Saturday, August 31, 2013

Why Wait?

"Finally, brothers, 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. (Philippians 4:8)

All of my life, I've sort of been known as the "good girl." I've never really done drugs, drinking or partying and I've always been sort of a people pleaser. I was the nerdy valedictorian of my high school and my social life was virtually nonexistent aside from church and the occasional youth hangout. A couple of years ago, I began to worry that maybe I had been missing out on life. A guy who appeared to show interest in dating me actually stopped talking to me when he found out I was a virgin and that I believed in waiting until marriage before doing that sort of thing. He even made fun of me for it and said I must be a prick or something. Although I was 20, I began to wonder if maybe I was missing out on something- I wondered, was that guy right?

I decided to talk to my pastor and his wife about it. I told them of my concerns and that I kind of felt like a loser because I was so inexperienced. I told them of how I was the only one in my group of friends that was a virgin and that I worried if something must be wrong with me. Then my pastor's wife told me something I'll never forget. "In a moment you can do those things and be just like them, but never- not in a whole lifetime- could they ever be like you again."

Right then it clicked. Why was I so worried about fitting in with everyone else? I was so focused on what other people thought of me, it didn't even cross my mind that maybe it was okay to be a "good girl". Society and the media push this cookie cutter "cool kid" mold so much that young people are actually starting to think it's a bad thing to be a virgin after the age of 16- does that not seem a little messed up?? Kids are even beginning to experiment with sex in elementary school- a sad thing indeed.

God is calling us to a higher sandard than the world around us, though. The people around us will know who we serve by our actions. If they see us living a pure life, they will see Christ in us. And if nothing else, God blesses us for our purity.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matthew 5:8)

Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of- in this day and age it is actually something to be admired in a young adult. The lines have been blurred when it comes to what is considered "sex" in the the eyes of the world. But you must ask yourself "does this bring glory to God? Am I being a witness?" Though the world plays it off like it's not a big deal, sex is a very big deal. It's something that once it's done, it can never be undone- ever.
But if you have done things that you are not proud of, don't worry that hope is lost; you need to realize that you can change. In Christ, you are a new creation.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
 
The slate is wiped clean and you get a second chance in Christ. God can restore you even if you've already made a mistake. 
You are special and God created you for a special reason. Sex is something that should be saved for marriage- it is something that should be for those who are committed for life. Why give something so important to just anybody? 
So don't be ashamed. Don't feel inexperienced or left out. God loves you and has reserved someone special for you. There's no need to be in such a rush- I promise you won't regret waiting until your wedding night and saving something so important for someone who loved you enough to wait.

And remember: in just a moment you can be like everybody else, but they can NEVER be like you again no matter how hard they tried.


He will never leave you or forsake you!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

There have been many times I've tried to take on things by myself when I know God has said "Hey, I got this." And when God says, "Hey, don't do that." I've done it anyway. Of course because of the decisions I made, I had to deal with the consequences of my actions. I have read over Genesis so many times, but one night I was reading and something completely stood out to me..

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21 NIV)

When Adam and Eve were asked not to partake of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they disobeyed God and did it anyway. They did exactly what God told them not to. They were banished from the Garden of Eden as a result. But Genesis 3:21 tells us God completely PREPARED them for what they would have to face outside of the garden. Yes, they made the mistake, and yes, they had to deal with the consequences, but God still prepared them for it.

Praise God that I have a merciful God who loves me so much that he will prepare me for the mistakes I set myself up for!

God tells us what not to do, we deceive him and do it anyway, we hide from him, he finds us out, we suffer for our actions, but God still sees us through it.
God is so faithful even when we are not!

This devotional was written from the heart of Ashley Pierce! I hope this has inspired you in some way! If so please comment below, your story could help inspire others!!

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Friday, August 30, 2013

What Everybody Needs


"He answered them, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment."   Luke 16; 27-28
 
      What does a man in hell have that every Christian needs?
 
     The initial response of most to that question would be, nothing. However, the reality is that the man in hell exhibited a characteristic that every Christian should have. He was mission minded. He had a sense of urgency and desperation to make sure his brothers were warned about the eternal consequences of rejecting Jesus. 
 
   The man begged that Lazarus be sent. He did not say, "If you get an extra few minutes could you work it into your schedule to talk to my family about salvation." He did not say, "The next time you run into my family at the grocery store could you mention my situation." He begged which shows us his desperation. Asking Lazarus to be sent shows his urgency. Translated into today's terminology that verse would read, "Please, please, please, go right now!"  Do not wait until it is too late."
 
    We as Christians should have the same mentality as the man in hell. Believing the Bible and knowing the consequences for people who are lost, why are we casually waiting for an opportunity to share Christ? Sharing Christ with others should not be worked into our busy schedule. Our schedule should be designed around sharing Christ. There are lost people in hell right now that if given the chance to speak to us would beg us to share the message of salvation with others and to do so with extreme urgency. Therefore, be mission minded. Clear your schedule. Make time to share the love of Jesus Christ with someone today. Taking the time to do this may not be easy, but it will be worth it!
 
