Friday, July 15, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
A couple of months ago I was praying and God gave me this verse:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” –Mark 11:25
You know, God is a gentleman. He is most certainly gentle with us about things. He’s not the type to ask us to change completely over night after we receive Him into our hearts. He walks and talks with us and is beside us with each step that we take. He says, “Now give me this, it’s okay.”
When He knows that we can handle the next step, He places it in front of us. God will never give you anything that you can’t handle. And the good news is that with Him you can handle anything. Cool huh?
I like to think of it this way: To climb a set of stairs you have to develop muscle mass and muscle memory. (You see where I’m goin’ with this?) We spend our whole lives taking baby steps, but of course with the learning comes mistakes. We mess up, we try again. You fall off, you get back up. Until we’re crawling. Then we’re walking. Then we’re running. Then we’re jumping. Then we’re dancing.
You see? It’s God who gives us the strength to take the next steps in our faith.
Well, for me, it was forgiveness. I had always thought that I had forgiven those who have hurt me but God knows my heart better than I do and what He says goes. I said, “Okay, then who do I need to forgive Lord?” Slowly but surely He brought someone to mind from years back. The argument was dumb and I hadn’t thought of it since, but it meant something to the other person involved. So I got in contact with that person and told them I was sorry. They were surprised that I remembered and forgave me joyfully! It felt great. It felt like release. From chains that I didn’t even know I had.
Throughout the same day and the next few passing days He continued to bring things up to me. I did the same thing and now I feel weightless. It was awesome.
I found myself wondering, “How can I possibly expect God to forgive me when I haven’t forgiven other anointed children of God?” “Who am I to withhold forgiveness from someone when I am the one who needs to be forgiven?”
I came to the harsh realization that I can’t. I
If you are standing to pray today and you have some unforgiveness in your life, mend that. I want to encourage you to ask God to heal your heart from that situation. And if need be, contact that person and tell them that you forgive them.
God is a big God who can do big things. He can heal your heart so much that you don’t even remember the bad in that person. He can put so much joy in your heart that you wonder if you’ve ever actually been hurt in the first place.
With God all things are possible.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I’d like to introduce ya’ll to some people that are very special to me. They’re loud, they’re fun, they’re too sweet to believe, and they taught me a lot about what love is and what it looks like. Since they’re so special to me and close to my heart I’ve decided that I must quit being selfish and share them with you guys.
These near and dear people are known as the gypsies in India, but to me they're my brothers and sisters. They are treated in ways that are unmentionable and cast out by the rest of society. Forced to live off of the earth and on the margins of civilization, they ban together and take care of each other. They live among each other and become a family of their own. Recently they have been attacked by local villagers. They've been beaten, raped, and chased away from their homes and belongings. Having nothing after the incident, the children have resorted to eating out of the trash cans around town and have been continually beat because of such behavior. They we're starving. Someone lost their eye in the chaos and a few have never been seen or heard from again.
Praises to God, my good friend Pastor Caleb Vincent and his pastor friends have taken the children in to their homes. They are feeding them, sheltering them, and teaching them all on their own budget. Every day is a constant struggle with wondering how they'll make it through the next, but God has provided and is faithful with each passing day.
"And the King will reply, "Truly truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." -Matthew 25:40
Jesus said, "the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Brothers and Sisters, I'm asking you to please consider helping out a little. Whatever you bring, no matter how big or how small, is more than enough. These kids and families will be more than thankful and will never forget what you've done for them.
If you would like to send money for food, clothes, water, shelter, shoes, toothbrushes, etc, email me at email@example.com and I will be more than thrilled to speak with you about how to go about doing so. If you'd like to send the actual items themselves in a package I'd love to speak with you also.
If you have questions about gypsies in India, what they're like, who they are, why they are who they are, how they're treated, etc, feel free to email me as well. I'd love to tell you about them!
Thanks for your time! You are more than great!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
You’ve had it. You have been let down yet again by him/her and you’re frustrated. You wonder, “What did you do to deserve this sort of treatment?” He/She went back on their word again and has once again left you feeling unworthy of a commitment.
It’s happened again. Today you turned on the TV and found out that the congressman you trusted to accomplish the things he promised, turned out to be a phony. His words just weren’t enough. Actions never followed.
