Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart - 3-19-14

 

Have you ever heard this statement: What happens to you is not as important as how you interpret the events of your life?

 

Romans 8:28 clearly says, “For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

 

Life will always have its high and low moments. The secret for living a peaceful life is to know that God is in control and is using these situations to build strength in us. God always prepares our character for His assignment for our lives.

 

I called my son Aaron this morning. He shared some concerns he has about his profession. As I listened, I realized God is giving him an opportunity to trust Him within an uncertain situation. His lack of peace was a signpost to develop peace and trust regardless of the outcome.

 

After listening to his concerns, I suggested that he change his prayer from, “Why, Lord?” to, “Show me, Lord, what You are trying to develop in me.”

 

In other words, let your prayer be changed from expressing the cry of a victim to one of a winner.

 

Jesus said in John 14:27

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

We carry God’s peace in our lives by learning to guard our heart.

 

Pastor Joel Osteen describes this truth as erecting walls around our hearts so we will be insulated from negative comments and circumstances that deplete us of our peace, energy and creativity.

 

He shared a story that got my attention. Some years ago, he went out of his way to help a couple in his church develop a successful business. His enthusiasm for their venture was never returned in the meetings they had together. Pastor Joel often came away from their meetings feeling he was on trial and could never measure up to their expectations.

 

The couple moved out of the area and in later years used social media to attack his character.

 

Here is what I found of great value: He said 25% of the people you meet will never like you or approve of you no matter what good things you do for them. They have a hole inside themselves that no one can fill. He also said 25% of the people in your life can be persuaded to like you and 25% like you for what you can do for them. The last 25% love and celebrate you regardless of what you do for them; they love you for who you are.

 

Pastor Joel shared how some people try to attack him with emails, Facebook and Twitter. They are character assassins who try to make him doubt himself and steal his limited energy that is essential to complete God’s assignment for his life. His advice is simple, yet profound: Don’t get caught up in reading these negative comments or listening to the gory details from others who report these things to you. These things will deplete us from the precious energy and creativity needed to do our ministry with excellence.

 

He said, “I will not let these comments get inside me because I will not give these people power over me.”

 

He also said that many people hide behind a computer, critically attacking others while being blind to their own weaknesses. It’s important to listen to the voices that celebrate you rather than those who tolerate you.

 

I encourage you to interpret life through God’s word and to guard your heart.

 

Philippians 4:8 shows us how to protect our heart – think about good things!

 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

 

Verse nine says that the God of peace will then be with you.

 

Build strong walls around your heart so the destructive elements of life will be prevented from destroying the peace that God has provided for us. 

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Do You Smell Something Burning?

Arson

 

I woke up very early and opened my Bible to one passage after another concerning the power of unity and the destructiveness of discord which leads to division. And as I began to journal I found myself writing...what I think...may be a spiritual warning or insight for not just our church but the entire Church of Jesus Christ.

 

Many people are injured or killed by dangerous smoke inhalation every year. Many times it can be due to faulty wiring, a careless action, perhaps a child playing with matches or just a crazy accident. But sometimes it is caused by a person who is purposely setting the fire to cause harm or get some type of financial gain or personal satisfaction. This destructive act is called Arson, and is punished by the law.

 

The most damaging fires started in a church body are undetected at first. These invisible fires are set by the tongues of discontented people, who discreetly sow discord, trying to influence others in casual conversation to doubt their church's ability to guide, teach and care for them properly.

 

Pride has entered their hearts and they see themselves as superior to the pastor or church leaders and are often looking to prey upon the innocent or those who may appear to lack spiritual maturity, in order to pull them into their private circle of influence and gain new followers.

 

Beware of their conversations of spiritual exploits, leaving you more impressed by them than God.

 

They can come across as spiritually deep, sincere and somewhat vulnerable people...but if challenged or corrected for their divisive actions or negative words spoken...they try to appear as the victim of injustice. 

 

We need to be able to detect anyone who is preparing to commit an act of Spiritual Arson.

 

Some people are just immature, and mummer and complain like a child playing with matches, and they need to be taught about the dangers of what could happen. But if we become aware of a person who is deliberately trying to set a fire by sowing discord...We need to act quickly and report it to the proper authorities (pastors or elders) to prevent them from bringing harm to innocent people.

 

But if a fire is started...the fastest way to put it out is by grabbing the hose (Bible) and let the water (Scripture) loose on those sparks (divisive words) before they grow in intensity to destroy everything in its path.

