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|Posted on July 30, 2015 at 5:03 PM||comments ()|
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Well, we find ourselves in the middle of the summer, in the middle of the year 2015 (and prayerfully, I find myself in the middle of my life). It has been my observation that the majority (present company included) are usually spending more time dwelling on past exploits of life's journey or looking to the future, be it dread or hope, for what's next over the horizon, while neglecting the present position in the midst of the two tenses. This misappropriation of focus can even be considered a tactic of the enemy who means to do nothing less than distract us from the "present" (gift) that is called "Today", also known as "NOW". Be it the middle of life, the middle of the year, the middle of summer or the middle of the moment, we can do justice to amend or build on the past and prepare properly for the future by making the best of our current situation. So take some time today to smell the coffee, smell the roses, enjoy a conversation, feel some sunshine, appreciate the rain, savor a breath of fresh air, embrace your freedom, reach, teach and encourage a child, respect and support a senior, and generally live, laugh and love more --- TODAY!
My family just recently commemorated 16 years since we emerged from our wilderness experience...then officially proceeded in ministry. Our official ministry, ie. Christian practice, began in August 1999 at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission. It was here that our faith walk continued and GOD showed us why we had to go through the previous 3 years the way we did, resulting in our week of homelessness. Those formative spiritual years prepared us to be effective ministers to others who were homeless. It also prepared us to deal with various aspects of ministry and to effectively cross denominational barriers. Those invaluable lessons that we learned served as a template for how to plan to proceed in our service unto the Lord globally.
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”
Zechariah 4:10 NLT
|Posted on December 30, 2014 at 8:54 PM||comments ()|
On the December 2014 “Naomi’s Daughters” broadcast we had two amazing and insightful guests; Sister Maranda Forney and Brother Mawejje Joseph all the way from Kenya. They brought a mighty message about giving that struck me so much that I had to write about it.
The need that they shared with us can be found at www.generationyouthuganda.org. This ministry was brought to Brother Joseph in a dream and we all know that God uses many avenues to show us our purpose in the Body of Christ. This dream told him that he was called to help girls and young women. He had the opportunity to speak to some youths and he was told that one of the larger needs for the young women was monthly sanitary products. That dirty rags was what they primarily used at that time. Now to women here in the United States, this is something that we have never needed to do, nor could we imagine, but ladies, the need does exist. This man, a man who has no need for the products, has taken this project on, among others, to help these needy young women.
Christ has called His believers to rise up and to take on the task of showing His love through them. He wants the world to see that the love of Christ is not just a tagline but that it is a real and a tangible thing. So much so, that He is calling us all to action. Just as the disciples in Matthews 14, Christ ministered to the 5000 that gathered around Lake Galilee upon his crossing. He healed the sick and then He gave them a word. In verses 15 and 16, the disciples suggested that the time had come to disperse the crowd so that they could go home and have a meal and Christ said, “No, you feed them”. I love the way that Christ gives us the word and an example of how to love people in need. Jesus did not agree in passing that the crowd maybe hungry, He did ask the disciples what could be done for the people, No. He told them to contemplate no longer and to feed the crowd. Just as Jesus told Peter in John 21:17 “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep.” It is our job to feed His sheep, to clothe the naked to visit the sick and imprisoned and to proclaim the Good News.
So, this is a call to action! I ask that everyone reading; everyone that is within the sound of my voice, open their hands and hearts to someone in need. Find a ministry, like Kingdom United Ministries Network, that is good soil and plant a seed! KUMN is good soil that has an honest heart (Luke 8:15 CEV). They listen and they obey the voice of God, being led by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Generation Youth is an organization that is clothing the naked and welcoming the stranger (Matt 25: 35) The're many other ministries out there who’s greatest gift to the world is that they show the Love of Christ by caring for his sheep.
Find good ground, sisters and brothers and sow a seed. Reach out to your local church and get involved. I know that it can be a daunting task to find where your gifts are best put to use, but I challenge you to do as it is given to us in Ecclesiastes 9:10 and “do what your hands find to do.” Get busy spreading love abroad. Let’s not hide our light under a bushel but let our light shine!
Amb. Kathy Thompson
|Posted on November 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM||comments ()|
No Ordinary Storm
Mark 4:37-39 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
This was no ordinary storm. Previously, Jesus had been teaching on the kingdom through a series of parables. It was in this very ship that he taught by the sea side because of the multitude that had come to hear him.
He taught them the parable of the sower and the seed. He taught them that a candle is meant to be seen and that nothing in secret would remain hidden. He told his disciples that to them it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom but that it was hidden from those who chose not to seek it out. And that if they didn’t understand the parable of the sower and the seed, they wouldn’t understand any other. Little did they know that the teacher was in his glory and their ship was his class room. They were being given the answers before the test.
Have you ever been given a dream, a word that resonated in your spirit that you knew, was more to it than met the eye? You knew God was telling you something. Something that took seeking Him to get an understanding? “It is the Glory of God to conceal a thing. But the glory of kings to search a matter out.” Proverbs 25:2 Jesus was the master teacher (orator). He could give a parable that man’s wisdom had no grasp of understanding. But it was not in the telling that they would learn, but rather in the test that followed.
After teaching many parables that day (lessons on various aspects having to do with the Word of God, the one who teaches it, enemies of the Word, those who receive it and those who don’t, why and what the word will produce) in verse 35b, the teacher is ready to give them the test saying “Let us pass over unto the other side.”
