Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘love’

 

 

We have seen pockets of spiritual renewal in the midst of the violence and chaos that has been created by the hate, intolerance and racism. Pockets here and there of goodness, compassion and love. But, is it enough? Are occasional pockets of spiritual oneness enough to be called a spiritual awakening? I don’t think so. It’s a start, but we have a long way to go to get to the place where we have a true spiritual awakening in America. It begins with each one of us examining our hearts and making the decision to live a life that glorifies God and letting go of the things that keep us tied to the world. The Church has become an entertainment industry. In our effort to bring people into the Church, we have become more secular and less like Jesus. We think it is okay to take middle school girls to see vampire movies as a youth event. We think it is okay to have viewing parties to watch the Walking Dead in our churches because we want to reach the unchurched. We forget that it is NOT our job to bring people into the church. It IS our job to live as Jesus lived in our daily lives. It IS our job to build relationships with our friends, family and neighbors; relationships built from love and compassion. It IS our job to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of ALL people. As we reach out in love, the Holy Spirit will bring them into the church. We need to get back to putting Jesus #1 in our lives and leave the rest to God. There are 5 things we can do to bring true spiritual awakening to the United States of America:

  1. Pray: We need to be on our knees on a daily basis praying that God will protect this country. We need to pray that God will place His angels to protect the borders of this country from evil. We need to pray that the plans and plots of the evil one will be revealed, so they can be stopped. We need to pray that God will pour out the Holy Spirit in such abundance that Satan will have no choice but to flee. We need to pray for our Mayors, Governors, Senators, Representatives and even our President. We need to pray for our Pastors, our faith-based leaders, each other and ourselves. We can change things. Satan WILL flee, but we need to pray. Every lasting spiritual awakening starts with the crying out of the Saints in prayer. We need to come together as one and storm the heavens with our prayers. It starts with prayer.
  2. Repent and Transform: As we find ourselves on our knees in prayer, we need to pray that God will reveal the darkness in us that causes the violence and pain and that He will transform our hearts. We need to be willing to repent of our sins and trust that God will bring good out of it. We need to be willing to be transparent with each other and trust that our brothers and sisters in Christ will accept us as we are: sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus. We are all sinners. We have no right to judge each other. We ALL need to look into the deep recesses of our spirits and repent of the sin that lies there. After we repent, we need to leave the sin behind and transform our lives to glorify God. We need to continue to renew our minds daily through prayer and Bible study. We need to transform our lives so the world will see more of Jesus in how we live our lives then they see of us.
  3. Love: We need to love those around us, even when they seem unlovable. We need to pour out love into our communities instead of hate. We need to open our hearts and eyes to where there is pain and step out in love to be Jesus in a broken world. If we don’t, who will?
  4. Serve: When we start to love the people around us God will reveal areas where we can serve. When we start to serve those in need around us, we build relationships with those who need the healing touch of Jesus and the Holy Spirit will open the doors for us to share our Jesus story. Serving others in love and compassion allows others to see Jesus in us and allows the Holy Spirit to work in their lives. Through our obedience in serving, the Holy Spirit will fill our Churches and revival will come.
  5. Disciple: We need to start discipling new believers. One of the biggest things that is missing in the Church is discipleship. I grew up in the Church. I went to Sunday school. I learned my lessons, but I was never discipled in the Church. There was never anyone that came alongside me to disciple me. No one ever taught me how to be a follower of Jesus. No one taught me how to live this life through the ups and downs. Sunday school is great, but we need to be willing to sacrifice some time to come alongside a new believer for a significant amount of time to disciple them. We need to be willing to teach new believers how to stay connected to the Vine: Jesus. I was finally discipled. I was thirsty for more of Jesus and God sent the Holy Spirit to disciple me. Outside of the Church. I was not finding Jesus in the Church. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Church. I do. That’s why I am so passionate about bringing the Church back to where it needs to be. We need to be more proactive in building discipling relationships and not depend so much on our Sunday schools. We need to be more proactive in turning new believers into mature disciples of Christ.

We can bring spiritual awakening to America. There is hope! God still loves us and we can turn things around. One pocket of spiritual renewal here and another pocket there CAN turn into a National revival and Satan will have no choice but to leave. Never give up hope! With God ALL things ARE possible!