 

My suggestion to any person who might have the tendencies of a Spiritual Arsonist is this: If you aren't happy in the church you're attending...Put a guard over your mouth so as not to bring condemnation on yourself, and find a church where you can respect and honor the church authorities, and grow in the knowledge of a true disciple of Christ. The kingdom of God is built upon the firm principle of humble submission, while the kingdom of darkness is built upon the quicksand of prideful rebellion.

 

Proverbs 6:16 - 19

 

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look…A lying tongue...Hands that shed innocent blood...A heart that devises wicked plans...Feet that are swift in running to evil...A false witness who speaks lies...And one who sows Discord among brethren.

 

Psalm 133:1, 3b

Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity!...For there the Lord commanded the blessing – Life forevermore.

 

Unity in the Body of Christ is pleasant and pleasing to God, but He hates discord and any form of pride or rebellion...It's like a stench in His nostrils. 

 

Psalm 19:14 May this be our prayer: 

 

Father God, I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Judy

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Dream or Warning

Building

 

Dreams can be used to speak to us or they can just be a byproduct of too much pizza the night before. Dreams were given to many people in the Old Testament and New Testament.

 

Pharaoh’s dream was interpreted by Joseph and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was interpreted by David. In Jeremiah 23:25 – 28, false prophets used dreams to cause the people to forget the name of God.

 

Joseph was told in a dream to take Mary as his wife when he discovered that she was pregnant with the Messiah. He was also told to go to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus. Later, Joseph was instructed by God in a dream to return to Israel, and again through a dream he was told to go to the district of Galilee to live in the town of Nazareth.

 

Dreams can be instruments of God or they can be used to pervert God’s word and cause people to become sign-driven rather than Bible-directed.

 

A dream will never violate or go against God’s word or its principles.

 

Joel 2:28 is quoted by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:17:

 

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

 

I certainly am not in the category of a young man, so what I am about to share with you is a dream from an older man.

 

On March 6, I had a vivid dream that I was going to be in a large building that was going to collapse. I was instructed to prepare for this event. I went to the computer and asked the question, “What would be the essential items for a person to possess if one was trapped in a collapsed building?”

 

Two items appeared on the screen: a pick and a lantern.

 

As I pondered the meaning of this dream these are the words I felt God was speaking to me:

 

“Son, darkness is coming which will spread confusion and fear. People in a collapsed building are enveloped in darkness. My word will be the lamp so you will see where to walk and what to do. When chaos hits the only guide you will have and can give to others is my word, the Bible.”

 

I was told in the dream to purchase a pick.

 

“When the buildings of security crumble you will need the pick of the Holy Spirit to break old crumbled foundations that will try to trap you from the light and from freedom. I will help you get through the rubble that try to discourage, trap and kill you.

 

The lantern and the pick will also be used to lead others out of the chaos and bring them life and hope. I am returning soon so I encourage you to be more watchful than ever before. The earth is groaning for my return. Transition from this earth will soon take place. My heart breaks over the hatred, lawlessness and rebellion.

 

I am going to sweep over the earth once again with my glory to give people one more chance to repent and receive eternal life through me. Now is the time to work for the harvest of souls. The night is coming so don’t get weary.”

 

Could this be a warning that difficult times are coming? You decide. For me, I believe Jesus is preparing us to navigate these coming troubled waters and to rescue as many as we can from an eternity without God.

 

Over the years, the Holy Spirit has spoken to me in a number of ways. I have learned to pay attention to dreams that I have remembered in detail and have made a lasting impression upon me. This dream had, and continues to have, an effect on me. I feel I have been obedient to share it with you. It’s up to you now to receive it or reject it. Please pray over it and ask God what it means for you.

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Be Flexible

Be Flexible

 

In April 2012, Judy and I purchased a beautiful vacation week at Myrtle Beach, to be used in the winter of 2013. Our plans were changed when Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer early in the fall of 2012. We knew it would take at least a year to go through the surgeries and recovery, so we rescheduled the vacation for March 2014.

 

We decided we would drive to Nashville to see our daughter and then drive to Myrtle Beach for some needed R and R. We planned for this time together carefully; speakers were scheduled to fill the pulpit at Crossfire and necessary preparations were made for our absence.

 

Sounds great, right? One glitch. Judy contracted pneumonia early last week and has had a difficult time recovering. I also have developed her symptoms of extreme chest congestion, violent coughing and lack of energy.