Written in service to my first love, Jesus Christ.
- Kelli Porter

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Touchdown Auburn!!

Col. 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

 

Anyone that knows me, even just a little knows that I am a HUGE Auburn Football fan! So as you can guess, January 10, 2011 was an exciting day for me. My team defeated the Oregon Ducks for a LONG awaited BCS National Championship.
 
 
One hour before the game even started I was pacing around the living room and up and down the hall. Decked out in my favorite game day t-shirt. Ready for kick-off. Putting my hopes on the arm of Cam and the foot of Wes.


Looking back on that day The Lord as shown me how out of balance I was. Instead of setting my affections on things above I was setting them on things of this earth!


We read in Matt. 22:37 Jesus said unto him,  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. The Lord has shown me that I was loving Auburn Football more than Him.


Now, I will be watching Auburn Football every chance I get this season. But I have had a great reminder from my Father to keep it in proper order. HE should always be first!!!!

My prayer this week as football season gets under way is that no mater which team you root for that we will all keep HIM first!!!

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear your comments.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Little creators

God said "Let there be light", and there was light.
Genesis 1:3


In the bible God spoke the world into existence. The first chapter of Genesis is completely filled with "And God said..." He didn't physically create everything. He didn't wave a magic wand and everything was created. He SPOKE everything into existence! Wow! That is amazing to think about! What an amazing God we have the opportunity to serve! He spoke and it was created!


The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. 
Proverbs 18:21


What are we creating with our words? Do you speak blessings or cursings over yourselves and other people? Do you speak God's word over yourself or do you speak a bunch of negative things? This is something huge to think about. What are we creating in our lives?


We all need to think about what we are saying! We need to think positively and speak that way also. 


Whatever we are putting in our minds and in our hearts will be what we speak. So let's read the bible and really focus on God so our words will reflect God and LIFE! Let's create LIFE and not DEATH with our words. Because after all we are all little creators. 


This devotion was written by Mandy Robertson. Please comment below. You never know your comment could impact others!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Talents


In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the first servant is given five talents, the second is given two talents and the third is given one talent to watch over and multiply for their master until he returns. Just like this the Lord has given us tasks and responsibilities to take care of until He returns as well. We are the body of Christ, just like our fleshly bodies, not all of our parts or jobs are the same but all are important.

The best thing about this parable is when the master returns and his first two servants eagerly greet him and show him that through hard work and investment they have doubled the money he left them with! The master was very pleased with them. He called them good and faithful servants and said that since they had been faithful over few things he would make then rulers over many things.

Now we come to the third servant. He had been afraid of his master and scared of what he would do to him if he lost his masters money. So instead of investing the money or even putting it in the bank where it could gain interest, he buried it in the ground so it would be "safe" until his masters return. When he did return, the servant took the money that the master had left him with and gave it back as he had received it. His master was angry. He called him a wicked and slothful servant. He took the talent from him and gave it to the servant who had ten talents and cast the wicked servant into the outer darkness where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

That last part is sobering and very serious. It tells us that the Lord expects a return on His investment in us. The Lord requires that we take the love He gives us and multiply it into those around us. If we take His love and bury it in the soil of or hearts, we aren't doing anyone any good, including ourselves. He tells us to love one another. How can we say that we love all people when we see them lost and dying and choose not to share with them the answer to their problems, the cure for their diseases; the love of God manifested in His son Jesus Christ? We can't. That's why the punishment for the third servant is so harsh. There's no excuse for being lazy and unproductive when the Lord has provided all we need to be successful.

But the first part is wonderful. There is a promise there. A promise that if we are faithful in the body of Christ when we are only a big toe; faithful in balancing out the rest of the body. The Lord will reward our faithfulness by making us the ankle or whatever is next on the way up. I don't want to take this analogy too far or give you an unwanted anatomy lesson. But, hopefully you understand what I'm trying to illustrate for you.

Its like the CEO of a large company who started out in the mail room. When you show you are committed to the furthering of the Kingdom of God, and are faithful in doing the menial tasks that seem small and unimportant, you can be assured with the promise from Matthew 6:4 that the Lord sees all that you do and will reward you!
This is the same principal as in exercise and many other things in life; you'll get out of it what you put into it. The Lord calls us all into His service. But few answer the call, and even fewer answer with the zeal that such a call requires. If you feel you have an awesome calling on your life, chances are that you do. God created you with a purpose and I don't know of anything my God does, has done, or will do that's not awesome.

If it seems like your sitting at an idle and you're waiting on God to press the throttle. Think again. That's not His job. He gave you free will. God is waiting on you. He made all the provision you need to go far in this life; the vehicle, the mechanics, the fuel, even the manual. He's just waiting on you to step on the gas!

