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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2014 at 8:50pm

Care by Carrying: "Then you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Deuteronomy 1:31

Thank God, there are times He carries you in his arms. You walk with Him on the sandy beach of life, and for a time there are two sets of footprints. But there are those special and comforting times that you look down only to discover one set of footprints. Your footprints have vanished because your heavenly Father is carrying you as a father carries his son. There is a parental passion around God's heart for you. It is a persistent and patient passion that is relentless in its care. So, not only does He walk with you through life, He goes a step further. When you are at your lowest of lows, and fear has frozen your faith, or when your passion for God is paralyzed and has jumped the track, He is there to carry you. He lifts you out of this state of confusion and carries you in His loving and secure arms. You do not have to wander around in self-pity and despair, turn to the One who truly cares. When others let you down He is still by your side, so humble yourself and allow him to lift you up, and carry you for now. He may need to carry you during this rocky time in your marriage. He may need to carry you during this down cycle at work. He may need to carry you through this crisis of faith brought on by extreme disappointment. Let go of your anger, your fears, your hurt, your depression, embrace Christ and let Him carry you. Do not be ashamed of the need for Christ to carry you, because He cares for you.

It may mean some of your goals need to be extended until you can regroup with Jesus. Plans may need to be put on hold and your vision realigned. This is okay; it is better to be in the arms of your heavenly Father than wandering around in bewilderment without Him. Just as the wind lifts the wings of an elegant eagle, the Holy Spirit is lifts you to soar with your Savior. To be carried by God is to need God. To be carried by God is to experience God. To be carried by God is to be loved by God. To be carried by God is to be intimate with God. This is your time to go to a level of relational depth with your heavenly Father that has been unknown until now. This is a season of your faith walk that will facilitate the maturing of your faith. You see close and up front the caring face of Christ when you are carried, so peer deeply into His compassionate eyes and enjoy Him. You can carry on, because He carries you and He will carry you to His divine destination. This is total abandonment and surrender to your Savior Jesus. Like a sensitive shepherd with a trapped sheep, He is bent over to untangle you from the snares of life and to carry you on His shoulders, Jesus said, "When found [a stray sheep], you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, "Celebrate with me! I've found my lost sheep!" (Luke 15:5-6).

Transformational Living
Where do I need to let go and allow Christ to carry me?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 31 2014 at 9:04pm
Watch and Pray thread
by Dr. David C. Cooper

I have been reflecting lately on the incredible power of faith. Faith is a wonderful gift God has given to us but it does not benefit us until we release our faith in prayer. Think about Jesus' words: "Have faith in God! Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray believe that you receive them and you shall have them" (Mark 11:22, 24).

I once heard that unbelief is the mother of all sin. Paul tells us, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom 14:23). We need to make a resolution to eliminate doubt and unbelief from our hearts. We need to eliminate negative words from our speech. Guard your heart and your mouth not to say such things as "I can't do it," "I don't believe it will happen," or "I'll believe it when I see it."

God calls us to be agents of faith. If you believe something in your heart you need to confess it verbally. "We believe; therefore, we speak" (2 Cor 4:13). We are out of God's will and we limit His work in our lives when we speak words of doubt and unbelief. If we are not careful we can also dampen the dreams of others by negative words of doubt. Christians are commissioned by Jesus to be agents of faith, hope and love. These are the three eternal virtues that change the world. So, let us all make a new resolution to grow in faith this year and to guard our speech to only speak words of faith.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 01 2014 at 3:00pm
How's Your Prayer Life?   StarStarStarStarStarStar
Bishop Donald Hilliard

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is not a monologue where one person does all the talking, or a ritual where we must say things in the right order, or a chore to get out of the way like brushing our teeth before going to bed.

Jesus rejects this performance-based understanding of prayer: "Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace" (Mt 6:6 TM).

For many, prayer has little to do with the realities of life. They think of it like the National Anthem at a game: a nice opening, but nothing to do with what happens on the field afterwards. Other people treat prayer like a rabbit's foot you pull out and rub when things are tough: "A prayer a day keeps the devil away." Paul writes, "Pray without ceasing." That doesn't sound like something you do once in a while, or a flare you shoot up during a crisis.

Try substituting the word breathe for the word pray: "breathe without ceasing" - doesn't that sound like a good idea to you? We don't breathe only when we feel like it. Or decide, "I'm not into oxygen today," and stop breathing. Or get frustrated and say, "This isn't getting me anywhere. I'm not going to do it any more." No, we cling to the breath in our bodies like it's life. So, just as breathing is an indispensable part of your natural life, prayer is an indispensable part of spiritual life. Without it you die spiritually. So, how's your prayer life?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 01 2014 at 3:04pm
Today's Prayer
Dear Lord, If tomorrow never comes on this earth, I pray that I will leave behind a testimony that points to you. Help me to live as if today were my last before entering eternity, for I know not what the day may bring. I pray that I will love others with a godly love, that I will be kind and considerate, that I will share who you are and what you have done, that I will smile at those I see throughout the day, that I will remember and pray for others, that I will appreciate every little thing and have an attitude of gratitude, that I will be honest and responsible in all things. Thank you for blessing me and loving me and filling me with your spirit. Please feed my soul and give me strength this day. May you be glorified and my family be blessed. May I touch lives and sow seeds throughout the day. In the name of my Savior I pray, amen.

