Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gift of Giving

Christmas is over and now we are getting ready for the new year. May we make it a goal as we finish the old and ring in the new year to focus on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have rejoiced and celebrated His birthday, now we must continue to keep the Spirit of Christmas alive within us. He has called us to be a witness to others and be Christ-like. I am often reminded of 2 songs, "Light Your World" and "If Everyday Were Just Like Christmas What A Wonderful World This Would Be." Light Your World simply means go out unto the world and make a difference, be the light to someone else in need. If Everyday Were Just Like Christmas simply put, what a wonderful world this would be. It is a reminder that we don't have to just give gifts only at Christmas but we can continue it throughout the year. We can keep the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long. I am not speaking of just material gifts but gifts from the heart, gifts that can make a difference to others.

Matthew 25:40 says, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

Luke 6:38 says, "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Acts 20:35 says, ..."It is more blessed to give than to receive."


2 Corinthians 9:7 says, "Each man should give what he has decided to in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Whether it be giving of material gifts, your talents, your service to others, use it for the glory of the Lord. Let it be our prayer to remember CHRISTmas everyday. May our lives reflect you Lord. May we be an example unto others. May we give from the heart and continue to do so each year. The gift of giving is a gift that comes from the Lord. May we give unto you Lord and unto others with a caring and cheerful heart. May we be a light unto all the world, may we be the difference unto others and may we keep the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts everyday. May we start the new year with a new goal to make a difference for Christ! May it be our goal to win souls for Christ not just now but for the new year! May we seek God's will for our life and continue to be obedient according to his Word. Help us Lord to do your will and win the fight against the enemies of this world! Thank you Lord for giving us the gift of giving.

The Greatest Gift of All

The Christmas story is the greatest story ever told. Each year we celebrate Christ birthday. May we not forget the Reason for the Season. I remember when our kids were younger, Bill and I would read the Christmas story to them each year. I often think back as to when they were younger the joy on their face come Christmas morning when they would see the gifts under the tree. Now they are older, one married and one at home. This Christmas was different for us, it was our first one without our daughter at home. It was a happy and sad time. It seems to get harder as they get older. I often think back to when they were kids and how fast the years have gone by. I am also reminded how blessed I am to have 2 wonderful children and now a son-in-law. It was a joy to know that our daughter and son-in-law were celebrating their first Christmas together at their home. They did come over later that morning to open up gifts and celebrate Christ birthday. It was a wonderful day. We have truly been blessed. It was great to see the snow falling on Christmas morning and reflecting on Christ birthday. May we spend each Christmas reflecting on Jesus Christ, He is the Reason for the Season.

Just recently Bill spoke on "Who Are You in the Christmas Story?" in our youth service. It was an amazing sermon. Do our lives reflect that of the Pharisees or Herod? Or the Shepherds? Or the Wise Men? Think about it and meditate on it, which one does your life reflect? Do we let the busyness of the season take away our joy? Do we allow it to become more of a commercial than a holiday? Maybe if we take the time to reflect on Christ birthday, maybe we will truly see the joy of that special and glorious day. Don't allow the busyness of the season to take away your joy. Christ came to earth then gave his life for us. May we each remember the special gift that has been given unto us, the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Luke 2:10-11
An angel of the Lord appeared to them and said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."


Help us Lord to keep CHRIST in Christmas, help us to be a light unto all the world. Help us not to let the busyness during the season take away our joy or keep our focus on the real meaning of the season. Help us to use the gifts you have so graciously given us for the advancement of your kingdom. Help us not to lose sight of you Lord but keep our focus on you daily even in our most busiest times of the year. May we always remember the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Thank you God for your many, many blessings and your greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Words of Encouragement

Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs."Our words should be used to build others up.
James 3:9-10 says, "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be." Wow what a powerful scripture. Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? Why is it that we struggle with our choice of words? Gossip and slander can be the most hurtful to others. I have found that if I take the time to pray, God will give me the words to say. I had a situation just a few weeks ago concerning someone whom was speaking very badly and spreading false information concerning my husband and myself. Needless to say, I was hurt and felt betrayed. For those who know me, they knew not to listen to the lies. I did speak to her by phone and asked her where she heard this information, she would not give me an answer as to who told her the information. I will say that before I spoke with her, I had to go to the Lord in prayer as I was deeply hurt by what was said. I simply had to give it all to the Lord. I will never understand why people choose to lie and spread rumors. It causes hurt and pain. I found out all this during the same week I found out bad news concerning my mom's cancer. We were definitely under attack. God reminded me that He has it all under control and gave me a great peace concerning the situation. We have seen growth within our youth ministry. God is really moving within our youth group. It is so AMAZING to see God moving.
Instead of choosing words to bring others down, let us be careful and wise in what we say. May we use words that will build others up. Encouraging words can make a person's day. Taming the tongue is hard for it takes the help of the Holy Spirit daily. I encourage you during the weeks ahead to choose your words carefully. If you find yourself in a situation similar to mine, be very careful in what you say, give it to the Lord. Let us pray blessings over our enemies. May our words be an inspiration to others.