 

Monday we decided to call Myrtle Beach and ask the booking agency for a reservation change. Traveling in our physical condition is not a good idea. We were pleasantly surprised by their understanding and willingness to reschedule our vacation for a later date. This brought peace to us because it gives us time to heal and to prepare for some important ministries within the church.

 

Sometimes interruptions or changes in our plans are divinely ordered.

 

In Acts 16:6 – 10, the apostle Paul and his companions were redirected by God from their missionary endeavors. They had plans to share the gospel in Asia, but while in Troas, God gave Paul a vision one night of a man in Macedonia (present day Greece) standing and begging him to come to Macedonia to share the gospel. The destination of their missionary trip was changed because God had a better plan.

 

He and his companions had fruitful ministry in the cities of Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Many of the New Testament letters are written to some of these churches. God had a plan for Paul’s ministry that went beyond his plans.

 

Proverbs 16:9

 

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

 

I have a pastor friend who has four sons. Three are healthy and normal, but the oldest son had a pituitary deficiency that prevented normal growth. The young man was in his twenties but had a child’s body.

 

The parents did everything they could to help their son. After years of effort they finally came to peace with their oldest son’s condition. They simply gave this situation to God to make sense out of.

 

While on vacation in San Francisco, God had a surprise for them. My friend was asked to speak at a church where he shared his story. After the service he met a man involved with research on pituitary development at the University of California, Berkley. He offered to enroll their oldest son in his experimental program.

 

Every month for the next year, their son made the plane trip from Chicago to San Francisco for growth hormone injections. Today their son is 5’ 8” and enjoying a normal life.

 

A so-called speaking interruption while on vacation became a divine appointment for this young man.

 

We did not want to change our vacation plans; however, we also need to be flexible. Perhaps God has a divine appointment for us at a later date. I’m sure the weather will be warmer than it has been recently, too!

 

Have you ever been frustrated or disappointed by a change of plans? I want to encourage you to be flexible considering that God may have a better plan!

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What’s That Sound

Bird 3

 

As I sit down to write today, I have to be honest...The last week has been very difficult. After almost a week of coughing and feeling extremely tired, my husband made a doctor's appointment for me. Needless to say I was shocked to hear I had pneumonia.

 

So, I was put on meds and told I had to have complete rest and return in a week to make sure my lungs were clearing up. Like many people...I try to fight off sickness without taking medication, but bacterial infections anywhere in the body are nothing to mess with.  

 

Last night as I lay in bed...I was unable to sleep due to the strange sound coming from my bronchial tubes. I had taken a cold tablet, drank peppermint tea and consumed so much water that I wondered if I should just make a bed in the bathroom, and yet I was still wheezing.

 

Finally, I decided I would use this time to thank God for my healing even though my body seemed slow at receiving it.

 

As I thanked my Heavenly Father for healing me and helping me to breathe easier...the strange sound of my labored breathing faded and I fell asleep. Seven hours later I was awakened by another strange sound. Let me pause here and say that I live in Michigan, and I haven't seen snow banks this high since I was a child and the temperature this morning was minus 9 degrees! So, naturally I didn't except to hear the sweet sound of a little bird singing near my window.

 

I thought, "What on earth? How is this tiny bird surviving in this horrible cold?" I wondered how its small body kept from freezing into a solid chunk of ice! And how did it find the strength in its lungs to Sing?

 

Then, a quiet Peace filled me and I knew that The Lord had given me a better Sound to focus on. Not one that sounded scary and helpless...but a Sound that reminded me of Life and Joy and the Hope that a new season is just around the corner.

 

I thought, "Man alive! If this little bird can sing in minus 9 degree temperatures, then I can too!"

 

My dad used to sing a song to me when I was young and the words came floating back this morning.

 

"Why should I be discouraged? Why should the shadows come? Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home? When Jesus is my portion...A constant friend is He. His eye is on the sparrow and I Know He watches me. I sing because I'm happy! I sing because I'm free! For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."

 

Psalm 32:7

 

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with Songs of deliverance.

 

Psalm 42:8

 

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And in the night, His Song shall be with me - A prayer to the God of my life.

 

If you're struggling with Sounds that bring anxiety, discouragement or helplessness...focus on The One who brings a Song of deliverance in the most unlikely and impossible circumstances...Like a tiny bird singing with Joy in minus 9 degrees!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Judy 

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Pub Theology

Pub Theology - 2-25-14

 

I recently read an article on pub theology. Its focus was to create communications between the churched and non-churched community. I’m sure the motives behind the article were honorable but I question the methods. Having a religious conversation, while drinking a few (maybe) beers, is becoming a viable approach to reach non-churched people by many church leaders today.