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Today's Prayer
Dear God, it is hard to fight the battles in life. I can see that it is in the midst of battles, that we learn to be truly effective warriors. Likewise, in the midst of living, let me learn to be an effective Christian. Please guide and direct me; give me wisdom and strength for the day. In Jesus' name I pray and thank You. Amen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 07 2014 at 9:43pm
The Joy of the Lord is My Strength!
Alan Riley

Sometimes we in the church are accused of glossing over the fact that life can be hard.  We sometimes tend to give the impression that all you need to do is give your heart to Jesus and all of your problems will be solved, all your bills will be paid, you will have success and prosperity and everything you touch will turn to gold.  If you are a Christian, you will have a continual smile on your face and always be happy.  We make all our baskets, we sink all our putts, we close all our deals.  

Does that sound like your testimony?  I know it doesn't sound like mine!  

I think the problem is that we've confused joy with happiness Happiness is dependent on happenings.  Circumstances in your life dictate whether or not you are happy.  Joy, on the other hand is a gift from God - a fruit of the Spirit that transcends whatever is happening in your life.  Joy allows you to rise (even to soar) above difficult circumstances, challenges, and heartaches.  Joy comes from knowing Who is in control and that He has a plan to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)  We do not draw our strength from the great feeling we get when things go right; if we did, we would be powerless when hard times and adversity hit, and we would all be easy pickings for the devil.  No, it is the joy of the Lord that is our strength!  

Jesus wasn't happy about going to the cross.  He prayed the night before "If there is any other way, let this cup pass from me..."  But He did have joy in obedience.  The writer to the Hebrews put it this way: "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross..."  There was joy for the Lord Jesus even in the pain and the agony of the cross because He knew the end result of His obedience and sacrifice would be the offer of salvation for you and me.  Jesus chose to go through hell for us rather than to go to heaven without us.

In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul talks about joy over and over again.  Yet he wrote that letter to the church at Philippi while he was imprisoned in horrible conditions.  How could he write about joy while imprisoned in a dark, cold, rat-infested Roman cell?  It's because joy is not dependent on circumstances!

When you and I face tough times, we can draw on great reserves of joy that are rooted in our knowledge of the faithfulness of God.  That's how Job was able to say in the midst of tragedy, heartache and great loss, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15, KJV) He knew God and He trusted God.  That is how he could have "joy in unrelenting pain" (Job 6:10, NIV)

Job's friends made the mistake of misjudging Job. But what was worse, they misrepresented God.  They presumed to speak for God in telling Job he needed to repent.  Job's friends naturally assumed that since things weren't going great for Job, he wasn't living right, and God was punishing him for his sins.  I'm afraid the spirit of Job's friends is still very much with us.  We see and hear it just about every Sunday.

Now, don't get me wrong here; I've spent most of my life in church.  Since I was a teenager I have either worked for a church or worked with organizations that worked with churches.  I love the church.  I love church people.  But let's be honest; sometimes we have a problem keeping it real.  We look at each other and smile real big and say, "I'm fine!  We're all fine! How about you?  Are you fine?" while inside we're hurting.  The problem is if I admit to you that I am hurting or struggling, you might assume that I'm not spiritual enough.  To avoid that I just pretend that  everything is fine, when it really isn't.

If there is any place on earth that you should be able to keep it real, it ought to be the church.  God's Word tells us to confess our faults to each other so we may be healed. (James 5:16) But you can't confess your faults if you are afraid to let me know that you have any!  In the church we, like Job's friends, have bought into the notion that "spiritual" Christians don't have any problems.

But if you think about it for a minute I believe you will agree with me that the most spiritual people I have ever known were those who had walked through deep dark valleys of sorrow and heartache yet through it all their faith and trust never wavered.  It wasn't the smiley-faced folks pretending to be perfect who touched my heart, it was those who I saw pressed on every side but not crushed, cast down but not destroyed.  It was in those people that I saw that indeed the joy of the Lord is our strength.  I want to be one of those people! 

Lord, help me to draw my strength from your gift of joy and not from my feelings or present circumstances!
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Let Love Rule
Bishop Keith Butler

Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own chosen ones... by putting on... patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper. Colossians 8:12 (AMP)

Would you say that you need the power of God to endure whatever comes with a good temper? I certainly do. Well, God has given us all that is necessary to fulfill His will in life. And the element He is given us to maintain a good temper in all things is forgiveness, which comes out of a heart of love.