The Struggles We Face

James 1:2-3 says, "Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
Over this past year, we have been through some battles, persevered only through the help of the Lord. I will say that this past month was not a good one. We were facing one trial after another. We were hit hard. I am a person who pleases God but I also want to please others. I have learned both in Youth Ministry and in life that you cannot please everyone. It is a struggle when you are a people pleaser. I know God will get us through the hurdles. I know there will be more to come. I want to be like Paul and Silas when they were thrown into prison, they sang songs of praise unto the Lord. They kept the faith and their focus was on the Lord and not the trial. There will always be struggles in life. We must choose to keep the faith and keep our focus on the Lord and not the storms of life. Storms are a part of the journey. Everything that happens has a purpose.
After much prayer, God has given me scriptures and words of encouragement along with the help of my friends. Thank you to all my dear friends for your many prayers. May we learn to lift others up, pray for our enemies, and have a heart for the lost. We are called to be like Christ. Lord give us a heart for lost souls. When others mistreat us, may we bless them, pray for them and shower them with kindness as your Word instructs us to do. Help us Lord to praise you even in our struggles. Help us to persevere. May we put our complete trust in you daily. Help us Lord to keep our focus on you no matter what storms we may face. May we sing songs of praise to you even during the storms. Thank you Lord for your great love and mercy. Thank you for what you are about to do in our life!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Faith

Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what do not see."


By faith we believe God created the universe and all that is in it. By faith, Noah built the ark when warned about things not yet seen. If you read Hebrews 11, you will find many stories of people who lived by faith. Some of them include Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, the prophets, the prostitute Rahab, and others. I would encourage you to read Hebrews 11 especially if you are struggling in your faith.
Should we as Christians doubt God? NO! For if he can calm the storms, walk on water, feed the five thousand, turn water into wine, heal the sick, and raise a dead man; how can we doubt God? We must not doubt but believe. It takes complete faith. Faith is believing in the things not yet seen.

James 1:6
"But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."


We must believe and not allow Satan to put the doubt there. If we give it to the Lord at the altar, then leave it there, don't take it back. With faith also comes action. We must act in faith believing and knowing God called us according to his purpose for such a time as this.

James 1:22
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

James 2:20
"You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?"

James 2:26
"As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."


Let us live by faith and not by sight that we may be an example to others. May we listen to God's calling and be obedient to His calling. May we be credited as a righteous child of God. May our lives reflect the love of Jesus Christ towards others. Help us O'Lord to believe and not doubt. Help us each day to walk by faith, doing what you have called us to do.
Blessings to you all!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Prayer of Faith

Prayer is very powerful and very essential in our spiritual walk with God. It is also a very powerful way of communicating with God. One Sunday morning, we had a missionary speak at our service by the name of Karla. She is so anointed by the Lord and spoke with such boldness and compassion. Her title was "Prayer of Faith." I would like to share some of my notes from her message that morning. It was so powerful. It is a reminder that when we pray, pray the prayer of faith. There are three key points in praying the prayer of faith: Prayer of Faith, Fervent, and Availeth Much.

James 5:13-16 "The Prayer of Faith"
"Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective."


I am going to begin by talking about the Prayer of Faith. There are two ways we can pray the prayer of faith:
1) Pray in the Word (stand firm in the Word)
You have no power if you aren't submerged in the Word.
2) Be used in the gift of faith
Be available to be used.

The second key point is Fervent:
Agonize in prayer.
Pray according to God's will not your own.
Pray fervently, in tongues and in the Spirit.

The final point is Availeth Much:
Be available to be used by the Spirit.
We cannot operate in God's will unless we are in the Spirit.
The prayer of faith gets the job done.

Imagine if we all spent an hour a day praying, even if it was a short simple prayer, what a difference the power of prayer makes. Praying and spending time with God allows us to develop a more personal relationship with God. He will make our paths clear and help us in times of turmoil. The power of prayer changes things.

I love the quote "You have no power if you aren't submerged in the Word." You simply can't grow spiritually if you are not reading God's Word or applying it to your life. You have to make time to read God's Word and study it. It requires disciplining yourself. You must make time with God in order to have a relationship with God. It is amazing what God can do through us if we allow him to use us according to his will. Make an effort to spend time in God's Word and in prayer seeking God's will for your life. Make an effort to pray the prayer of faith. By praying the prayer of faith, praying fervently and being available to be used by the Spirit, God can move in miraculous ways.

Romans 8:16-17
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will."

