Monday, September 30, 2013

United as One

Ephesians 5:31
     As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined with his wife, and the two are united into one." 

     This weekend has been one that I have been looking forward to for a long time!!! I feel totally blessed and honored to be serving as a bridesmaid for two very sweet, long-time friends of mine!  With all of the wedding hustle and bustle, I have felt a sense of unity in my spirit! 

     When we were ending the wedding rehearsal, Pastor Ant told the bride and groom that they will be leaving here not a two, but as one. As he said this, I totally felt God speaking this to my spirit, "This is what I want with you!!!!! I want to be one with you!!!!" I feel like God also wants this within the churches! 

     Just like when a bride and groom become one when they enter in to marriage, God longs for us to be one with him. He wants for our spirits to make a physical connection with His!! This comes from truly seeking his face through prayer, fasting, worship, and studying his word. I believe when Christians begin to unify themselves with God, the churches will unify, and when the churches begin to unify and set aside all differences of opinions, denominations, doctrines, and whatever, then we will finally be able to take back our communities and schools and win the lost for Jesus!!! I have had such a strong hunger to win the lost! Like there isn't very much time left!! So, I urge each and everyone of you to join me and pray that God unifies the churches in our area as one people! One people seeking one God and furthering His kingdom!!! 

This devo was written by Maggi Sellers!! You can follow me on Instagram if you would like! (maggisellers)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Do You See Monotony?


  • "To these complaining Jews, the Lord has said, This [the Word] is the true rest, the way to true comfort and happiness that you shall give to the weary, and this is the true refreshing-yet they would not listen to His teaching. Therefore the Word of the Lord will be to them merely monotonous repeatings of precept upon precept, precept upon precept, rule upon rule, rule upon rule, here a little, there a little-that they may go and fall backward, and be broken and snared and taken." Isaiah 28:12-13 
    How straight forward and clear this passage is concerning the Word of God! God Himself says His Word is the way to rest, peace, comfort, happiness, and true refreshing. The Bible is so much more than words on a page! It is God's way of directing and instructing us, caring for and loving us, encouraging us, and teaching us Who He really is. It is our very life source - our help for every hour of struggle, every cloudy day, and every hopeless night. Depression, fear, anxiety, sickness, and poverty are no match for the TRUTH God speaks.
    Psalm 119:114-116 spells it out perfectly: You, God, are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in Your Word. Depart from me, evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God (hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them.) Uphold me, Lord, according to Your Promise. Sustain me according to Your Word, that I may live. Let me not be put to shame in my hope.
    The Word of God is our hope, our shield, our comfort, and our guide. It is everything we need.
    But how often do we treat it that way? 
    How often do we look at the pages of our Bibles and see just words, repeatings of rules upon rules? How often do we look at studying God's Word as just another item on a to-do list we can't wait to check off? How often do we glance at our Bibles on our nightstands and leave them there to collect the particles of our dusty lives just one more day?
    The Word of God is not to be taken lightly; it's not to be treated as a supplement or a last resort. It should be our ONLY way. When we read God's Word, love it, and obey it, we are not just following mundane rules. We are covering our minds, hearts, flesh, and spirits in the living truth. The Word of God is LIFE, refreshing, beautiful, overflowing life, and when we choose to treat it as such, we will be sustained; our Father God will not allow our hope in His Word to fail.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

We can't choose the path emotions lead us down

Being emotional is something I struggle at. I never really remember being an emotional person, until I had my baby Shepherd. Now, I am emotional. Maybe hormonal is a better word to use here :) Anyway I have some emotions going on! I cry when I watch X Factor. I cry when I watch So You Think You Can Dance. I cry when I watch America's Got Talent. Never fails. Anytime someone makes it through the auditions I tear up and literaly cry. I am also so sensitive to emotions. If someone is telling me something and even just tears up the slightest bit, I cry. 

It's easy to make decisions based off of what we feel and think. When we are moved emotional by something it is easy to be motivated one way or the other. Also if we are emotional about something it is easy to be be persuaded that we are making the right decision or being lead down the right path. We have to learn to trust something much more stable than any emotion. God's word.

Hebrews 4:12 God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing soul and spirit and judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.


God's Word should be what leads us, guides us, and ultimately the final say so. His Word keeps our thoughts and emotions in check.

