Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Fear Is Only A Thought

After Earth Fear QuoteWill Smith or maybe the guy who wrote this screenplay but yesterday as my husband preached he played the clip from the movie After Earth. The clip goes as is:

“Fear is not real. It’s a product of thoughts you create. Now do not understand me, danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

I loved the thought of how just like anger, fear is a choice.  Worry, fear, negative thinking, these are all allowing the mind to focus on what you don’t want, not what you want.  Focusing on the fear will drain your energy and it is counterproductive. That is why fear is so destructive and why despair and hopelessness must be avoided in fear thinking.  My husband also calls this “Stinking Thinking”.

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Watch this clip above from our church service!

We should make up our mind to believe the Word of God when it comes to fear and the promises God holds for us.  His perfect love will cast out all fear.  What should we focus on?  Him and Him alone.  As we do, the fears of life will disappear as we grasp the mighty Hand who has it all under control.  Our faith grows as we walk with Him.  Our trust grows as we depend upon Him and not ourselves.  Miracles happen, flesh dies and success follows as we focus on the living and what we can do for His Kingdom.  Fear comes from depending upon oneself. The battlefield is in the mind.  What we allow in our mind yesterday, creates the reality of today.  When negative or fearful thoughts come, we must put our minds to rest because thoughts or what we perceive to be real may be only an illusion.  Rely only on one thing, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Finding Faith

There have been many times in my life I felt alone, afraid and hurt.  Yet I stood when I didn’t feel like standing, I held my head when I felt like falling to the floor or hiding under the covers.  It is only through the grace and mercy of God that He lifted the pain of what others inflicted upon me or my family.  It seems no one understands. Yet God in His wonderful ways is the only One who can do this.  He was with me when I felt worthless, not perfect enough, lost and undone.  He is the Almighty God who in His wisdom reaches down His hand to caresses my hair and whisper “I love you” when hope is flown away from my thoughts.  Faith, we all must find faith and allow it to grow.  Seasons of life come and go, without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Finding Faith in lifeFaith is confident and knowing God-given assurance that He will and do what His Word is and does.It is believing in His promises, the validity and that these promises hold true if you believe.  It works three ways in our life.

It first forms a basis for a commitment to Christ when we first believe and give our hearts to Jesus.  Faith doesn’t stop there.

The mature Christian life requires that faith develop because a genuine depth in faith leads to a deeper walk during our development.  Through thick and thin we must trust in Him even through the pain we endure.

The next stage of faith is that only with it we can receive miracles for the needs we have.  This is when we release God’s power to meet those needs.

How do we increase our faith?  Walking with Him daily, becoming more and more like Jesus, reading His Word, attending church to hear the Word, going through challenges of life and learning to trust the Almighty.  All these things will help your faith grow.

Daily we must give positive declarations over ourself with confessions of victory and abundance.  We must allow the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and dwell within us, heal us.  Our mouth will speak the true nature of our heart.  Although life in itself is hard and rough at times, it is not by our own strength but by the strength of God which renews us daily.  Live and affirm God’s presence in your life daily and watch your faith grow.  We must remember the Lord is with us at all times, walking with us, loving on us, healing us, protecting us, listening to us and desires a relationship so strong so that we do not look to ourselves but to Him daily.  It is through the pain of life at times that our faith grows in leaps and bounds because without Jesus we would not have endured.  He alone is our source and strength.

There is no turning back once you find faith.

Will you comment below and share your faith story?

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony

There is NOTHING

romans 8Sometimes when we show our own little pity party and listen to the lies of our enemy “God doesn’t love you  or He wouldn’t have let this happen to you”.  We believe God doesn’t love us.  I mean how could He love us when this or that has happened… we listen to the thoughts, however it is when we stand on the Word that results in overcoming faith and puts out the lies.  God actually let this happen to us to make us strong, to make us depend upon Him, to strengthen our walk with Him to help others.  It is all a part of His plan for our lives.  We don’t base our lives on powerful feelings or emotions in which we feel at any given time but trust God with His Word.