Romans 12:11-12
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Keep the Faith, Finish the Race

This post is in memory of a very dear friend of ours from church, Harvey Pilsing. He went on to be with the Lord on Saturday morning, Oct. 10, 2009. He had been battling Leukemia. Bill and I looked up to him and his wife, Rosemary. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. Harvey was so in love with Christ and loved his wife dearly. I have always said that I wanted to be like them. Rosemary has such incredible faith in the Lord and she was beside Harvey every step of the way. Harvey never gave up, he fought to the end, never giving up on the Lord. He truly fought the good fight, kept the faith, and finished the race. He knew God was calling him home and now he is no longer suffering for he has been completely healed. He is in Heaven rejoicing with Jesus Christ. It will be hard not seeing him at church. I thank God for bringing them into our lives. Rosemary is a precious woman of the Lord and an example not only of Christ but to all the women that know her. My prayers go out to Rosemary, their daughter Renae and their son, Daryl. I am very thankful to have known Harvey and that God brought this family into our lives. They have truly touched our lives. My prayer is to be like Christ but also to keep the faith, no matter what struggles lie ahead. May we be an example of Christs' love to others as Harvey has been to us. We will never forget him for he will always be in our hearts. Lord, we thank you for your great love and mercy. For when we stumble, you are always there to help us along the way. May we keep our eyes on you Lord. May we be the light in this dark world. Help us to "Go Out" into this world sharing your great love with others. May we be the example of you Lord. May others look upon our life as a reflection of you. May we fight the good fight, keep the faith and finish the race.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 says, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Testimony of God's Great Power Over Evil

Thank you God for working in our lives and our youth. We experienced your power over evil on this past Missions Trip to Jacksonville, FL. God moves in many ways and his presence can be felt anywhere. I will say that this particular Missions Trip was different than our previous. We did reach out to the community, did beach evangelism which was an awesome experience but we realized that we were there more for their church, their youth group and even for ourselves. We grew more spiritually on this trip than any of the others in the past. Our lives were truly changed. I had the least amount of sleep but spent many hours in prayer and reading God's Word. It was all well worth it. It was an incredible experience! It is a testimony of God's great power over evil. Before taking this trip, we had already had attacks from Satan; we knew it was his way of trying to stop us from going and keep us from being focused on what God had in store for us. We always have a curfew but I let some of our youth break it as long as there was a leader with them and it was what they felt God was leading them to do. I found out that God moved quite a few times in the very early hours of the morning. It was amazing to see how God worked in some of our youth. The Holy Spirit fell upon me and some other youth as we were praying. At the same time, the Holy Spirit worked on some of our other youth as were praying, they were reading their Bible and praying when God laid something upon their hearts. After our experience we went back to our rooms. I was up half the night still praying and reading, could not sleep. It was such an amazing night in the Lord. We each grew spiritually on this Missions Trip and had an experience in which we will never forget.
I would like to share one experience that myself and 4 other youth (Tommy - youth leader - 18, Erin, the only girl other than myself - 14, Neal - 15, and Chris - 16) experienced. Our lives were forever changed. In the early morning hours of Sunday, July 19, two of our youth, Tommy and Neal were praying in the stairway. As they were praying, a group of us were outside my room, I felt the need for us to go into the room and begin to pray as a group. We began praying with a boldness, for we could feel the presence of evil around us. When finished, we noticed a symbol of a snake on my bathroom door, it had 2 people on the bottom, 2 people beside it and 2 people at the top. I immediately told the others we needed to go check on the others praying in the stairway. We explained to them what had happened. Feeling like everything was alright, we decided to call it a night. Then everything changed within a few minutes. I went back out into the hallway speaking to some of the youth, they wanted to see the snake symbol on my bathroom door. We then began hearing noises (like doors closing all around us but no doors were closing), then we felt an evil presence around us. We decided to go down the hallway and lay hands on each door and pray. As I was going back into the room to get the other youth, Tommy noticed the devil's number and a saying on the Bible. I began to read it out loud. The Bible had "666" under The Holy Bible and then on the back of it had "The devil is coming." After reading it, I immediately dropped the Bible and with boldness said "No he's not." I ran out of the room and began laying hands on each door praying in tongues and in the name of Jesus, the other youth immediately followed. We went down the halls praying boldly then felt led to go up to the sixth floor to pray. We were praying as we were running up the stairs. The lights in the hallway of the stairway were flickering on and off, that did not stop us, we knew it was of the devil. We felt the presence even stronger on the sixth floor. We preceded to go down the halls and lay hands on each door praying. How anyone did not wake up is a God thing because we were praying loud not softly. During this whole time, we were still hearing the noises. We knew Satan was trying to scare us but it wasn't working. If anything it made us stronger in Christ. Satan could not enter us because we were a child of God. After praying for the entire floor, we prayed as a group, then preceded to get the Bible out of my room then went to the lobby then outside where we boldly prayed over the Bible. We soon felt peace and the mighty presence of God all around us for the evil presence had left. We each prayed in our own heavenly language and we even began to sing songs to God. We prayed over our youth group, the hotel and the occupants. We knew God was with us the whole time. We truly experienced God's great power over evil. I saw how God used 4 of our youth and myself. God overcame evil, He was victorious. We were obedient to what he had us to do. When evil strikes, don't be afraid, trust in God! I have had encounters before of evil but not like this one. We were forever changed that night. It was a very humbling experience. God was with us every step, he was watching over us protecting us from the evil forces that surrounded us that evening. We give God all the glory. It is hard to explain everything that happened that night, how the snake (devil's symbol) appeared on our door and how the devil's number and saying appeared on the Bible except it was the work of the devil. It appeared when we were praying and out of nowhere (that is how Satan works). The snake symbol could be explained Satan being driven out as 5 people boldly prayed in the name of Jesus and their own heavenly language and the sixth one being God who is with us always. It was real and it happened. Evil is around us and is present on this earth. We must not be afraid but pray with boldness in the name of Jesus, trust Jesus, he will see you through to the end. I will not forget this Missions Trip or this experience. It is a testimony of God's great power over evil. Needless to say, I did not get much sleep that night. I spent most of the time in prayer and reading God's Word. God allowed me to grow even more stronger in Him through this trip and for that I am very thankful. God has truly blessed us and our youth group. I would like to share a scripture that God gave me. Hope you find encouragement and strength in God. Blessings to you all!!!