Your best friend promised that she/he would write you while you’re away on mission. The letters never came and you feel forgotten.
God has been teaching me lately that His word is truth.
Time and time again we see in His Word proof of the things He says to be true actually happening. They manifest. They grow. They come to pass. They come alive. The seeds are planted. The vines grow strong. The flowers bloom. And before you know it, God has moved. Things have shifted and are no longer what they used to be.
One thing is for sure. If God says that He is going to do something, it will be done.
There will be no, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Or, “I’ll get around to it when I can.” No, that’s not the way this family operates. This daddy does things differently. You see, love doesn’t get around to it, love does.
If God makes a promise to you, it will not only be kept, but it will be fulfilled. If God tells you He’ll be there, He’ll be there front and center. Always on time.
God’s promises are solid. They’re firm. They’re unshakable.
He always pulls through.
Isn’t it great that the most reliable person in the world loves us more than the world itself? In a world of uncertainties and broken promises, we do not have to be afraid.
In a world of let downs and sketchiness, we are certain of this one thing: GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Warning: You might not like the things you read in this post.
Have you ever wondered what exactly we are to guard ourselves from? Sure, we know that we are to steer clear of the evil things. We surely know to keep away from Satan and his workings. But, is it really that clear?
If you ask me, it’s not only the things that are obviously and inherently bad that we should watch for, but it’s the things that SEEM to be almost good that we should sprint from. I said, the things that are “almost good”, not “good”.
You see, Satan is a deceiver. He is the Master of deception. If we cease to fall for the traps of the transparently evil things he throws in our paths, then he, naturally, has to resort to another method of trickery.
These are the things that get us every day. The things that seem to be good but aren’t quite Godly. The things like, “I’m going to go a little too far with my boyfriend because I love him. So it must be good.” Things like, “I’m going to study systematic theology, but pass this homeless man on the street.” Or, “Although this music goes against what the Bible tells me, this music is great, so I’m going to listen to it.”
It’s the little things that Satan pulls us in with. And we fall for it.
It’s one little thing after another, after another, after another and before we know it, we are worse off than when we began.
Everything God created is good.
If it’s not good, then it’s not from God.
The Bible tells us to “test the spirits”. To not accept anything as immediately true even though it comes from a respectable person, seems to be a good thing, or even though we ourselves like it.
Everybody makes mistakes.
Be sure to not let someone else’s mistakes become your own.
Heed the warning of false prophets and the schemes of Satan.
Guard your heart, spirit, and mind in all that you do.
Sure, the world will tell you that everything’s okay. Your flesh will urge you to continue on in self-indulgence, but we are not of this world.
Our residence is Heaven.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I have the greatest friends in the world. I wouldn’t wish them to be any different than they are and I wouldn’t change a thing about them. Each and every one brings something different into my life and paints a different picture upon my canvas. Praises to God for giving me such a community! We laugh until our stomachs hurt and cry until we throw up. These people are my sisters and I am so blessed.
While all of this is 100% true and is what I consider to be “the bee’s knees”, sometimes personalities clash. Now, I’m not talking about arguments or bickering, I am talking about clashing. The kind of things when I want spaghetti and so-and-so wants soup. The situations when I want the diet coke I’ve been saving and so-and-so snags it.
When situations like these arise, we are all faced with two choices: To confront the person about the things that are agitating you, OR to accept the situation and see it as an opportunity to love someone well.
You see, it’s never easy becoming a servant or last, but it is what we are called to do.
“So the last will be first, and the first last.” –Matthew 20:16
“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give hid life as a ransom for many.” –Matthew 20:26-28
These are the times when we can serve one another! And by serving one another we are imitating Christ! And as we imitate Christ we are loving our friends, family, and strangers well. If God is love, and we are loving others, we have then at that moment tapped into the greatest power of the universe.
Instead of getting annoyed with one another, losing your temper, or fostering ill feelings towards another person, use this as a chance to give and be selfless. Be the first to give up that last diet coke you’ve been craving. Be the first to bless another child of God. Be the first to open your house up to a friend even though you want to be alone.
Die to yourself.
Others will be moved when you humble yourself as a servant.