The scene is set. It is evening and along with the boat that Jesus and his disciples are on are several other smaller boats. Then comes an unusual storm. A storm so fierce that on the sea, it is of hurricane proportions. This in and of itself is unnatural as hurricanes are common only in large bodies of water such as the Atlantic Ocean. But this storm sends their boat reeling as the waves beat ferociously against it. The waves are so relentless, they lift the boat high almost touching the sky and with the tumult of the violent winds, send the boat crashing to depths of the sea. The deep looming sound of the creaking of the helm and the cracking of lightening overwhelms the men’s hearts as the waters that were once on the outside of the boat have now come inside and their boat is now full. Although a few of them are seasoned fisherman and have gone through storms before, they have never experiences anything like this.
Isn’t it something how no matter what you think you know about life, there are times when our faith is being tested that we face unusual circumstances that seem to come from nowhere?Psalm 107:23-30Amplified Bible (AMP)
These see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.
For He commands and raises up the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.
[Those aboard] mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the deeps; their courage melts away because of their plight.
They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man and are at their wits’ end [all their wisdom has come to nothing].
Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.
He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still.
Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.”
So the men cry out to Jesus and awake him from his rest. Now its one thing for them to be going through all of this and after all, wasn’t it Jesus who said “Let us pass over to the other side?” We wouldn’t be going through this if it weren’t for us following him! And to make matters worse, when we need him the most, he’s in the back of the boat (uh, class room) sleeping!
Have you ever felt like when all hell was breaking loose in your life that Jesus was somewhere asleep? But even the answer to this question (I’m sorry, test) had been given to them when he said in verses 26-29 of Mark 4:
So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”
Now the master teacher is ready to reveal the lesson that he’d spent all the day teaching them. How well did they do? Did they pass? He arises (gets up out of his chair at the back of the class room) and does two things: He rebukes the wind and says “Peace, Be Still!” then turns to the disciples and asks them “Where is your faith?” Jesus never asks a question to get information. But this was a question of “location” (what ground are you?) for his disciples to answer.
All the day he’d been teaching them how faith operates and that there are enemies at work to steal the word it produces. He’d told them that depending upon the type of ground (condition of the heart), the measure of word they’d receive would yield the same measure of return. He had taught them that when the harvest (the test) came, that what they’d received would be manifest.
It would seem that Jesus would only need to speak Peace or to simply tell the winds to “Be still”, but upon looking closer at the lessons he’d been teaching them, there were two points of interest being addressed in this lesson:
The “Peace” was to the disciples who only needed to realize that The Prince of Peace was with them all along. That where, when and how He tells you to go is enough to sustain you when you receive and obey His Word. He will never lead you where He will not keep you.
“Be still” was to the elements that surrounded them (the winds, the waves). “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:41b This storm was not an ordinary storm. It was a lesson in faith that Jesus ordered and because he initiated it, he also controlled it. All along, as impending, dismal and horrific as it may have been for his disciples, it was all happening in a “controlled” environment. It came for them to “pass” over to the other side.
"Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.
He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still.
Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30
You may be going through a storm right now. Speak peace over your soul and tell the winds to “Be still!” You are not alone, and this is no ordinary storm.
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|Posted on October 31, 2014 at 6:19 AM||comments ()|
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose
Surely, Joseph didn't see himself second in authority only to Pharaoh in Egypt while in betrayal of the Dothan pit by his brothers. Genesis 37 Nor, did the three Hebrew boys have any visible sign that they would be delivered out of the furnace of affliction as they made a decision not to bow and worship the idols of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 3
But what they did have was something deeper, something more powerful and more real than the obstacles they faced. They had a "Know" that was greater than their opposition, more real than what they saw with their natural eye that in spite of danger, sustained them.
"And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose"Romans 8:28
When faced with opposition, tribulation or fiery trials that test you and bring you to your knees, you must embrace something greater than the facts. Facts can change and are contingent upon happenings surrounding them. Truth (God's Truth) is unchangeable. It can not be manipulated, it doesn't change due to circumstances but in fact, can "change" circumstances. John 17:17 "Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth."
The fact is, when we know what God's word says about us and the power we wield by it, we can walk in the assureds that whatever the battle we face, we have already won. And whatever has previously had us bound, we are now made free. John 8:32
It is in the knowing that Joshua and Caleb declared they were well able to dispossess the giants in the land that the ten coward away from. Numbers 13:30 In spite of the word of the Lord that He'd given them the land, they couldn't receive the "Truth" for looking at the facts.
Had they perceived that "a people who know their God are strong and will do great exploits" (Daniel 11:32) They would have seen the giants as nourishment for the battles to come as Joshua and Caleb referred to them as being "bread for us" Numbers 14:9
Having the "know" factor is what guarantees your victories when situations look impossible. It silences the evil forebodings that keep watch 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift assigned to keep you anxious and fearful. It gives you the bold confidence to speak and declare your outcome and initiates your help in bringing it into fruition. It is the determining factor that allows you to acknowledge your failures and shortcomings but not be limited by them.
The know factor will give you the ability to look death in the eye and decree and declare "Not today! Not like this! I will Live and Not Die! This is the will of The Lord!"
It will cause you to dare to step out into what God has divinely called you in to. No fear, guilt or shame will ever hold you back again when you know who you are.
|Posted on May 13, 2014 at 2:03 AM||comments ()|
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