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You are not blessed with more so that others can do less

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 8:18 PM Comments comments (2)
You are not blessed with more so that others can do less
By
Kathy Thompson


 
In Second Corinthians the 8 and 9 chapters, Paul spoke to the city of Corinth concerning their giving. Corinth had made an agreement to assist the saints of Judea during their financial trials. The churches of Macedonia, who were facing financial hardships of their own, not only gave but exceeded Paul’s expectations in their giving. Paul made the trip to Corinth to remind the Corinthians of their commitment to help Judea in their time of need and to beseech them to honor their pledge of financial support.
 
Paul understood the sacrifice and the love that Macedonia had for the Lord and for the church. He, himself faced many trials to deliver the Good News; he faced famine, beatings shipwreck, snake bite, sleeplessness and fasting. He faced insincerity and evil reports. Paul came very near death several times, all to start new churches in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He knew that Macedonia had given themselves first to God then to His will (2 Cor. 8:5). Because the saints in Macedonia were so sold out for the Lord, they offered to give more so that the ministry could go forward. Paul’s reply to that request was no, because they were not blessed with more so that others could do less (2 Cor. 8:13).
 
The Macedonians were blessed not with money but with an overflowing joy that made them rich in generosity (2 Cor. 8: 3). They were always willing to do more. But Paul refused their generous offer. He loved them and told them that he would not allow them to do more; to take on a heavier burden so that other’s burden could be less. He advised them that every one should give equally according to what they have, not according to what they feel like giving.
 
As women of God, 

we often find ourselves in positions where we are called upon to do more. We raise children, we work full time jobs, and we run households while running Fortune 500 companies. We have husbands that we care for, parents and sometimes even grandparents that we are caring for. We work tirelessly, supporting those that we care for. We, as women of God, do so much more with the time and energy that we have and in doing more we give others the opportunity to do less. Studies have shown that giving more than we have while receiving less than required is burn out. One definition for burn out is a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. This condition leaves you tired, uninterested in daily activity and will manifest many times in physical symptoms such as headaches, and high blood pressure (Merriam-Webster Dictionary “burnout). When this happens, we can’t help anyone, not even ourselves.
 
I want to ask my sisters in Christ, not to stop their generosity. The Kingdom will suffer if you cease to sow into it. God loves a cheerful giver and He loves you for your tireless sacrifices (2 Cor. 9: 6-7) what I ask is that we allow others to sow into the kingdom so that they may also reap the 100 fold that The Lord has promised us. We take away their chance to give.
 
Here are some questions that I pose to you: Is there something that your children can do during the week? Give the older children the chance to help with the church potluck or rummage sale. Ask the younger ones to assist you and the older children in assembling the Christmas baskets. What about our husbands? Maybe he can do the banking this month. This could give you some much need R&R. You can be refreshed and ready for the New Year ahead. One night out of the week, allow him to cook a meal. Now I know that us ladies don’t like large portions of meat with every meal, but let’s give him a chance to nurture and nourish and bless the family with a juicy burger with all of the trimmings. May times we take away their chance to nurture the family in that way. The next time one of the kids needs something in the middle of the night; let’s allow the father’s to tend to their needs. I know that as the head of the household, his job is to be the lion at the gate and to roar when he senses trouble, but even the head of the lion pride tends to the young ones at times. My grandmother is getting up there in age but I have learned that when I don’t let her bake at least some of the pies at Thanksgiving, she doesn't feel needed. She has no idea how to leave some of the butter in the refrigerator nor will you ever find Splenda in one of her pies, but it does her heart so much good when everyone raves that her sweet potato pies are as good as ever.
 

It takes the love of God to be a cheerful giver. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 8: 5 that to be a diligent giver you must give yourselves fully to God and then to his Will. Giving is a grace. It takes faith and faithfulness to be a giver. I would like to impress upon you, ladies, that it also takes grace to be a receiver. To be able to accept what is given to you so that others can be blessed by their giving. 

The only Jesus they See

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (1)
Love is an action word.  And it is through our actions that we demonstrate the love of God.  It is by this love that we show Jesus to others.  We often verbalize our love in various degrees ranging  from the love of ice cream to the love we have for people.  However, when it comes to showing that we are Christ's disciples, it's not about what we say, but what we display.