My thoughts are centered around the last part of Romans 8.  If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all…Who then will condemn us?  Will Christ? No!  He is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us!…  Who can ever keep Christ’s love from us?  When we have troubles or trials, or when people turn against us, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? No! If we are hungry or broke, in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?  No!  Victory is ours because through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.  Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us!  NOTHING! Death cannot, life cannot, angels can’t and all the power of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away.  Our fears for today, our worries for tomorrow, where we are at the moment, there is nothing that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

You see God loves!  He loves you, He loves me and nothing…. NOTHING…. will ever be able to separate His love from us.  He is not mad or angry at us, He loves us.  His love goes beyond what we can comprehend.  Regardless of what the enemy throws our way, we must filter it through the Spirit, look to the Word to determine truth and stand through the circumstance regardless of what we are feeling or hearing the enemy say.

When you are feeling down or trying to determine IF God truly loves you… remember His Word… there is NOTHING that can separate you from His love, now that is strong love.  That is the kind of love that cast out all fear.  That is the love that is pure.  That is the love that shows forgiveness.  That is the love we all should show, have and have overflowing in our lives. 🙂

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

We Need A Building!

Waiting sometimes makes us want to scream or really think, or how about the big T word….trust.  We have a good situation with the church.  We are overcrowded.  Although it has been tough, we have been blessed to pay off the mortgage and are now debt free.  Here is the opportunity and waiting on an answer is rough.  We need more property to build and the farmer next door has asked a fairly large amount for the ground.  So, do we take it for asking price and build a new sanctuary?  Or do we go elsewhere to build with more ground?  Waiting on God to tell us what to do.  Although we have asked the farmer numerous times to sell us five acres, he has refused every time except this time, and then tells us that he will only sell us four acres for a price far above asking price.  Could he be testing us to see if we really want it or could he be thinking that we won’t purchase it at that price, or did he just throw out a number?

Waiting on God can be frustrating and it requires much patience at times.  However God has a plan and when we try to figure it all out, well, it is not what we want or expect that counts.  God is in control and He will see it fit to open up the doors.  Is it faith trying, yes.  Do we get militant in wanting direction, yes.  Do we whine, plead and cry, yes.  Do we sit patiently and wait, yes.

We know that it is the will of God for His Kingdom to grow.  We know that His church is first and foremost, souls are very important, people to invest in are high on the list, reaching into the community is a must.  So, how can we do all this without a building to accommodate?  God wants us to have a church building big enough to supply the people’s needs, he wants us to minister, serve and give.  So now we wait. Although He hears us, He doesn’t always give the response we expect or the answer on our timetable.

While we wait, He strengthens.
As you are waiting for God, He strengthens you.  (Isaiah 40:31) New International Version (©1984)….but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God strengthens us through all of this.  Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When the storms of life come upon us, we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us; we can allow God’s power to lift us above them. God enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure, and disappointment into our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.

As we wait, God will bless.
When waiting for God, He blesses you. “ (Isaiah 30:18) New International Version (©1984) Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! What does it mean to be blessed by God while we wait on Him? As we wait on God and His timing, He can accomplish so much in our hearts. Often we find new purpose in life, receive answers to prayer, see God work, increase our faith, and most often we see God’s perfect plan fulfilled in our situation. Remember, waiting is not wasted time, just a time to be  blessed and to grow stronger.

Ultimately then, waiting upon God protects us, deepens our trust in Him, forces us to seek His ways and brings Him the most glory.

Waiting on God is a crucial step in which our dependence upon God grows. Without this deeper awareness of God in our lives, God restrains Himself from giving us more grace. Blessing without humbling brings increased susceptibility to temptation. This is the reason growth comes with tests. Humility keeps us from pride which makes us selfishly ambitious where we would otherwise forget the Lord.

Waiting for the Lord is not easy. Our heart is often crying out in agony. We feel oppressed and constrained. We yearn for freedom and provision. Waiting upon the Lord for needed supplies is one common area in which He trains us. We have to be needy so that we are forced to look to the Lord for help. Our other resources are stripped away.

Waiting upon the Lord are times in which we do not have resources, answers, or direction. Instead we are often confused, poor, broken and limited. Our hope is focused on what happens after that season of humility, where we will experience a period of God’s blessing. If we live by confidence in our own resources and abilities, will we not become self-confident? What glory does that bring to God?! But through this process, God enables us to depend upon Him so that we know it is only He who does wonderful things in our lives.They are times the Lord is testing whether we are really seeking Him and His ways.