This devotion was written by Chassidy Hester. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it has spoken to you or helped you in some way. Feel free to comment below or to contact me by e-mail at chassidyhester@gmail.com

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Provider

Matthew 6:33
       Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

      Are you struggling with finances or worrying about how you are going to make ends meet?? Or, is there something you desire so badly that you are completely consumed with it and you cannot think of anything else??? Maybe the reason why you don't have what you want or need is because your priorities aren't right! 

      When we focus on the things we need or want but don't have, we begin to let worry and anxiety and sometimes even lust of material things enter our lives! When the fact is, if we are doing what we should be doing by seeking God, he will take care of us! To "seek first the kingdom of God" is to put God first in your life! When you put Him first, everything else just falls into place!! 

      So, as far as needs go, Philippians 4:19 says that God will supply our every need according to his riches in glory!! That means,he has pretty much got out needs covered as long as we keep our eyes focused on him! And as for wants, Psalms 37:4 says that if we delight ourselves in The Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart!!! 

      So you see, all he wants is for us to love him and give him our full attention and in return, he completely takes care of us!! He is our Great Provider!!! We just have to keep our eyes focused on HIM!!!

This devo was written by Maggi Sellers:) I pray that all of the Awakening Your Day devotions have blessed your heart like they have mine!!! You can follow me on Instagram (maggisellers) and Twitter (maggisellers86) 
      

Sunday, August 25, 2013

WHO or WHAT comes first?

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17 NIV)

If I'm stopped at a red light in town, and look over and see a BMW, sometimes I want to sink down into my seat.. The seat of my good ol' Taurus. I've had "Tauri" for quite some time. I'm not knocking on the old girl, because she has definitely gotten me through a few wrecks. My girl is a tank. I'm thankful for her, but there's something about seeing something nicer that makes you completely forget about what you already have. It makes you lose sight of what is important. 

Let me be clear! God does want His children to have nice things, but are we putting those nice things before Him? Do we want Him as much as we do those nice things? That's something to think about! Are we spending time with God as much as we are with the temporary things of this world? We must be very careful! 

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. (Matthew 4:8-11 NIV)

Satan WILL try and tempt you with temporary things of this world!! Satan says he will give us the world and it's things, but my God has promised me something so much greater than that! He promises me eternal life!

We need to make sure we aren't putting THINGS of this world before God! He puts us first and we should do the same!

This was written from the heart of Ashley Pierce! I hope this has made an impact on you in some way! If so please comment below! Your story could help encourage others!!

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

God Loves the Underdogs!

I Samuel 17:49
“And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead; that the stone sunk into his forehead, and he fell upon his face to the earth.”

Have you ever felt too weak or small to make a difference in life? Have you ever felt like the underdog? Consider David when he came up against Goliath- you better believe he was considered the underdog! Yet, look how this story turned out.

God does not care about our abilities, our physical or even mental strength. God has consistently chosen those who are considered “weak” to do His work. I’m often reminded of the saying “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” We have to realize that God is looking for the faithfulness in our hearts- not our muscle or abilities; once we realize this, nothing in the world is impossible for the underdogs. God loves the underdogs!

Consider the youth of this generation. So many young people out there feel that no one would take them seriously if they tried to be an example to others; so many young people feel that they could never make an impact because they are considered “too young” by society. But 1 Timothy 4:12 reminds us that we should not let our youth get in the way of setting an example- in fact, we should use our youth to set the example! The youth of this generation are not weak; they are in one of the best positions to do God’s work and they are more important than they know. God loves the underdogs!

What society considers weak does not agree with what God considers weak. Many individuals think that they are too far into sin to do anything useful for God. Wrong! Paul who was considered “the chief of sinners” is the best example of how God can use anyone -no matter their past- to do His work. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that God does not see as man sees, while the world looks on outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

So the next time that you’re having an underdog kind of day, remember: God loves the underdogs! Those people that society considers “weak,” these are some of His most chosen individuals. You are important. You are stronger than your physical and mental abilities- you have a strength given from God. With God, no enemy is too tough, no obstacle is too big, and no problem is too difficult for even the underdog.