In the 10th chapter of Luke, Jesus gives a parable of a traveler  who is beaten, robbed and left for dead along the side of the rode.  He is passed over by both a Priest and a Levite who go out of their way "not" to help him.  Each could have helped the man.  And at the very least, showed him some compassion.  But a Samaritan comes along, binds up his wounds, carries him to an inn and begins to care for him.    
The following day, he pays for the duration of his anticipated stay and leaves instructions to bill him for any additional costs.

When Jesus said in John 13:35 that others will know that we are his disciples (followers, representatives) by the love we have (display, show, demonstrate) one to another, I wonder who the world sees when it looks at the modern Church?   If we are His hands and His feet, what are we doing with them?  Where are we going?  What does Jesus look like to those we encounter on a daily basis?  

I'm not talking about the checks we write to charities or even the food shelters we may visit and even serve on Holidays.  But what about on our jobs?  In our neighborhoods or even in our homes?  Have we mastered the art of "having " Church and focused less on  "being" the Church?  Has our adoption into the Body of Christ and His goodness and mercies toward us been such that we have  forgotten "why" he called us?  

Sometimes, (if we are not careful) we may get so wrapped up in the blessings of God that we forget just where he has brought us from.  We can even suffer from a "spiritual amnesia" and loose patience with those who are yet where we once were.  What causes us to become apathetic to the afflictions of others?   Have we become a glorified "Club" rather than a outreach of compassion?    


Jhn 13:14 If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

Jesus has given us an example as to what and how we should be in the world.  As the servant is not greater than the Master, we are to be the Jesus that they see:  On our jobs, in the schools, in our homes and  wherever we have been planted.  And what He has delivered us from and brought us through is not to be a worn as a garment of pride, but rather as a testimony of His Glory.

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of 
praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

We are of God, and are here to make disciples of all mankind: To the person you see on the street whose eyes are dim of hope.  And the next door neighbor who's struggling to find their way.  What about the co-worker who feels they have nothing more to live for other than showing up?  And at the end of the day, returns to an empty house.  There is the child  who's room is just a couple doors down from you, who longs to see the Jesus you talk about to others but gets placed on the shelf at home.   And even that spouse who shares your bed, but has drifted into simply existing as you've pursued the "Better life" and have forgotten that there is an "Abundant Live" which Christ came to give.   Are they seeing Jesus in you?

 The only way anyone will know that He is real is by our love.   Not the love we talk about but the love we walk about.  We are living examples of who Jesus is by demonstration.  And though some will remember what we say, most will remember what we did.  

So  the next time you see someone in need (on the street, on your job or in your home) or you hear of something that pricks your heart to move into action, don't silence the voice that speaks to your spirit and tells you "You are My hands and feet today!"  Move into the flow of the Spirit within you to make a difference and allow the light of Christ to shine through you.  You never know, you may be the only "Jesus" they see today!






Shifting into a "Divine Paradigm"

Posted on July 20, 2013 at 7:33 AM Comments comments (4)
"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you"  Matt. 6:33

"Jesus wept, Amen!"  With no real reverence, hunger, or expectation, but rather a "There God, I prayed" kind of prayer.  Many of us would never pray this kind of prayer intentionally.  And yet, in the business of the day and the demands of life (High stress jobs, family demands, social functions, school, Church offices and events, household projects, relationships and the list goes on) We can easily find ourselves drifting into a state of praying out of obligation rather than admiration.  

Have you ever had the kind of morning where  Dred was sitting beside the bed after  Anxiety sounded the alarm?  Worry had laid out your clothes while Fret hurried you along.  Peace gently tapped you on the shoulder while Wisdom spoke "Before you leave, talk to me.  I have something I'd like to say."  But because Rush pounded on your bedroom door, you spoke a few lines of "Thank you Father for all you have done and please help me get through the day, Amen" kind of prayer?  All the while fearful of what you would have to face.

As the day goes on, nothing seems to be going quite right:  Your favorite cup somehow now has a leak.  You can't find your keys, you missed the bus or had a flat tire.  You were late for work  got a call from the school that one of the kids is sick and has to come home and this is just within the first 3 hours of your day.