Romans 8:35-39
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God Uses Ordinary People

Have you ever wondered where life is taking you? What God has planned for your life? How can God use a person such as myself? At one time or another, we have all asked these questions. God uses ordinary people to accomplish His will. Just take a look at some of the people God used in the early days.

Exodus 2:11-15 tells the story of Moses, he had killed an Egyptian who was beating one of His people. Moses then fled to Midian, he knew what he had done was wrong. He was fearful of his life. Exodus 3:1-14 tells the story of Moses and the burning bush - God's calling on Moses. God had a plan for Moses and he was obedient to God's calling. God used him in a mighty way.

Matthew 4:18-20 tells the story of Peter being called as a disciple. Peter was a fisherman whom Jesus called to be a disciple. Peter left everything and followed him. Acts 2:1-4, 14-41 tells the story of Peter being filled on the day of Pentecost along with the other disciples. Peter then stood up and addressed the crowd. He spoke boldly about the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. God used him as he was willing to be used.

Acts 9:1-19 tells the story of Paul. Saul, known as Paul, persecuted the believers of Jesus Christ. God called Saul while he was on the road to Damascus. Paul (then Saul) did as God commanded him and he was used in a mighty way.

If God can use a fisherman and make him a disciple, he can use you. If God can take a murderer and use him for his purposes, he can use you. If God can take a persecutor and use him, he can use you. We are no different than the people of the early church days.

God has a plan for each of us. We must do our part. It requires seeking God and developing a relationship with Christ, reading His Word, being faithful in prayer, obedience and being willing to be used by God. Think about how he used Moses, Peter and Paul and what God did through them. God can use you if you just let him work in you, you must be willing to be used. God uses ordinary people for His extraordinary purposes.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Praising God in Difficult Times

We are living in a world that is slowly removing God. It is time we fall on our knees and begin praying for our nation. It seems we are living in times where jobs are scarce, people are losing their jobs, their homes, nothing seems to be secure at the moment. Storms and trials are everywhere and many people are facing them. My husband and I were going through some trials about a month before our Youth Missions Trip. God is so good and He has helped us through the storms. My mom was just recently diagnosed with stage 2 T cell Lymphoma (NonHodgkins) cancer. It is a very aggressive type of cancer, treatable with chemo, but has very high rate (80%) of coming back within 5 years. She is the only parent left from both sides. We are praying for a healing touch from God. We believe in miracles. We have put our trust in God and he will see us through this storm. You must praise God even in the difficult times. Even in our darkest times, we must rely on God and give him the praises for he has it all under control.

Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!"

Acts 16:22-26 tells the story of Paul and Silas beaten and thrown into prison. While in prison, they began singing and praising God. They were going through a difficult time. Imagine how you would act if you were thrown in prison for something you didn't do, how would you react? Would you begin praising and singing praises to God? Would your reaction be a different story?

Luke 8:23-25 tells the story of Jesus calming the storm. A storm came and the disciples woke Jesus. Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters, the storm subsided and all was calm. In Luke 8:25, Jesus asked his disciples, "Where is your faith?" In the midst of a storm, it is Jesus Christ we must rely on. We must keep the faith in Jesus Christ. He will see us through the storm.

James 1:2-5 says,
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."


In the midst of storms and trials, let us seek God and praise Him for He knows the outcome and He has it all under control. May we seek God and focus on Him to get us through the storms. May we look to God's Word and learn to praise Him even in the difficult times. God is truly in control and His timing is perfect.


James 1:12 says,
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Passion for Christ