Hope you have a blessed day!!
Nealey Sims

Friday, August 23, 2013

Say Yes to the Dress


Ephesians 6:11 
Put on the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
I love that show, Say Yes To The Dress! Friday nights…TLC… relaxing after a long work week! I’m not sure why I love it so much. My two oldest girls are already married but I know in my heart that someday my baby daughter will marry and also I am standing with a friend. 
Saying yes to the dress can also be found in the book of Ephesians, chapter six. It is a different part of dressing yourself! It is so important to understand what God has for us and dressing yourself in the whole amour of God is one of them. Knowing what God’s word says is the key to knowing how to pray.
Do you ever have something happen in your family, church family or even in your community and past memories come back and flood you like a river? I can’t help to think on those memories when someone is getting married or having a child. Those type of memories stick with us all forever. That is what happened to me a few weeks ago when my quite little hometown had an unexpected visitor! Bad memories and good memories flooded my mind and I began to write this devotional.
I remember it well, a busy week to say the least at my bank. Money was going out of my drawer like water. People were leaving on vacation, buying food for cookouts and buying fireworks like they were going out of style! I felt like I had waited on every person in Jefferson County! My branch was running a Skelton crew that day. Employees were on vacation, someone went home sick and a poor judgment call let others leave early, leaving only two people at my branch. Yep, just me and my boss! Oh well I thought; it was only one more hour to closing. One more hour and I would be balancing my money drawer, walking out the door soon after, loving on my grandparents. Just one more hour!
My day started early on a very rainy morning. I was excited; my grandparents were coming to visit me and my husband from Kentucky. I was dragging; I had worked super hard all week long at the bank but I had worked even harder at my home. I had cleaned and scrubbed every night wanting everything to be perfect. No snooze button was pushed as my alarm clock blared out on the day before the 4th of July. I jumped out of bed and started my day. 
I had gotten up earlier than normal but not nearly enough to inspect my house and not enough to fix my hideous hair! My mother in law had talked me into getting my hair cut short. Her advice to me was when young mothers have babies; they are too busy for long hair. I took her advice and cut it all off! I was in a real mess that day; to say the least I am no hairdresser. I was spending more time fixing and refixing my hair than I ever did! My morning was definitely hectic but things were starting to look up. I was finally finished, clean house, sorta decent hair and ready for work. I threw on my clothes, grabbed my umbrella and out the door I rushed.
As my pumps hit the concrete outside my apartment door something happened to me that would change my life forever. I had my very first vision from the Lord God Almighty. My hand was on my umbrella trying to open it when I looked up and saw a beautiful silver pitcher. Inside the pitcher was the blood of Jesus. It poured over my head touching every part of my body. I KNEW it was from God, I had no doubt but my mind was racing like a race horse, thinking on a thousand other things. I looked up to the rainy sky, said thank you Jesus, ran to my car and flew into work on two wheels!
I arrived at work and it was one of the busiest days ever. All day long it was the hustle and bustle but by 3:20 I finally entered the vault and the mad house had begun to calm down. I stuck my head out of the vault and that is when I spotted a solid black pickup truck backing into the front door of our branch; inside came a robber. He jumped over the counter. He was dressed in all black; a gun in one of his hands and the other held a black garbage bag; a full ski mask covered his face.
The vault was the first place he went as he demanded for me to hold his bag while he filled it up. The teller line was hit next getting all the money out of the next teller drawer because she had left work suddenly. My station was the next in line. The robber pulled and snatched my drawer only to find it was locked. The yelling started, the cussing began and I remember felling totally helpless. 
With the gun held up in the air with one hand and the other jerking my drawer, the unimaginable happened. The person robbing me removed his mask right in front of my face!  His eyes stared deep into mine and I felt at that very moment my life was over. I saw his face!!! That simply meant I would be able to describe him; that meant I would be able to testify! Only God knows the terror I felt that day, only God knows the fear I felt as he held the gun to my head. The robber instructed me to lay face down on the floor. I clearly remember laying there and turning my hands over so he would not get my wedding rings. I held my breath, whispered to Jesus that I loved HIM and waited for the robber to pull the trigger. My heart was pounding out of my chest when all of a sudden I heard the robber jump back over the counter and drive off!!!
In the 1980’s banks had red dye packs attached to the tellers bait money. The police found the banks money with red dye all over it in his home. In the end I did have to testify against him. Sadly the robber did the crime so he in return did the time. I pray going to prison turned his life around but most of all I pray he found Jesus!
God saved my life that faithful day. HIS grace covered my entire soul. I KNOW God’s angels were stationed around me and my bank. I KNOW the Lord covered me from head to toe in the blood of Jesus! I KNOW the favor of the Lord went before me and stopped the robber. I will praise HIS name forever for sparing my life and the life of my future child, GLORY!!!!
Prayer is a tool the Lord gave us to use. 1Peter 5:8 says the devil is as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour. The devil NEVER takes a day off!!! Always remember to cover you and your family in the blood of Jesus, bind the devil in Jesus name and always say…YES TO THE DRESS…put on the whole amour of God! 
Much love and joy, 
Pamela Britt Malone (instagram-pammiemalone)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

True Faith or Fake Faith?

 Heb. 11: 1-3 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

A few weeks ago Pastor Anthony preached a sermon titled "Have Faith In Your Faith". It was one of those that you "know" is just for you. In the last few days I have been in need of a reminder. So, I went to the AwakeningLife Ministries app and listened to it again.  It has caused me to wonder how many of us have a true faith in God and His Word. Or are most of us living with a "fake faith"?

We talk about Him and all He has done and all He will do. But when a crises arises do we use our faith? Do we STAND on His word? Or have we done a whole lot of talking but truly have nothing to back it up? There is an old saying "actions speak louder then words". Are our actions showing that we truly have "faith in our faith"?

Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

Faith comes by hearing The Word. Not by "heard" The Word. To have a "true" faith we must spend time in His Word EVERY day. If we don't we run the risk of only having a "fake faith" and not being able to "stand" in times of trouble. So........... let's all make a promise to ourselves and a promise to God that we will turn off the TV, put down the iphone, ipad, video game control, lap top........... Whatever it is that is keeping us from being in His Word. Let's promise that we will do whatever it takes to have a true faith. So that when trials come, (Jesus told us they would) people will look at us with our unwavering "true faith" and want what we have. JESUS!!!

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that we all will have a true faith in our Father and His word. That everyone we meet will be able to see it!!

I pray this has touched you in some way. I would love to hear your comments.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The CHOICE is YOURS

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love The Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For The Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 


Let's be completely honest with ourselves. What is the most important thing to you? Is it your job? Is it your desire to be popular or the best at anything you do? Is it your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife ? Is it your hobby or dream car/house? The questions of priorities could go on and on!


Here is something awesome to really soak in. Whatever occupies your attention, your time, your energy, your thoughts........ THAT is what you are serving!!! Whatever you are serving will in the long run determine how life could go for you. And if you are serving something other than God life is not going to go good for you!


Joshua 24:15
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. 


Here is a thought- Choose God! Yes it is a choice! The bible states it very clearly. Choose to put your time and energy into creating a closer relationship with God. Make a choice to read his word and pray and talk with God. Let him take control of your life. You will find out that your life will go a lot better when God is at the center of it! 

This devotion was written by Mandy Robertson. Please comment below! You never know your comments could impact someone else!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Golden Rule

"So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."

Matthew 7:12

The Golden Rule.

I once had a boss that had a quote that would flash across her computer screen. It read "Always be kind, you never know what someone is going through on the inside that you can't see on the outside." It's been many years since I worked for this person and I think about that saying often. I asked her about it one time. She told me it was a quote she tried to live by. You could tell. She was a kind hearted person that would go above and beyond to help someone. I think about how true this quote is. How easy it is sometimes to put it all together on the outside but on the inside to be totally undone. I wonder how many times in a day I have contact with someone that is going through a hard time and just not showing it. Then I remember how vitally important it is to be kind. To everyone. No matter the circumstance. You never know what is going on inside. Never think you do.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one anther, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32

The thing is Jesus wanted us to be kind. God was kind to us by giving us His grace, His forgiveness of sins, healing, and His abundance. In return we are to be kind to others. I know this might not always be the easiest thing to practice. The world is a harsh place and not many people live by the Golden Rule anymore. In fact they really don't live by any rules anymore. Most people now are only takers. They want your kindness when they are going through a hard time but have no intentions of showing you any kindness in return. But, that's ok. Let's be different. Let's be mold breakers. We can reverse the cycle. We can be kind. We can show God's kindness.


I hope I'm a kind person. I hope people can see the kindness of God in me. I also hope you find away to show God's kinds to everyone you come in contact.

Just Remember... Always be kind, you never know what someone is going through on the inside that you can't see on the outside.

Mary Sellers
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Monday, August 19, 2013

My Hope is Built...

Hebrews 6:19
    We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure

    My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus' name!

    We've been singing the song "Cornerstone" for the past couple of weeks at church. It a passionate and beautiful song all about hope and trust in Jesus. But, many non-believers don't seem to understand this hope that we have. They think, "how can you put all of your trust into someone you can't even see?" It's because we have a relationship with God!

    When you have a relationship with someone, you can have hope and trust in them! Romans 8:24 says we received hope when we were saved!! So hope is something that God gives us! We should demonstrate this in the way we live our lives! Our sole purpose is to reach out to others and spread God's word to the world so that they will have this same hope too!! 


Maggi Sellers

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I hope they see You in me.

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. NLT Romans 12:2

The first devotion I wrote for Awakening Your Day was about standing out from the crowd and how in Romans it says we should not copy the behavior of this world. We were made to be set apart and stand out from others. I would like to go more in detail about that and the importance of it. I think I can sum it up with a song lyric from one of my favorite bands, Thousand Foot Krutch. 

"And when they say they don't believe, I hope they see You in me."

This single lyric brings tears to my eyes. That is exactly how I want to live my life. I want others to see Christ through me. Even if they don't believe, I want them to see a noticeable difference in me. Not that I am perfect, but even through my trials and imperfections that I have hope. And I'm trusting in something they may not believe, but they want that hope. They want to have the same peace I have. We should live our lives in such a way that people see a noticeable difference in us. I'm the youth pastor at Awakening Life and I tell the youth and young adults, the best thing they can do to help their unsaved friends, family members and even parents other than prayer, is to be that light in their life. 

Live your life in such away that even when people say they don't believe, they see Jesus in you!!!!

This devotional was written from the heart of Ashley Pierce! I hope this devotional has helped you in some way! If so, please comment below! Your story could help change lives!