Phl 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;                                                
 
If we are not careful, the cares of life can frustrate the quality of our lives.  Prayer is an essential part of our existence.  It is a "Must!"  Prayer is our lifeline to God our Father and without it, we are like a person with a breathing disorder functioning on small percentage of air.  

God is wanting to shift us from a place of simply  "existing" to "Abundant Life."   He desires to move us out of this place of dysfunctional normalcy into another realm of living where our normal routine is one of Power and  Strength.  And he wants to do it  speedily!  This is known as a "Paradigm shift" And God wants us to not only shift, but to be Divinely shifted.   In order to do this, we must change what we do by changing the way we think.  And as a Believer in Christ, our first priority has to be "Prayer!"
Are you ready for a change?  

Are you tired of simply existing?  Well the good news is, There is a Divine shifting taking place in the midst of the chaos.  What seems to be present trouble is actually the catalyst God is using you to shift you into another dimension of living.

Pray and seek the Lord.  Wisdom is crying out to you from the street corners of life.  Are you willing to listen?  Now is the time!



Power Choices

Posted on July 6, 2013 at 1:36 PM Comments comments (1)
Deu 30:19  "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;"

Our lives are a culmination of the choices we've made.  When faced with a challenge, we can choose to speak life into them or to speak words of defeat (death).  God empowered us with the ability that no other creature on earth has and that is the power of Choice!

Choices produce consequences and consequences will produce the fruit of the choice that was made.  If we want to change the course of our lives, we must begin to change the way we think.  

One description of insanity is to continue doing what you've always done but expecting different results.  You will never change your environment until you change what you do.  You must come out of the comfort zone of bad decisions and learned behaviours in order to change the direction of your life.
 
Rom 12:2  "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Our minds have to be renewed daily by  The Word of God!  We must "choose" to reprogram our thoughts and guard our hearts.  We must be radical in what we allow or don't allow into our spirits, for out of the abundance of our heart are our thoughts formed and choices are made.  So with the information we have, we will make choices that will produce fruit of either life or death.  

Pro 4:23  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it [spring] the issues of life.
                                                                                                                            When we purpose to make decisions that produce life, we become empowered by the Holy Spirit (who is the action of God) to accelerate our change.  We are fully equipped to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think according to the power that works in us.  Eph 3:20

This is what fuels us and allows us to shift into another  dimension.  Our choices possess the power to propel us into destiny!  Choices possess the power to change the atmosphere in which we live. 

When we come into agreement with the Word of God, the choices we make are "Powerful!"  According to Mat 18:19  "Again I say [fn] to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven."

Today, you can power shift the direction of your life through"Power Choices!"  Start today and allow God's word to direct your thoughts, your words and the choices you make.  Believe it!











A word a Day (Rx for Life) Power Thoughts

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (614)
Rom 12:2   "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."


Today, we are a product of yesterdays thoughts.  What we become tomorrow, is determined by how we think today.  Imagine that you have the power to change your current situation by how you "think".

Look around you!  Everything you see began with a thought:  That chair, the picture, the table and yes, even the tree and the birds all began with a thought.  
Before the specs were ever drawn and even before God "said" Let there be, it all began with a thought.

It is possible to change the course of the rest of your life by changing the way you begin to see yourself.  What have you thought about where you are in your occupation?  What about in the place you live?  And how have you thought about your spouse?   Do you embrace that they'll never change and you're in a marriage of "one"?

What about the diagnoses that the Dr's said was sure to end in death?  Have you embraced what their word says about you or have you sought the Lord to find out what "He" has said about you?  The answer all begins with how you think.

Our thoughts (like our actions) must be on purpose.  We must develop an attitude that we are who God says we are.  We can do, what God says we can do.  And we can have what God says we can have.  

2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ"

This must be our mindset when ushering in the Divine presence of the Lord into our lives that our actions (as well as our thoughts), line up with His.  It is then, we walk in favor and the Power of the Almighty God!  We can then do the impossible, see the invisible and flourish in places that at another time, would have intimidated us.  

