Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, God Speaks, Leadership, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

The Gift Within

I Timothy 4:14

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…..

Everyday I see people come in and out of my life.  My contacts may be from the Church we pastor or the Juice Bar that I own and operate.  What I do know in the many people who I see or talk to, is that they are people and people desire relationship with someone who is going to give them hope.  They also desire someone they can do life with, to share experiences and dreams with.  They want people to inspire them, encourage and pray for them.

Just this past week, I had a customer come thru the doors with tears streaming down her face, crying.  I gave her a glass of “happy berry juice” and also a smoothie as she waited patiently for me to finish.  Then upon leaving, I hugged her and prayed for her.  She gripped me tightly as she explained her grandmother was on her death-bed and that she knew it was a matter of time. This saddened me also.  Her hug was so deep and tight, she needed comfort, like a child with a mother.  This touched my heart deeply.  The ironic thing, this is not a one time experience for me.  It has happened several times.  Ministry…..

I experienced life of stress and parenting in my twenty’s and thirty’s.  In my forty’s I felt like I was searching for significance and career as well as my identity since I was no longer raising children in the home.  It has taken me over 54 years to discover this.  What I have inside me is a gift.  A gift to give to others.  There is no one like me and there is no one like you.  We all are created unique and we all have gifts to give to others.  I do not expect others to be like me nor act or think like me.  Sometimes I think I am a little hyper in my mind.

Although I involve myself in many outlets, I enjoy what I do.  I enjoy serving others.  How about you?  What is your gift?  What is your purpose?  How can I help you?

This is my link if you want to discover your hidden possibilities in what God has called you.  Let’s discuss!

Continue to use your gifts and let your light shine!  Someone out there needs you!

In His Service

Melissa

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Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, marriage enrichment, prayer

There Is No Condemnation

Romans 8

There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  …. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…. to the spiritually minded is life and peace.

This morning, I was thinking of a coaching session I had yesterday.  The barrier with my client wasn’t that she didn’t believe God wanted to do it for her or couldn’t do it for her, but that the enemy put up a wall to prevent her from reaching her goal she was trying to receive.  She reacted out of fear that God either didn’t want her to have her goal reached because she may have more responsibility after attaining the goal or too much freedom and act foolishly.

After digging deeper into the issue, I explained that our heavenly father WANTS her to have the freedom she is trying to attain.  He is not keeping it from her.  The issue was that the enemy had told her a lie.  A lie that was embedded out of condemnation and a works mentality.  We cast out the lie, her mind is renewed but the thinking will have to be re-directed for a time so her habits will change.  She no longer needs to be fearful of changing for the better.  God wants her better!

Condemnation gives you no hope.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit gives you hope.  She had no hope of reaching her goal because of the lie.

If you are struggling with something today, ask yourself the question “Am I hopeful or do I feel as though I cannot reach a state of peace about a subject.”  If it is the latter, then cast out the lie and re-direct your thinking.

Continue to walk in peace of His perfect love because it will cast down the fear.  Boost your faith by believing God not only wants you to have peace in every situation but He wants you blessed.  I want you to be blessed and find hope to live abundantly!

In His Presence be blessed!

Melissa

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Salvation

Fire Out Of Control

resentment is the cocaine of emotions.....
Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions.  It causes our blood to pump and our energy level to rise.  Like cocaine, it demands increasingly large and more frequent dosages.

There is dangerous point at which anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force.  A person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive, for to be without the anger is to be without a source of energy.

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

 

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

 

bitterness is the trap that snares the hunterBitterness is the trap that snares the hunter.

Mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

From the “The Applause of Heaven”

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Patience, prayer, Salvation

Nugget Soup

my nugget soup of LoveI like to walk away with nuggets when I go to a conference, listen to a sermon or hear a teaching series.  You can get nuggets from a good book too.  Lots of nuggets form a soup in which you can take and give to someone.  I recently came across something in which made me really think about how we may treat others due to the way we treat ourselves which made me think.

I also had a friend who told me how she watch me love on someone after they made a life mistake, instead of me turning my back on them, I showed love and encouragement, accepting them instead of shunning. It is a shame that Christians can take on the same format of the blame game or they get what they deserve the attitude.  Let me explain.  When we truly want to see the real person inside, and truly want to love as Jesus loved, we will look past the mistake, the unmet expectation and seek restoration in the relationship.