If you are an emotionaly lead person, you can over come that through Jesus! Don't let your emotions own you, you own them. Start today! Take a "personal inventory" and see if you are letting emotional thinking lead you instead of the God's Word. If you are, identify what is triggering these emotional thoughts. Once you realize the root of what's going on you can ak God to help you overcome specific areas. Then start practicing trusting God and keeping your thoughts focused on Him.

In Colossians 3 God tells us to keep our thoughts focused on Him and not of wordly things. Make an effort, starting today, to keep your thoughts and emotions focused on God. And most of all to be lead only by Him and His Words.

Thanks for reading!
Mary Sellers

Friday, September 27, 2013

All Things

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord , thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

It is such a common misconception for people (a lot of whom are Christians) these days to believe that any time something tragic happens that it is the direct will of God. This is so false! God is sovereign, but he gave us power and authority on this earth. However, Adam and Eve (as well as ourselves) give satan that power when we defy God and give into temptations. We have the ability to take the authority back from him but we, all too often, ignore it. 


The Bible says in Proverbs 10:27 that if we have wisdom through fearing God that our days will be multiplied and the years of our life will be increased. In Ecclesiastes 7:17, it talks about not being evil and dying before you're time. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says that God's thoughts toward you are of peace and not of evil and to give you an expected end. These scriptures tell me that we can lengthen our days if we use them to bring God glory and follow His commands. They also tell me that if we are wicked we can shorten them. But most importantly they tell me that my God is good and He wants God things for me. He doesn't want my days on earth to be short. Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly! God is a good, kind, loving, and merciful God. He does not use any evil or wicked means to set his plans into action. My God would not use cancer to call a devoted, Godly woman home, or a car crash to bring 3 children to heaven because He needed more angels. The truth is we have an enemy. And he is here to steal, kill, and destroy. And he knows all to well how to do it and he does is constantly. And He would much rather you blame God for the evil he does. That way he has driven the wedge of hated between you and God and you will never have salvation! 


Good has a plan. It is a good plan, full happiness, abundance, joy, and love! Sometimes the devil throws a hitch in His plans. But the Bible has a promise for when this happens. Romans 8:28 And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. That is amazing! All things. No matter how horrible, tragic, or senseless it may seem at the time. This verse promises that God will cause ALL things to work together for our good if we love Him and toward His purpose for us!


This devotion was written by Chassidy Hester. I welcome your comments and all that if you have any prayer requests our just need someone to talk to e-mail me at chassidyhester@gmail.com Thank you!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Kicked in the gut!

Psalms 34:18
(NLT) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

(MSG) If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.

Has your heart ever been broken? Mine has! Many things in life can cause our heart to break; lost love, lose of a family member, friend, even a pet! Unfair or unkind treatment by someone you love, someone you work with or for, and yes even someone at church! The list could go on and on. But isn't it good to know that when our heart gets broken God is right there? I love how the Message translation states it; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath!!

The things in my life that have hurt me the deepest have felt just like that!! Like being kicked in the gut and my breath taken away!! But, even when I didn't feel Him, God was there. He was there to help me catch my breath!! To help heal my hurts!! To put the broken pieces of my heart back together!! How thankful I am to Him!!! I know that without Him things would be so much different in my life!!!

Do I understand why things happen to us to cause heartbreak? NO!!! What I do know is The Word tells me He is there. I have lived the proof many times. Just this past week I felt kicked in the gut. But, the Lord has reminded me that He will perfect that which concerns me. (Psa. 138:8) There is nothing man can do that God can't handle if we only let Him!!

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is for everyone living with a broken heart to realize He is near and will help you catch your breath!!

I hope this has encouraged you in some way. I would love to hear from you.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The sun comes up, the sun goes down. Then it does it again.


Ecclesiastes 1: 2-11

The sun comes up and the sun goes down,

    then does it again, and again—the same old round.
The wind blows south, the wind blows north.
    Around and around and around it blows,
    blowing this way, then that—the whirling, erratic wind.
All the rivers flow into the sea,
    but the sea never fills up.
The rivers keep flowing to the same old place,
    and then start all over and do it again.
Everything’s boring, utterly boring—
    no one can find any meaning in it.
Boring to the eye,
    boring to the ear.
What was will be again,
    what happened will happen again.
There’s nothing new on this earth.
    Year after year it’s the same old thing.
Does someone call out, “Hey, this is new”?
    Don’t get excited—it’s the same old story.
Nobody remembers what happened yesterday.
    And the things that will happen tomorrow?
Nobody’ll remember them either.