Life is meant to bring out the best in a believer so that they that believe not,  will see His glory being manifested.  Let us have the mind of Christ as we walk though it's challenges.  And transform our thinking by indulging our minds with The Word of God and through a relationship with Him.   He desires to show us the beauty and the authority that He has placed inside of us and draw it out.

Phl 4:8¶  "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."

In keeping this formula in the forefront of our minds, we can live a "Power life" by beginning our day with "Power Thoughts!"


A Word A Day:Rx for Life- "Power Shift"

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 10:57 PM Comments comments (821)

Pro 18:21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Our words carry POWER!  With every word we speak., we have the potential to manifest fruit of Life or of Death.  Each originate from a place of faith or fear and our words have the power to produce the fruit of either.  

Because we were created in our Daddy God's Image, he incorporated the God Gene of "Power" by the spoken word:


Gen 1:3 "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."  Gen 1:6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.  And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.   Gen 1:9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry [land] appear: and it was so.   Gen 1:14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years  Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. Gen 1:26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."  Therefore, we have the creative ability to form our worlds by the words we speak.  


For every word God said, it began with a thought.  As Awesome and Powerful as God is, it wasn't until He "Said" that it was.  So it is with each of us.  We speak words out of the abundance our thoughts:

Luk 6:45"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart [fn] brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
  
So we find that if our fruit is to be good, we must program our minds (our hearts with "good" things.
Definition of PARADIGM
1: examplepatternespecially : an outstandingly clear or typical example or archetype
2: an example of a conjugation or declension showing a word in all its inflectional forms
3: a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind
                                                                                                                                                                                                
Every word we speak comes from a place of either Faith or Fear.  One (faith) produces  life and the other (fear) produces death:


Jhn 6:63   "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and [they] are life.
  
2Ti 1:7   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Mat 12:36  "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.  Mat 12:37  "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

So as you look at your life, what do you see?  Is there wholeness of your mind, body and soul?  Do you walk in victory even when things may not go the way you planned?  Do you speak gloom and doom when the report comes back and "they" say there is no winning this battle?  Are you living a life of defeat or in constant condemnation and guilt because of your past?   

This  may have been your normal day to day existence  and it may be how things have been in the past. But today, the paradigm of your yesterday is over and the mindset of defeat has ended.  It is time to put off the old man who everyday lived, thought and spoke like one without any hope.  The sin and shame of your yesterday has been put off and the Grace &  Mercy of today is in full swell of expectancy.  They are now waiting for you to "Speak" into the atmosphere that "Now" is the time for a "Power Shift"!

When you begin to let the mind of Christ be in you, things will move by the power of your word just as your Daddy God has done:  

Hbr 1:3  "who being the brightness of [His] glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself [fn]purged our [fn] sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"
What is this "Power Shifting" you might ask?  

Powershifting, also known as full-throttle shifting or flat-shifting, (not to be confused with speed-shifting) is a method of shifting used with manual transmissions to reduce the time where the driving wheels are not powered. Unlike a normal gearchange, in a powershift the driver does not let off the accelerator (unlike speed-shifting, where the throttle is let off very quick, simultaneously depressing the clutch and shifting into the next gear, rapidly). The clutch is briefly depressed while the shift lever is rapidly shifted into a higher gear, keeping the engine in its power band. This helps the car accelerate faster, but increases the wear on the clutch and the transmission beyond normal levels and shortens the expected life of these components. (Wikipedia)

As you can see, in this form of racing it's a term used when the car is in full throttle motion and at a high rate of speed, shifts into another gear without decreasing the momentum.  In other words, You may have been speaking death into your life for years without even thinking about it, it became a way of life (natural to you).  However, now that you know the truth, with the same momentum you spoke the negative things, you will begin to speak Life and because your words are powered by the Spirit of the Living God, you will experience such a paradigm shift, that you will not lose ground, you will be Accelerated into Abundancy!

It is time for us to begin to think, speak and walk in Abundant Life!  Cast out all Fear!  Walk and embrace the power of Faith!  Now is the time to speak "Life" and transform your world with a "Power Shift!"



A Word a Day: The Prescription for Life!

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 2:19 AM Comments comments (1)

3Jo 1:2    "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

As the heartfelt words of  one who knew all to well that prosperity is not simply the abundance of currency as some might think.  However, that true prosperity is found in the quality of life itself and incorporates the total man: mind, body and soul.  And that this particular life (Zoe) is found in Christ.  

