Peace and Joy

John 14:27
“…Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…”
John 15:11
“…these things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full…”

In these verses above, Jesus tells us that His joy is in us when we keep His commandments to love one another and glorify the Father. He also tells us that if we believe in Him that we will prove it by our works. And through these works the Father will be glorified. Jesus also tells us where His joy comes from; it is in us when we “bear much fruit”(Jn 15:8). Don’t just say that you are a Christian, prove it! Not to God, because He already knows the condition of your heart. We are not saved by these works, but rather the world will see them and perhaps someone will be saved “because” of them. In this the Father is glorified and this is the joy of Jesus!
Do you say that you love Jesus, yet you walk around with the weight of the world on your shoulders?
Do you say that you love Jesus, yet you walk around negative and judgmental?
Do you tell the world that Jesus loves them and that He saved you, yet you go about playing the victim of this world and your circumstances?
I tell you this, THIS IS NOT THE JOY, LOVE, WORKS OR FRUITS OF JESUS!!!!!!!!!
What is this joy that Jesus speaks of? It is being of good cheer and having a gladness of heart. This is a dying and doubtful world, prove to them with your actions not your words that the God that you serve, the God that you tell them has saved you and will save them is a God that is of good cheer. Nobody is attracted to a person that is down and negative, nobody. So why would a world that is downcast already be attracted to a God whose followers are downcast and broken? They won’t be!
John 15:8 “By this my Father is glorified, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT AND SO PROVE TO BE MY DISCIPLES!”
Now all you fellow women out there that have “born” a child naturally can attest that to “bear” anything is hard, painful work. Why should bearing fruit for God be any different?
I think the “church” has lost sight of this very important part of scripture. We have preached for so long that it is not your works that save you. As true as that is, we have taught it for so long that we are now a body that takes and never gives. We sit as a body and complain about this issue and that. We sit on high and pass down judgment upon this group and that group. We preach, but have no love! We are annoying gongs going off in this world! Turning people away from God rather than to Him!
Jesus gave us these commands to follow:
Love one another.
Glorify the Father.
We know that this means that we are to love everyone, not just the people that we want to. But I must say here, please do not be fooled into thinking that this love that Jesus tells us to have is the love that the world speaks of.  This love is “Agapo” NOT “Agape”! Agapo indicates a direction of the will and finding one’s joy in anything. (This is the translation from the Lexicon). It symbolizes God’s love for us, and our love for God. The Lexicon goes on to say that Agapo and NEVER Agape is used towards our enemies. (Agape means love with compassion.)
So what exactly does that mean for us in everyday life? It means that we choose to be good and decent and kind and hospitable to everyone and finding joy in it!
Why?
Because it glorifies the Father and that is the joy that Jesus promised to give you!
Jesus said He left His peace “with” us; that He gave His peace “to” us. What is this peace? It is rest and the end of strife. Look, I know that this world is tough and that you face trials and hardships every day. There are some days that are harder than others to stand at all, let alone stand “for” something. I know, I have lived it and still do. But this one thing I will tell you, this one thing that I know for sure….t

Your Light Must Shine

Your Light Must Shine (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

hat if I let God be the center of everything in my life; the good and the bad, THAT GOD WILL WIN EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Each time I am faced with life’s many twists and turns and I choose to turn the other cheek, I am taking a rest from the strife that threatens to bury me alive. Each time I choose to direct my free will to love (Agapo) I am showing the world my works, therefore I am bearing fruit. I am not a branch that will be cast into the fire. Every time that I make one of these conscious choices, every time that I choose to bear fruit and follow the commands of Jesus I bring glory to the Father. And in this glory comes the peace and the joy that Jesus promised me…
As always, God Bless you till  we meet again…

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We All Fall Down

Overcome (All That Remains album)

Overcome (All That Remains album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine (Photo credit: krenzynaline)