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Live Long and Laugh

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
-Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)

Have you laughed today?
A friend once asked me, “Nealey, why are you always so smiley and happy??” She almost sounded annoyed with me. So I jokingly said to her, “Well, laughing and smiling comes so naturally that, honestly, I’m a bit too lazy to be sad.” I’m not sure that this was the answer she was looking for, but it brought a smile to her face, nonetheless.

There are many opportunities to smile and even laugh in every day. Happiness and laughter are very important in maintaining a healthy life. Why? Well, the Bible itself says that “a cheerful heart is good medicine...” Still not convinced? Over the years, doctors and healthcare professionals all over the world have reported the benefits of laughter, a few of which are:
Decrease in stress levels
Strengthening of the immune system
Muscle relaxation
Pain reduction
Lower blood pressure
Natural anti-depressant

Amazing what a little happiness can do for you, huh?

You know what they say “Laughter is the best medicine.” These words ring even more true when you couple them with Proverbs 17:22. The Bible is inspired by the greatest doctor of all- God. He is our Great Physician and what is His prescription? Be happy. Cheerfulness is good medicine but a broken spirit makes you weak. Learn to find joy in everything. Learn to laugh in tough or sad situations- especially those involving yourself.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned in life was to learn to laugh at myself. A friend and I were riding down a double lane road when it happened- “Stand By Me” came on the radio. So naturally, we turned the radio up loud and sang at the top of our lungs. A nice looking young fellow drove up in a truck right beside us so what did I do? I turned in his direction, leaned a little towards the window and proceeded to serenade him. The smile on his face was priceless and I could tell he was laughing as he drove away. My friend and I were hysterical with laughter afterwards because of all the wonderful looks we got from people in passing cars. I was later asked, “Don’t you ever get embarrassed when you do that?” “Nope.” I responded, “Just think, I gave that guy something to smile about- he even has a funny story to tell his friends to make them smile. I’m never embarrassed about making someone happy.”

Look at it this way, when you goof up or do something embarrassing, you’ve succeeded in giving people a healthier day just by providing opportunity to laugh.

Don’t take life so seriously, focus on the lighter side of every situation, spend time with children, maybe even subscribe to a joke of the day email or text. If you’re feeling bad, a little laughter may be just what the Great Physician has prescribed.

Have a blessed day!
-Nealey Sims

Friday, August 16, 2013

Adventures Unlimited


"There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High." Psalms 46:4 AMP

"Hit the deck!" We heard the command exclaimed from the back of our raft as our guide steered us through the Class 3 and Class 4 rapids. Our crew of 6 had received basic instructions from our Whitewater guide before we launched our raft into the Ocoee river. "Hit the deck" meant we were to get down into the floor of our raft, put our paddles up straight into the air and brace ourselves in- we were going to get wet.

Right forward. Right back. Left forward. Left back. -Take a break. Stroke. We all listened for the commands from our guide as he navigated our raft through the river.

Isn't that the way it is with us and God? At times we are at ease and enjoying the scenery and the next thing you know here comes "Grumpy" or "Table Saw" or "Hell's Hole" and He takes us right through them. Sometimes He commands us to "Hit the deck" and all we can do is brace ourselves, confident that He is in control and will take us through- safely. Sometimes He commands us to paddle "Left back, right forward!" to get us through and sometimes He says you can get out of the boat and just enjoy floating down the river because He knows the river and He doesn't let us get so far out that He can't pull us back in.

"The Lord appeared from of old to me (Israel), saying Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you."  Jeremiah 31:3

When the "Grumpy's" and "Table Saw's" of life come at us He is in control and all we have to do is trust in Him and obey instructions because He knows the River. The rocks and the rapids are no surprise to Him. All we have to do is hear and obey- confident that Our Divine River Guide knows the way and will see us through and if we listen to our Guide and obey His instructions truly we are in for- adventures unlimited.

Prayer: Dear Father I thank You that You are in control of my life and I trust that You will guide me safely through and one day I might hear You say, "Well done." In Jesus Name. Amen.


In Christ
Cheryl Patton

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Will Give You Rest

Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

I am just so tired!!  I have said these words many times in my life. Sometimes it is just simply from being physically tired. Other times from mental, emotional and yes even spiritual tiredness.
 
The last few years have been a time of great spiritual growth for me. But, to be truthful there have been many times when I was extremely spiritually worn out.
 
 
But, the above scripture reminds me that if I just go to Jesus He will give me rest!
 
No matter what the troubles, burdens or trials of our lives are we can rest in HIM!
 
1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our cares over on Him because He cares for us. But, we MUST truly cast them (not just toss them) at His feet and NEVER pick them up again! True rest will only come when we do this!! 
 
My prayer this week is that we will REALLY cast our cares on Him so that we can find the rest that only Jesus can give!!!
 
This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. If it has touched you in some way I would love to hear from you. Please comment below or email me at beffie221@gmail.com.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The greatest Love❤

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to go grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17-18

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon or to Mt. Rushmore ? Have you ever been to the beach and been completely overwhelmed by how big it is ? Well guess what?!?! God's love for you is way bigger and greater than anything you could ever think or imagine! Nothing can compare to how big God's love is! As humans it is so hard for us to even comprehend. Only God can help you understand how much he loves you! Pray and ask him to show you. 