Jhn 10:10  "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly."

Over the years, I've spoken with those who have been hurt and broken as a result of relationships, illnesses, finances etc. and many have been brothers and sisters in Christ.  I recently pulled out a small  pocket book that had been given to me several years ago by a dear sister entitled "Rx: Prescriptions for Life" that I'd forgotten about.   However, it really ministered to my soul.  Surely, the Word of God is the best Medicine for Life:  

Psa 107:20   "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered [them] from their destructions."

Mat 4:4   But He answered and said,"It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." 

So as I sought a word of peace and healing and realizing that when you don't have anything else to give to someone who may come to you in an hour of need except the Word of God, that you have all you need.  I realized this would not be a one verse, two points and a prayer event.  However, it would be a process.  As with most healing, they occur over a period of  time.  And while physically recovering from an injury or medical condition, may require some  therapy or consist of medication prescribed by your physician, The word of God taken in daily doses, will not only heal us in places we hurt that cannot be seen, but manifest in every area of our life.  

Well our Great Physician is Jesus!  He alone can heal us with a dose of His word and a touch of His Spirit.  He doesn't "practice" medicine, He "Is" The Medicine.  And reading and meditating on His word for all of day to day life issues as prescribed by him, will not only heal, but make us "Whole".  

It is His desire that we prosper in all areas of our lives: 

In our souls: 
Mat 11:29  "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

In our minds:
Isa 26:3     "You will keep [him] in perfect peace, [Whose] mind [is] stayed [on You], Because he trusts in You."

In our Bodies:

3Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

In our Relationships:

Hbr 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

In our Finances:

1Ti 6:17  ¶Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

Our Father God want's His children to live life with a Kingdom mentality where we walk in wisdom and power.  Redeeming the time and maximizing our resources.  We have a job to do and we cannot do it sick and broken no matter what part of our life is ailing.  We must seek to be made whole that we may reach out to aid in the healing of others by our testimonies.

Rev 12:11   And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

So over the next few weeks, as I am fed daily doses of God's word, I too will share with those who may need the some encouragement, guidance and motivation to be made whole in Him.  He will heal in every place that hurts.  You have the power within to move past where you are right now.  Decide to Be Healed and to Be Made Whole!  This is your daily dose for the day!






Hey God! Are You Listening?

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (2)
Hbr 10:36-37    'For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.   For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."     


The bills keep coming!  The Dr's report is not good.  There are pressures on the job.  Your relationships are strained and your whole life seems to be spiraling out of of control!  You thought you were up for the task of managing your life.  After all God, "YOU Promised"!!!  

You promised to provide my needs according to your riches in Glory by Christ Jesus! Phl 4:19   You promised to heal my body by sending your Word. Psa 107:20  You Promised that you would give me strength and that I could do all things through Christ. Phl 4:13   You promised to be with me and never leave me! Hbr 13:5   You promised God!  Are You listening to my cry?


2Cr 4:8-10   "[We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;   Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."  What do you do when you feel like what you've done is not enough and your cry for help is not being heard?

There are times in our lives when the storms of life will send us reeling through the torrents of the sea.  We are stretched beyond what we could've ever imagined.  We Cry out to Him and it seems as though He doesn't hear us:    

Psa 107:25-29  "For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea.  They mount up to the heavens, They go down again to the depths; Their soul melts because of trouble.  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end.  Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.  He calms the storm, So that its waves are still."

Yes, although we sometimes feel as though He doesn't hear us, He really does.  He knows exactly where we are as a loving Father does!  And he knows what is needed to prepare us for the promise.

Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit that is developed over time. Gal 5:22   Referred to as "long suffering" (KJV), we often read this passage, over looking the fact that the development of this fruit requires suffering "long".   Not the kind of suffering we normally associate with punishment, rather as in the discipline a father uses in teaching his children.  It is where the child learns to trust that the Father knows what is best for them.  And nothing develops this fruit like "trouble".

