ONE THING NEEDFUL…

Here’s a good one from a blogger at Wilderness Joy.  Check them out…they have some really good stuff!  I especially enjoyed this one.  The going’s on of this world have made me tired, weary and emotionally distraught, so this was a great reminder that I need to spend more time with God…alone!  Take a look… -anita

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“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught,
but after spending time alone with God,
we find that He injects into our bodies energy,
power and strength.” ~ Charles Stanley

Resting copy
Find a quiet, secluded place
so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.
Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.
The focus will shift from you to God,
and you will begin to sense His grace. (MSG). Matthew 6:6

 

We sit close to our Lord
and are enfolded in His loving embrace.
We sit close to Him and hear Him speaking words of love to us.
We sit close to Him and tell Him of our love for Him.
How it blesses Him when we come eagerly to sit in His presence.
How it warms His heart when we come close to spend time with Him.
So many seek to do things for Him,  so few choose just to be with Him.
What does it mean to wait on God?
You sit down, close your mouth, and just listen to God.
You may read your Bible. You may pray.
But most all, you’re quiet in front of God.~ Rick Warren

Wilderness joy

The tower of safety, IS the name of THE LORD!

The promise I drew from my box this morning simply said:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it and are safe. -Proverbs 18:10

It was accompanied by this little poem…

“Though there are dangers untold and stern

Confronting me in the way,

Willingly still would I go, nor turn,

But trust Thee for grace each day.” -Unknown

Although the verse above is short, it speaks volumes!  When troubles come into our life and we feel overwhelmed, all we need to do is call on the name of the Lord.  Calling on His name makes the enemy flee.  His name is not only a name…it is a ‘place’ we can run to and find protection!

Anita

COMMUNITY VS ISOLATION

I was thinking about community vs isolation, and wanted to share some verses with you.  Here’s what God has to say about it.  Take a look…

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrews 10:24-25

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. -Romans 12:4-5

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! -Psalm 133:1

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20

These are only a few of the verses found in the Bible concerning ‘community.’  There are many more.  Community…fellowship with Believers is crucial to your spiritual walk.

We as believers are to encourage one another.  Satan knows this and tries to prevent this interaction among the saved.  Satan is the author of isolation!  If he can keep a believer alienated from other believers, he can make them ineffective for the cause of Christ.  He can whisper lies to them…and they will eventually believe those lies because they have no one else there to speak the Truth.

We should all have someone we can confide in…vent to…speak whatever is on our heart and mind-without judgement.  This “pal” should be a believer, should listen with an open ear, and then give Godly, sound, Biblical advice to their brother or sister in Christ!

Find yourself a Godly friend.  Share your deepest fears with them.  Pray with them. Then both of you take those concerns to God in prayer together and watch the devil flee!

Anita

 

 

SHOULD WORSHIP BE LIKE PRAYER?

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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In the title of this blog, the question is asked, “Should worship be like prayer?”  The intent of the questions is this….  “Should worship-true worship, be unceasing?”  Take a look at the verses below.  They uphold the idea that worship, like prayer should be a constant in our lives!

After looking at the verses, read the excerpt that follows by John Piper.  It’s an eye-opener, to say the least! -anita

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Psalm 68:4-5 NIV Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him — his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 116:1-2 NIV I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

Psalm 63:3-4 NIV Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 34:1 NIV I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

Psalm 42:8  NIV  By day the Lord directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.

Psalm 111:10 NIV The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.

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I read the following on the internet while searching for the above verses.  This excerpt is from John Piper.  He is talking about Worship and how it affects Satan.  Scripture reference is 2 Chronicals 20:1-25.  Read it first, then take a look….

Spiritual worship and spiritual warfare should be carried out with singing. In verse 19 when all the people fell down to worship, the choir stood up to sing. And in verse 21 when the people went out to meet the enemy, the choir went before them with songs of victory.

And even more than that, I think that the writer wants us to learn from verse 22 that the enemies of God are thrown into confusion by the songs of God’s people. Or to put it another way, God has appointed the use of spiritual songs as an effective weapon against his archenemy Satan.