Forgiveness covers our heart and other extremities. Why is it so important? Unforgiveness does not hurt the other person; it hurts you. Also, God said that He will not forgive you unless you forgive others. Forgiveness helps you to maintain a good temper at all times.

Have you ever needed God to forgive you since you have been saved? Do you think you may need God to forgive you in the future? Well, if you forgive, then you will be forgiven. Your decision to walk in love is what will activate God's forgiveness when you need it. It is a decision. Not an emotion, and not a feeling. But it is a decision. You decide, "I am going to do this!" Period.

Love is the key that unlocks forgiveness for you. To forgive an individual is to decide that their wrong won't affect the decision you have made to do what the Word says in responding to their actions. You decide that you will not retaliate, but will respond scripturally. And as far as you are concerned, you will maintain a good relationship with that person, because you walk in love. A love person lets love rule the relationship.

God requires that you walk in love. That love will cause you to maintain a good temper because 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that love is patient. Love can endure anything and everything that comes your way. And when you have that kind of supernatural element working in your life, joy and peace is sure to follow.

Scripture References: Matthew 18:23-35; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amp)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 11:44am
The Lesson of Brokenness

by Charles Stanley

READ | 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

No one enjoys the feeling of brokenness, but we cannot ignore its wonderful benefits to our spiritual growth. Being broken gives us an entirely new perspective on the Lord's plan for our lives. You see, enjoying a steady, uninterrupted stream of blessings has an interesting effect on most people: it distorts our view of the Father, often leaving us to assume He exists for us.

We ask God for healing, for success, for financial security. We ask Him to bless our family and our relationships. We ask and ask and ask. And the truth is, much of the time we aren't really talking to the Lord at all. Instead, we've replaced Him with some sort of cosmic errand boy; we tell Him what we want and then send Him off to get it for us.

In all of this, who is actually at the center of our prayers? It certainly isn't almighty God, our eternal Savior and Creator of the universe. No, instead we find ourselves at the center of these prayers. Therefore, the end result is the subtle belief that God exists for our benefit. This distortion breaks God's heart and leads us far away from truly knowing Him for who He really is.

The antidote for this self-centered idolatry is brokenness. When God says "No," when He takes away instead of adding more, when He divinely manages what we have, how much we have, and how long we have it, He is helping us keep our eyes on Him. Do not despise these moments. Instead, recognize them as the voice of your Father calling you back into His loving arms.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 11:57am
Are You Being Tested?
Bishop E. Earl Jenkins

"Test me, O Lord... Examine my heart and my mind." Psalm 26:2 NIV

Let's take a look today at two tests:

(1) The offense test. Jesus said, "Offenses will come" (Lk 17:1). So be ready! Those who lead always take the worst of the flack. The front line is no place for the weak-willed or the weak-kneed. So, what are you going to do when offenses come? Get mad and get nowhere? Get even and get into trouble? Or get over it by practicing forgiveness. "If you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" (Mk 11:25 NIV).

(2) The warfare test. This test is for those who claim to be strong in faith, but prove to be weak in fight. "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, 'If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt'" (Ex 13:17 NIV). Now, you haven't been called to be insensitive and abrasive, but if your destiny is worth pursuing - it's worth fighting for! So, toughen up! It's a battlefield, not a bed of roses. You must engage the enemy each day using each spiritual weapon at your disposal.

If you don't he'll steal every God-given blessing you've got, including your identity, your testimony, your integrity, your family, your calling, and your future. This test demonstrates your ability to continue in your vision even while you're experiencing disappointment and opposition. So remember, the level of attack is the best indicator as to the level of blessing that waits for you beyond the attack!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sexyandfamous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 08 2014 at 11:59am
Your Test Leads To Your Testimony!
Bishop E. Earl Jenkins

"Every detail works to your advantage and to God's Glory." 2 Corinthians 4:15 (TM)

When you were a child, do you remember being irritated whenever your favorite television program was interrupted for 30 seconds by a test of the Emergency Broadcast System?

Those emergency system tests are a lot like the trials that come into our lives. They're unscheduled, usually unwelcome interruptions, and they always seem to come at the worst possible time. But unlike the test patterns on television, life's trials don't last for 30 seconds and then disappear. No, they can last for days, weeks, even years. And the exact reason for them may never be completely clear to us. Trials can make us feel helpless, but we do have control over one vital element of a trial - how we respond to it. Understand this: trials are indispensable to our spiritual growth. In fact, we cannot grow as we should without them, as much as we might wish we could. It's your test that leads to your testimony!

Paul writes, "Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace...more and more praise! So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace" (2Co 4:15-18 TM). And Job adds "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (Job 23:10 NIV). It takes a lot more heat to produce gold than it does tin. So which do you want to be?

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