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

providence

 

One week from today, I will begin my journey to becoming a Providence Associate. I actually started this journey 5 years ago, but I still had growing to do. I have always been an introvert. I have always been one to hide behind others. I don’t allow myself to get to close to anyone, because they might see the “real” me and reject me. Any time I start to get to close to a group of people, I panic and run. I have dealt with social anxieties all my life. This journey is going to push me out of my comfort zone. It will cause some discomfort. Growing often causes discomfort. It is going to cause me to open up and really trust people with the secrets of my heart. I am here for a reason. I have to trust the Providence of God.

During these last 5 1/2 years of working with the Sisters, I have felt myself open up and dare to trust. They have loved me through good and bad. They have encouraged me when they knew I was tired or down. They have prayed for me and they have spoken words of wisdom when I needed to hear it. God has used these women numerous times to bring me a sense of peace when life was difficult and I felt like running. I have often felt frustrated at not finding my “purpose” in life. I have struggled at not having a “ministry” when so many others are serving God and others full-time. At times when I have struggled the most, God has brought different sisters to me to tell me that my job there is a ministry, that my ministry is there, that I belong there, that being an associate is in my heart.

The sisters see me and they love me. I do belong at that beautiful place they call “The Woods.” I love them. I love these women and would do anything for them. The thought of being transparent scares me. The thought of being “me” in front of the Sisters and the other associates terrifies me, but I won’t run. God has things to teach me here and I am going to stay put and continue to grow in this place of love. I am ready to be transparent. I am ready to be me. I belong in this place of love, mercy and justice.

Read Full Post »

fruits of the spirit

 

 

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

I will admit that as a mom, I don’t always exhibit the fruits of the spirit in front of my kids. I try, I really do, but sometimes I get impatient and frustrated with the messiness of life. There are moments when the kids are screaming at each other and I am tempted to echo that ancient commercial and yell, “Calgon, take me away!” There are times when I know that they get it and other times when I wonder if they ever will. I know that if I want them to live out the fruits of the spirit in their daily lives, then it has to start with me, as their mom.

It is up to us, as moms, to set the example of the fruits of the spirit. We have to live it out in our daily lives. We are a role model for our children. They look to us and mimic how we act. I don’t want my children to imitate my mistakes, I want them to imitate the characteristics of God that they see in my life. So, how do we teach our children to live as examples of the fruits of the spirit in the world? It starts in how we relate to them.

LOVE: 

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

JOY: 

Psalm 27:5-7

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LordHear my voice when I call,

Lord; be merciful to me and answer me.

Psalm 47:1-3

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome,  the great King over all the earth. He subdued nations under

us, peoples under our feet.

 PEACE:

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lordmake me dwell in safety.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

PATIENCE:

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lordhe turned to me and heard my cry.

KINDNESS:

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Proverbs 11:17

Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

GOODNESS:

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Psalm 116:12

What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

FAITHFULNESS:

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Proverbs 28:20

A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.

GENTLENESS:

Proverbs 15:1

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. 

Galatians 6:1

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

SELF-CONTROL:

Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs 16:32

Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.

I have given you a couple of verses for each characteristic, but there are many, many more for each one. Read each scripture and reflect on how you can model each characteristic in your life. I encourage you to take each characteristic and make a list of ways that you can model that characteristic to your children and others. I challenge you to look up other verses for each characteristic and compare them to the characteristics you are modeling to your children right now.

No one is perfect. We all mess up. If you mess up, apologize, right the wrong and move on. It is an ongoing process and you won’t always get it right. None of us do. I want you to know, though, that you are not in this alone. There are millions of moms around the world that struggle in their role as a mom, just as you do, just as I do. If you need someone to talk to, I am here. You are not alone, sweet momma! God is with you, each and every day. Trust Him to help you in your role as parent.

Read Full Post »

mercy

 

 

 

As an employee of the Sisters of Providence, I have come to respect and embrace their charism of Love, Mercy and Justice. However, I have had a hard time understanding why they oppose the death penalty and care so much for those who have committed such horrible, unthinkable crimes against others. After all, they have to be hardened murderers to be on death row, right? So, why would the Sisters choose to have mercy on and even pray for those on death row?