Four years ago I was called late one night to come to an apartment where supposedly there was a demon-possessed woman. I called Tom Steller and we went together while our wives prayed at home. What we found was a woman held in a room by some young Christian women who were intent on seeing the demon driven out of this woman. For about two hours I talked to her and read her Scriptures and prayed prayers of deliverance.

She became increasingly violent, knocking the Bible out of my hand and grabbing the prayer sheets and shoving me. At one point, about one in the morning, when the conflict rose to a fever pitch between the Word of God and the satanic force in this woman, someone in the group began to sing. It was one of our familiar worship songs. We sang it again and again and the Lord gave us new words for it each time. The effect on her was dramatic. She began to tremble and threaten us if we didn’t stop. Then she threw herself on the floor and screamed for Satan not to leave her. She went into convulsions and then went limp. When she came to, she remembered nothing of what happened and was willing to read Scripture and pray.

So Tom Steller and I know from experience that singing to God is not a nice little emotional trip to spice up a worship service. For us it felt more like a matter of life and death. That is what it was for Paul and Silas. And that’s what it is for our church.

Two Practical Applications

 

I close with two practical applications.

1. Use Songs in Your Personal and Family Devotions

 

You must sing songs unto God to help you ambush Satan in your personal devotional life. 

I promise you it will bring a new power to your fight of faith. Satan cannot bear the singing of the saints. You can drive him away with song. And don’t fall for his lie that you can’t sing. Everybody can sing. Not everybody can perform. Not everybody can lead. Not everybody can read music or even stay on the right keys. But everybody can sing to God.  God loves to hear your song, no matter how badly you sing. And woe to your enemies when you sing to your Father in heaven!

2. Know That the Ministry of Song Is Warfare

 

Second, God has ordained that the gifted singers among us be appointed for spiritual leadership in the choir. David appointed the Levites of the family of Kohath to the ministry of music. They were to serve in the house of God to bring a continual offering of praise and worship to the Lord. They were to lead and assist the people in singing to God. And, as we saw in 2 Chronicles 20 their work is warfare. When they began to sing, the Lord set an ambush against the enemy.

And so it should be with the church. The singers and musicians are not here to turn worship into a nice aesthetic experience for the pleasure of unspiritual artsy types. They have not been called as a kind of musical artists in residence. They have been called as company commanders. The enemy is Satan and the warfare is song. And their business is to take charge of the company at the front ranks of the army and to lead us to God in worship, to each other in love, and into the world to plunder the death camps of Satan. Christ has given us a promise far greater than the promise of Jahaziel to Jehoshaphat: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; go make disciples . . . I will be with you to the end of the age . . . I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (Matthew 28:18–20John 11:25).

We have two great weapons in worship: the Word of God and song. So let us give heed to the Word of God and let us sing with all our heart.

John Piper

 

Passionate Church – sermon notes by Pastor Danny Leavtt

Passionate Church

Pitfalls

  1. pleasing the crowd
  2. bad doctrine
  3. cheap love
  4. Insincerity: pray and worship

 

(1) Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) – the church that had forsaken its first love (2:4).

(2)  Pergamum (Revelation 2:12-17) – the church that needed to repent (2:16).

(3) Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) – the church that had a false prophetess (2:20).

(4) Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6) – the church that had fallen asleep (3:2).

(6)  Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) – the church with the lukewarm faith (3:16).

Next year you will not be the same as you are now.

 

Acts 2:42 (MSG)

41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the (1) teaching of the apostles, (2) the life together, (3) the common meal, (4) and the prayers.

 

  1. Love

Commitment
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

 

Romans 12:9

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

 

John 13:34-38 (NLT)

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

  1. Purposeful Sound Doctrine

Bible reading and study.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” —1 Thessalonians 5:11

1 Corinthians 15:3–4

For l delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures,

“Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” —2 Peter 1:5–7

 

  1. Cooperative community

“Live in harmony with one another.” —Romans 12:16
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” —Ecclesiastes 4:9

“Outdo one another in showing honor.” —Romans 12:10

Philippians 1:27 (KJV)

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” —Colossians 3:13

 

  1. Gather

“Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some.” Hebrews 10:25

  1. Prayer

Paul’s Final Advice

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

Paul’s Final Greetings

23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.

The Harvest Time Has Come
Mark 4:26-29New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Growing Seed

26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

 

 

 

YOU CAN NEVER OVERCOME WHAT YOU REFUSE TO CONFRONT!