Where is our passion for Christ? Our pastor spoke on a message that really touched by heart. It was taken from one scripture, Acts 4:31. Acts 4:31 says, "After they (Peter and John) prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."
Have we as believers and followers of Christ allowed our passion for Christ to slowly diminish? Are we giving the Lord all we have? Are we willing to give it all up for Him? Peter, John, and Paul are just some of the followers of Christ that demonstrated their true passion and boldness for Christ. They were willing to give it all up for Christ.
In today's society, it is easy to blend with this world and give part to God and part to this world. God wants and desires our very best and to be first. We as Christians and followers of Christ are not going to blend with this world but we are going to stand indifference to this world. We must be set apart and make a difference. We must not be afraid to share the love of God with others. Let us regain our passion for Christ. Let us go out and witness, boldly proclaiming the Word of God. Paul was another example of boldly proclaiming Christ. Whatever came Paul's way, he didn't let it get to him, he remained faithful to Jesus. He was a willing and faithful servant who had a true passion for Christ. When trouble comes our way, let us continue to follow Christ, giving it all to him and remaining faithful to the very end. Jesus is our Comforter, our Provider, our Healer, our Strength, our Father, the Alpha and Omega, our Lord and Savior, He is always with us.
When you develop that personal relationship with Christ that will help you develop that true passion and love for Christ. We can very easily put other things such as activities ahead of God. I believe in the activities but not when you allow them to consume your life and become your primary focus. When we put our activities (ballgames, wrestling, cheer leading, dance, etc.) ahead of Christ, what does that say to God? When did we start allowing games on God's holy day? When your kids turn 18 and stop going to church, how will you feel then? We get so caught up in this world, God becomes second and not first. As Christians we need to take a stand, enough ballgames and other activities on Sunday, we are going to worship the Lord. If your child does not get to play a game due to him missing on a Sunday, then so be it. Maybe it is time to reinvest in a christian league for your child. It is time we let our children know God comes first above all. If this seems harsh, God gave me this and I am not apologizing for what God has placed upon my heart. It is meant to encourage and get us to think about our relationship with the Lord.
It's all about our relationship and our passion for Christ. It is time we start investing our time on reaching out to the people of our community. We need more "Peters, Johns, and Pauls" in our own community. It is time we take that step of faith. Christ called us to be a witness so lets boldly proclaim the Word of the Lord to others. Let us have a heart and passion for Jesus Christ and let it be a light to others. Bless each of you on your journey.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Parable of the Ten Virgins

As a bride prepares for her wedding day, we are to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. Anyone who has ever planned a wedding knows the preparation involved for that special day. It takes planning, time and commitment. Weddings take preparation such as setting a date, finding a reception hall, a wedding dress, a florist, a photographer, the cake, setting up the gift registry, etc. - the list goes on. Our daughter's wedding has really run smooth, she is a planner just like her mom. The weeks before the wedding may be overwhelming but it is well worth it in the very end. We spent yesterday decoration the church, so much fun. Today is our pampering day (relax and get manicures and pedicures)! Tomorrow my daughter will join her groom and become one. Tomorrow she will take on a new last name. I am very thankful to God that he chose me to be her mom and helped me along the way to raise her up in his ways.
Early this morning at 4:00 (normally not awake at that time), God gave me a scripture which I wanted to share with you. It is from Matthew 25:1-13 "The Parable of the Ten Virgins." Five of the bridesmaids were wise, carrying with them oil in jars and their lamps. Five of the bridesmaids were foolish, carrying with them their lamps but no oil. At midnight the cry rang out: "Here's the bridegroom! Come out and meet him!" Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones did not have enough oil and had to leave to go buy some more oil. While they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. When the others returned, they said "Open the door for us." But he replied, "I tell you the truth, I didn't know you." Matthew 25:13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do no know the day or the hour."The parable is referring to each of us being ready for the coming of the Lord. We are to be prepared for our bridegroom. Just as it takes preparation for a wedding, we must be prepared spiritually. We do not know the day or hour the Lord will return.
The wise virgins were ready at any time whereas the foolish were not ready, they had prepared only enough for their wait. God makes it clear that Christ will come unexpectedly. All the virgins (both faithful and unfaithful) were taken by surprise at the bridegroom's coming. Following Christ takes spiritual preparation and a daily commitment. It is being faithful and persistent to the very end. If we are spiritually prepared, we will be at peace and ready to meet our Lord and Savior when He returns. As the day draws very close for our daughter, she will be joined with her earthly bridegroom. It is a joy to know that all who are ready will be joined with our bridegroom, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us be prepared and ready at any given moment, let us be wise as the five virgins were wise. Thank you Lord for giving me this word during this joyous time and reminding me to be ready for your glorious return.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mothers Day Blessing

Mothers are truly a blessing from God. I would like to say a "Happy Mother Day" to all the mothers. May God Bless you and your family this very special day. This blog is a dedication to all the moms and to my daughter, Krista. In this blog I will be sharing the qualities and responsibilities of a mom and also share a little about my daughter. As mothers we have many qualities and responsibilities. Mothers qualities may include gentleness, kindness, caring and nurturing, patience, understanding, compassionate, faithfulness and wisdom. These are just some of the qualities a mother possess. The qualities and responsibilities seem to come natural to each of us.

Proverbs 31: 26-31
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


The Bible gives us some instructions as a mother. As mothers we are to be Women of Faith in God (2 Timothy 1:5), Love our children (Proverbs 4:3), Teach and Train our children in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 1:8), Discipline our children (Deuteronomy 8:5) and Comfort our children (Isaiah 66:12-13). We are to be thankful for the many gifts and blessings from above. God has blessed us with children.

