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Archive for the ‘Abundant Life’ Category

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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There is a little girl, Madeleine in our church. easter-2007-013-large-web-view.jpg She is six years old. Her dad, Rodney and mom, Mindy and little brother, Joshua also attend our church. One day Rodney came down stairs and Madeleine was playing and she said, “Dad, are we going to church?” and he said, “Well, of course we are going to church Madeleine.” To which she responded, “Oh good. God is my Life”. Rodney being taken back a little asked, “Madeleine, what did you just say”? and she repeated it, “God is my life, Dad”. As Rodney relayed this to the adult bible class I was deeply touched. I pray that Madeleine keeps that focus as she grows and matures. And then I wondered…how many people really live their life that way. Is God really our life? How much of our life CENTERS around HIM. Paul wrote about this centered life focus in his letter to the church at Colossae.

Colossians 3: 2-4

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Our life is to revolve around Him and His will. If that is not the case, then all we are set to experience is the devastation of eternal loss. However, if we maintain a life centered around God then we have the hope of appearing with Him in glory! I hope that “God is my life!” truly is our motto. There is no better life!

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$100.00 If I offered you a crisp one hundred dollar bill would you take it? Now if I took that same $100.00 and crinkled it in my hand and then offered it to you, would you still take it? What if I took the crinkled money and put it in my garden and got it all dirty? How about then?

I believe you would still take the money because you would recognize that no matter if it’s crisp and new or crinkled and dirty the value is still the same. It will still spend at the store. I believe that’s the way with a soul. It matters not to God where that soul has been or how broken and dirty it is, they are still of great value to God and should be to us.

I am reminded of the old poem, “The Touch of The Master’s Hand” that my Dad used so many times when preaching about and to the lost. I want to see every soul through the eyes of compassion. Let’s value every one we meet and those who enter our church doors. No matter how ragged, soiled or broken, just one touch of His hand can make them a New Creature.

Violin

It was battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
Hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three”,

But, No,
From the room far back a gray haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet,
As sweet as the angel sings.

The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.

The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,
All battered and scarred by sin,
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin.
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Master’s Hand.

written by: Mary B. Welch

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Psalm 126: 5-6

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Most of you know that we, along with many other churches have been in a time of Prayer and Fasting for the past 30 days. I cannot describe to you how this has effected our church services. The power of God has been stronger and the freedom we have felt in worship has been incredible. However, we have not seen the souls saved that we want to. But you just wait. There are to many promises throughout the word of God for me to be discouraged. I feel a rumbling in the spirit. In the near distance I hear the sound of abundance of rain. Holy Ghost rain in going to fall on the parched and thirsty souls of men and women, young people and children.

If you are coming up to the ending of this time of prayer and fasting and have not seen the “results” you want to see in your life and church, DON’T BE DISCOURAGED! God has heard every prayer. He has seen and caught every tear and put it in a bottle. When it is time for the blessings to flow He will pour it out on you and those you have prayed for. The day is coming when you will reap in joy, plentiful will be your harvest, and great will be your joy in the Lord.

God bless you all with an abundance of rain.

To be encouraged go here and read the post, “Fat Bones”.  God is moving. Rejoice with them that rejoice! And, YOU JUST WAIT! It’s coming our way!

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Yesterday was a great day in the Lord’s presence. From the beginning of service to the very end His glory filled the sanctuary. Matt opened the service with the old hymn, “There Is Power In the Blood” and as we sang I knew this would be one of those special times. We sang more choruses and then the chorale sang, “I Am”. Oh my! It was as if waves of glory rolled. Nathaniel (our son) preached one of the best sermons I have heard on “The Precious Blood”. This is pretty good since he didn’t know he was preaching until 9:30 Sunday Morning. When Nathan (my husband) woke up his back had totally gone out on him and he could barely stand up. So he told Nathaniel that he was going to have to preach and take care of the Communion Service. However, the anointing of the Holy Ghost was so real. After Nathaniel preached we partook of the Lord’s Supper and remembered the sacrifice our Lord made for us. Once again the presence of the Lord swept over us as we worshiped and thanked the Lord for all he has done. Thank God for His great love! Where would we be without the Lord?

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Sometimes when things are not going well in our life we are quick to complain. We are also quick to look for someone to blame. It surely must be someone else’s fault. It seems we live in that kind of day where no one wants to take responsibility for their own actions. However, that “someone” may be a lot closer than we think. It would do us all good to start with some self-examination before we look elsewhere.

During Jeremiah’s time the disobedience of God’s people was great and yet they wondered why God was not blessing them. What these people failed to recognize was their own rebellion and unrepentant attitude. This left them without God’s forgiveness and without His blessings.

Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3: 39-40 (HCSB)

39 Why should [any] living person complain,
[any] man, because of the punishment for his sins?

40 Let us search out and examine our ways,
and turn back to the LORD.

Why should we complain about what OUR choices have brought to us? Why should we blame someone else? Why do people even become angry with God?