Prayer:  Lord, you increase your church daily, adding to the church daily.  You know our heart, you know we have your mind to do your will.  Open doors have come and you will provide and show us the answers as we wait.  Help us to understand everyday the whys and the waiting.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Patience, prayer

The Wall

Sometimes people get upset when God doesn’t move like you want Him to or if He doesn’t answer prayers the way you want.  Sometimes we look for answers at a blank wall or maybe feel like the ceiling is caving in on us. We must take a step back and ask what God is trying to teach us.  Could it be patience, love or long-suffering?  Could it mean we must trust in Him and lean on Him more instead of man?  God is the God of all comfort and He gives us time to process through it all.  He is a God that guides us as a shepherd would his sheep, tenderly with a smile.   If you are in a time of discipline or facing the cruel consequences of sin, please don’t give up. Morning will come, and on that dawn will come God’s grace.

Prayer:  Lord, through the times of waiting, help me to understand the process.  I know you mature me through it all even when I have to wait and depend upon you.  Thank you for making me wait and help me to learn to mature in your grace, see through your eyes and know your plans.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer

Feeling Safe

feeling scaredHave you ever felt scared or fearful?  When you were a child, what did you do when you felt scared?  Did you run to momma or daddy?  Did you run and hide under your covers of your bed? feeling safe with mom Many times our fears if not conquered will follow you into adulthood.  I constantly reminded my children that God did not give us the spirit of fear as found in II Timothy 1:7.  Every time they woke in the middle of the night with a nightmare, they learned to quote that Scripture to eradicate the fear.  I tried my best to protect them from fearful attacks or anything that promotes fear.  I wanted them to know that God wants them to have love, peace and a sound mind.  I wanted them to trust in God and that He wants us to feel safe.    God doesn’t promote fear but quite the opposite.  Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear can also manifest itself in different ways.  This includes, worry, anxiety, terror, horror, panic or dread.  It also creates judgmental attitudes toward others, along with jealousy and slander.  These all have a spiritual root of fear.  If you can impart into your children at an early age to trust in God through everything and be the example to them of faith living, then they to can run to the Lord and feel safe when confronted with enemies, attack from people or fearfulness in general.  As a wife I feel much safer when my husband is at home.  I also want that reassurance from him if I am feeling overwhelmed or threatened.  God wants you to feel the same way toward Him.  He wants to reassure you with His Spirit of comfort and a feeling of safety.

fearful emotional crisisWe have many promises when it comes to knowing that God is with us through it all.  He is our rock, shield and our refuge.  He saves us from violence.  He is our deliverer, our salvation, our strength, our tower and protection against the enemy.  It is Him who we should trust.  When we trust and have faith we will be exalted and we can put our fears under our feet because of Jesus Christ!

If you are feeling overwhelmed with worry or anxiety, be rest assured that God doesn’t want you to feel fearful about life or any given situation.  He wants you to trust in Him and His direction as you live for Him.  We may not understand how or why but we can find safety in His arms.   Fear not but have faith that all things will work together for good who live for Him.

Prayer:  Lord, even though I may not understand your direction, I will follow in faith and feel safety trusting in you.  Help me to lean upon you when I am overwhelmed in life’s situations.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Proverbs 18:10  The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe.

Abundant life, Fear, Love and Life of a Testimony

Float and Drift

floating on a raftDuring my teenage years, there was nothing as relaxing as laying on a blown up raft soaking up the sun.  I remember we couldn’t wait till it got warm enough to go swimming in the neighbor’s pool, Lake Venus, my best friends pond or Kentucky Lake.  It wasn’t so much as the swimming I enjoyed, it was just relaxing and floating.  Usually I would drift off to for a quick nap or giggle with a friend, gossiping or just girl talk.  I don’t think guys ever enjoyed just laying on a raft and soaking. 

I remember one particular time at the Lake, the waves making a rocking motion as if it was a cradle rocking me to sleep.  When I opened my eyes, it was startling that I was so far from the bank.  The current had carried me out quite a ways from our camp without me even knowing it.  The time had seemed so quickly passed.  I always had a fear of going too far, because Dad would tell the danger of the current pulling you out.  I didn’t realize how easy it was to drift until I opened my eyes.