 

I have concerns about this type of outreach. I believe this type of philosophy is ignorant toward one’s own weakness. I Corinthians 10:12 clearly says, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.”

 

This verse has its context in the topic of temptation. This text warns us not to be ignorant of areas of weakness because we can become casualties to the world’s thinking and behavior.

 

I have discovered that people often believe a certain way to justify their actions. People who embrace this method of outreach are standing on the slippery slope of life. Alcohol contributes to individual, family and social problems. It’s become a slow killer that leaves a trail of death.

 

II Corinthians 6:14 – 18 addresses the topic of idolatry. Verse 17 says, “Come out from among them [the world] and be separate; touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.”

 

Romans 12:2 says we are not to be molded by the world but we are to be transformed by the renewal of our minds.

 

I Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything but I will not be mastered by anything.”

 

The question I ask is, will this type of activity master us or make us a victim?

 

Pub theology promotes compromise. God has called His followers to be winners!

 

Non-churched people will not respect and embrace the gospel if we become like them. They are looking for a better way of life that will replace what they have.

 

I remember getting a call from a stranger while pastoring in San Francisco, California. He asked if I would meet with him. I accepted and we had coffee at a nearby restaurant.

 

When I met him I was immediately drawn to his lifeless face. As we talked he spilled his guts to me. He was a hit man in the mafia who was responsible for many deaths. He was hired to kill a high-profile lady in the Bay area. He got a hotel room and plotted his crime.

 

He decided to take a Sunday morning walk to clear his mind and make sure his plans were solid. He walked by a church that had just concluded its worship service. He was amazed at the love these folks had for one another; their actions reminded him of his own emptiness. He was overwhelmed with grief. He hadn’t allowed himself to feel life, but now he grieved over what he had become.

 

As we talked I shared with him the secret of the love these church folks had for one another – Jesus Christ! I shared with him how he could be forgiven and have a relationship with God through Christ. That day I had the privilege to lead this man to Jesus. He assured me that his days as a hit man were over and he was not going to follow through with his assignment.

 

After I left I was reminded of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. I never saw him again, but I trust he made the right decisions to follow Christ and make restitution for the crimes he had committed.

 

Is this pub theology, or theology that promotes pubs? The validity of any ministry is the fruit it produces. I think there is a better way to reach the pub crowd than becoming like them. Let’s show them a better example where the love of Christ draws them to be forgiven and to have a winning lifestyle. 

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Learn to Listen

Listen

 

I am writing this post at 4:00 am, Wednesday, February 19. I have not shared my personal experiences with others except for short entries that I have used to encourage people from the pulpit on Sunday mornings.

 

This morning I was woken up in the early morning hours with a Holy Presence that filled our bedroom. It was the kind of experience where you tangibly feel God’s heart. Tears flowed down my face as I experienced the Holy Spirit’s touch.

 

My prayer words switched from English to speaking in other tongues. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that there are times when we pray that the only way we can express ourselves is to pray in the Spirit. My English vocabulary was too limited to describe the eternal presence that was overwhelming me at that moment.

 

My first response was to turn to my wife and put my hand on her shoulder. I prayed quietly over her, thanking God for the wonderful gift she is to me. Also, I wept as I prayed because I saw her as God’s precious daughter whom He loves with an infinite love. It is the kind of experience where the whole world stops and you see how short life is and how people need to be celebrated. Why? Because God celebrated you and me by sending His eternal Son to die a horrible death so He could show His power over death and sin and once again have a relationship with us through Jesus Christ. These moments recalibrate your focus in life.

 

What I’m about to share may be strange for some reading this post because you have not experienced prophetic writing. I want you to know this happens to me regularly; I have journaled since 1987. Early in my journaling experience I began to make entries written in the first person as though God were using my pen to write His thoughts to me. This word from the Lord is for all who God leads to read this blog post. Here it goes. Listen up!

 

You have strived and worked hard to control your life, relationships and finances. Life is getting more difficult and uncertain. Foundations of security are crumbling before your eyes. People have disappointed you and your family. You feel trapped and the desire for a bright future is fading away fast. Fear is becoming more difficult to ignore and anxiety and worry are feelings you experience daily.

 

Why are you going through this? My son and my daughter, I am allowing you to see the world for what it is: temporary! I have an eternal home prepared for you. The life I have designed for you will never end. You become anxious when your hopes are upon things that will be destroyed in the twinkling of an eye.