Every month, the Sisters post the names of those awaiting execution that month, along with the date of the execution. I know they pray for these individuals and for the abolishment of the death penalty itself. I love Jesus and I hate injustice, but I could not understand why they would pray for these horrible criminals. I was talking to a co-worker one night and we were in agreement that these men and women deserved everything they got. We agreed that they should die the way their victims died. NO MERCY!

And then, very softly and with the gentlest whisper in my spirit, I felt Jesus speak to me. This has happened all within the last week or so. Within a day of my conversation with my co-worker, I heard that those inmates that were to be executed by lethal injection had had their executions stayed because the injections were said to be inhumane. My immediate reaction to this news was, “Who cares? They didn’t have any compassion for the ones they murdered.” I still did not understand why society should care about these inmates. How could the Sisters pray for these monsters? How could God have mercy on these inmates? What was wrong with them?

I started reading a book called, Mercy in the City: How to Feed the Hungry, Give Drink to the Thirsty, Visit the Imprisoned, and keep your day job…by Kerry Weber. In it, Kerry describes her visit to San Quinton and the conversations she has with a group of inmates who are participating in theology classes with the Catholic chaplain. In these conversations, the men express their sadness at being judged by their crimes and not for who they are now. They all agreed that they are not their crimes and that if God could save someone like Saint Paul, then maybe there is hope for them. As I read, I felt God asking me, “Who are you to play judge and jury? If I choose to have mercy on the sinner, that includes you too. It was MY decision to send MY Son as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of the ENTIRE human race, not just a chosen few. If they choose me, I will prepare a place for them with me in MY kingdom.”

The question soon became, what is wrong with me? For someone who claims to love Jesus, for someone who hates injustice, why do I have such a hardened spirit when it comes to these men and women who are living in spiritual darkness? If I can’t find mercy in my heart for those on death row, then do I really love Jesus as much as I say I do? That question stung.

I felt immediate remorse for my attitude and the words spoken by Jesus as he hung on the cross burn deeply in my heart, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

If my beloved Savior, Jesus, could forgive those killing him, even as He hung there wounded and bloody, how can I NOT follow his example and show mercy for those inmates on death row and otherwise. Maybe the Sisters have it right. They must since it seems God is answering their prayers.

I still struggle with this. I feel that I am betraying those that have lost their lives at the hands of these men and women. I have to remember that justice belongs to the Lord. It isn’t up to me.

I have decided that I will join the Sisters in their prayers of mercy and I will pray for those who are unfortunate enough to find themselves on the monthly list of executions. I will join the Sisters in their prayers for an end to the death penalty, thus allowing God to be God.

If you would like more information on the Sisters of Providence, visit their website at http://www.spsmw.org.

Read Full Post »

100 posts

I have reached that milestone and celebrate 100 posts and my 1 year anniversary of the birth of this blog. I have always loved to write, but I never could have imagined the joy I would have from this journey. 

3 years ago, I left the church we had attended for 6 years. I had had some doctrinal issues with the leadership and there had been personal attacks made on my family. I have attended various churches these last 3 years, but have not found that church “home” yet. 

In these years, I have still remained close to my Father in heaven. I left the church, I have not left my God. This last year has been a growing experience for me. Through the writing of these posts, I have grown in my knowledge of God and have become a missionary to the online world.

This blog has gone through a metamorphosis in the last year and I now have something that I am proud of. This has become more than just another blog. It has become a ministry for me and I know that God will grow it in His timing, as I continue to be faithful in writing content that can be used to expand the kingdom of God. 

Writing these posts has been healing for me. It has allowed me to focus on God and those in the world who are desperately seeking God and using the internet as a search tool. 

My passion is for all people to know how much God loves them. I am not a Biblical scholar. I am not a well-known ministry leader. I am an ordinary, quiet, plain woman with a love for God. What I write is simple and from my heart. 

I am looking forward to this next year and to see where God will lead in the writing of the next 100 posts. I write for God and I write for you. I am always here for you. Contact me and let me know what is going on in your life and how I can pray for you. You are a miracle, my friend and I look forward to getting to know you. 

God loves you and so do I!

Read Full Post »

 

Armor of God

 

According to Dictionary.com, Salvation is:  1. the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm: 2. a person or thing that is the means of preserving from harm.