We all fall down, we have all been hurt, and we have all hurt others. We face trials and triumphs every day, some days are more trials than triumphs. We are sad and happy, lonely and overwhelmed by too much attention. We are human and weak with flaws. But we serve a good and faithful God. He is sure to keep us if we live for Him.
This has been a year of trials for my family and me; from the very first month of 2013 when I broke both arms and wrists; to this week being diagnosed with a brain disorder that may be causing seizures. I have had people that say they love me turn their backs when I needed them most. My youngest son has been diagnosed with medical conditions that will follow him the rest of his life. We have suffered huge financial setbacks. We have been the center of attacks both physical and spiritual.
But I want to share with you the blessings that have come from all these trials. I have been reunited with my father that I have been estranged with for 15 years due to my accident in January. I have set the example for my children how to overcome difficulties; as a result my daughter has reunited with her birth mother after a 3 year estrangement. My marriage has been exponentially strengthened due to the trials that we have been faced with this year. I have learned a deeper level of humbling than ever before. I have learned to lean on God in a way that I have never done before.
I will not say that it has been easy. And I will not lie and tell you that I have been successful 100% of the time. There are moments of unending pain that try to consume me, and I question whether or not God cares about my suffering. That is reality, as painful as it is for me to admit. But here I am, plugging away, day by day, serving a God who forgives me and sustains me for yet another day. He has a purpose and a plan for me, I just have to be patient and wait upon Him.
My reason for sharing this is to let you know that if you are suffering, if you are under attack; please hold strong to the One that died in your place. It is not easy, and there will be times when you will want to throw in the towel. But don’t, you have a choice. You can serve God whether you are on the mountain top or in the valley. He gives us the gift of a free will, we can choose to serve Him despite our current conditions or we can choose to follow our flesh; which is the way of the enemy.
There are far too many people that call themselves Christians that walk around with a chip on their shoulder. They are sour and their countenance shows it. Every word uttered shows it. They grumble, they complain. I tell you this, WE DO NOT SERVE A GOD OF SORROW AND DEFEAT; SO STOP ACTING LIKE IT! I know what it is to be broken, abandoned, used, abused and forsaken; but still I stand, by the grace of the God that calls me to His perfect plan. It is my duty and obligation to live up to His expectations for the life He gave me. I want to stand before the throne one day and hear Him say to me “Well done my good and faithful servant, welcome home…”

As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and...

“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.” – Isaiah 60:1 (Photo credit: QuotesEverlasting)

Growing in Trials

“If we never fall, we can never get up.”
“Sometimes you need to hit the bottom to know that you are falling.”
“Mountaintops are great, but fruit only grows in the valley.”

These are a few of my favorite sayings. They inspire me when I am feeling low, burnt out or just plain tired of fighting the good fight. We all experience trials, some worse than others, but none the less, we all experience them. If we take each trial and treat it as an opportunity to grow than maybe we could all stop grumbling and start growing.
Take each moment that you are given as the gift that it is. Allow God to be the maker and creator that He is in your life. He never stops trying to help us grow, to help us to change from a fallen sinful man into a godly worshipper of Him. For some of us, that can only come in the form of trials.
Learn to thank God for everything and allow Him to use each and every moment, good and bad, to change you, to make you more like Jesus. For in this suffering there is hope, there is peace, there is healing.

As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

Suffering

Suffering (Photo credit: Loulair Harton)

Dead Faith

Dead Faith
(Read James 2)
Are you all talk and no action? Are you filled with ideas, but none of them ever come to fruition? If you answered yes to one or both of the above questions then you probably have dead faith.
James 2 is how I want to live my life.  He tells us that in order for our faith to be alive it must be active. I’ve said it before, and I feel it worth saying again; faith is not faith unless it is tested. To say that you have faith is just words; to show your faith in action is truly faith. To give when you have little or none to spare, to show compassion to someone when they have hurt you; that is true faith.
James tells us in v. 14-17 that if we claim faith, but do not use that faith to bless others than our faith is dead. He goes on to tell us that even the demons have faith, so us having faith is not special. What does make us having faith special is our actions based on that faith.
Don’t be confused with works having anything to do with salvation, or buying your way into Heaven. The only way to Heaven is to be born again and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. You are called to be Christ-like, that means that your faith, like His, must be action based.
If you see a need fill it to the best of your ability; THEN share your faith. If I am cold and hungry I am too distracted by my suffering to hear your words about God’s love. If I was an unbeliever I would think “yeah right, God loves me? Why then am I suffering?” Times are tough, money is tight, most of us have enough to get through today. For many of us there is no “security” financially for the future anymore. But I am here to tell you that we can still meet the needs of a hurt and dying world. Most of us have clothes in the back of our closet that we haven’t worn in years. Most of us have blankets that have been sitting in the linen closet “just in case”. Pasta is cheap, so is rice and beans; we can offer a meal to those that may not have enough to eat tonight.  My point is, don’t say that you want to make a difference for Jesus but never put those words into action. DO SOMETHING!!!!!! ANYTHING!!!!!!