 

I am allowing you to pull away from this life to embrace the life I created in you through my Son Jesus. I sent My Spirit to live in you as a deposit, reminding you that you are now a citizen of another country called Heaven. Your situation is not the problem, it’s your focus. Learn to listen to Me by having ongoing prayer and times of regular Bible reading. I will speak to you and you will hear My voice. Hand over your burdens to me and I will surround you with My peace.

 

You will begin to walk in My Spirit daily. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will become your character qualities.

 

As the world becomes more chaotic, I will draw nearer to those who are My sons and daughters. For you who have resisted My invitation to be part of My family, I still open My arms to offer you eternal life. It’s already been paid for and purchased by My Son, Jesus. I offer this as a gift, but you must receive it. Don’t let this temporary life on earth choke you. Download instructions and encouragement from heaven. Take time to listen to My comforting voice. I will fill you with understanding so that this world will not swallow you. It is through obedience to Me that you will experience peace.

 

Love,

Your Heavenly Father

 

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Mmm, Mmm Good

Photo: Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

Photo: Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

 

I love to walk into different specialty stores...especially in February, and smell that yummy chocolate scent in the air. It just seems to draw me in, even if I only browse for a bite...oops, I mean for a bit (hahaha).

 

I don't know about you, but it's hard to just browse without being drawn to that one piece of candy. If it’s all wrapped up in a pretty box, I can actually pass it by. It's when it's completely exposed and set apart that my eyes and nose seem to communicate with my mind, and I find my hand deciding to get in on the act, and it pulls out the money and before you know it...I have purchased that piece of chocolate and now my mouth wants in on the action! Well, once my mouth opens and my tongue tastes the sweetness...it's all over folks...I just don't want that taste to be over! I savor it as long as I can.

 

I think when people are looking for a church home they often go in and out of services and browse too. If the services are all wrapped up in pretty worship and flowery teachings, it's easy to pass on through and go from church to church, because the outside wrapping can only hold people’s attention for so long. I mean, what good is a pretty box if I can't have what’s inside?

 

When I look around during worship and I see people’s faces shining with God’s Love...I can almost smell the sweet fragrance of His presence, and it catches my attention and I feel myself being drawn in. My hands begin to raise...tears begin to form and before I know it God’s Presence is filling me! My mouth opens and I sing with greater compassion and my entire being experiences the sweetness of God’s Love. 

 

It's in those times that His Spirit seems to break through the traditional wrappings and He exposes Himself to those who are truly searching for Him in spirit and in truth. Once we open our hearts and take Him in and taste of His goodness...we want to savor it forever.

 

Psalm 34:8

 

Oh Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the one who Trusts in Him!

 

Taste (Ta'am) in this scripture is referring to discernment, which is...the capacity to choose and delight in good things.

 

Chocolate can temporarily satisfy our physical craving for something sweet, but The Sweet Presence of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can truly satisfy our Every longing Forever!

 

So, stop browsing and choose a place of worship that's enjoying the Rich Taste of God’s Presence! Yummy!

 

Blessings,

Pastor Judy 

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A Higher Perspective

Anthony and Marilyn Yeboah

Photo Courtesy: Free International Missions, Anthony and Marilyn Yeboah

 

This Sunday’s worship service will be very special for me. My good friend, Bishop Anthony Yeboah will be our guest speaker.

 

I met Anthony in June 2005, in St. Petersburg, Florida, at a church planting school. He stood out among the speakers because of his positive attitude and radiant joy. When people asked how he was doing, his standard answer was, “I’m a happy man!”

 

His ministry reflected his positive attitude. Over the past 25 years he has planted nearly four hundred churches in ten African countries. Hundreds have graduated from his Bible school in Abijan, Ivory Coast. Churches continue to grow and expand because he has transferred his spiritual DNA to the pastors and leaders of these churches.

 

Anthony is no stranger to disappointment and heartache. Anthony was raised by parents who worshipped idols. He lost two thriving businesses in Ghana and Ivory Coast during revolutionary coups. He survived for three years by washing clothes for wealthy people.

 

He came to faith in Christ during a Reinhard Bonnke evangelistic service. Prior to the service he had planned to get drunk and then commit suicide. He heard the evangelist’s message about the unconditional love of Christ and how Jesus could live in him to make him a new person. He accepted the invitation to receive Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

He was hungry to get better acquainted with this Jesus of the Bible. He knew he needed training, so he decided to come to America and go to Bible school.