To punish others some people withdraw love, affection and encouragement when the very people they love don’t meet up to standards, accomplish what they want or do what they wanted even when sin is not even the culprit.  Why?  Because it is believed that those who fail to meet our expectations are unworthy of love and that result or failure from sin must be punished.  Sometimes we even put a date or time of how long they should be punished determined in our own minds or how much we feel hurt.  Making others feel bad about their decisions is a way of punishing, manipulating and controlling.  This is a performance or works righteousness behavior.  This seed is sown to produce a sense of when I am hurt, I will hurt until I feel better about what they did to me, therefore I will continue to put condemnation on them. It even goes to the point of sowing discord to everyone who knows them.

When we look at others and are quickly to point out their faults or expectations we have of them,  it produces a self-righteous within our own heart, therefore giving us the right to quickly punish the other person at any time they fail or don’t meet our expectation.  I have seen families torn apart because of this even when sin is not even involved.  Sad but true this also happens in churches.  People see old friends out in town and they won’t even speak to them.  They still hurt therefore they continue to hurt others in this way.

We should not feel good about the sin committed if there was one, because dishonoring God and bring harm to others produce sorrows.  When a sin is found out, repentance should take place and the parties involved need to work in forgiveness and in love in restoring peace.  If a person believes himself or herself to be the stronger Christian, the attitude should not be anger and condemnation, for if this is the attitude displayed, then the ones who have failed will try to avoid those who punish them.  This is why most people have been deceived about God’s character.  They fear God and run away from God because He is going to punish instead of love.  Discipline yes but rooted in love.

The goal in what I am trying to convey today is, that the goal of discipline is to restore, develop and perfect.  Punishment on the other hand is retaliation and used to impose a penalty which Christ has already paid the price.  God’s discipline can be severe but it is prompted by grief not anger.

So how do we know if we fall into these category of self-righteous religious works mentality?

Ask yourself:

When someone I love makes a mistake or doesn’t live up to my expectations, do I……

a.  withdraw love and affection from them as if it is a form of punishment

b. hurt them in ways of talk, action or just plain ignoring them

c.  point out other faults to make them feel bad

d. condemn or scorn them for their actions or decisions even when there is no sin involved

e.  impose a curse or threat upon them of future tense (example: If you do this, then you will be sorry you did it, you will suffer….etc…)

f. when you are around them, you still feel hurt, agitated or feel as though you need to be in control of their life in making their decisions

If we answer yes to any of these questions, even maybe due to opinion, what right do we have to call ourselves Christ like?  We should love, show  forgiveness and other fruit of the Spirit when hurt, when people don’t live up to our expectations and yes even when they sin.  Christ paid for it all, so lets stop condemning not only others but also ourselves and run to God whether if you are on the receiving end or the giving end.

Do you know we can also do this to ourselves?  We can condemn ourselves and feel as though we must be punished.  This is another soup I will save for another time.

That is my nugget soup for the day.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Patience, prayer, Sermon Notes

Freedom of Not Knowing Why God Why Moments

The freedom of not know the Why God momentsEveryone has their WHY GOD WHY moments.

In my last blog we learned: In the “Why” moments: The inability to understand God is NORMAL in the process of spiritual growth.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

  • Have rest and peace in the situation – it is a life long journey
  • Reach a point where you trust God about it instead of yourself or circumstances
  • OK to ask God why just don’t demand them – why stage is like the child why stage
  • Position to seek God’s presence, provision, guidance and promises
  • Don’t try to understand the ways of God because it is impossible
  • God suffers when we suffer and count it joy to suffer or when trials come
  • God will help us on His time – He sees the bigger picture : the ending that benefits others
  •  We all have been thru something – somewhere there is somebody going thru same thing
  • God has to be enough and He is faithful is at present OUTSIDE of our understanding
  • God allows things to happen to make us stronger – makes us able to handle it and sees us thru it
  • God doesn’t cause bad things to happen – sin does – Adam brought it into the world
  • Everything we go thru is to bring Him glory – remember we were created to worship Him
  • If you change your thoughts – you change your brain which changes thoughts – renew your mind
  • When you go thru something be obedient : do what is right cause God will lead you
  • There is true freedom when you overcome something, easier to face it again if you trust

We can all agree In Life:  our goal is usually temporal

  • Happiness
  • Security
  • Prosperity
  • Success
  • We don’t choose suffering as a goal but be glad we go through it when we reap the rewards

How is God’s goal different from our goal?