Proverbs 19:3 (Amplified Bible) The foolishness of man subverts his way [ruins his affairs]; then his heart is resentful and frets against the Lord.

God is righteous and just and He will allow us to feel the results of our choices. However, God’s greatest desire is that we would acknowledge our sins (errors) and turn back to him as Jeremiah stated in Lamentations.

David, the man after God’s own heart said,

Search me, O God, and Know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)

It is definitely for our benefit when we open up to such a relationship with God. Let’s not complain to God, but instead do some soul-searching and determine where our life needs to be put back on track with HIS will. If we maintain a genuine repentant spirit and openness to God, his direction and will for our life, then and only then will He continue to bring us His Blessings.

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The following list was taken from this book: How Did I Get So Busy? Written by Valorie Burton. Thanks to my friend Gail for sending this to me. I thought it was so good I wanted to share it with you all. We do get so busy sometimes that we forget the simplest of things. Maybe this will help keep us on track.

 

books

Dear Friend,

Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of things we know to do, but haven’t done. Perhaps our paths are crossing this week because you need a reminder of how important it is to take good care of yourself. When you do so, taking care of everything and everyone else becomes a less stressful endeavor. So this week, I would like to share what I call the “10 Commandments of Self-Care” from my new book, How Did I Get So Busy? Make them your personal habits, and you’ll create a self-care lifestyle that nourishes your mind, body and spirit:

The 10 Commandments of Self-Care

1. Use all of your vacation time every year.
Be intentional about taking time off. Take out your calendar this week and schedule your vacation time for the next 12 months.

2. Commit your time off solely to non-work related activities.
Keep your time with family and friends sacred by setting boundaries around your personal time so that work does not interfere. You need time to recuperate from work so that you’ll be more professionally productive. If you work from home, set work hours and close the office door during your off hours.

3. Take your rest seriously.
We’ve all heard it, but too few practice it: Get eight hours of sleep. Being well-rested builds immunity, keeps you from being irritable, and simply gives your body what it needs. Be a good steward over the body you’ve been blessed with. It may take some extra discipline to do it consistently, but you can do it. How about starting tonight?
4. Have fun at least once a week.
What do you like to do for fun? Having fun every day would be the ideal, but try to at least do something simply for the fun of it on a weekly basis. Scientific studies have shown that positive emotion builds your emotional capacity to handle adversity and stress, and be more open and creative. If life’s gotten so hectic that you don’t even know what to do for fun, make a game out of trying new things until you find what’s fun for you.

5. Eat regularly, preferably sitting down. 🙂
Do you eat on the go? Skip meals? Dine in front of the television? Eating offers an opportunity not only to refuel your body, but to reconnect with yourself and others. If you don’t have time to eat three meals a day sitting down, it’s a sign that it’s time to reclaim your schedule.

6. Exercise regularly, preferably standing up. 🙂
It is essential to stand up and get moving! Whether it’s walking, fitness class or a favorite sport, get your heart rate up at least three to four times per week for 30 – 45 minutes. Exercise should be a part of your life just like brushing your teeth or eating dinner. Rather than considering it “optional,” find a way to make it a part of your lifestyle.

7. Be fruitful and productive, not busy.
Do you have a habit of getting distracted easily? You start the day with a great to-do list and by 5 o’clock you’ve barely crossed anything off the list? We are meant to be fruitful – to produce the fruit of the Spirit and make meaningful progress in life. Being busy is about having a lot of activity without much to show for it. Aim to be productive.

8. Use technology to gain time, not consume it.
If you are like many people in today’s culture, you manage multiple email accounts, home, work and cell phones along with accompanying voice mail for each, text messages and perhaps a Blackberry, too. Plus, you’ve got more choices than ever with cable and satellite television, TiVo, satellite radio, and mp3 players. All of these things are supposed to give you better choices, save time and make your life better. But only if you learn to use them to gain time and not consume it. Establish personal rules with the technology you use – respond to email at specific times rather than reacting to it as soon as it arrives, turn off the cell phone at dinner and be vigilant about clearing the clutter of old messages.

9. Connect heart-to-heart with the people who matter.
One of the worst consequences of busyness is that you become disconnected from the people who matter. When having a conversation, stop multi-tasking and look the person in the eye. It says, “What you say is important.” Connect intentionally and your relationships will be better for it.

10. Be led by the Spirit.
In a busy world where everyone voices their opinion about what you should be doing, it can be tempting not to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit that speaks directly to you. The answers you need lie within you. But you have to quiet down and slow down long enough to hear that still, small voice. Have the courage to follow it. It won’t lead you astray.

My challenge to you this week:
Take care of yourself! Commit to one thing you’ll do this week from the 10 commandments of self-care, then do it.

  • P.S. I know that some of us are in a time of prayer and fasting right now so # 10 would be a good one for now.

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