Once you pray and begin to understand then you will start to believe that God really wants to help you with anything you need him to! That much love brings so much strength, power, hope and help. So remember God loves you so much and is always there for you!

Today's devotion was written by Mandy Robertson❤ Please comment below! You never know❤ Your comment could help others!  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You are still God

All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have reason to worship.

God is still God. 

Recently I have encountered so many hurting people. People stricken by grief, people fighting depression, people batteling anxiety, people dealing with fear, people questioning God. Just hurting people. I hate it. It hurts me. I have such a desire to reach out to God's hurting people. I pray He gives me opportunities to share His word with those that are in need.

In everyone's walk through salvation there is always trails. Always different seasons. Some are for teaching, some are for edifying, some are for humbling, some are for the harvest. Different. Change. It's hard to experience sometimes. It's easy to loose focus in some of these seasons. 

When I had Shepherd (my one and only precious son) I went through an unexpected season. A trying season. A season I wasn't ready for. You can call it the baby blues, post pardon depression, or a hormone imbalance. Whatever it was, it was a season. Thank God I am not in that season anymore. I want to stop right here and bind that from ever attacking me again in the Name of Jesus. I plead the blood of Jesus over my mind, body, and emotions! And I hold the blood of Jesus against that situation from ever taking place again in my life! It was a hard time in my life. I had an even harder time dealing with why it was happening. I know how hard life can be. I know what is like when you are fighting a battle. There is hope. GOD LOVES YOU. He wants you to know how much He cares for you!

This is what He wants me to tell you today.

I love you. I am still God. Everything is going to be ok. I am faithful to be your God. I am with you. I am for you. I am committed to you. I know your hearts desires. I know your wants. I see your hurts. You are my child. My grace is enough. Rest. In every season I am still God. That is a reason to praise me. That is a reason to worship me. I am God.

Isaiah 43: 1 - 4

But now thus says the Lordhe who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you.


This was written by the Holy Spirit through Mary Sellers. This was not what I intended to write tonight, but I know there is a purpose. Someone needed this today. Someone is hurting. Someone is struggling. Whoever you are God loves you. He wants you to know it. He wants you to stand on this scripture. You are precious in His eyes, and honored, and He loves you.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

It's All About Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:32
     Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

Has someone ever hurt you so badly that you feel like you could never ever forgive them?? I know that from personal experience that this can be one of the hardest pills to swallow but it is absolutely essential that you do!!! 
 Unforgiveness is a deadly poison that can literally kill you spiritually, and make you pretty miserable physically as well!! 
It opens up doors for the devil to torture your mind causing all kinds of depression, anger, bitterness, and even hatred!! This is so dangerous. These feelings are sinful and must be repented from! 

God sent his perfect son to come and die for our sins! To die for every wrong thing we have ever done!! With his death came forgiveness!! And he commands that we do the same! That we forgive those who sin against us. 

In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said "if you forgive those who sin against you, your Heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." How sad it is to think that Jesus died for nothing because we refuse to let something that someone has done to us go!!

So, I urge you, if there is any unforgiveness in your heart, please repent of it TODAY!!! It can sometimes be a daily battle. A very dear lady told me not too long ago ( when I was dealing with some unforgiveness ) to speak out loud, "it is the will of my heart to forgive _______ for what they have done to me!!!!!" This is so liberating and you will feel immediate relief of any sinful emotions that come along with unforgiveness! 

This devo was written from the heart of Maggi Sellers!! I hope it blesses you like it blessed me to write it!! You can follow me on Instagram ( maggisellers ) and Twitter ( maggisellers86 )
     

Sunday, August 11, 2013

You are Fearfully & Wonderfully Made


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13, 14 NIV)


Growing up, I had horrible self-esteem issues. I could never be happy with the way I looked, with the way I talked and I was constantly worrying what others thought of me. Unfortunately many teens and adults suffer from this too. It took many years and completely searching God for me to be happy with who I am! Happy with who God made me to be! In Psalms it says God knitted us together. The God of this universe made me from scratch EXACTLY the way he wanted me to be and he did the same to you. Why should we be so worried about what others think of us when God created us and everything he makes is wonderful!! YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made!!


But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 AMP)


I believe the problem is we have confused what true beauty is!! True beauty is in the heart. In 1 Samuel it says man will look at the outward appearance, but God looks into your heart. We are focused on the wrong thing!! No longer will i let my self worth be controlled by others!! I want to have a pure heart. I want to be focused on God and what God thinks of me rather than what people think about me!!

I hope this has helped open your eyes to what you see as beautiful!! Our self-worth is not determined by other people!! Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts!! 

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Because I said So...


(John 14:15) If you love me, keep my commands. 

"How can you love someone you don't know?"