 

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith (Photo credit: hannahclark)

 
No soldier when they are enlisted, when called to battle says “I’ll be right there.” or when he is asked to serve says “I will do that later.” He gets up and serves; he has action behind his title of soldier. We march in the army of God. Our mission is to win souls for the kingdom of Heaven. So what are you doing in your mission?
I want people to see Jesus at work in me and through me; the only way to make that happen is to show my faith by my actions; actions that are God based and Christ-like. Too often today I see people wearing the “title” Christian, but that’s all it is, a title. They walk around sour and negative, the weight of the world on their shoulders. They sputter and complain, they take and never give. Well I’m here to challenge all of us (myself included) that call ourselves Christians to rise above the mediocrity that we place ourselves in. Rise above our circumstances, rise above our fears and limitations that we set on ourselves. Rise up and put our faith into action! It’s time to show the world that our faith is a living breathing force in our lives. It’s time to revive that “dead faith”.

 

 

 

How Do We Triumph When We Have A Thorn In the Flesh

1.    We stand firm. We do not move to the left, nor to the right. We keep our faith. We know what is right and therefore we must stand for what is right. When we are pressed down and shaken out let’s be sure that what is left is pure gold worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2.    We rejoice. Satan will only spend extra time on you if you are a threat to him. This is a good thing, not the suffering, but the fact that you are a threat to him, this means that you are walking right and producing fruit for the harvest of souls for Christ.
3.    Let God use this time to create in you a clean heart. Sometimes God allows trials and sufferings in our lives because we need to change something within ourselves. For some of us change can only come when we are pressed down and shaken out. For some of us (like Paul) we need to be kept humble and the only way for that to happen is by having a thorn in the flesh to remind us that it is God at work in us, around us, and through us.
When you are facing troubles I want you to do four things;
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! GO!
•    Stop: Try to see the will of God in every situation. Is He trying to use this time to grow you? Is He allowing this situation to occur so that you will change? Is He allowing this situation so that you will be humbled?
•    Look: At your life and what is going on. Are you innocent for the present trouble, or do you need to seek forgiveness and repentance? Look with a true and honest heart and spirit at the circumstances and test and try yourself to be sure that there is nothing that you have done. God is holy and just to forgive.
•    Listen: To the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God will use every situation, every circumstance, every trial, and every suffering to help us grow. He will use all of the negative that Satan throws our way to His glory if we are willing to stand in a godly manner (see my blog on; God does not promise to give us more than we can handle…), He promises to give us this escape to be able to endure.
      Now go forth, prepare your heart; your worship; your thanksgiving; your testimony; your mind; prepare yourself for change; for learning; for growing; prepare yourself to be honest.
     

 

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Prepare yourself to be torn and put back together with a renewed spirit and a clean heart. Be teachable, moldable, and mendable. Because if you cannot be taught than you cannot change, if you cannot be molded than God cannot help you become what He wants you to be, if you cannot be mended than God cannot fix what is broken and you will never be whole in Him. So prepare yourself for change during times of trouble and suffering. You don’t know what God has in store for you when you come out the other side.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

 

 

How To Triumph Over Problems If You Have Walked Outside Of The Will Of God

 

