Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Colossians 1:5-8

the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world - just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God's grace. You learned it from Epaphrus, our dear fellow servant, who is a a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 1:5-8

Faith, hope and love is a familiar "Paul" formula that he speaks about often. The basis of the Colossian believer's faith and love is their hope in heaven...their minds were on the next life....their focus is on the next life!

From the day they heard the gospel and truly understood God's grace -- that means grasping truly how they received something they did not deserve from God, which is forgiveness and the right to enter eternity with Him forever -- it bore fruit and grew amongst the people. They couldn't dare keep this blessed hope to themselves! Just try and stop them! You can't!

Because of their focus on the next world, they are making a big difference this world

Ahhh....yes....we are introduced to the faithful "man of the hour" who planted this church and is reporting to Paul about them....Ephaprus. What a guy!

Ephaprus is ONE man who changed his world. One. It just takes one. You. Me. We are just one. We qualify.

Oh, that our minds would ever be on the next world, stirring a blazing fire in us to walk in faith, hope, and love to make a difference in our world! Our world....where we go day to day....just everywhere we are. This is where our work is.....wherever we are right now. Now. Right now.

This changes how I deal with the day-to-day and the people woven in. I realize it's not about me. It's not even about that thing that just happened that made me mad, sad, distracted, or irritated, or glad, or fed up, or worried or anything. We aren't wrestling with the flesh and blood of life, but the powers of dark and the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). The enemy wants us to check out of our real blessed goal and focus on the big fat distraction he just plopped into it.

Nope! Not anymore! We are going to put our Ephesians 6:10-17 armor and make a difference in our world. Thank You God....and thank you Ephaprus...man with a funny name who became the change you wanted to see and inspired us to do the same!

Lord, thank You! Thank you for the blessed hope I have in heaven. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Help me be the change and make a difference in my world, where I am and right now. Set Your Holy fire ablaze in me that Your gospel spread like a wildfire of faith, hope and love in all that I am, everywhere that I am and to everyone I see. For Your glory forever and ever.
In Jesus name, Amen.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beauty For Ashes

Then the Lord said to me, "You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north"
Deuteronomy 2:2-3

So often in life we circle around our own personal hill country. We circle and circle, and circle, and circle. God says enough! We have circled our hill country long enough and it's time we turn north!

We need to get our BUTS out if the way. Yes, we do need to get our buts out-of-the-way! "I know I need to let go, but....." or "I know I need to forgive, but....." and maybe, "I know I need to move on, but...." how about, "I know I need to make a change, but...."

God says to us in Isaiah 43:19 that He is doing a NEW THING

Christine Cain recently said, "Often, what stops us from stepping into the unknown is what we DO know. Don't let what you know stop you from discovering what all you do not know!"

Lord, thank You that you make beauty from ashes! Thank You for Your direction. Thank You for doing a new thing in me. Give me the courage to step out of this pit and into Your plan of a future and hope for me that is GOOD. Thank You that You not only heal but You restore. Turn my mess into a message of hope and restoration for Your glory forever. I accept it, I receive it, and I do treasure it! In Jesus name, amen.


Colossians 1:1-4

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by God's will, and Timothy our brother: To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers. Grace to you and peace from God our Father. We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.
Colossians 1:1-4

As we start a study in the book of Colossians, we see in the greeting that this letter is written by Paul to the church in Colossae. Timothy is with him. Paul is Timothy's father in the faith, meaning he led Timothy to Christ.

They have heard testimony from someone else about this church's genuine faith in Christ and the love they have for one another. Paul is encouraging them and letting them know that they pray often for them, thanking God for them. Here we learn that faith in Christ and our love for fellow believers are the hallmarks of genuine Christianity.

Faith in Christ and love for one another = genuine Christianity. This is how we know.

Lord, we thank You that You are a faithful God, worthy of our trust and love. May we be found faithful to You, lifting up our thanks to You for each other. Help us to remember in our busyness to pause to encourage and show each other our genuine love for them. In doing this, we show love to you. In Jesus name, amen.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Knock knock

She was usually a very easy child that loved to nap. This day however, she had other plans.

I put her in her bed and she laid down as usual so I quietly left the room and shut the door.

Hard at work at my desk, I think I hear faint knocking. I got still and quiet and heard it again...that gentle knock, knock, knock....and then a faint, "Mamaaa." I rushed to the bedroom door to find my funny girl standing there with her gorgeous big blue eyes dancing, shirt off and hanging around her neck, hair a mess...and she squeals, " I FOUND YOU!!" and jumped in my arms. We washed each other in floods of hugs and kisses as if the 5 minutes that passed had been 5 years! It was delicious!