God’s goal is always eternal. And He will smash every one of our goals if they are in the way. He will use our obedience to bring us to our Calvary, and He will use our sin to bring us there as well. He will take our fear and worries and make us face them, and He will reduce us down to where we know that there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. God is seeking to adjust us for the eternal ages. And if we only understood this, we would be thankful that He is doing this.

  • ALTHOUGH GOD GAVE US A FREE WILL The bottom line is that our wants may not agree with God’s wants for us.
  • Trusting in the Lord can require that you abandon everything you’ve ever believed about what brings happiness and fulfillment.
  • Sometimes you do get what you want, only to discover that it doesn’t make you happy after all, just disillusioned. 

Many Christians repeat this cycle their entire life, wondering what they’re doing wrong.

Ask yourself: If God only worked WITHIN your present understanding, would it ever increase? No.

  1. God will bring you and I to the place where we CANNOT understand. Get that: We CANNOT.
  2. No secret formula
  3. Can’t pray enough to understand
  4. Can’t read the Word or study enough to understand
  5. Bring us to a place of “Do I believe”.
  6. View our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.

Our “why God” questions requires trust and not to understand – HOW DO WE GET THERE?

HOW DO WE GET TO THE PLACE WHERE WE STOP ASKING “WHY GOD” QUESTIONS?

To trust God, and not in our understanding of Him, requires a certain surrender to Him

  1. Relinquish control
    1. There really isn’t anyway to trust God in this way without dying a death to our self
    2. With death to self comes REAL understanding of GOD HIMSELF
    3. Death to self-will and self-life
    4. Lay aside our right to understand
    5. Surrender without understanding

If you trust God in surrender – the information you thought you wanted will become unnecessary. You will come into a REVELATION.

Trust brings you into surrender, which brings revelation – Revelation produces walking in spirit instead of flesh.  Trust is knowing the Word and promises of God.

Instead of letting our reactions, fears, worries, and inability to understand direct traffic, we allow faith to direct.

 His ways are past finding out… even if we knew God in a way just like Him, then he wouldn’t be our God would he?

God isn’t worried because we don’t understand. He wants our soul for eternity.  He wants us.

We shouldn’t be worried or try to seek the “why questions”.

Seek God. Obey Him. Believe Him. Worship Him. And walk by faith. God is God. Trust Him, and not our understanding of Him.

Trusting God when you don’t understand….  we must reach a place in your relationship with Him and have such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in adversity even though you don’t see any evidence of His presence and His power.

God is a friend, our buddy, close fellowship etc…. but He is also awesome, all-powerful, mighty, can do anything, is with us always, we can’t hide, knows all and the beginning and the end….

In order to trust God we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.  Comes through the Word of God alone.

The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.

CONCLUSION:

Why God Moment (really questioning believing in God & if He is really going to be with you) – Know Word + reshape our thoughts + increase our faith + trusting in God = brings Revelation as we surrender = walking in His Spirit  = abundant life Jesus came to give us to make it = goal of eternal life which is His will for all of us.

Knowing this will bring us happiness, peace and joy while living here instead of questioning the why moments.

Why does God allow suffering?  Why does God let bad things happen to good people?  Why does children die?  Why does God let murders go free?  Why did this happen to me?  Why is there starving people?  The questions of why will continue on WHY?

Everyone is on different stages/relationship with God: Lack of knowledge of word , revelation to the faith it takes from His word to fully trust in Him.   It will continue on until we realize that God is in control and without Him we are nothing, however what He wants for us is to trust Him enough for eternity.  Eternity is God’s goal and that is where everything we do or questions we ask should start with the ending in mind.  In other words, everything that happens to you that causes why moments or questions you may ask, should have attached to it – the eternal value in all your answers and decisions.

I recently also commented on a status from a woman who was abused as a child who asked the question why she was abused.  Here is how I responded.

Sin entered into the world, there will always be sin. We cannot control sin of others only ourselves.

Since there is sin Jesus was sent into the world to get rid of sin in people’s lives and to heal.

