Girls, you can do A N Y T H I N G you put your mind to!
Surely, I knew heading into this that I had a modicum of creativity and confidence, but never in a MILLION years did I think I was going to have to, let alone be able to insulate my wall and lay down sheet rock! I mean, who DOES that?!
We so often allow fear to dictate what we can and cannot do. It may not be a DIY project, for you it may be going back to school or traveling outside of the country. Whatever it is, be encouraged to cast down fear and apprehension! GOD tells you what you are in His word. He is clear and His word- not your fear- is the final authority.
Don't panic, I have everything under control. 1 WEEK later and albeit more sore than I've EVER been in my life, I've made some significant head way! I've made some great new friends at Home Depot, where I go at least once a day for a shoulder to cry on and a new tool that I thought I "didn't need". All in all, I'm still feeling pretty good about this! I think. I mean, at this point there is no turning back. Here's my progress:
It's so amazing how David's Old Testament cries in Psalm 25 mirror the very ones that I, that we say to God today. When God lights a fire in us to proclaim His name and to do his work- he tells us that he will be with us and we naturally expect that to look like something. "Don't let me be put to shame, Lord!" We cry, as though God would ever, could ever do such a thing. But isn't that how it looks? He's given YOU this responsibility after all, given you this important assignment, he chose YOU and you just followed him! You followed him onto the ledge and now things are unraveling and you're hanging out here looking absolutely crazy. What does it mean when God says he is with us? What does it mean when he says that he will provide? The greatest thing that we can ever do as believers is to learn to trust in the character of God and take him for his word.
I mean, come on Lord, in this barn with these animals? really? just right here on this dusty floor in this barn? And yet, we know that God provides. We know that his character, his very essence, who he is is Provider, Jehovah Jireh (Yahweh- yireh) the Lord who provides. That IS who God is. Who are we to say what that looks like?
So how do we stay the course? Lord help us to be willing vessels. Use the experiences that we are currently encountering as a tool to increase our faith. Help us to wring these experiences dry and do not allow a drop of the lesson to stay behind. Give us a portion of your grace and mercy that will sustain us during these times. Imanu'el, You are with us, and we thank you. We are grateful that you have not and will not ever leave us in this thing alone. You will finish the work that you started. Develop our gratitude and align our expectations with your will.
This poem is by Andy Wood, founder of web based ministry, Lifevesting. Originally posted on Andy's blog in February, I'm choosing to share this with you now here and hope that it touches you as much as it did me.
This Resurrection season forces me to think on the pre-eminent, providential plan of God.
I am grateful that the orchestration of Jesus' life, death and Resurrection stands as a reminder to me that
I am not forgotten, even when the storms are raging.
Enjoy your Resurrection Holiday friends.
W h e n S t o r m s a r e R a g i n g
from the desk of Robin Holahta
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your payer (life), being (both) alert and intent in (your praying) with thanksgiving. - Colossians 4:2
If you were as lucky as I was growing up, you had a wonderful woman of God in your life, a mentor, a teacher or someone who cared about your life with Christ.
I was so blessed to have my Grandmother show me the way. Not by preaching to me from my childhood until her passing in 1993 but she was someone who LIVED the Life. She lived the life from the 60’s until her death. She was a mighty woman of God. I remember her big black bible and she would have that book in her arms stomping through the house in prayer. She woke up praying to God and go to bed yelling at the devil. All of hell shook when her feet touched the floor. It is hard to find women like that these days.
One of my youngest memories is her homemade chicken and dumplings. They were the BEST. As my husband would say, “they were off the chain.” She made them and southern sweet tea and you had to sit all day and smell it cooking. Then the moment came when you are called to the table. We all sit down and in an instant, the phone would ring. All of us children would look at each other because we knew…..we knew it could be THAT call. The prayer chain was in full swing. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a lost art that does not occur much anymore but as a child who is on the verge of starvation, you knew, this was going to be a VERY LONG phone call. Everything stopped until Grandma finished with her call, her prayer and her time with God. If ever there is a time for prayer chains it is now.
We have recently moved to Denver, Colorado and although the landscape reflects the finger prints of God with its breathtaking views, the enemy also has his finger print on the city with drug and sex trafficking, gangs and homelessness. This is where God wanted us to do His work. By Devine appointment we met with Pastor Isaac Olivarez who heads up Urban Outreach of Denver. They minister to an area in the city called “the 5 points neighborhood.” It is an area ravished by drugs, gang life and sex trafficking. This is where our heart is and God brought us together to not just bring people to Christ in the neighborhood, but to help build them up to be ministers, evangelists and maybe even missionaries for God.
What is touching my heart about this neighborhood is the abundant amount of single mother’s. Some are homeless, some are addicted to drugs and some are involved in prostitution. My heart is to show them Christ so the single mother’s will know they are not single at all. Once we connect with them, they will know that they are connected with something greater. That greatness is our Lord Jesus Christ.
On September29, 2013 we are launching City Life Church in this neighborhood and we need all your prayers as we get closer to the launch date.
I am writing this to start my modern day prayer chain and I am calling you, asking you to join us in prayer for this great city and our new church. The city of Denver needs your prayers. There is an estimated 22,000 people for every one church. We need your prayers as we head out and try to help those in need. Please pray for wisdom, discernment and safety for us and pray that God softens the heart of the people of Denver as we try and show them the love of God. Your phone is ringing… will you answer?
I invite you to take a look at our website www.lovedenver.org for more information.
Hi friends! It should come as no surprise that the lessons I've been receiving on Joy have been put into their FULL use over the last couple of weeks. Isn't that always how God seems to work? Providing you the answer before you even have the question... God's providence at work.
Prov·i·dence [prov-i-duhns] noun:
We attribute so much credit to happiness. We desire it, we seek it at all costs, we feel a right to have it and we're angry when we don't. Happiness, we feel is just a human right and we are willing to go out of our way to get to it.
In the game of Scrabble, players are given 7 random tiles at a time in order to make up words on the home board. (If you don't know how to play Scrabble, 1- shame on you 2- check out the rules here so that you can follow along.)
Each letter is worth a different amount of points, so making words is all about strategy. One would think that in order to get the most points you would want to make longer words, but a well thought out short word will often yield you a better result. Let's take the following words as examples:
Making a 9 letter word like Happiness requires you to skip turns and hold on to your tiles, building a stock pile until the opportune time for you to play. Making a 3 letter word like Joy gets rid of the tiles that you currently have and leaves you with tiles to spare. Waiting to create a long word like Happiness means that you have skipped over 244 opportunities to make a different word. Creating a word like Joy requires only 3 of your tiles and allows you to pull new letters, giving you access to new words. Happiness can be made many times, as all of the letters have many multiples. Joy is a unique word that can only be made once, as there is only one J in every game.
Do you follow?
SEEK JOY!!! Joy is the constant that opens up the doors for you to make new words; to make Peace, to make Patience, to make Endurance. Joy seems insignificant, but it's value is worth far more than it seems. Though it looks like happiness is worth more, the value of Joy exceeds it in abundance! Happiness is fleeting, it comes and it goes. Don't wait for happiness when you have access to Joy right now! There is only one Joy, only one Jesus and He left that to you by the power of the Holy Spirit according to Galatians 5:22. It's yours for the taking.
Play your hand and move on to the next word.
Have a great weekend friends!
During my first class, the instructor began by introducing us to child's pose, a relaxed position that allows you to center your focus, calm your breathing and rest. "This position" she said, was where we were to return during the course of the class should we grow tired. "Yoga is a practice" she went on to say; "there is no judgment, we are all students, there is nothing to prove." I love that. Isn't that just perfect? I mean, Amen sister. A-MEN.
t h e r e i s n o t h i n g t o p r o v e .
It's hard to remember that when the girl next to you with her lithe body and amazing core control effortlessly does a headstand while you, breathing heavily, slide into child's pose for the 15th time. Nothing to prove. Often we forget about that as Christians as well. We have an image of what we should be, we have friends who seem to have it all together and we find ourselves comparing and mimicking instead of growing and embracing. In yoga and in LIFE, my responsibility is to know who I am, to know my comfort level and to challenge myself. To self govern my practice, to be sure that I am growing but most of all, to be committed to moving in my own flow.
This story is no different. Remember that your journey with Christ is one that is unique to only you, one that no one else has. It is a journey that has ups and downs, that will sometimes require GREAT effort but the JOY of the Lord is constant and does not depend on your circumstances. I challenge you this weekend to be hyper-conscious of the effort that you make to express joy in light of tough situations. Set your own standards this weekend and be aware of when you slip into a pattern of comparing yourself to others. These questions may help:
biblegateway.com and openbible.info are great resources for topical searches
and should always be used in conjunction with your Holy Bible.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The word joy in this text comes from the root word chairō [khi-ro] which is an action verb meaning:
Joy in this context is a gift that we were given when we accepted Christ. When the scripture says "against such there is no law" it means that there is no work, no rule or labor that would give you access to it other than to be given it by the Spirit of God. Once we have received the gift, it is up to us to practice it; and by practicing it, perfect our use.
Lets say I gave you a piano. Assuming you like pianos, you would be happy that you received one. You receiving the piano was of no merit of your own, you didn't even enter a contest! But nonetheless, you have one now. In order to really enjoy the piano, you must take lessons, learn the basics and practice your instrument.
Sure, you'll be frustrated at first but eventually you'll be able to play songs liberally, express your creativity and entertain others. Only then will you be getting the best use of the gift that I've given you. Even more importantly, other people are able to see your gift and may be encouraged to start playing the piano too!
BTW, while I am a certified genius, I do not speak Greek ;) Here's the tool that I and now YOU can use to help you clearly define the words of the Bible. This is called Exposition. Look at you, fancy Biblical scholar! www.blueletterbible.org
I'm excited this week to practice my Joy and to share with you the lessons that I learn while I'm away. I'm focused. Talk to you all later!
We made it! Congratulations Be proud of your efforts and your tenacity!
Father, we thank you for the absolute privilege of spending 31 consecutive days at your heels.
Thank you for your lessons, for your encouragement for your chastening and for your wisdom. You are awesome and we are humbled that we even have this opportunity. The world is full of people who are lost and have no idea about the freedom and joy that comes from your reconciliation. We are humbled and absolutely blown away that you have chosen us to be in relationship with you and we are grateful beyond measure.
Help us your children to keep the fire burning that was kindled in these 31 days. Help those who have not been consistent and grant them the encouragement that they need to give their lives to you one day at a time. Thank you for this vessel Lord, for this tool. Grant The Life for Less favor among men, that it may be used to spread your word and glory to the corners of the earth. Open doors for The Life for Less; that the work of my hands may contribute to your kingdom in a mighty way, sharing love and empowerment with those who need it and allowing me the privilege to eat of the fruit.
Bless all of your daughters Lord, your precious daughters who rely on you daily for provision, for comfort, for strength and for protection. Illuminate assignments, instruct in purpose and reward us for our diligence Lord. We are in need and we look only to you to fill it. Make your ways known to us in a clear way and grant us contentment with whatever your perfect will dictates. We will always be mindful to give you the praise, for you are the source. You are everything good.
In Jesus name, Amen.
The Sayings of King Lemuel
1 The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him:
2 O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows,
3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
5 For if they drink, they may forget the law and not give justice to the oppressed.
6 Alcohol is for the dying, and wine for those in bitter distress.
7 Let them drink to forget their poverty and remember their troubles no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.
A Wife of Noble Character
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message.
1 I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God.
2 I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense.
3 I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.
4 Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name?
Tell me if you know!
5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
6 Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.
7 O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die.
8 First, help me never to tell a lie.
Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.
10 Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.
11 Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother.
12 They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed.
13 They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances.
14 They have teeth like swords and fangs like knives. They devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among humanity.
15 The leech has two suckers that cry out, “More, more!”
There are three things that are never satisfied— no, four that never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire.
17 The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions will be plucked out by ravens of the valley
and eaten by vultures.
18 There are three things that amaze me— no, four things that I don’t understand:
19 how an eagle glides through the sky, how a snake slithers on a rock, how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.
20 An adulterous woman consumes a man, then wipes her mouth and says, “What’s wrong with that?”
21 There are three things that make the earth tremble— no, four it cannot endure:
22 a slave who becomes a king, an overbearing fool who prospers,
23 a bitter woman who finally gets a husband, a servant girl who supplants her mistress.
24 There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:
25 Ants—they aren't strong, but they store up food all summer.
26 Hyraxes—they aren't powerful, but they make their homes among the rocks.
27 Locusts—they have no king, but they march in formation.
28 Lizards—they are easy to catch, but they are found even in kings’ palaces.
29 There are three things that walk with stately stride— no, four that strut about:
30 the lion, king of animals, who won’t turn aside for anything,
31 the strutting rooster, the male goat, a king as he leads his army.
32 If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, cover your mouth in shame.
33 As the beating of cream yields butter and striking the nose causes bleeding,so stirring up anger causes quarrels.
1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.
2 When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.
3 The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.
4 A just king gives stability to his nation, but one who demands bribes destroys it.
5 To flatter friends is to lay a trap for their feet.
6 Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.
7 The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.
8 Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger.
9 If a wise person takes a fool to court, there will be ranting and ridicule but no satisfaction.
10 The bloodthirsty hate blameless people, but the upright seek to help them.
11 Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.
12 If a ruler pays attention to liars, all his advisers will be wicked.
13 The poor and the oppressor have this in common— the Lord gives sight to the eyes of both.
14 If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.
15 To discipline a child produces wisdom, but a mother is disgraced by an undisciplined child.
16 When the wicked are in authority, sin flourishes, but the godly will live to see their downfall.
17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad.
18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
19 Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.
20 There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
21 A servant pampered from childhood will become a rebel.
22 An angry person starts fights; a hot-tempered person commits all kinds of sin.
23 Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor.
24 If you assist a thief, you only hurt yourself. You are sworn to tell the truth, but you dare not testify.
25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the Lord.
27 The righteous despise the unjust; the wicked despise the godly.