I consider my 2 children a blessing and a miracle from God. I still remember their birth, how much they weighed, how long they were and the time they were born. God had their birth and their life planned. My son Will is 23 years old and my daughter Krista is 20 years old. They are the joy of my life. My husband and I have truly been blessed. I am learning over the years, the hardest thing to do is let your child go, whether it be your child leaving for college, moving into an apartment or getting married. We have a daughter getting married in 2 weeks, May 23. I am excited and sad at the same time. I know that she will not be coming home after work to talk or watch a TV show with us for she will have her own home to go to soon. Letting go is definitely hard but I know God has her in his hands. She will soon start her life together with her fiance, Nick. I consider it a blessing to have her as a daughter and I am also gaining a wonderful godly son-in-law. He is already considered family. I will always be there for her, she is the joy of my life. This scripture has made it easier for me during this joyous time.

Mark 10:7-8
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one.


I consider this to be a very special Mothers Day. I know it may be the last one with our daughter Krista at home but she will be near and have her own family someday in God's wonderful timing.

On this special day, may we take in our own experiences, maybe you are going through the "letting go" stage or maybe a hardship, give it to God and trust him. We have enough on our plate, it is time we start trusting God and letting God take control and not trying to take control of it our self. As moms, we somehow can sense when things are wrong or something is bothering our children. God has given us a special gift. He has equipped each of us. It is our goal to be the best we can be for God and for our family. Let us be the example of Jesus Christ and be the mom that we hope our child will become one day. My prayer on this very special Mothers Day is for all the women who are mothers and soon to be mothers, may God Bless you and keep his hand upon you. May he give you the wisdom and guidance needed to raise up your child in the Lord. May he help you to be an example of His great love with your children. May we keep the faith, trusting you always. Blessings to each mom and soon to be mom. Blessings to each of you. Relax and enjoy this very special day!

Following Jesus

I have been reading and studying Luke. I came across the story "The Cost of Following Jesus" and this question kept coming to my mind, "Are we willing to follow Christ no matter what the cost?"

Luke 9:57-62
Jesus said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you Lord; but first let me go back and say good-bye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."


It is a daily choice to take up our cross daily. We must make time to be with God, to spend time in prayer and reading His Word. It requires a daily commitment in order to grow in Christ and develop that personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Are we really giving him our very best? Are we committed? To follow Christ takes commitment on our part.

Back in the Old Testament, the people of God left everything to follow Him. They slept outside using stones as pillows. I am not much of a camper when it comes to sleeping outside. I have to admit I like the cabins or a camper, I guess a tent would do. Back in the early days if someone welcomed you in their home, you would sleep there but if not you would sleep outdoors. It goes back to our faithfulness and commitment to Christ. Can you imagine leaving everything (your family, your friends, your job) just like that to follow Christ? The choice is up to each one of us. The disciples were willing to follow Jesus and leave everything no matter the cost. In Matthew 4:18-22 and Luke 5:1-11 recalls the story of the calling of the first disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John).

Matthew 4:18-22 says, As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Luke 5:10-11 says, Then Jesus said to Simon (Peter), "Don't be afraid, from now on you will catch men." So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him."


Following Jesus Christ means living for Him and boldly sharing Christ with others. Jesus is the reason why we are here. We have been called and chosen for a purpose. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Don't give up when storms come your way, trust God and lean on Him, He will see you through the storm. Jesus Christ is worth following no matter what the cost. The cost of following Jesus is great and well worth the reward we will receive - eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, May 1, 2009

To All My Readers

Please check out my dear friend's blog site: www.womentakingastand.blogspot.com. She has featured me in her "Circle of Love" blog, please check it out. Thank you Laurie for your inspiration throughout the years and allowing God to use you as a mentor to others. God bless you and your ministry!

Cindy

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do Not Be Afraid

Our main purpose here on earth is to be a witness and share God's Word with others. Why are we afraid to step out of our comfort zone? Why are we afraid to listen to God? Why are we afraid to be obedient to what God has called us to do? Why are we afraid to take the next step, that leap of faith?

Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Ezekiel 2:6-7
"Do not be afraid of them or their words... You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious."


Each summer our youth group takes a Missions Trip. I have learned that witnessing can be easy if you just allow God to use you. This past summer, we took our group to Milpitas, CA where we ministered to the surrounding communities. We went out into the streets of San Francisco during the night and witnessed to many different people, lost people, those who had lost hope and fell into drugs and prostitution and now homeless. It was sad to see such a sight, what you would see in movies was happening right in front of us and all you could do was pray for them. We shared Christ with them and that was the most amazing feeling. We were each surrounded by the peace of God. We felt safe in a very dark and dangerous place, one corner a shooting had taken place the night before, but we kept ministering for the peace and grace of God was with us. I will admit that at first I was very nervous and didn't really want to talk but then the pastor we were with picked me to speak with a lady on the street, (talk about being put on the spot), I knew it was of God and so I spoke with her. God gave me the words to speak and it was truly amazing how the lady opened up and shared her story with us and then we shared the love of God with her. It was simple,God gave me the words to speak and I was obedient. I realized, how are they going to know about Christ if we don't speak? Nothing happens until you speak! You will face rejections but take it in stride, say a silent prayer for the person and then move on. Rejections are a part of life. I am a person who doesn't like rejections or any type of failure. It is all about being used by God and allowing God to use you. Trust God and he will get you through it. Be willing to be used! Be willing to take action!
There is a song titled "Anyway" by Point of Grace. It has a very true and powerful meaning. It simply talks about being willing to let God use you however he chooses anyway and anywhere. In other words, be willing to share God's word anyway and anywhere. You can witness to anyone if you allow God to use you. Be willing to be used! Trust God and he will help you through it. God gave me these scriptures as I was praying. Hope you find these scriptures encouraging and helpful along your journey. For them to hear, you must share it!