I feel like this is a good description of what goes on in my brain on a daily basis. Just constant busyness that really has no meaning. It's not suppose to be like that. We are suppose to have the mind of Christ at all times. That means a peaceful, steady mind. Not one cluttered with useless facts about doing this and this and this. Solving a million problems that aren't even really problems but we have made them problems in our MIND. Does anyone know what I am talking about? Just overload of the mind! When we have the mind of Christ, that means to just have a peaceful alert mind. Not one that races and not one that is empty either. An empty mind gives the devil way too much playing room also. We need a steady calm mind that is focussed on the Truth, The Word of God. That is the mind of Christ.

It is also easy for our "lives" in general to fall into this mindless chaotic pattern the scriptures talk about. The sun comes up and then the sun goes down. Then it does it again and again. Everything is boring. No one can find meaning to it. Nobody remembers what happened yesterday. Nobody will remember what will happen today. Just mindless busyness. That describes a lot of peoples lives in the this time. Do you know why no one can remember what happened yesterday or today? Because our minds are so filled with all this other clutter we allow to circle round and round in there, there is no room for anything else. It's part of the devil's plan to get us in this cycle. In our physical lives, our spiritual lives, our emotional lives, and in our minds. If the devil can keep our minds in such an eratic state he really doesn't have to do much else. We pretty much take it from there. Once we get like this we make no progress for the Kingdom of God, because we are too busy trying to remember what happened yesterday or even today, bored, being super repetitive with our lives, and solving problems/situations/plans in our mind that really don't need any thought given to them in the first place. Mind of Christ. Peace. That's what we need to pray for today.

Philippians 4:7
 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I pray you each have a peaceful, calm, God centered mind today!

Thanks for reading! Email prayer request! I would love to chat with you!
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Out of Difficulties Grow Miracles

INHALE FRESH AIR AWAITS YOU

“OUT OF DIFFICULTIES GROW MIRACLES”


2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-10 (NLT)
We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on GOD who raises the dead and he will rescue us again. We have placed our trust in him and he will continue to rescue us.


On October 25th 2011 my life changed forever. Our beautiful Reese Lynn Hamilton was born. Immediately I remember thinking to myself why do I have no emotion? I remember trying to cry but that emotion wasn’t there. I blamed it on being so tired and having to go through everything  I had faced in my pregnancy with being so sick. 

She spent 7 days in the NICU which felt like an eternity. During those days all I could do was cry. I felt so helpless and  sad. Which is to be expected since our baby was still in the hospital. Once again I blamed it on “baby blues” . Once we arrived home I prayed these feeling would leave me as we settled into our daily routine. Little did I know it got much worse. 

For over a year the devil attacked me with post partum depression. I felt every emotion from sadness, depression, anxiety, anger and guilt. The thoughts I had  and the actions I did and the words I spoke was not me at all. Let me tell you now life and death is in the power of the tongue. I experienced this first hand.  I tried to fight this battle alone and tried to fix it myself.

I soon realized I had to give it all to GOD. Let me tell you no problem is to big that it wont fit in GODS hands. The lord stands  above every new day because he made it. All restlessness, worry and anxiety will flee before him. In MATTHEW 11:28 it says Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.  So as I end this I tell you that GOD can take everything away from you and give you peace but you must first give it to him and leave it there. Have faith to know that he has your back!!



WRITTEN BY: SUMMER HAMILTON

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blessed to be a Blessing

Genesis 12:2
    I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 

     As always, my weekend was jam-packed with fun plans, beginning with a bridal luncheon and ending with an end of summer boat ride. But, the main event (aside from Sunday morning church) was a birthday party for a very special friend! This party included dinner, cheesecake and of course, shopping!! So, as the girls left the guys to chat in the mall, we went in to our favorite makeup store when I received one of the sweetest gifts anyone could have given me!! The birthday girl bought ME a present!!! I had already walked out of the store and then she came out with her black and white striped bag and handed me a tube of mascara! I could hardly accept such a gift seeing how it was HER birthday and she had sent HER birthday money! But she insisted that I take it! She said God had spoke to her and told her to go buy Maggi the mascara. She also said that she is always so blessed that she likes to give something on her birthday! 
  