When a little girl gets hurt, although God saw it, allowed it, He didn’t want it nor did he do it. Sin is a by-product of satan and the fall of man.

When God saw you then, he sees you now and he sees what you will become. He uses what the enemy meant for destruction, to bring Him glory. When we give our lives to God, He uses the pain from the past that the enemy tried to enslave us with sin, and use it to help others. If we have never been enslaved before by sin, whether as a little girl or as adult, we would never need to be cleansed or in need of God for our healing. God allows things to happen so we will depend upon Him. He then directs our paths with the ending in mind, and as a result we are healed and we help others find God on their journey that has went through the same thing.

We must reach a place in our relationship where we won’t know the answer but we must be happy with not knowing the “why” but trusting in God enough to know the ending is much better than if we had never went through it…. 

We must walk in faith, trust Him and look forward to the future God holds, we cannot change the past but we can change the future.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation

A Bright Future

New Day starts today - no more pity parties!I love the promises of God!  If we truly set our vision on His Word and the plans He has for us, then we should never get in the pity party stage.  Pity party stages come and go and they are based on how we are feeling at that particular moment.  However when we look into the Word of God, it says….

Jeremiah 29:11  I know the plans I have for you. Says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Your age doesn’t matter.  Your circumstances don’t matter.  Your looks don’t matter.  For every individual, every life, God has a plan for the future. Don’t give up just yet on life and it’s possibilities because the promises of God are to give you a future with hope.  He doesn’t want anything or cause anything to harm you.  When your life is hid and grounded in the promises of His Word, your possibilities are endless.  Your future is bright and with the greatest abundant adventure you can ever imagine.  It is not a bed a roses all the time but when you stand on the Word you endure, you get stronger, your faith grows, you get tough skin, you learn to love deeply and most of all you trust in God.  What is so great in the end is that your destination is certain.  Heaven is our home, waiting for our arrival and there’s only rejoicing, not pity party going on there!

Prayer:  Jesus help me remind myself of this promise when I am under attack, when I feel down, when others pray against me, when things go wrong, when bad days happen…. well you know the things Lord.  I will stand and hold tight to your promises, for it is only YOU who gets me through!  I praise you for the awesome King you are!  Amen

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Sermon Notes

Carp or Grouse?

A large Carp, do you complain?You may be thinking, what does carp and grouse have in common?  Well I am not talking about a fish in the water but a term.  I am not talking about a small bird but a term.  Both of the words have similarities.  Carp means to moan, grumble, find fault, grouse, nag, carry on, complain, Grouse means to gripe, object, protest, grumble or complain. When you look at the fish and the bird, You can be a small Carp or a really big Carp but the fact is you are still a Carp who likes to live in muddy waters and feed off the bottom of the lake.  You determine how big you want to be.  Grouse don’t fly very high, very fast and live most of their life on the ground in a limited area.  I used the carp and the grouse loosely since it was a term I thought befitting to the Scripture, not in any way down grading God’s creations. 🙂

So if we look at it this way upon the terms:  Do not complain, grumble, nag, find fault in others, pass judgement, belittle, laugh at, ridicule, express disapproval because if we do, people will do the same to us. So we shouldn’t be a Carp or a Grouse!

Today I read from Matthew 7 and Romans 8:.  I should not criticize, so I won’t criticize.  Others will treat you as you teat them.  How can we help each other if we criticize?

What does criticize mean?  Express disapproval of somebody or something or give considered opinion on something, and the synonyms are disapprove of, condemn, pass judgment on, complain, find fault in, belittle, laugh at, ridicule, or complain, moan, or grumble.

…because the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged, and you will be evaluated by the standard with which you evaluate others.

It is a never-ending circle.  So how do we break this circle?  We stop judging, complaining, finding fault in others, stop ridiculing or expressing our opinion on how we think things should be in that person’s life.  If we don’t, it will continue.  If we continue to talk about others, the judgement of the law says people will continue to talk about us.  You may be thinking, “Well I don’t care what others say about me”.  Although this is true, most of us want a good reputation.

Our lips must be governed by the law of kindness, as well as truth and justice. Christians are brethren…to break God’s commands, is to speak evil of others, and to judge them, as if they laid too great a self-control upon us. We have the law of God, which is a rule to all; let us not presume to set up our own notions and opinions as a rule to others but not ourselves and let us be careful that we be not condemned by our own mouth.

