A Challenge for You

30 days of encouragement — The Challenge!  The Lord has been laying this on my heart for a while.  Our world is so full of people putting others down, hurting and violence.  You can’t even watch the news without hearing about bullying or some type of violence.  Our world is full of hate and sadness.  It is such a hard time for both our children and the adults.  So many people are immune or numb to the pain of words and actions from others.  The following verse just jumped off the pages when I read it.
Galatians 5:13-15
 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
We are called to love each other and not hurt each other.  This verse is so true now.  We hear about people destroying each other all the time.  But what about encouraging each other?  Encouragement is defined as “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.”  Jesus is so full of encouragement for us.  We have His support.  We can be confident in His promises and His love.  Jesus gave us HOPE when he died for each of us.
Let’s stop the pain and the devouring of each other by words and actions.  Let’s show others Christ’s Love and Encouragement.  I would like to challenge each and everyone of you to participate in 30 days of encouragement.  Here’s what the 30 days of encouragement campaign consists of:
1.  Don’t say anything negative about others.
2.  Say something that you admire or appreciate about someone else.  You can even send someone a card of encouragement.
3.  Greet others with a smile.  One smile can change someone’s day.
4.  Pray for Others daily.
5.  Show Christ’s LOVE all the time.
6.  FORGIVE others!
7.  Go out of your way to help make someone else’s day better.
Please comment if you are joining our challenge.  Keep us posted on your progress.  We are praying for each of you.  You CAN do this!!  Don’t forget to Be a Blessing to Others,
~M

What Do Christians Need?

What Do Christians Need?

Colossians 1:3-14 (NIV)
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

In studying this simple passage we see a variety of things that Christians need.
• We need the Lord as our Savior. (Vs.3)
• We need Prayer, so we can communicate with God. (Vs.3)
• We need Faith in Jesus. (Vs.4)
• We need Love for God and His people. (Vs.4)
• We need Hope and Assurance of Christ. (Vs.5)
• We need The Word of God. (Vs.5)
• We need to Share the Gospel. (Vs.6)
• We need to understand Grace. (Vs.6)
• We need Christian Leaders. (Vs.7)
• We need to talk about what God is doing. (Vs.8)
• We need to pray for each other all the time. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for an Understanding of Gods Will. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray for Spiritual Wisdom. (Vs.9)
• We need to pray our lives are pleasing to God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we would bear good fruit. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that we will grow in our knowledge of God. (Vs.10)
• We need to pray that God would give us Strength. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for patience and perseverance. (Vs.11)
• We need to pray for the Joy of Salvation to revive us. (Vs.11-12)
• We need to pray prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord. (Vs.12)
• We need to remember why Christ came. (Vs.13)
• We need to accept Christ Redeeming Love the Forgiveness of our Sin. (Vs.13-14)

FromYour Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

A reminder for us all… What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? …May God Bless you as you Serve Him.

How to stay fresh in a decaying world

Psalm 51:10 — “ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Make a relationship with Christ your top priority.

Studying the Word of God daily.
Joshua 1:8 – “ Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Praying about everything.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “pray continually”

Memorizing Scripture.
Joshua 1:8 – ““ Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Sharing your Faith with others.
Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Walking in His footsteps.
Ephesians 5:1 – “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”

Forgiveness must be a part of your life.

We must forgive our debtors
Matthew 6:9-13 – “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Forgiving others is an absolute necessity
Matthew 6:14-15 – “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Jesus said that we must forgive often
Matthew 18:21-22 – “ Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Luke 17:3-4 – “ So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
We must get rid of our anger and forgive as God forgave us
Ephesians 4:31-32 – “ Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Jesus commands us to forgive
Mark 11:25 – “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

When we forgive others, we outwit Satan
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 – “Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”

It is sinful not to forgive
Matthew 18:23-35 – “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[a] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[b] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

James 4:17 – “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Produce good Fruit (the Fruits of the Spirit).

Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Produce Love. Produce Joy. Produce Peace. Produce Patients. Produce Kindness. Produce Goodness. Produce Faithfulness. Produce Gentleness. Produce Self-Control.

Remember God’s Promises.

I will never leave you. I will protect you. I will watch over you. I will guide you. I will forgive you. I will love you. I will save you.

Ask, Beg, Request to God that He keep you Fresh.

Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

A reminder for us all…( What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith? )…May God Bless you as you Serve Him…From Your Pastors Heart. ~G

Be Still

Psalm 46:10a “He says, Be still, and know that I am God;”

This verse tells us to be still and know that God is God. How often do we really set still and quiet our minds and simply reflect on the fact that God is God? Our lives here on earth are only a mere mist in the cosmic time of the universal plan that God has made. Yet we spend countless hours pursuing everything but God. I really believe that if God’s own children spent as much time with Him as they do simply watching TV, revival would not be something that we long for, it would just be. The focus of the church would be to prepare for the return of our King Jesus. We would long for His return and work at spreading the news of the Savior like He was coming tomorrow. God tells us that He will return for us at an unexpected time to surprise us with His Glory.

The question is will we be ready for His return? Will we have made preparations for His return? Will we have done all that He wanted for us to do? Today I want you to do what God is asking. Simply be still and quiet your mind. Focus on the fact that God is God.

From the Pastors Heart,
~G

Resolved To Obey

Psalm 119:112 (HCSB)
“I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end.”

This verse is a statement to God saying, Lord I will obey Your Word, Your Truths, Your Commands no matter what. Can you honestly and wholeheartedly say that you are resolved to obey God? What does resolved mean? Hear in this verse it means to be Determined. Are you determined that no matter what comes your way you will chose to live for God?

God has given us 168 hours each week to chose what we think is the most important ways we are to use this time. In one year we will have chosen how to use 8,736 hours. In one decade we will chose how to spend 87,360 hours. If you attend church every Sunday for just the Worship Service in one year you will have chosen to give God between 52 to 60 hours out of 8,736. Say it is 60 hours of church services in one year times ten is only 600 hours out of 87,360. If you have attended just church service for every Sunday for ten years and that is all the time that you have given to God. Then you have chosen to spend 87,360-600= 86,760 hours without God.

If we are resolved to obey God and live for Him, then why does the math say different? Are we really determined to spend more time developing our relationship with our Savior or is our time just our time? Each day we are given a choice on how we will spend the next 24 hours. Will you chose to as the psalmist said, “I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end” Psalm 119:112 (HCSB). The time we have been blessed with is extremely important. The generations to come are watching every second. So show them the you have resolved to Obey God.

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
Pastor G

Blessings Through the Storms…

This past year has been one of my hardest ever. I have struggled and struggled with countless illnesses, vehicle troubles (both vehicles having dead batteries on the same day…flat tire that had to be replaced and only the dealership could order and put a new one on…both kids having surgery (our son (age 5) had his 4th set of tubes, our daughter (age 6) had her tonsils out and her first set of tubes)…foundation on house had to be repaired…our dishwasher died, our air conditioner’s control board fried (had to get new one and was without central air in south Louisiana for almost a week)…my dad having a stroke (and not being able to go see him due to my illnesses)…and several more things.

There were times when I just wanted to throw my hands up and say, “Lord, I give up! I can’t take it anymore!” But, I kept enduring the storm because I knew that the Lord was growing me through this time. If you focus on the negatives, then you allow Satan to take your joy away. Now, some positives that I experienced…Our children aren’t near as sick as they were, foundation has been repaired, an anonymous donor purchased us a new dishwasher, our air conditioner could be fixed and we found a window unit to keep us cool as we spent extra quality time together as family, we grew closer to the Lord and closer as a family unit. God has sent people in our lives to encourage us and to hold us up when it felt like our world was crashing down. To those people, “Thank you! You will never know how much that meant to us. You are a blessing to our family and to the Kingdom of God!”

During this time of struggle, God led me to several scriptures and directed me towards this song called, “Blessings by Laura Story”, that just described what I was going through so well. It truly ministered to me. I even set this song to replay in my van for a year. I hope these scriptures and the lyrics to her song bless you as much as they me.

James 1:2-4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Ezekiel 36:26 —“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

1 Peter 5:10 – “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

Lyrics from Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise

Let your blessings rain down, Lord!! Be blessed and be a blessings to others!
~M

What’s Your Top Ten?

A Question To Ponder…
Recently a childhood friend of mine asked me to make a list of ten ways that I would want others to treat me. So here is my list. Top 10 ways: Lovingly, Respectfully, Seriously, Compassionately, Mercifully, Forgivingly, Gently, Kindly, Encouragingly, and Gracefully. After compiling my list of the top ten I was feeling pretty good about myself. Until he said something to me that I did not expect. He said with a firm voice; now ask yourself one Question. “Is that how I treat all people?” Wow I was taken back by this question. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t sure if I could answer yes to all ten or even to just a few of them. Because he wasn’t asking how I treat people who I love, but for the treatment of all people. The longer I pondered on this simple question, the more I realized that the first question was not nearly as important as the second one. My answer to all ten toward all people was; No, not always. At this point in my conversation with my friend I prayed these words.”God forgive me of this sin and help me to treat others how I want to be treated even when they don’t treat me the way I desire. Thank You Father for this insight and revelation In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.” The Bible tells us in Luke 6:31 (NIV) “31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So I’m asking each one of you to take time and write your own top ten ways that you want to be treated. Then ask yourself, is this how I treat all people? A Question that all of us need to honestly answer before God. How do you treat what God has created?