There is a lot of importance to this statement... In today's Christian society if you ask someone what it is to be saved they will answer you, "To love Jesus with all your heart, that's what being saved is". Some may say "to believe that Jesus died and rose again", "If you just believe and love". Is it not more than that...As Christians we have made it easy to live our lives they way we want to, and hold on to certain threads of doctrine to get us by... Is it enough?

John 14:6 says - I am the way, the truth, and the life. no man comes to the father but by me. So we understand that Jesus is definitely the only way to Heaven. That's no problem. However, have we taken the time to get to know who Jesus is??? - Or, do we just say that we love him because that is what it calls for in our faith?

I know that their are some weirdos in the world that like to spit that "L" word out as soon as they start dating...Why because everyone wants to be loved... However most people like to take it slow. They wanna get to know the person before the take the step to say "I love you". Why? Because it is important to you to know who you are loving. Right? You don't wanna get your heart broke. The thing is, Jesus will not break your heart! He has taken the time to get to know you! He knows the number of hairs on your head.

Have you taken the time in your faith in Christ to get to know Him; so that when you say you LOVE him you know what you are talking about? If you think about this hard enough you will understand that being a Christian is more than just showing up at church on Sundays and walking the walk or talking the talk. It's about knowing that you are nothing without Him...My wife tells me all the time that she wouldn't know what to do with out me, and I feel the same about her.... That is what our salvation should be based upon; that without Christ we are nothing, and that we depend on him for everything.

There is gonna come a day when it is not so easy to be a Christian....( the Bible says so ) We are gonna have to be firm in our LOVE and BELIEF in order to survive the persecutions that are coming. When someone argues with us, and asks us why we are a Christian, and what proof do we have, our answer can't be "because I said so" or "because the bible says so". You need to research, study and have an answer that will make the person asking, "think"!

Here is the truth - I can tell you every little thing about my wife because I love her.... Can we tell people every little thing about Jesus.....We say we LOVE him!


May God Bless You Richly

Pastor Anthony

Friday, August 9, 2013

You Can Judge A Book By It's Cover



 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves." Matt 7:15 Amp

 How can you tell a sheep from a wolf? Actually, it's pretty easy.

 "You will fully recognize them by their fruits...." Matt 7:16

 "But the fruit of the (Holy) Spirit (the work which His presence within accomplishes) is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness.
 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)..." Gal 5:22,23 Amp

 Wolves behave like wolves and sheep behave like sheep. Why do wolves dress like sheep?

 So they can devour the flock.

 "Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves: be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves." Matt10:16 Amp

 A leading expert on human behavior calls them BAITERS (Backstabbers, Abusers, Impostors, Takers, Exploiters, Reckless) and they are pretty easy to spot once you start to pay attention instead of naively trusting and that one a BAITER knows you are on to them, they will move on- off to find someone else they can devour.

 Just because a person says they are a Christian doesn't mean they are one.

 "Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits." Matt 7:20

Prayer:
Dear Father, In Jesus Name I pray that You protect me from the BAITERS of life and that I would recognize them for what they they are and not what they say they are so that I can truly live for you


From the heart of Cheryl Patton

Thursday, August 8, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
 
I have been thinking a lot the last few days about gratitude. Actually, the lack thereof. I am ashamed to say that I do not always live with an “attitude of gratitude”. I know I’m not alone. I see ungratefulness in others everyday.
 
A few years ago a friend of mine was complaining about the things her husband did that bothered her. “He doesn’t pull the shower curtain all the way closed so water gets on the floor” she said. “He doesn’t close the dresser drawer all the way when he gets his t-shirt out in the morning” she said. And on and on…….. Finally, I asked her if her husband came home to her and their children every night. I told her in the grand scheme of life the shower curtain and dresser drawer were not all that important. She was not being grateful for what she has.
 
But, for all my correcting of her, I’m really no different. I have a home that’s mine. Many people would love to have their own home. I have a job I have been at for 23 years. Many people would love to have a job. My parents have been married for 46 years. Many people grow up in a “broken” home. At times I focus on what I want but don’t have instead of being grateful to my Father for the blessings I do have.
 
We all have dreams and desires for our lives. Are we grateful when we get them? Maybe your desire is for a certain job. Remember to be grateful on those crazy stressful days. Maybe your desire is for a family of your own. Be grateful for that family when the baby want go to sleep and its 2 am!!! Maybe your dream is to be in a leadership roll at church or work. Remember to be grateful when the demands of those positions get tough. The word tells us in 1 Thess. 5:18 “In EVERY thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Did you get that??? We are to give thanks (be grateful) in EVERY situation. Every good and perfect gift is from God! (James 1:17) If we remember to be grateful to Him it takes our focus off our wants and desires and what we feel is lacking in our life. It puts the focus where it should be. On HIM!!!
 
I love what David says in Psalm 30:4 “sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His Holy name!!!!
 
My prayer this week is that each of us will remember to be grateful to Him for every thing in our life.
 
This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below. You can contact me by email at beffie221@gmail.com or on Twitter at beffie221.