We tend to drift in many areas of our life.  From drifting in marriage, to keeping in touch with family members and drifting spiritually.  It is just like on a float relaxing one minute and the next minute you’re in the danger zone.Drifting takes no effort and it is an unconscious process.  We can never drift upstream or against the tide, which in turn, the further we drift the less and less we care.relaxing on a float

realizing we have drifted awayIt is subtle yet shocking when we suddenly realize how far we have drifted from God.  The point of departure begins when Satan steals our affection for loving Jesus by putting a deceitful twist on our experiences or expectations, which causes us to suspect God instead of trust God.  It is as if we are asleep with pleasure instead of being watchful.  It’s not only dangerous to us but to those who are around us, watching or waiting for us to return.  

There are many attitudes that can set us adrift.  Believing that we need more than God to be happy; placing relationships above loyalty to God; thinking God should live up to our expectations; resisting His corrections or turning a deaf ear to His Word.  Drifting starts by neglecting prayer and reading the Bible.  The desire to not want to be around other Christians or attendance in fellowship comes next.  It is soaking up the world without realizing the fact we are placing ourselves in risk.

If you are beginning to drift away and are being caught in the current of life pulling you into the danger zone, it is time to wake up and open your eyes. It is time to be thankful for the rescue. It is time to paddle back to the One who is the sole source of satisfaction.

prayer restores relationshipPrayer:  Lord, help me not to drift into the attitudes of being lazy and protect me from the enemies current to cause me to drift from you and your word.  Help me to help others find their way back to protection and true happiness.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. NIV

Abundant life, Encouragement, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Soul Winning

Fear Zone

fear zoneThere is a fear zone, an imaginary place in which seems real and it tries to control us.  It is a place in where we agree with the enemy to hold us captive.  It is a zone in which we have created to protect from our own insecurities.  Somehow we must learn to get past the fear in this challenge.  Many people don’t want to even admit they have a fear zone and I will be the first to tell you, I don’t fear anything because I have the protection of God.  However, there are times when the fear zone, no matter how hidden or small, it is there, waiting like an empty room to be filled.  You fill it with your thinking and with the power of your mind and with the words you speak.  Some zones are higher than mountains in which were created with years of labor, adding to the fortress wall.  The zone consists of fear of the what ifs and of what people are saying or thinking.  Along with the fear of getting out of the box, of trying something new, breaking a tradition, pulling out of the comfort zone, and the fear of failure.  As I sat there in church yesterday listening to my husband’s sermon, he has a way to motivate people and pull them through the fear zone.  He screams passion with his entire body as he proclaims the message of “Greater things shall you do!”  Getting through the fear zone is a place where you can turn people and the world upside down.  It is where you can make a difference in the Kingdom of God.  It is bringing alignment to His will to our lives with purpose.  It is by faith you move this mountain or fortress wall or even the substance in which you have painfully created in your fear zone.you create mountain of fear

One of the Scriptures in which I taught my boys at a very young age was 2 Timothy 1:7 where it states:  God didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.  Wow, doesn’t that Scripture wrap it all up for us!  God has given us the power to push through the fear zone.  He doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to others or to our circumstances but to His power. It is through the power that knocks down the walls of fear and dissolves the fear zone.

It is through His power we gain strength for a new day and conquer.   His Spirit in which lives within us, wants complete control of our entire world.  IF we allow His Spirit to move on our behalf and IF we allow His Spirit to be in absolute control, there is no stopping a move of God. 

He wants us to push through the fear zone with His love.  When you have His love, it rids us of fear.  When the love of God creates passion you will say and do those things beyond the fear zone being an example of His love.  It is with the power and love that God pushes you toward reaching out to others.  Praying for others, laying hands on them as their soul awaits in their fear zone hoping that someone will help them knock down walls. 

He wants us to have a sound mind.  A mind that is free from worry, doubt and torment from our thoughts, our past or what lies ahead.  God has given us the ability to escape the fear zone.  We don’t have to exist in fear for it is not of God nor is it His will for us to remain there or even agree with it. 

busting up fear in our livesGod has given us the power, the love and a sound mind, which will carry us through opposition to triumph over the fear zone.  By His power it gives us the ability to bust up the fear zone.  Will you be willing to come out and change the world?

Prayer:  Lord, I want no fear zone in my life.  I want you to have complete control of my very soul and world in which I live in.  I want to meditate on you and your will for my life with your promises of your word.  I thank you for giving me power, love and sound mind.  Jesus name, amen.

