today:

Be sure that you are focused on possibiblities today instead of obstacles. Open your mind to new ideas that you haven’t yet tried. Nearly anything is possible if you want it enough. Instead of looking back on past mistakes and being bogged down by failure, congratulate yourself for deciding to change for the good in your life right now.

Look today for opportunities in your life and try to see what’s possible instead of what’s impossible. Being upbeat and positive may not bring you sympathy and attention, but it will open more doors and make more of your dreams come true.

Have a great day in Jesus! What better life could we possibly have?

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

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After a very busy week, walking into the sanctuary of The Pentecostal Church was so refreshing. God met with us in a spectacular way in our Sunday Services. The worship service was on top shelf and so refreshing. The chorale was incredible as they sang, “When I Worship” and “I Came”. Then my husband preached yet another fantastic message, “A Sacrifice that Pleases God”. Then to top it all off we baptized one of our little children. It was simply a great day. God always knows exactly what we need and when we need it.

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Christian LIVING implies the idea of being alive. Being alive implies movement. Movement implies direction. Direction implies destination.

When Paul wrote to the church in Phillipi he noted the focus of his life as a Christian. Even though he had been involved in much fruitful ministry, instead of resting on his past successes, his involvement in the work of God continued. Not only was this necessary for the sake of others, but when action ceases, the life tends to become stagnant or complacent and soon one can find themselves slipping away.

Philippians 3: 12-14

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul always made diligent effort to press upward and strain forward. To press on in spite of challenges (even through his present imprisonment) implies DETERMINATION! No coasting, but rather PURPOSEFUL MOTION! Is our life marked in the same manner or have we chosen the path of least resistance? Have we decided to sit down where we are and go no further? This Christian life does take determination. It does take effort. It must be approached purposefully. It won’t just happen by itself anymore than getting to the top of a mountain will. We have to purposely put one foot in front of the other and press onward and upward. We must choose our steps carefully and ask the Lord’s guidance.

May God richly bless you as you continue walking and pressing onward and upward on purpose.

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Sunday as our little niece prayed at the altar I felt impressed to say something to her. I had Teresa (my sister-in-law) come over to where we were so she could hear what I said to Victoria. I simply said, “Victoria, I want you to ask Jesus every day this week for the Holy Ghost and then next Sunday you will receive it.” She said she would. Wednesday night before church when she came and gave me her usual hug and “Hi, Aunt Ronda”, I said “Have you been asking Jesus to fill you with the Holy Ghost”. She said, “Yes I have”. Well I was expecting her to receive the Holy Ghost on Sunday but God had different plans. The altar service was in progress and Nathaniel came up to the organ and said to me, “Look at Victoria” and when I looked she was standing alone with tears streaming down her face and hands lifted high, praising God. Just a few moments after I saw this sight my husband asked for anyone who was sick to come forward and be anointed with oil for healing. Victoria and Brandon (her brother) both came to the front with others. As Bro. Andrew Buxton (visiting minister) laid hands on these folks you could see the anointing come upon them. When he laid hands on Victoria for healing I saw him back away slightly and then ask her Dad, Scott, “Does she have the Holy Ghost?” and Scott said, “not yet”. Bro. Buxton laid his hands on her again and she began to speak in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. It was such a beautiful thing. I watched as her Sunday School teachers (Jim and Marian Knutson) prayed with her. Thank God for good Sunday School Teachers that care even though it’s Wednesday night and they are tired. Here is another little faith builder…Monday night at Daughters of Zion prayer meeting we specifically asked the Lord to fill Victoria with the Holy Ghost this week. Remember this, specific prayers get specific answers!

This was just a “regular” Wednesday night Bible Study. My husband had taught on prayer. The spirit of God was so strong that folks began coming to the altar without being asked and began to pray. I love it when God moves in and takes over and blesses our seemingly small efforts. When I left the church last night I could hear 3 of our young men travailing before the Lord. I don’t know how late they stayed and prayed but I know that something was taking place in the spirit world. I look forward to seeing what God will do for these young men in the future. Other blessings were poured out on God’s people in this service that was greatly needed, but time ‘nor space is adequate to put it all here. Suffice to say, God blessed Bro. Andrew Buxton with a needed blessing and if he wants to tell about it I will let him do that. Thank God for Victory!

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At the root of many of life’s challenges is the refusal to acknowledge God’s Sovereign Will! Since He is the Author and Creator of life, what is often needed most is to get back to the basics of what He has declared true from the beginning of time!

We read in Proverbs: 30: 5-6 Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him. Add not to His words, lest He reprove you, and you be found a liar. (Amplified Bible)

Yes! Even in the year 2008 we can count on His counsel. We can rely on His direction.

When Jesus spoke on the subject of anxiousness in life, He said this, “But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

It is God’s ways and will that we need to continually seek as the basic foundation for our life. Some folks seem to live by the philosophy, “When all else fails, seek God!” However, we will be spared MUCH frustration, pain and time if we would seek God’s way FIRST.

I want the root of my walk in this life to be that which goes deep in drawing from the Will and Word of God, seeking God first and foremost in everything I do.

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