Romans 10:13-15
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
How then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?"

Jeremiah 1:7-8
"...You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord."

2 Timothy 1:7
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do Not Worry

In these troubling times, God reminds us He is still with us and He is our provider in times of trouble. The economy is a mess. Only God can truly restore it. We have many people losing their jobs, their homes, and unemployment is steadily rising. Financial institutions are struggling. We are definitely living in uncertain times. We must rely on God.

My husband and I are facing the possibility of another layoff. A few years ago, he was laid off twice within a 3 year period. He works a full time job as a computer programmer along with being the Youth Pastor for our church. He just found out yesterday that his work will be cutting 3% of the work force (more layoffs coming) and that they will lose 2 weeks of salary pay for the year. In other words, he will lose 2 weeks salary pay over the year. He will gain 2 weeks extra vacation but it will be unpaid. He will know something by March 15 concerning his job. We are going through the hard times even now as we face the financial struggles. We have no savings, that was drained over the last layoff. We have our daughter's wedding coming up in May. I am beginning to feel the pressure and the worry setting in now. After praying and speaking to a close friend of mine, who is such an encourager, God truly works in amazing ways. God reminded me of a scripture and I am going to share it with you. I know that we are not the only ones going through hard times and I hope this brings encouragement your way.

Matthew 6:23-27 says,
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Matthew 6:31-34 says,
"So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do no worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."


He provides for the birds and He will provide us. He got us through the tough times years ago and I am reminded that He will get us through this storm. If you are facing a storm, don't give up just give it all to God. My prayer is that God would bring restoration upon our economy. I am asking that all the prayer warriors really begin praying for our economy and all those are in need and struggling to make ends meet. May we reach out even in the tough times to help our neighbors in need. God reminds us that He is always with us even when we feel alone, He is still there. He is with us during our darkest moments and in our happiest moments. God is faithful, he will see you through the storm.

I am reminded that anytime I feel down or discouraged, go to God in prayer and give it all to Him. He will take care of it. I know that worry has been something I have always struggled with but I serve an awesome God who knows all things. He created me and you. He knows everything about us and what is going to take place before we even know. His will is perfect. Don't let the worries take over your life, give it all to God. He will make a way when there seems to be no way out. Blessings to all and God be with you!!!

Matthew 7:7-8 says,
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Love

Do we really love God? Do we love others as Christ loved us? Sometimes we put God on the back burner and we forget our purpose here on earth. Are we really living for God? Are we going to church to grow closer to God or just for the fellowship? God should be our main focus not our friends, our boyfriend or girlfriend. Our desire should be to grow closer to God and have that personal relationship with him. Do others see Jesus in you? Do they want what you have? If we really love God, our lives will reflect the love of Christ towards others. We are to love God not be lovers of this world.

Romans 12:9-21
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. It it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."


We are to love others. We are to be the example of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are to be devoted to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We should help one another in our spiritual walk. Scripture reminds us that we are to treat others with respect. Let us not be conceited but be willing to help others of low stature. We should do whatever it takes to help those in need. We should do our best to live at peace with others. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is love others, especially those who have hurt you the most. But we are reminded to love one another as Christ loved us. Christ paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross for our sins. We are sinners and it is by the grace of God that we are here. We need to do our part and love those who have hurt us and forgive them as Christ forgave us. As others see you living for Christ, they too will desire what you have, the gift of salvation. We can be a witness for Christ by following His example of love.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

God's Discipline

Discipline is a tough topic. I have felt compelled to write what God has given me concerning God's discipline in our lives. We are constantly faced with the matter of disciplining each day. Neither one of us likes discipline but it is for the best. Just as parents discipline their children, God must discipline us. When you are in a leadership role you will be faced with disciplining others. When the matter of disciplining comes and you know it must be done, listen to God and be obedient to how you feel He is leading you to act upon it. One thing I have learned in youth ministry, discipline is a must, especially for their spiritual growth. When you are faced with a situation and you must discipline a person, it doesn't mean you don't love that person, you do it because you do love him or her and it is required for his or her spiritual growth. I have had my share of experiences with disciplining and have found that you cannot take it personally. If anyone knows me well, I tend to do that. I have learned over the years, you cannot do that. I have heard the negative comments from different members of our youth at one time or another that were faced with disciplinary actions. It is very hard not to take it personally but I have learned that is best for them and it is biblical. If we truly love God, we will understand why he brings discipline upon us. We also must be respectful to others, especially those that God has put in leadership roles. God has set for us some rules for holy living and we are to do our very best to follow them. You may find the rules for holy living in Colossians, chapter 3. God puts people in leadership roles for a reason and he has a plan for them and we are to show them the proper respect. I have learned over the years that discipline is one of the hardest things to do. As a parent, it is not fun disciplining your child. You know it has to be done for your child to learn from it. God disciplines us in the same way. We must be willing to learn from our mistakes. We may not like the punishment or discipline but God knows best. He loves us even though we are sinners. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." It is through God's grace and mercy we are here.
1 Corinthians says, " When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world."
God disciplines us because He loves us.
Revelation 3:19 says, "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pray Without Ceasing