Hbr 12:11 "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

When it is time, and the work that patience is doing in and through us is complete, we will see what God already knew, we have been  "Perfected for the Promise".  Our Heavenly Father hears us.  And He knows when we've developed enough to handle what He has promised us:

Psa 107:30 "Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.  Oh, that [men] would give thanks to the LORD [for] His goodness, And [for] His wonderful works to the children of men!"



The Vessel: And He made you again "Another"

Posted on May 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM Comments comments (6)
"Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.  Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]."(Jer 18:2-4)
 
Have you ever felt as though your life was spinning out of control?  Your day to day existence was an endless cycle of pain, trouble & turmoil?  You cry out to God but it seems as though Heaven has shut it's doors, disconnected the phone and the only voice you hear is that of a pre-recorded voice message inside your head  " I am not available to take your call right now.  Please leave your name, the nature of your call and someone will get back with you as soon as possible?"  BEEP!!!  
 
No matter what we face in our lives or how we may feel, GOD has not forgotten us!  He knows the plans He has for our lives & His plans are GOOD!  (Jer.  29:11)  He has created us on purpose & for a purpose!!!  He makes no mistakes.  Even though our lives can  get turbulent & sometime seem out of our control, we are never out of His.  

Isn't it something that the vessel the Potter was molding (although marred) never left his hands?  So it is as the Master Potter molds  & forms us on the wheels of life.  There will be storms (Mat 7:24-27).  There will be trouble (Job 14:1).  We will experience loss & we will experience pain.  But we can rest with a blessed assurance that the  Master will use it all for the purpose He has created us (Ro. 8:28).
 
Up until now, you may have felt as though you have been marred beyond recognition.  You may feel as though there is nothing left in you that He could possibly use;  The marriage you once  hoped  for, is now a mere memory.  The person you see in the mirror  is a painful reminder of what you "used" to be.  The tides of life have taken a course far different than any you would've ever imagined.  The report from the Dr. may say "it's only a matter of time",   BUT GOD!!!
 
"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it]."   The potter's Clay  in this text is compiled of soil & water.  Two elements that when used together in just the right amounts, are mold-able & pliable.  Even when the object being formed is not perfect or becomes "marred", In the hands of a skilled potter, can still be formed into the treasured vessel of beauty in which is was intended(2 Cor. 4:7 ).  

The Word of God is synonymous with "water" (Eph5:26) as man is synonymous with "dust" (Gen 2:7)  As when God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and formed him into Man.  He spoke of His desired creation when He said "Let Us make Man in Our Image..."  (Gen 1:26) and it was so.  By God's word are we created & and this from the foundation of the earth.  You are no mistake neither are you an after thought.  You are not what others have labeled and abusively said you are because they couldn't or refused to see the value in you.  Nor are you what you have done.  You were created on Purpose and for a purpose.  God has hidden some things inside of you that are yet to be seen.
 
Therefore, though you've been marred, broken by words that cut you to the core & left you for dead,  God WILL make you again "ANOTHER" by the Word He has spoken over you!  You will live & not die!  You will recover from that toxic relationship!  You will heal from the loss of that loved one!    The words that once tore you down & killed your spirit will be replaced by words that build you up and give you Life!  His Word will not return unto Him void!  He will take the broken pieces and put them back together again!  He will mold you into a vessel fit for His GOOD pleasure and intended purpose!  Don't fret & don't give up!  You may have felt forsaken & all alone but I am here to proclaim to you "YOU, HAVE NEVER LEFT HIS HANDS!!!"
 

Dancing to the Rhythm of Grace

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 2:58 AM Comments comments (1)
2Cr 12:8  Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  2Cr 12:9  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2Cr 12:10  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  

Eph 4:7  ¶But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

meas·ure  (mzhr): 17. Music The metric unit between two bars on the staff; a bar.
refrain  n1. (Music, other) a regularly recurring melody, such as the chorus of a song2. a much repeated saying or idea

Saturday afternoon without fail or unless there was a major life event,  I'd put on my hip hugger, elephant leg pants (or whatever the latest fashion they'd be wearing on "The hippest trip in America"  dance show) to be in  character of my favorite Soul Train Dancer "Damita Jo Freeman".  I'd study her every move and practice (every day) the leg lifts and Robotic moves that she was so famous for.  I know, I know I'm dating myself and some may be wondering "what are elephant legs and who is Damita Jo Freeman?"  I will bypass the explanation and simply say one word that you will find quite familiar "Google".