So with this said, Lord there should be only kindness and well as truth and justice come from my mouth.  To do otherwise is a sin and we are condemned by our own mouth.  Unprofessed sin will condemn and the un-renewed will is unable to keep any commandment fully. And the law, requires inward obedience.

By the Spirit the law of love is written upon the heart.

The favor of God, the welfare of the soul, the concerns of eternity, are the things of the Spirit in which believers seek and do.

Grouse Bird or grouse complainingWhich way do our thoughts move with most pleasure?

What are our plans and motives? Do we do things or say things that are wise for our soul or flesh?  Those who do so seek to pleasure themselves and are dead.  However a sanctified soul is living and that life is peace.  If we are living in peace or turmoil should speak for itself if we are truly speaking good or evil.  Love or carp and grouse.

The carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but hostile itself with aggression or anger.

The carnal man may, by the power of Divine grace, be made subject to the law of God, but the carnal mind never can; that must be broken and driven out.

We may know our real state and character by inquiring whether we have the Spirit of God and Christ, or not.  We should not be in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ, means having a turn of mind in some degree like the mind that was in Christ Jesus, and is to be shown by a life and conversation suitable to his precepts and example.

So today Lord, I want to declare and teach me to watch what I say about others with the rule in mind, I will not talk about others in a way if they were sitting there with me, that I would do otherwise.  I don’t want to be a Carp or a Grouse!

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, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Parenthood, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

You Make Me Come Alive

This morning I wrote in my prayer journal, “Jesus you make me come alive!  This is what you do!”  This is the lyrics from a song Jordan sang Thursday night at church.  You know how a song gets in your head and you sing it all day?  It seems I was singing it all night, upon every waking moment.

In this chaotic world we live in, we need something to keep us alive and that is the kinda faith that only Jesus can give.  When we are weak, then we lean upon Jesus, He gives us strength to live and push forward.  When we are stressed or worried, He whispers, “It’s going to be OK”. This is what He does.  He makes us aware of what is going on around us when we get caught up in daily life, showing us the hearts that need mending, the hungry, the sad, the lonely, the fatherless, the widow, the children and how this life can get really messy.  We all fall but falling makes us stronger, falling lets us know how to help others when they fall.  It is Jesus that rescues, He makes us come alive!

Be encouraged today.  You may not “feel” good or like anything is happening in your life.  Maybe it is the same old thing and every morning you hit the repeat button, but try to remember Jesus wants you to live, be alive!  Notice things around you and be thankful.

One of the homework assignments I give to my couples in therapy, is to write down at least 5 things that you are thankful at the end of the day and share with each other.  It focuses on what God has given you and how He is a BIG part of your life in the midst of life’s chaotic world.

Watch this video below…. it will make you smile and realize God is in control.  You will live today!

Abundant life, Encouragement, Love and Life of a Testimony

New Seasons

I have to admit I am looking forward to the new season of Christmas and the Holidays.  It seems like it is a time to reflect on family time and the year and spend time with them.  It has been a weird year for everyone and 2011 marked the year of transition.  Yes, transition and going through much this last year with many changes.  It is hard sometimes to focus on the changes with a positive outlook verses not looking at the negative.  There have been a series of suicides in our area these last couple of months.  Although I know it is spiritual warfare, people seem to be agitated or focusing on the negative if they are not really focusing on God and living an abundant life in prayer and church involvement.  The enemy of our soul seems to want to isolate us and focus on ourselves to get us depressed.  It’s a mental thing and a thought process that isn’t always easy to control.  When I find myself extremely moody, I realize I haven’t spent time like I should with Jesus.  When I see that I am short, my feelings get hurt over minor things, or in need of a break from people, or hate myself, my wardrobe or get down on myself then I recognize it’s the enemy and not just my hormones.

As the new year approaches many people will make new year’s resolution and by the time March rolls around the list is usually still hanging on the fridge with only a few things worked on.  We must understand it all starts with a made up mind.  It starts with a renewing of the mind that comes only from Jesus and allowing His Spirit take control.  When we are trying to control things it only makes matters worse.  So with that said, I again am looking forward to getting this year behind us, but for now I am not going to get to stressed out and stay focused on the reason for the season with renewing my mind daily.  Let us not forget and be thankful.