So I am starting something new today! My prayer is to encourage someone today!
As I lay in bed at night with my box fan blowing straight on me I try not to let my thoughts tumble through my mind. Sleep, somehow it escapes me until I tell my mind to rest. I lay there thinking of the day and try to focus on wonderful memories to help me go to sleep. I think how my mother in the middle of the summer time telling me to lay really still and you will feel the breeze of the fan from across the room. She would also tell me that while we lay inside the tent on those hot summer days spent at the lake although I don’t think there was a breeze flowing through a tent, I still believed her.
Sunburned she put Noxzema all over us, with bugs on the floor and us laying on sleeping bags with the sound of crickets we fell asleep with peace knowing we could sleep beside our mom. Dad sometime slept on a cot outside because he would always go fishing early. We would wake up with the smell of bacon cooking, fresh sliced tomatoes, gravy and biscuits from a skillet.
I think back then we didn’t have air condition but an old box fan in our room. The noise and the comfort of home, aw put me to sleep. I also remember laying in the back of the pick up truck on the way home from those long week ends coming from the lake. We would put a sheet over us and let it blow and eventually fall asleep before we got back to home.
The noise of the fan or the air blowing, the feel of the breeze brings the comfort of my soul. It makes me smile.
I realize I was blessed when I grew as a child with wonderful parents and a mother who cooked, cleaned and made sure we were comforted even with the nightmares, she always made us feel safe.
As I pondered on how God looks down on us, He wants us to feel the comfort of peace and safety too. Just as an old box fan in the still of the night it brings a breeze of the Holy Spirit whispering “I love you and I will protect you”. I pray as you rest your head down tonight, think upon the childhood memories of sweetness and what brought you peace as a child. Remember, you are a child of God now and He will never leave you nor forsake you, listen for His still small voice to whisper even in the middle of the night.
One of the things I noticed as Paul was writing to the church of Corinth:
*He encouraged believers
*He wanted them to be blessed
*He wanted them to have peace in their heart and mind
*He doesn’t want to stop thanking God for having people in his life especially other believers
*He reminds us all to be thankful in how God has enriched our lives, given us truth, power and the ability to speak, and has given us forgiveness and grace
He also tells us:
* Don’t argue or have church splits
*Desire unity in thought and purpose
*Boast only what God has done
Sometimes we desire signs, or sometimes people think Christians are foolish but we must remember that Jesus has made us acceptable to God, pure and holy and that He alone purchased us.
In this little chapter it speaks much to me. My prayer and focus is to always remember to encourage others and be happy for the blessings that come their way. Every decision I make must be that of peace and to promote peace and unity within the hearts and minds of people. I must always remember to be thankful for what Jesus has done for all of us, purchased us so that we may be a blessing to others.
Thanks to our new intern Rachel, she has brought us much help in the areas of us oldies know nothing of…. new technology. The way I learn is try to figure things out by pushing buttons, trial and error and didn’t even think about youtube videos which by the way takes me hours! My husband works smarter. He gets someone to do it for him. After several years of telling him to write, he finally has taken the time to get his blog site up and running. At the church, my office is next to him and when he wants me, he yells “Melissa come here for a minute and show me how to do this, I forgot”. I take a deep breath and grin at the thought for the 100th of time I am going to show him how to add media to his site. Now this is my husband who is in the latter stages of getting his Masters in Theology, and his grades are always A+ writing those 100 page thesis. Smart man…. he married me, so does that make me smart? lol
I’m not complaining, he does bring me coffee, makes up the bed every morning, vacuums and his new chore is washing clothes. I didn’t ask him, he just does it. He also mows the grass, takes care of the yard and the pool. It seems like our roles have reversed somewhat in the last few years since I now work more than I ever had. My photography business is still growing strong and my Health business is reaching new levels, so most of my days are here at home on this computer putting out ads, taking pictures or at the church. It really makes me feel coequal and we are really a team. He only thing he doesn’t really do is cook but he does know how to order pizza. 🙂
If you would like to listen to his sermons click here http://jefferymphillipsblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/sermon-player/
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Marriage after 30 years seems to get better and better. You learn each other in what works and doesn’t. It is not very often we fight, maybe once a year. Do we get agitated, yes, do we get on each other’s nerves sometimes, yes, do we need a break from routine, yes. All in all the Phillips home is happy and with Jesus Christ being in the middle of it is how we got here. Loving people. Living for God. Leading others.
Eyes see the prowling lion. Faith sees Daniel’s angel.
Eyes see storms. Faith sees Jesus with arms outstretched.
Eyes see the impossible. Faith sees a God that all things are possible.
Eyes see the wheelchair. Faith sees the walking.
Eyes see cancer. Faith sees the stripes that heal us.
Eyes see the sin. Faith sees the saving grace of forgiveness.
Eyes see your faults and your guilt, coupled with shame. Faith sees your Savior, His blood and His grace.
Look into the mirror today, look into life and don’t see everyday circumstances. Faith is beyond what your eyes behold!
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.
Faith 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?