     Ok, I know what you are thinking: it's just MASCARA!!!!! But for a girl, mascara from Sephora is a big deal! And what would have happened if she had disobeyed God?? She could have possibly missed out on an even bigger blessing for herself!!!! 

    You see, God blesses his children so that we can give and be a blessing to others!! When we give in his name, the Bible says we are truly worshipping him! So, I urge you to glorify God through giving!!!  Jesus said in Luke 6:38, "give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down,shaken together to make room for more, running over and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." Now if that doesn't make you want to give then I don't know what will!!

This devo was written by the Holy Spirit through Maggi Sellers! I hope it inspires you to give to others! At Awakening Life we love to give! Every third Saturday of the month we give out free lunches to our community. We call this Celebrate Love! I don't always get to go, but when I do it is such a humbling experience that blesses my heart!! 


   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We must persevere!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13, 14 NIV)

In life, we struggle with so many things wether it be relationships, school, or work we have so much to deal with that sometimes it feels like it's easier to just give up. We have to remember not to give up when things get tough.

There's important things to remember when we start to struggle. Sometimes even when we are persevering it seems like there's no light at the end of the tunnel. We must remember:

•People who persevere also experience set backs.

I think we all know one person that ALWAYS gets it right.. They could never make a wrong move, but those people do have obstacles they have to face. They have things they have to overcome also. They aren't super-human and they struggle with things behind the scenes also.

•Choose not to live in the past.

This is the hardest thing for many people to overcome. One of my favorite quotes Pastor Anthony has ever said was, "If you don't let your past die, it won't let you live." How true are those words? We can't live for today because we are too busy regretting things we have done in the past. The past is in the past for a reason! Learn from it and move on! If you are constantly looking behind you, you can't see where you are going. How can you see that light at the end of the tunnel if you aren't looking for it?

•Keep moving forward

The only way to keep moving forward is to let God take control. Not you, not both. ALL of him. Not sometimes, not only when you think you need Him. You always need Him! 

•One day at a time

I'm a hairstylist. My life is MADE up of appointments. It's pretty bad when you have to make an appointment to do the dishes. Not kidding either.. So I'm constantly thinking about what I have to do tomorrow or the next day.. I don't live for today. How can I live fully for today if I'm worrying about what will take place tomorrow? How are we doing what God is calling us to do in our day-to-day lives if we aren't fully concentrating on every single minute of every day that He has given us? 

•Remember to ask God for help.

We can't work fully for God unless we ask for His help in everything we do. Before I do someone's hair, I pray that God will help guide my hands because I know I can't do anything without Him. I know I need him in EVERYTHING I do. I know my actions are nothing unless He is in every single bit of it. All of Him and none of me.


I hope this has inspired you to not give up when things get tough! Life can be so hard, but it's a lot easier when you let God FULLY take control! If this has inspired you in some way, please comment below! Your story could help others!

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

One Sheep: It's a Big Deal

Luke 15:3-7
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Ninety-nine sheep. Ninety-nine sheep left and the shepherd goes off looking for the one that went astray. In this day in age, many people might just leave the sheep to fend for itself because the “hassle isn’t worth the cost.” Besides, what’s one sheep out of a hundred? Unimportant, right? Not according to Jesus.

Jesus is our shepherd- each and every single one of us are under His care. Every man, woman, child, every sinner- we were all entrusted to Jesus by God and He does not intend to lose us.

And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up at the last day. - John 6:39

Jesus wants to rescue every sinner, not only because His Father gave them to Him, but because He loves them. In the parable, notice that the shepherd doesn’t get angry with the lost sheep. He doesn’t blame it for getting lost and rebuke it. Instead, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders. Jesus is the same way- He rejoices when a sinner repents and restores their fellowship with God! Even a single sinner is cause for joyous celebration- we are that important to Jesus.

Just think, a grown sheep can weigh over a hundred lbs and yet the shepherd still bears the weight on his shoulders to joyfully carry the sheep home. In the same way, Jesus bore our sins on the cross. As the great Mediator, Jesus continues to bear our sins and cares before God. All of this He does for every single sinner.

Jesus wasn’t sent here for the righteous “do-gooders.” His goal is to save those who are lost. We should constantly remember that Jesus died for us- even when we stray, He continues to bear our cares and sins. Before we were saved, we were lost sheep in need of a shepherd and Jesus joyfully came in search of us.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. - Luke 19:10

Always remember: there isn’t a single sinner that is not worth the cost.