 

When he arrived he looked at a map of the United States. He prayed that God would lead him to the city that had the right Bible school for him. Lansing, Michigan, stood out like the flashing lights of a patrol car. He purchased a bus ticket and arrived in Lansing in the dead of winter; he didn’t even have a winter coat.

 

Loving people from Mount Hope Church adopted him and made it possible for him to attend and complete Mount Hope’s Bible School curriculum.

 

Anthony returned to Ivory Coast and Ghana, and God blessed his efforts and churches multiplied quickly.

 

He also met a beautiful lady named Marilyn. She was a daughter of the former Minister of Defense in Ghana. She had to flee the country with her mother after the revolutionary coup. Her father was not that fortunate; he was shot and killed by the new dictator.

 

Anthony met Marilyn at the World Bank in Ivory Coast and later intercepted her in New York. Marilyn was transferred from Ivory Coast to the World Bank headquarters in New York. Soon they were married.

 

Marilyn was elegant, deep and peaceful. She was a lovely compliment to Anthony.

 

The marriage was short-lived. Marilyn developed brain cancer that took her life in June 2012. However, Marilyn had a dream of developing orphanages and schools in her native country.

 

Anthony caught her vision after her death and has been diligently pursuing her dream. Her memory propels his efforts to change his country through Christian education. He is being used mightily to build Christian foundational faith for the people Marilyn loved so dearly.

 

Anthony comes to us filled with purpose and passion, and has learned to recognize God’s control of every situation.

 

Romans 8:28

 

For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

 

This verse does not say all things are good, but rather, God makes good out of bad circumstances.

 

How have you viewed your difficult trials in life? Take a lesson from Anthony: Look at it from a higher perspective.

 

Read more about Anthony’s ministry here: Free International Missions

  6194 Hits

Time To Detox

Detox

 

Every year in January, our church unites for one week of prayer and fasting. We do this for the simple reason that we want to clearly hear from God for direction for the coming year, in our personal lives as well as a church family, and to believe for God’s power to break off anything that holds us down or keeps us from moving forward in His will.

 

I call it physically, mentally and spiritually 'detoxing'...getting rid of whatever makes me sluggish, unhealthy or unproductive...while cleaning the wax out of my spiritual ears.

 

Actually, from what I have read in medical articles, we should all practice this once a week to maintain better health. Isn't it amazing how smart the human race thinks it is...as if we came up with this wise concept to promote healing and maintain health?

 

I think it's extremely important to know why we should fast and pray, and God’s Word makes it pretty clear, in both the Old and New Testaments.

 

In Matthew 6:16-18, and in Isaiah 58, the whole chapter talks about prayer and fasting. The prophet gives us specific goals: To loose the chains of injustice and untie its cords that are wrapped around people’s lives, and to set the oppressed free and break off every yoke.

 

As we fast (abstain from certain foods and habits), we become more aware of others needs instead of focusing on our own. We are moved to action to feed, clothe and find shelter for those who need it.

 

I love the fact that God lets us join Him in the process of setting people free and helping to meet their needs. He loves to remind us of the power we have against the enemy when we partner with Him and He promises to reward us for being obedient.

 

God’s love is unconditional, but I have found that His promises are conditional. They depend upon our obedience. His promises to us are clear as a result of our fasting and prayer in Isaiah 58:8-14, but there are a few ifs included in those promises.

 

If you stop pointing critical fingers at others and speaking unkind words that bring oppression on others, and if we put others before ourselves...God will guide us always! He'll keep us strong and provide for us! Wow! What more could we possibly need?

 

So, basically while I'm fasting and in prayer for others,  I'm detoxing my life of poisonous thoughts and habits and unhealthily patterns by getting rid of my self-centeredness, self-preservation, fears and the biggest obstacle of all - ME! My will begins to submit to God’s and my life receives the benefits...I am healthier, stronger and wiser in every area of my life.

 

I don't share this to challenge you...but to encourage you. Isn’t it time to detox?

 

Blessings,

Pastor Judy

  8148 Hits

Featured Events

We had a wonderful time having Randy McPherson join us on February 21st! Check out the fun in this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQMnTkhWJts.
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Join Pastor Judy on Tuesday nights for the "Get a Grip" Study.
get a grip poster lores

Giving frees us from being self-centered to being God centered.

It is a trait of God's kingdom, because it acknowledges His ownership & Lordship in our lives. Malachi 3:6-12 instructs us to test God by giving our tithes and offerings. May you experience God's blessings as you sow into His kingdom.

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