I John 4:18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. NIV

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. NIV

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, God Speaks, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

Storms Don’t Last Forever

depressedPlead with God, implore His mercy and pour out your troubles before Him.  You may be overwhelmed and desperate but God alone knows which way you need to go and turn to.  He will keep you from your enemies even though you may think no one cares about you or what happens to you.  When you pray to the Almighty God and trust that He alone is the only place of refuge and safety, it is He who hears your cries and rescues you.  When He brings you through it all and brings you out of the mess in which you have entrapped yourself in, He wants you to be thankful.  Others will rejoice with you knowing it is God who brought you out.  God is faithful to His promises and He knows none of us our perfect for we all fail and fall many times in this life.  You may feel like you have lost hope and are paralyzed with fear but you can still remember the miracles God has done for you in the past.  Do you reach for Him?  Do you thirst for Him?  Are you depressed and feel as though you will die if rescue doesn’t come soon?  Kindness will come because you trust Him.  Depend upon Him to show you where to go.  Be sincere with your prayers and hide in the presence of God because He is the only one who can hide you.  His Spirit is the best for it tells you where you must abide.  You may not feel saved but being saved brings Him glory and you must trust in His word.  It is He who rescues you from all trouble, doubt, fears, worries and anxieties.  He is true to His promises, He loves, is kind and He is full of forgiveness, mercy and grace.  We are His servants.

As I studied this morning in prayer and thought, God gave me Psalms 142 and 143 to type.  If you feel as though this message is for you today, smile because God has spoken to your heart and soul to trust Him and allow Him to work in your life.  We cannot do things without Him, even though there are times where we will try and carry the burdens ourselves we don’t have to.  Many times we want to blame someone else for our state of mind and the circumstances around us but it is us who are unwilling to change and accept responsibility for the way we feel.  Take charge for yourself, let God be in control, let your emotions be sound, let your mind not wander.  Speak good things over your life, your marriage and your children.  Do not be weary but be determined with God all things are possible.  Joy comes after the storm, and storms don’t last forever.storm

Abundant life, faith

A Thomas Time

Thomas timeMany times I see young adults struggle with their faith.  Caught up in life with college, new love and even marriage or job opportunities they may time to time struggle in their walk with God.  They are learning how to deal with people and finding out who are their true friends.  Somehow life is full of parties and socializing which leaves going to church on the back burner due to sheer exhaustion on Sunday mornings.  However a time will come down the road where they find themselves empty inside and facing a crisis or decision this in turn results in finding time for God again.  Although as a child growing up, Christianity was of the norm for family routine somehow led to wrong decisions and circumstances.  As decisions pile up, prayer is often decided upon then faith waivers.  We obtain faith by hearing the Word of God and when we hear little, faith is often little or has grown cold.  

Thomas was one of the disciples.  He walked and talked with Jesus and even watched Jesus perform the miracles.  It is hard for us to believe a man who was with the word, God in flesh would struggle with doubt.  However when it came time to believe in the resurrection, he doubted and his faith waivered.  Even when people all around him told him of the event, he himself wouldn’t believe until he saw with his own eyes or even felt with his own hands.  Sometimes we too have a “Thomas time” when we are not for sure if God is really going to answer our prayers.  It happens to all, even those who are strong in the faith, sometimes doubt.

doubting ThomasDon’t think it is strange to have a Thomas time in your life.  Never the less, when you do, stand upon the Word of God and look to His promises.  You are one of His children and He always comes through right on time. Jesus came to Thomas even when he doubted, had fear or wouldn’t listen to the direction in which he was to go.  Jesus didn’t come to Thomas because he knew him or because Thomas had doubted  but Jesus appeared to Thomas because He loved him.  Jesus loves us and He wants your faith to grow. The message is not as much about Thomas’ unbelief as it is about the faithfulness of God even in the face of unbelief and fear. As sound and sincere believers, though sometimes slow and weak will be graciously accepted of the Lord Jesus just as Thomas. With patience and getting back on track, then will see the nail scarred hands reaching out once again, prayers are heard and Jesus shows up right on time.  Thomas time doesn’t last long.  Grow in faith and stand strong with Jesus.

John 20:29  Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.