My son posted this on Facebook the other day.  I thought it was really insightful coming from a twenty-four year old!  Take a look… -anita

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He said…

“I think a huge part of maintaining your mental health and cultivating general well-being comes from having completely honest internal dialogue with yourself every so often.

To no longer sweep things under the rug, or tie it to a rock and cast it to the depths of yourself, but rather admit your truths and give yourself the space to define clarity as you need it.

Although sometimes it’s difficult to accost those hard places, it is absolutely a human necessity to reflect ab intra, because you can never overcome what you refuse to confront.”

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Good observation Micah!

But, I’d like to go a step further and say this….  There is only ONE way to maintain your mental health and well-being, and that comes from having complete honest dialogue with God Almighty!  He is the only one that can give you clarity…expose those things you often want to sweep under the rug, or tie to a rock and bury in the depths of your heart.  He alone can reveal those things and help you overcome!  The apostle Paul wrote of overcoming in Romans 8:35-39.  Paul summarizes the power believers have through the Holy Spirit to overcome any attacks of the enemy. Verse 37 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors (overcome) through him who loved us.”

The internal dialogue we must have with ourselves is to admit we have these things-things we’d like to forget about…hide…cover up…pretend they don’t exist; and in the end, we must realize that only God can expose them…heal them…remove them from our lives! But in order to do this, we must first go to Him in prayer and request His intervention in these matters.  We can’t do it alone!  But if we bring it to Him…He will surely take it, and we will be healed…mentally, physically, and spiritually!

Thanks for the insight Micah!

Micah/anita

DO YOU believe…or do you BELIEVE?

We have many things going on right now that we are trusting God to bring to pass.  Most times, I put it all in His capable hands and believe that He will do what is best; but then… my human side kicks in, and I find myself overwhelmed at the size of “the problems” we are facing.  That’s when doubt floods in, and I feel as though I’m drowning!  This morning, after my husband left for work, and the house was quiet, I found myself in this predicament.

I KNOW in my head that God can do anything…but in my heart, I fear He can’t, or worse yet…won’t.   Don’t be too quick to pass judgement on me…I’m sure you’ve all been there; and if you haven’t yet, you will be at some point in your life.

I decided to go to my Promise Box for some encouragement.  I asked the Lord to quell my doubts, still my heart, and put my mind at ease.  Instead of giving me one promise, He gave me three.  Here’s what they said, in the order I drew them…

“The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” -Psalm 34:17   “O Lord, let me not be afraid to ask for help.”

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go:  I will guide you with My eye.” -Psalm 32:8  “Lord, I am unworthy of all the kindnesses You have showered upon me in the past.  I thank You for your great love to me!  Help me trust You for what I need.”

“I will give unto him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.” -Revelation 21:6  “Heavenly Father, fill me with Your joy so that there will be a constant overflow to attract others to You!”

My heart is at peace.  So much so, that if I didn’t have all of this house work to do, I’d go back to bed and sleep like a baby 🙂

If you find yourself in turmoil and doubt today, read the above verses again…. Then…trust in the Lord…He WILL work it all out!

Anita

SON FLOWERS…

Have you ever noticed how Sunflowers always turn and face the sun?  We have a huge one growing in our back yard-it’s almost 5 feet tall!  I’ve watched it during the day as it turns with the sun.  I was curious to learn more so went to google.

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Here’s what they said:

Scientists have answered a burning question central to the charm of sunflowers: Why do young flowers move their blooms to always face the sun over the course of a day?

And then: Once sunflowers reach maturity, why do they stop tracking the sun and only face east?  …The researchers compared mature flowers facing east with those they turned to face west, and found that the east-facing blooms attracted five times as many helpful pollinators.  

That’s because the east-facing flowers heat up faster.

And, “bees like warm flowers,” as Harmer puts it.

…. A young flower faces east at dawn and greets the sun, then slowly turns west as the sun moves across the sky. During the night, it slowly turns back east to begin the cycle again….  

The researchers found that the plant’s turning is actually a result of different sides of the stem elongating at different times of day…..  

The researchers tied plants up so they couldn’t move or turned them away from the sun – and they found those flowers eventually had “decreased biomass and less leave area” than flowers that could move with the sun.