1.    Repent. This is easier said than done, I know. If your sin has caused others to stumble ask for forgiveness. But also be ready to accept God’s forgiveness for yourself when you repent and ask Him to forgive you. Remember, God always forgives a truly repentant person, humans may not. This is not your battle to win, accept that if you have done the right thing and asked another for forgiveness you cannot make them forgive you.
2.    Rend your HEART and NOT your GARMENT (Joel 2:13). This is true repentance. To rend your garment (tear) is a public display of your sorrow, grief, etc.; but to rend your heart is a private matter that is done before God. He alone knows when a person is truly repentant (rending their heart) or just putting on a show (rending their garment). Be sure that when you ask God for forgiveness, when you ask another for forgiveness, that you are doing it from a changed heart. True repentance leads to changed behavior.
3.    Confess your sins. Confess them to God, confess them to yourselves and confess them to a godly person that will hold you accountable. Confession is hard because it calls to light those parts of us that we want to keep in the darkness. But when we confess our sins we own them, rather than them owing us. Confession is God’s plan for our freedom from the flesh. Without confession of sin we are slaves to our own flesh. This happens because we want to protect the sin; because if people know then we may be judged, and no one likes to be judged. After a time we condition ourselves to justifying the sin. Now the sin owns us, and it is our master. Confession brings about the freedom that we long for as believers. It allows us to conquer the flesh and its demands.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…

 

 

 

God Never Promised That He Wouldn’t Give Us More Than We Can Handle!

Sarah Trimmer

Sarah Trimmer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

God Never Promised
That He Wouldn’t Give Us
More Than We Can Handle!

 

1 Cor. 10:13 “ No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NAS)
This scripture has been misquoted for so long as, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” that we believe it. So what is wrong with that you ask? It’s dangerous; if we believe this than we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. And this type of disappointment could separate us from God!
First off God does not “give” us anything bad. To imply such is a lie. He may allow bad things to happen in our lives for many reasons. This is a very devious plan by the enemy to make God accountable for his schemes! And we fall for it! It is up to us to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that we can discern why things happen the way they do. But rest assured, it is not God that is doing it to you. We misquote this verse to comfort one another. Let’s look deeper into this verse so we can understand why we need to be careful.
What is this scripture saying? God says that He will provide a way of escape for us when we are tempted so we can “endure” it. Now if we are to believe the misquoted version of this verse, we are told that He will not give us more than we can handle. This implies that things will only get so bad and then poof; we will be delivered from the current situation! Not correct, we are given an escape so that we can endure. That means so that we can stand strongly and firmly rooted in our faith and hope. He provides the way for us to stand firm, but we still have to endure it! When our faith is tested in such a way it strengthens us, it grows us.
So what is this “escape route” that God gives us? Let’s cross reference this verse with 2 Peter 2:9 “…then the Lord knows how to rescue the “godly” from trials…” (NAS)
If we are “godly” we can escape temptations, in other words, we do not have to give in to them. They won’t go away, but we will be able to endure them. The word godly means to be devoted to God’s ways. The word rescue means to set free. So if we will be devoted to God’s ways He will set us free from temptations. Not take them away, but rather give us the ability, the tools to endure them. If we are never tempted or tested how can we know that we have faith? If I say I have the stamina to run a marathon, but never do then it is just words. Being a Christian is more than just saying it, being a Christian is an action. It is a way of life. Jesus (the one for Whom the title Christian is derived from) did not sit back, He did things, He was active in His time here. He set the example that we are to live by. So rejoice in the temptations and trials 1 Peter 4:13 “Instead, be very glad–for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world….”(NLT).
God will free us from giving in to temptations and trials, but only when we choose to be godly. This is His free gift to us! Our escape route! But you may say I am not being tempted, I am being persecuted. So what are the choices you have in that situation? To stand firm or give in right? But I say this to you, isn’t the TEMPTATION to give in great? Of course it is! It’s easier to swim with the current than against it. It is human nature to want to be accepted not rejected. All of these things are temptations. We just don’t see them in that way. I implore you all; we need to start seeing things that way. In every trial there is a temptation; God has given us an escape route, to be godly. He has not promised that the problem will go away; He just gives us a way to be victorious. And that should be more than enough for us…
The next time you or someone you know is suffering, do not misquote this passage. But rather be reminded, and remind others, that if you are willing to be godly, than God has given you an escape route to be able to stand against temptation and trials.
Remember faith is only faith when it is put to the test! Otherwise it is just words that we speak. 1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;…” (NLT); James 2:14 “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” (NLT); James 2:18 “Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (NLT)

 

As always, God Bless you till we meet again…