It seems we are living in uncertain times. The economy is in recession, unemployment is up, and people all around are struggling. There are so many needs and so many people hurting. I do believe we are living in the end times and getting closer to joining our heavenly Father. I will speak on that another time. I really want to talk about prayer and praying without ceasing. Often I find myself praying throughout the day, it may be a small simple prayer or a simple thanks, or a long prayer. I believe now is the time that we as christians should take time daily to pray without ceasing. Pray throughout the day whether it be a small simple prayer or a long prayer. I really feel that it is time to act and pray like never before. If we want to see change or a miracle from God in our country then it is time we pray, pray, pray!

Over the last few years, God would wake me up at night and would either give me specific people to pray for or I would just feel this urgency to pray and begin praying. The burden has grown stronger and stronger over the years. We have so many of our own church family that are facing attacks from Satan and they are really sick. They need a miracle, a healing miracle. I am asking each of you to pray for our church (Calvary Temple A/G) and those members in need of God's healing. My husband and I have been facing attacks from Satan and I have been struggling with fluid retention which I struggled with a few years ago and had to have several tests run (all came back normal) and then it slowly started going away (some of it that is). It has come back and is worse now. I want to extend the prayer request to our nation and the economy as well. We need a miracle within our nation. We live in a nation where God is slowly being taken out. It seems that there are many who are struggling financially and have lost their jobs and having hard time finding work. Our nation needs our prayers.

I encourage each of you to take the time daily to spend with God. As we pray, pray with faith, believing that the request will be met. As you spend time in prayer on a daily basis, you will develop a more stronger and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know we serve a God who is faithful and true. I really believe in miracles. I have learned to put my trust in God. I am asking that we all begin praying for one another. I really believe in the power of prayer. I know it works! I have seen miracles through prayer. I have listed some scriptures which God has given me to help me in these troubled times. I hope these bring encouragement to you as well.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

This scripture is so true and yet hard. We are to rejoice always. I don't know about you, it is very hard sometimes to rejoice when you are facing trials. I thought about Paul when he was in prison and after all he had endured, he sung praises to God in prison and witnessed to the guard. He is also reminding us to pray continually, pray without ceasing. Another reminder is give thanks in all circumstances. No matter what trial we are facing, there is a reason we are going through it, maybe it is a testing of our faith, or maybe it is so that we may be a witness to someone else. We have to put our hope and trust in God. He will get us through it.

James 1:2-4
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Romans 5:3-5
"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."


The one thing that has stood out in the first 3 scriptures was how we are to rejoice and consider it pure joy when we face trials. The last scripture talks about putting our complete trust in the Lord and acknowledging him. Let us meditate on these scriptures and apply to them to our lives. God is in control and he will provide our need at the appointed time. His will is best. We can rejoice in our sufferings knowing that God paid the price, he died upon the cross for our sins. He is truly worthy of our praises. We must remember as hard as it is to rejoice during the tough times, there is always someone somewhere worse off than we are. May God bless each of you. I pray for those whom have lost hope that Lord you would begin speaking to their heart and letting them know that they are not alone for you are with them always. Help them Lord to find that peace and joy and make you their Lord and Savior. I pray that we would each pray without ceasing for a nation that is slowly losing site of you. I pray for a miracle Lord, that you would intervene and speak to each of us and help us to pray for one another. Help us to rejoice in the times of hardship. May we look to you always. Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have already bestowed upon us.

Right Time for Everything

God has given us so much. We are a very blessed nation but yet we have begun to take things for granted. We are all guilty of complaining when things don't happen the way we think they should. Who are we to think that our way is better? God is over all things and he knows what's best for each and everyone of us. His timing is perfect. He knows whats best for us during any given situation or circumstance. Let us take this opportunity and this new year that we have been so graciously given to thank God for His timing and His many blessings. May we rejoice and celebrate God's goodness, no matter what the circumstance. May we lift up His holy name and praise him for all He has done and is about to do. We serve an awesome God. Let us be patient and wait upon Him and look to Him, His timing is right. There is a right time for everything.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says: (Message)
"There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:
A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace."
Happy New Year to all! Hope this new year will bring many blessings your way and may the peace and joy of Jesus Christ reign in your heart forever. Blessings to all!