This news is more disturbing than ever to hear about an innocent man beaten almost to the point of death. This innocent man who quietly was at the park with some friends, was captured as if he was a dangerous criminal. One of the man’s friends led authorities straight to the man and the group that he was with. The group of people managed to escape but the man was arrested. The man was taken straight to authorities for questioning his bizarre behavior along with his outlandish religious views. During this time the authorities spit on him, blindfolded him and hammered his face with their fists. What’s more disturbing not only did the authorities allow this to happen, they also let the bailiffs get in a few swings upon the innocent man too. He was placed in holding for more questioning without a lawyer.
Upon the next day, the bruised and bleeding man was automatically sent to the governor. After questioning him, the governor wanted to release the man in reference of no crime committed, however in fear of the people in high authority and the crowd of people hearing of the news, he decided he wouldn’t have part in the entire mess. He called for a jury to decide the verdict. After the jury claimed the man to be guilty without even a trial, the man was placed back in the hands of the authorities who brought him to the governor in the first place. In the process the man was taken out back and the chief captain’s men again beat the man only with this time a whip containing a razor at the end of the leather. This tore into the man’s back and left him barely breathing. He was taken back into the barracks behind closed doors and given a set of clothes only to again hit him over the head and spit on him. They also put on his head a circle containing sharp thorns.
He was then made to walk in front of people bleeding profusely. Protesters against the governor pressed into the man to get in their full swings and pulling out the man’s beard and swearing at him. The man was forced to carry a wooden beam, tortured in the process. He was then nailed to the wooden beams and crucified in front of the town where he died in this hanging.
The innocent man’s name was Jesus.
What makes this story so unique is that Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. He rose again on the third day and walked among the people. We know this day and celebrate it as Easter.
Jesus did not only die as an innocent man, but he chose to receive this torture and take on the sin of all man, and die for man. The result of this would be that all people including you and I can have everlasting life in eternity with him for our choosing to do so. The grace is that we no longer live by the law of the Old Testament but enter into an agreement with Jesus that He died for our sins and came back to life. In doing this, we confess our wrong doings, we also turn from our sinful nature and accept his ways. As gruesome of a death this was, it was not an ending to life but the beginning. Although he returned to heaven, the Spirit of God is here upon earth to give us power, to be witnesses for Him, to comfort us and to teach and unite us. He is with us always. Love. Live. Lead.
Looking through my journal I pull out little things inspiring to me now. Here is such a simple prayer worth repeating. 🙂
Daddy, You are all around us, mighty to take care of us all. Your will be accomplished today O Lord – what can be done today to bring You glory – bring Your will, bring Your kingdom here on earth? You reign in our midst, You alone give us strengths to overcome to walk in Your ways. I thank you Lord for ALL. Lead us into Your righteousness, truth and wisdom! Thank you for supplying our needs – for the family, the church for our world (new church building!). Forgive us father for our tiredness, our lack of enthusiasm or our lack of kingdom minded. Help us forgive those who talk about us. (I suppose at this time of prayer there were people chatting rumors about our ministry – I guess this never stops…lol) You are our King.
I remember Lord when I felt lonely when we first became Christian. I know it didn’t compare to the loneliness You felt. I am so sorry You had to go thru that kind of rejection and hurt. I am so thankful that we also endure things that You also went thru. It is because of You that I can go thru things and still be free! You overcame so I can be a overcomer! We walk but are not alone. I breathe your breath daily knowing you are always with me and that makes me smile!
Thank You Daddy that you have been the King of Kings in all my years, past, before and future. Stay the King in my life and never let me stray from YOU. You are King most high and I bless your holy name! You alone are to be praised most high and forever! You give me faith, endurance, trust and hope! You are my strength!
I am thankful for writing things down. I can reflect back and see what God has done in my life and know even through the past struggles how He brought us through. This encourages me for future things I must endure. I encourage you to write, so you too can smile at the end of your day or better yet reflect two years ago how God saw you through it all and how you stayed thankful for the process. Life is a journey.
I 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?
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.
There are times in my life when I am feeling a little down, how I must remember that God is my strength and strong tower! It isn’t something I can do on my own and I must rely on Him for my life to be productive. I must remember that it is only through Him I get my courage to make a difference in my own life but also in the life of others. He is with me and He is the source of all life. During those times, I look to Him for my source and run to Him.
I love to listen to music like this when I really need God to show up in my life and just “feel Him”…. http://kimberlyandalbertorivera.com/free.cfm
Exodus 15:2 New Living Translation (©2007)
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him–my father’s God, and I will exalt him!
15:2 Israel rejoiceth in God, as their strength, song, and salvation – Happy therefore the people whole God is the Lord: They are weak themselves, but he strengthens them, his grace is their strength: they are oft in sorrow, but in him they have comfort, he is their song: sin and death threaten them, but he is, and will be, their salvation. He is their fathers God – This they take notice of, because being conscious of their own unworthiness, they had reason to think that what God had now done for them was for their fathers sake, Deu 4:37.
15:1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holy song, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man. Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may be considered as typical, and prophetical of the final destruction of the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, and afflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his grace is their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hell threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lord is a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is glorious in holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness to his own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matter of praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to his enemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was to be humbly adored.