I was a pretty good dancer because I loved to dance (I am not boasting simply stating a fact).  I lived and practiced dancing.  I danced when I was up and danced when I was down.  It was something I was good at and anytime there was a dance competition, I was always up for the challenge.  And can't really remember a time when I entered a contest that I didn't win (Anyone who can is welcome to email me.  As my memory like my dance moves, are not what they used to be).

Dancing solo was easy for me.  I was in control.  Dancing with someone else, was a little more challenging unless they were good dancers as well.  This was especially true in  slow dancing.  I found that many of the guys (as cute as they might have been) lacked rhythm to dance.  And since it was customary for the guy to lead, I would often get frustrated and sometimes find myself trying to lead them  or getting out of step, which would make for a very awkward situation.  

Such was the case at a friends Birthday house-party when one of my favorite slow songs was being played.  A young man asked me to dance with him and although he wouldn't have been the one I wanted to dance with, I'd never waste my favorite song being a wall flower.  His slooooow motion approach (which he obviously took literally) made it difficult for me to follow his lead.  As the song played, it became more and more obvious  that we were dancing to the same song, but the timing was way off.  Somehow, our feet got tangled, I lost my balance and found myself falling backwards (as in slow motion).  We both ended up on the floor in the middle of the crowded room.  Fast forward as some incidents you just want to forget about.  Life is full of humbling experiences and for me this was definitely one of them.

Paul states in 2 Corinthians 12:8 that he'd sought the Lord three times to remove what he considered a thorn in his flesh.  This thorn (as he describes) was sent as a messenger from Satan to buffet or afflict him lest he be exalted above measure.  Paul was astute in the Law yet he had had an unequivocal encounter with Jesus Himself .  He was in constant fellowship with the Lord and had been given revelations of God's grace through Jesus Christ that those who'd literally walked with him didn't have. Most men in his position would've been quite arrogant and some with less of a testimony.  Yet he states that "lest he be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations" he was given this thorn. (vs. 7) 

Three times!   Paul didn't just ask the Lord, but pleaded with Him to remove this thorn in his flesh. And one that was given him of Satan no less.  One that God allowed and Paul understood the necessity of.   "For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me [to be] or hears from me".
2Cr 12:6  

It sounds as though if Paul had been a dancer, he may have been enamored among the best.  He was skilled in the mission he was given and had the faith to carry it out.  He was used to fighting through and knew the sacrifice that was required to follow the Leading of the Holy Spirit.  His commitment to "The Call" in which he'd been sent was apparent.  And yet while dancing to the tune of humility where he was partnered with Grace, he sought to stay in control.  

There are times in our lives where the tune of Faith takes on a different tempo than that we've been used to.  It is by faith that we are saved through Grace, and that not of us but it is the gift that God gives to everyone.  This grace (He gives) according to the measure in which it is needed.

Grace has a rhythm all it's own.  And in our lives, it is important that we recognize when Grace is leading and we relinquish control and allow ourselves to be led.   

Grace supplies strength, direction, provision and hope.  It is often disguised in the form of trouble when we've exhausted ourselves beyond our own abilities.  And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." @Cor 12:9  
It was Grace that led the Children of Israel through the Wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  It was Grace that led Ruth through the field of Boaz and into his heart.  It was Grace that led Abigail with wisdom out of place of dis-grace and into King Davids heart.

Grace will never lead you where God's provision won't keep you.  You must learn to let go of the control button of your life and learn to become one with Grace during the ebb and flow of life's currants.  The tides will rise as the Master Orchestrator crescendos through measures of  intensities in our lives.  

There will be times when you are required to rest.  And although rest is needed and a time to refrain is measured out, we may not be willing or to afraid to take heed.  The Master then may allow a messenger of Satan to buffet us until the measure of grace for that season is over.  And it is during this time we must raise our hands and join with Grace, to follow it's lead.  Resting, moving and synchronizing to the rhythm Grace has come into alignment with.  You may be out of step at first, but listen:  " Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This [is] the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left." Is. 30:21   Then, will you learn to dance to the "Rhythm of Grace"
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