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
~G

A Personal Struggle…

I need an attitude adjustment!! Have you ever just struggled with something so much that you can’t let it go? It seems like that is my life lately. I am really struggling with my attitude. I’ve never been one to struggle with that. I am one of those people who wakes up ready to go and happy to be alive.

Lately, one minute I’m crying, the next I’m angry, and the next I’m just numb. This repeats all day. I’ve been going through a lot lately. It stinks being sick for over 14 months! My Dad had a stroke and I’ve never seen him look so weak. I can’t go see him because doctors fear I will get something even worse and might share it with my dad. But, don’t worry, My daddy has this! He is so strong! He is a fighter. But, mostly, he believes in Christ as his Savior. My dad and mom have put their full confidence in God’s healing powers!!

I have decided do discipline myself. Get off my pity party and have an attitude adjustment. So, how do I do that?!

  1. Ask God to forgive my bad attitude
  2. Read the Bible
  3. Pray
  4. Choose to trust God for the future instead of worrying about it!

So, what does the Bible say about attitudes?

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”

Philippians 2:14 – “Do everything without grumbling or arguing”

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

John 14:1 – “Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come before you today, broken, hurt, angry and just numb.  Lord, I lay these requests at your feet.  I TRUST in you.  There is no point in worrying because You have promised me that you have plans for me and those plans are to prosper me and not to harm me.  To give me a future.  Lord, help me to have a better attitude about life.  Help me not have a pity party, but a faith party!!  You, Lord, are faithful to me.  You never break your promises!!  Thanks for listening God.  Forgive me for doubting your plan.  Thank you for never giving up on me!!  I love you, Lord!!!  In the Precious Name of Your Son, Amen!!

I don’t know about you but I have a smile on my face and my heart is warm and cozy with God’s grace.

Be a Blessing to Others

~M

Are You Ready?

Are you Ready?

I wrote this poem about a year ago. I thought I would share it with you.

When Christ returns
Will you be ready
When Christ returns
Will He find you serving Him
When Christ returns
Will He see you or His reflection
When Christ returns
Will your life have made a difference for Him
When Christ returns
Will you go to Heaven
When Christ returns
Will your Soul Rejoice
When Christ returns
Will you be ready?

No one knows when Christ will return for His people. We are reminded of this in Matthew 24:36 -“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

There is another scripture to think about. Daniel 12:2 – “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Christ gave all for our sins. Are you ready to go with Him when He returns?Hebrews 9:28 – “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”

Are you ready?

What will you do today to encourage someone’s faith?
~Pastor G

What are you afraid of?

Ok folks….I have to admit I am a “big scaredy cat”. When I was pregnant with Jamie, about 3am I heard the dog door’s noise….both doggies were with me. I was almost paralyzed with fear. Sent my husband to investigate, made a barricade, then ran to the bathroom with the doggies and yes, I even LOCKED the door. A few months ago, G came home from work…..thought he saw a snake and wanted me to come outside and shine the flashlight in that direction….HAHAHA, I made it maybe 10 baby steps, then ran back inside, shined the light in the direction from inside the house, it was indeed a snake…so I took both kids and once again locked us in the bathroom.

With that said….I found this scripture that I need to read daily: Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”. John 14:27

So, next time, I think I will try to keep the bathroom door unlocked when critters come around? 😉

Now to the serious stuff: I’ve asked this question a lot: “what are you afraid of?” I’ve got varied responses from losing their homes, losing their jobs, kids rebelling, being alone, being hurt by others, not being enough, the future, etc. The most common, however, is death.

Why are we so afraid of death? I know why. You don’t know where you are going after you die? If you know Christ as Lord–then you go to heaven. Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” There will be streets of gold! Who doesn’t want to experience pure happiness? There will be no more sorrow! Are you sure you will get to spend eternity with the Savior? If you have questions, please comment or click submit a question on our page.

Now, if you don’t know Jesus…you will be in a place called hell. Hell is not a happy place. It is a lake of fire full of torment. Revelation 14:11 “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” Hell was not made for you. It was made for the devil and the fallen angels. The Bible reminds us of is in Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

So, it’s your choice heaven or hell?!
~M