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When a soldier goes into war, they wear a helmet to protect their head from injury. As a christian, we need to put on the helmet of salvation every morning to protect our minds from the lies of Satan. Satan is the great deceiver and wants nothing more than for you to believe that you are worthless, that you will never amount to anything, that no one loves you, that you are unimportant, that you are bad, and that you are hopeless. Satan plants these lies in our minds to keep us from believing in the mercy and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The definition of salvation tells us that it is an act of preserving from harm. It is also, a person or thing that is the means of preserving from harm. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. What can be more harmful than death? Who is that person who preserves us from harm? What is that thing that keeps us from dying in our sin? Romans 6:23 tells us that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Our salvation is Jesus. Jesus and only Jesus keeps us from dying in our sin. He is the ONLY one that can give us ETERNAL LIFE!

When you put on that helmet of salvation in the morning, you are putting on the identity of Christ. Not that we will EVER be Christ, but can become Christ-like in our daily lives. Satan lies, but Jesus is truth (John 8:32). When you dig into the Bible and the truth of Jesus starts to penetrate your mind, you will realize that you ARE worthy! You WILL amount to something! Jesus loves you! You ARE important to God! You are good! You are HOPEFUL! This is the truth of Jesus.

Put on the helmet of salvation. Know that Jesus loves you so much that He died for your sins. He loves you so much that He wants you to have eternal life with Him. Jesus loves you so much that He does not want you to die in your sin. He gave His life for you! He gave His life so that YOU may live. Jesus is our salvation. Believe in Him and you will have eternal life (John 3:16).

Put on the helmet of salvation. Know who you are in Christ. Let go of the lies of the enemy. You are AMAZING because JESUS says so!

If you are searching for the truth. If you are seeking a relationship with Jesus. If you have been torn down by the lies of Satan and you are ready to break free, contact me. I would love to get to know you and pray with you. Jesus loves you, my friend. I am here to help you in whatever way I can.

God loves you and so do I!

 

Read Full Post »

love in action

“Our love for others is a call to action.”  Pastor Alfy Austin, World Gospel Church, Terre Haute, Indiana

Our sermon this morning was taken from John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I have lived my entire life in fear. I have been afraid to step out of my comfort zone and live my life in radical obedience to Jesus. What Pastor Alfy taught really touched me and convicted me of my inability to get past my fear and allow my love for others motivate me to action.

God loved the world so much that He allowed His one and only son to be beaten and crucified, so that we might have eternal life with Him in heaven. God LOVED us enough to put His love into action. The love of our Abba Father was not just a feeling He had towards us, His love became action.

I have wanted for many years to start a local single moms ministry here in Terre Haute, Indiana. I feel guilty that this has not happened yet. The single moms here still suffer in isolation and still are in need of a ministry that will fill that need for God in their lives. I have had some difficulty in finding a home church myself, but I have to admit that my fear outweighed my love for these moms and their children.

I am so ashamed that I have not loved these women enough to take action. I have a passion for them. God has placed a burden in my heart for them, so why is my love not enough to push out the fear that I feel? Why is my love not enough to push me into action? Honestly, this realization breaks my heart. There are approximately 1,500 single moms in the Wabash Valley and very few attend church on a regular basis. I am ashamed that my love has not pushed me into action.

God loves me and He acted on that love. My daily prayer needs to be for an overwhelming love to pour into my heart and push out the fear.

Dearest Abba Father,

I am praying that the love you feel for me will so fill my heart that any remnant of fear will be gone forever. I do have a passion to see these single moms and their children know you the way that I know you. I want them to know that you love them, the way that I know that you love me. Fill my heart with an over abundance of your love so that I will be confident enough to put that love into action. pour out your love, Lord. I don’t want to miss this blessing of obedience because I allowed my fear to outweigh my love. I ask for your forgiveness that I have not trusted you enough to step out of my comfort zone. Forgive me for not having enough faith to act in obedience regardless of my fear. I love you, Jesus. I don’t want to disappoint you. I don’t want these moms and their children to not know you because of my disobedience. Praise you, Jesus!

Amen

The worst thing would be to stand before God and have to answer for my disobedience. My heart is filled with disappointment because I know I have disappointed Him. It is not to late to act. I still have time. I must act now! I must allow my love for these single moms be a call to action and push me to start this single mom ministry.

The above message has been the ramblings of an imperfect woman of God. Life gets messy, but it is never to late to make things right.

Praise you, Jesus!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »