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In Hot Pursuit

I have a relationship that I have been pursuing for a while, though not always with the intensity that I should. This relationship my heart longs and aches for. That relationship is my relationship with God. I have had many experiences with God over the years. I can honestly say that my life is so much richer and deeper because of my relationship with Him. I have gone through mountain top experiences and through times in the valley, I know that there is always a purpose for what we go through. I haven’t told many people but I have been suffering in constant pain for the last couple of weeks. It started even before that but it would just come and go in spurts. It’s funny but it feels like the more I press in and seek God, the more the pain comes on. I am not sure who all of my readers are but I know that there are some that will not know what to do with the information that I put in my blog. Namely, that I feel like it is a spiritual attack manifesting itself in my body. I know that God has healed me before and I know that He can, in-fact, do it again, but even if He doesn’t He is still God. I believe that all things work together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Each time that I have gone through something it has been used to help others. I believe this trial to be no different. With that said, I am pressing forward. I am not really sure why I wrote that part but maybe it is for someone who is going through something as well.

The one thing that I know is that I want more of God, not just this year but forever. I want to know Him more and become more like Him. I want to love as He loves and see as He sees. I am so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and what I want is not as important as the needs of the many that are hurting. It is time to rise up as a nation of believers and meet the needs of those that are lost. Some people just need you to listen, others may need to be fed or clothed, some need you to pull them out of the miry clay and set them on the firm foundation of our Lord Jesus. There is so much that we can all do, the problem is that we look at the world and think, but the need is so great and there is no way I can possibly meet all those needs. You’re right, you can’t, but we can! There are many members of this body of Christ, I don’t care what denomination that you attend or what you feel your personal hindrances are. The fact is that we can all be used by God. There is a quote written by Charles Baudelaire that I once heard in a movie, which stated “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Man, this is so true. Today we have so many people running around believing that the devil doesn’t exist so in their minds, if he doesn’t exist and there is no punishment for sin, then maybe God doesn’t exist. This is a sad commentary on our times. Without God, there is no hope, without hope there is depravity, and with depravity there is gate that leads straight to hell and totally way from the presence of God.  

I’m sorry folks, I know that I try to always be encouraging and upbeat but you must understand that we are standing in the midst of a lost and dying world and some of the people that we love the most are falling to the wayside because we will not take the time to bend down and pick them up. There will always be those that will continue down the path that they have chosen and there is nothing that you can do about that, just pray for them and move on. I am encouraging you, however, to reach out to those who want and need your hand, your ear or your shoulder. You will find that there is more of those that really want someone to care than those that don’t. Let me encourage you today to be the person that will change your surroundings. Start by buying a cup of coffee for someone you work with. Look for opportunities to minister. To minister is to tend to the wants and needs of others. It doesn’t take much to impact someone’s life. He has lined you up perfectly in people lives so that you can reach someone that others never could. God has called each of us to that role. So, will you step out and take hold of the role that He has called you to fill? Will you begin today to change the world around you?

Time to Rise and Shine!

In reflecting on this year, I can see that we have gone through quite a bit of transition. Some of it has been bad but some has been very good. The fact is that we will always be going through something, especially if you are a Christian. The one thing that I find interesting is that most people don’t think about the fact that they will go through trials. The belief of most is that they will become a Christian and all will be well. However, the trials that we face are part of the growing process. I have seen God work in so many situations over the years and it is truly hard to admit that at times I still struggle. I know, most of you reading this are thinking, if you are blogging about this doesn’t that mean that you have already overcome all of this. The simple truth is that no matter how long you have been walking this walk, you will still have moments that you struggle, even if you are going through a similar trial that you have seen Him come through and do something miraculous in. I contribute this to different seasons in our life where we may have been strong in one area but we stopped renewing our mind or working out our faith and all the sudden when we face the same trial we find ourselves weak and unable to stand. People always ask, “Well, if I believe in God and have a relationship with Him, why do I need to go to church?” Well first let me correct a way of thinking there. We are the church, we don’t go to church. The fact is, we meet together as Christians (brothers and sisters in Christ) and worship together in a building or outdoors or anywhere that we can come together and worship Him. Now, with that mindset corrected, the reason that we should go to a building where other believers are worshipping together is so that we find strength and fellowship. We cannot walk this walk alone and we were never meant to. If I am facing a trial and I find that my faith is weak, in attending with a body of believers, I can reach out and ask them to stand with me and pray and I will gain strength through that relationship. The Word of God says that where two or more are gathered in His name that He is there in the midst. Matthew 18:20

The thing that we must remember is that we are on a journey. That journey is with God and at times it will be riddled with trials and though we may have to walk through those trials, we do not have to do it alone. There is a reason that we are mentioned as the body of Christ. In Romans 12:4-8 it says, “4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” The fact is, the mouth cannot function without a face, and the foot cannot without the leg and so on. We all need each other to help us on this walk. I am truly thankful for the body of believers that I serve with. Each has a heart to serve and though we don’t always get it all right, we are striving to be more like Him every day. I hope you have someone in your life and walk that will stand by you and pray with you or that you are that somebody for someone else. If you don’t have anyone, then start now by reaching out. If no one else will pray with you, I will. It is time to rise up as a body and start helping the rest of our body function the way that God created it to function. There are so many lost and hurting out in the world and it is our job as believers to be reaching out to them. In a world where there is no hope and things seem to be spiraling downward, we are the hope that people need, it is Christ in us that we have to deliver to a dying world.

I hope you will not read this as just another article or blog, but that you will take these things to heart and start reaching out. Start pressing in and seeking God and ask Him what He would have you do. None of us are perfect and we will never be until we are in His presence but that cannot stop us from the mission that has been placed upon us. I implore you to look over your life and think about the trials that you have gone through. Think about the people that you can help because you have gone through the same thing or because God has supernaturally given you favor in the situation. Don’t look at the trials that you have gone through as being just that, trials. Look at them as a way to help others and in doing so you will continue to get stronger and stronger each day. It’s time to rise up and shine with the light of Christ and give hope to those that are hurting! You can do this, why, because God has called you to this moment.

Trusting God

This is a reblog from Feb. 2007-

There is no easy way to describe what it means to trust God. For someone like me who always likes to be in control it can be quit annoying at times, especially when all I want to do is figure out how to trust Him. It seems for the most part my way of thinking is like a dog chasing his tail…it’s to no avail. God is not nearly as complicated as we seem to want to make Him. All He asks is that we lean and rely on Him.

Have you ever been swimming? Have you ever tried to float on your back? If you have then you know that basically all you really have to do is lean back, be still and breath. You don’t hold your breathe to see if you can float because you will start to sink. You breath and relax. That is the way that God wants us. He wants us to lean back on Him and trust Him enough to just breath in and breath out, relax. Just know that He is in control. God’s word says “If God is for us, who can be against us.” I think that it is evident that God is for us considering that He sent His only son to come and die for us so that we might live.

So many people want to blame God for the way things are today when really the human race is to blame for the way things are today. God gave us a free will and with that free will He gave us choices. Those choices, good or bad lead us to a final destination. We choose that destination. Someone once said that when you die on the tombstone is a date (when you where born), a dash, and another date (when you died), but it is the dash in between that defines your life.

My question to you is this, what is your dash saying about you? Are you trusting Him? What will it take for you to trust Him?

Beauty for Ashes

Isn’t it funny how one person can look at something and see one thing while another person looks at the same thing but sees something entirely different. On Thanksgiving Day I looked out my kitchen window as I was putting something in the sink and I looked at the backyard, of course we live on 53 acres so I guess our backyard is a little bigger than a normal backyard. Anyway, as I looked out the window, I saw many trees that have died over the summer from the drought and some that we had chopped up from when we had the tornado in May. I thought to myself, look at all that mess that needs to be cleaned up and the deadness that needs to be removed. Of course about that time, I hear God drop into my spirit, look around and see beyond the deadness, do you not see the life that is laying up just beneath the surface. When I heard this I stopped and realized, that is exactly like our spiritually life.

We look at ourselves and see the destruction all around us. We see where we have fallen short and we see the death of sin but we don’t see where those times in our life can be used for good to help others. Each trial that we go through only serves to build upon a foundation of our salvation. God didn’t call you to be perfect, He called you to be real. So you messed up, who hasn’t? If you will think back over your life I am sure that you will see that God has been walking beside you all the way, even through the tough times. He has called you for such a time as this to reach a generation that only you can reach. God doesn’t make junk so instead of seeing the death that is all around you, look at the beauty that is laying right up underneath the surface. Did God not say that He would give us beauty for ashes?  In Isaiah 61:3 it says, “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Just remember everything that you have gone through is for a purpose, everything that you will go through is for a purpose. Start digging deep, go and clear out the debris and clear the way for the newness of life that is laying just underneath the surface. He is not done with you, He is just getting started. The question is…will you allow Him to finish the good work that He has started in you or will allow the past to dictate your future.

Chasing Our Tales

Too many times people stop pursuing their dream or calling just because they think that it is too late. You feel like if it hasn’t happened yet then it will never happen but that is simply not true. There are many times that God will call someone at a young age but there are things that He has to take them through in order to use them. Sometimes it is for the testimony that will come out of them or maybe it is to build character, strength and wisdom. Either way, if He has called you to something He is well able to finish what He has called you to.
The reason that I titled this “Chasing Our Tales” is because it can have many meanings. If tales were spelled a different way, then it would be a perfect example of what we do a lot of the times. We chase after what we believe to be our purpose but because of circumstances we find ourselves going around and around in circles, similar to a dog chasing his tail. Many times when this happens we find out that we have been trying to do things on our own instead of being led by God. Anytime that we try to move in our own strength we will wind up running around in circles. God wants to lead and guide you and show you the way but you need to get out of your own way.
The other connotation that I wanted to impart with the title is the actual meaning of the word tale. Tales are stories that we listen to that cause us to go in one direction or another or to form a specific opinion about something.  There are tales that people will tell you like, “You will never be able to do that, or, you are too old”. It does matter what one person says to you. What you need to go on is whether or not God said you are able. We cannot listen to tales spoken by others to hold us back. We have to listen to the one who gave us the dream. The dream that God gave you may seem like a fairy tale but it doesn’t matter whether our minds can contain that dream, what matters is that in God’s kingdom, His dreams do come true. Take heart today knowing that what He has called you to, you are well able to accomplish through His strength and guidance.  Take a step out, now take another step, walk right past the fear that has been holding you back and walk right into your destiny.

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