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I shared all of that with you to say this…We as Christians, followers of the SON, need to act more like sunflowers.  We need to look for The Light, and keep it (Him) ever before us throughout the day!  Just like sunlight helps sunflowers grow, so the Son Light of Jesus helps us grow in our christian walk.  Once we’ve matured in our walk with Christ, we will be “warm” and friendly…attracting others to “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”  They in turn will pollinate (spread the Gospel) and share all they have learned from the mature christian!

Don’t let Satan “tie” you up, or turn you away from the Son.  Satan doesn’t want you to grow…he wants you to die.  He wants to keep you in bondage so that you won’t “attract” others to find the Light of Christ!

Let’s be SON flowers and bring the beauty of Jesus to someone’s life today!

Anita/google

REMINDERS OF HIS MERCY…

Well…it’s happened yet again folks!  God used Teddy, my dog, to teach me a lesson.

As most of you know from some of my past blogs, Teddy’s behavior leaves somewhat to be desired at times.  …As does mine, I might add.  I believe this is why God speaks to me through Ted’s behavior; I am able to relate because I act the same way.

See…I have these flip-flops that I dearly love.  They were made especially for me with chunks of turquoise beaded onto the straps. I love turquoise more than diamonds!

Anyway, last night while watching TV, I kicked them off so I could put my feet up on the couch.  Teddy was under the couch, sitting by my feet. Though my feet disappeared from his sight, my shoes remained.  He always wants to be close to me, and since my feet were gone, he grabbed one of my flip-flops unbeknownst to me.

I didn’t realize until I turned off the TV to go to bed, that one of the flip-flops was missing. I looked under the couch, and, sure enough!  There it was…minus most of the bead work. Well, needless to say, I wasn’t happy!  Teddy got a good scolding, and was made to sleep in his dog bed instead of on my bed next to me.

At about 4 a.m., God awakened me and asked me ‘why?’ I was so angry with Teddy.  I explained that Teddy had destroyed my shoes…something that was created especially for me….

Then it happened.  I heard God say, “You…mankind, destroys MY creation everyday!  And I created ALL things for man to enjoy.  However, babies are aborted, lives are destroyed by alcohol and drugs, bodies ravaged by lust and sex outside of marriage, minds fall into decay from pornography and doctrines that are not of ME….  But when you come to ME, MY arms are always open wide, waiting to receive you and forgive you.  I don’t hold you at arms-length, or make you wait until my anger or disappointment has subsided; I welcome you, I wait for you to come to Me!  …I forgive, and forget the wrongs you have done to Me and My creation.”

Well, after that poignant reminder, I did not cast Teddy away when he jumped on the bed to be close to me the rest of the night.  There was nothing else I could do as  I reflected on my own disobedience to my Master.  It was some time before I fell asleep. I laid there and marveled at the goodness and graciousness of God and the mercy He bestows upon me everyday!

Anita

ARE WE THERE YET????

“They were longing for a better country–a heavenly one.” -Hebrews 11:16

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A few years back, there was a movie that came out called, Are We There Yet?  I’m sure some of you have seen it.

If you have children…you can relate to the content of the movie.  It was pretty true to life, and very funny.

However, the older I get, I find myself asking the Lord the same question….  “Are we there yet?  Are we almost home?  Are you coming back soon to get us?”

Some days, I long for Christs’ return.  On other occasions, I pray for His mercy…to wait just a little longer for those that need to come to Him…for those still groping in darkness…looking for truth…lost…doomed…damned.

And even though I’m tired of this life when I see the chaos and turmoil of the world, I know I will be at rest one day.  The same can’t be said for some.  They have ‘one hell of a life’ here…and then die without Jesus and will have Hell for all eternity.

Yes!  I want to go home and be with Jesus; but I need to keep looking ahead with faith in my heart and ask God to use me to bring others into His kingdom.  I want to be like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…as I walk down this ‘yellow brick road’ called life, I want to find, and bring those helpless, lost souls to Jesus.  HE (Jesus), is no longer behind the curtain.  The veil was rent, torn, to reveal His presence.  We can come directly to Him and make our requests known.

Let’s stop asking Him, “Are we there yet?”, and pray…”Lord, help me get just one more…”

Anita