In the midst of our blissful reunion my heart was caught and I prayed, "Oh, Lord may she always look for you and find You in joy. May her heart be always searching for You in all that she sees and does. May she always open the doors You knock on and jump wholeheartedly into Your arms."

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me"

Wherever we are....there He is. Knocking. Open the door now and JUMP!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

His mighty hand...

It's such a different call...being the one here at home while my husband and daughter are away serving in Haiti. I have gained a whole new respect for all my loved ones that I left behind to go to South America. I am deeply consumed with intercessory prayer for them. My faith is strengthened. I am serving and working on things, but still in constant prayer for them.

Our family has always been tightly woven by the fingers of God. We have often heard the need to pray for one another while separated in service and work; sensing their need at that very moment, and having that confirmed afterwards as we would talk about it. It's surreal really and has been a normal thing for us our whole marriage. God's glory forever.

One day while they were in Haiti, and as I was working, a sudden urgent need caught me quickly in my spirit specifically over danger with my husband. It was so strong and heavy as I dropped what I was doing and immediately prayed long and hard.....LONG AND HARD....until I sensed the danger had passed. It was so huge and powerful. Two prayer warrior girlfriends of mine were also praying. I felt my daughter and her friend were safe but we all prayed heavily for them too. I asked God for a verse, and this is what He gave me:

The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes
Psalm 41:2

My husband called me a few hours later and I learned that on a path he was walking on, he was suddenly met with four men....glaring, snarling, sinister, men. He felt their intentions strongly and was praying as they were held in their spot. This was happening at the SAME TIME as when the Spirit snatched me up in prayer for him. The grateful tears washed like a river as I thanked God for His hand! My prayer warrior sister prayed Psalm 91 over them all. God's glory forever. Wow! GOD ROCKS!

When God brings someone to your heart and mind....pray sisters and brothers. Pray because the prayer is powerful and effective (James 4:16b)

This has nothing to do with any person (I mean that with a full conviction and am so serious about that), and everything to do with our powerful GOD Who is at work in and around HIS children.

Don't ever doubt that you're on HIS mind and heart....HE loves you, HE cares about you and HE'S powerful....

Now to him who is able to do IMMENSELY MORE than all we ask or imagine according to HIS POWER that is at work within us
Ephesians 3:20 (emphasis mine)

HIS power and HIS glory forever and ever


Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Chances To Get It Right

In the book of Jonah, we see a God who is merciful contrasted with the prejudices of his people.

Nineveh had been a wicked thorn in Israel's side, infecting terror and cruelty. Jonah didn't want to go preach the message of judgement to them because he knew God would be merciful to them (4:2). God is quick to teach Jonah that His compassion and forgiveness extend far beyond what Jonah expects or desires.

It's never a good idea to run from God. God is a God of second chances (3:1) and just as God heard when Jonah called from the stomach of the great big fish, and Ninevah when they heard Jonah's message, He offers us second, third, and fourth chances to call on Him and be saved.

No one is beyond God's forgiveness and love. God will deliver ALL who call out to Him....regardless of your background, way of life, ethnic group....ALL who call on the name of the Lord will be saved

"In my distress I called to the Lord, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry."


Friday, October 19, 2012

Haiti Update #4

Yesterday they went into homes and the communities to teach the Word, encourage the people, and do a prayer walk. They are the first EVER to do this. They took turns teaching and everyone did great. Js message touched the local spiritual leader in a special way.

God blessed J with his first cold water of the week and it did much to help him. Their water is slowly filtered and is hot by the time they can drink it. This was a huge thing for him. I am in deep gratitude to Daddy for blessing my man with it.

Today they will work HARD at the campus. They desire to get a lot accomplished in repairs and fixing things. They are the very first team there and they'd love to get the compound fixed up so the next team can spend most of their time outside with the people without concerning themselves with working on the compound. Among many other things, they will be repairing a fence with no tools...by hand....this means heavy strength for pulling, lifting, etc.....in that heat. Ahhh...the things we take for granted!

I know from experience that today and tomorrow is very deep internally for them. They've experienced so much and their time is drawing to a close. They will go through some culture shock as they come home tomorrow. They will be processing for days and perhaps weeks. As friends and loved ones, our role is one of love, encouragement, listener, and support, as they talk about it....and rest....and are energized all at the same time. It's EXCITING!! SO EXCITING!!!

Specific Prayer Asked for:

>Water pump is fixed!! Yay Jesus!! Dance with me and praise Him!
>Supernatural strength and energy
>Supernatural rehydration
>Supernatural Health....no passing out!
>Supernatural time to accomplish much for future teams coming
>Any and every need God lays on your heart for them as you pray