This devotional was written by Nealey Sims. I hope you have a blessed day!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Forgetful Forgetters

Mark 8:17-21 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied. “And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Imagine how Jesus felt about His very closest friends (the disciples).  He has already fed five thousand people with just five pieces of bread, and then again He fed four thousand with just another handful of food.  Now faced with a large crowd again the disciples ask Jesus; how are we going to feed all these people?  

In a paraphrased sense of His words Jesus ask them; what's wrong with you people, have you not just witnessed all the wonderful things that has taken place?  Not only was nine thousand people fed from a couple sack lunches, there were left overs for everyone. 

I could imagine Jesus thinking - why have they forgotten about the wonderful miracles that I have done?  Do they not think I can do it again?

Think of all the times that we fall into this category.  It's so easy to forget about the wonderful things God has done in our lives when are faced with yet another impossible situation. It seems that these impossible situations tend to eclipse our memory of all the miracles that has taken place in our lives, and when they eclipse we loose sight that God is bigger than impossible.  As a matter of fact God loves to whip the impossible for us to show us how much He actually cares for us.  He is asking us...Do you still not understand; Do you still not get it?  

God loves us, and he went to a great deal of trouble to show us how much exactly.  So let us do our very best to not be like the disciples were in this part of their story.  Let us not be forgetful forgetters of all the great things God has done for us.  If He did it once...He'll do it again - Yes He Will!!!  You may not know how, you may not know when, but He'll do it again. 

So no matter what you are facing, God is bigger!  No matter what you are going through, God is bigger!  No matter what lies ahead in your life, God is BIGGER!! If he can take a boys sack lunch and feed thousands of people with left over, He can do anything you could ever imagine. 

This is a very important note for this story, and I want you to focus closely on the next statement...

If the boy had never put the fishes and loaves in Jesus hands He would not have been able to feed all those people. He transferred his food from limited hands into the hands of miracles.  If you are looking for a miracle you must to place it in Jesus' hands.

Never Forget that!

Pastor Anthony
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Where's your faith?

1. Cor. 2:5 - that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians he tells them that when he came to them his preaching was not words of human wisdom but of the Spirit. In chapter 2 verse 5 he tells them why, so that their faith would be in the power of God not the wisdom of men.

There is nothing wrong with having someone to talk to in times of trouble. A pastor, friend or family member. These people can be very helpful. God can use them to bring comfort and help to us. However, we must always remember to keep our faith in God and His power and not in other people. Our Father will never let us down! He is all powerful!

There may be times in our lives when we feel like God has forgotten us. Keep faith in His power! Whatever the circumstance, whatever the obstacle keep faith in His power! He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Keep faith in His power! God's time and our time are sometimes (well, usually) not the same. Keep faith in His power!

The Lord is fighting for you, you need only to hold your peace (Ex. 14:14) and Keep faith in His power!!

This post was written from the heart of Beth Reed. My prayer this week is that each of us will always remember where our faith should be....... In His power.

I would love to hear your comments. If you can't comment below you can email me at beffie221@gmail.com.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Always Praise ❤

Praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all his ways are just.


Deuteronomy 32:3-4


Sometimes it is so easy to forget that praising God is a commandment! Sometimes as humans it is so easy to get caught up in our own problems we forget how great God is. If we have a horrible day or get some bad news it is so easy to forget all about praising God. 


Yesterday was a stressful day for my family. I got a phone call that my daughter had fallen at Pre-School and had hurt her arm. I went into panic mode! We rushed her to the hospital to be examined. Later after x-rays had been finished we found out she had fractured her elbow. I was so upset. As we were leaving the hospital we walked past a room that had a little girl on a hospital bed with at least a dozen nurses and doctors surrounding her. I immediately prayed for the little girl! It really made me realize that my daughters injury could have been a lot worse and I have so much to praise God for. I praise God that it is just a fracture. I praise God that she didn't have to have surgery! I praise God because I know he was with my daughter on the playground yesterday!


We just really need to take the focus off of ourselves and our problems and think about God. We need to remember the accounts in the Bible of how He took care of his people and remember the ways he takes care of us! Think about 
His creation- from the grains of sand to the mountains. God is absolutely amazing!!! Always remember to praise him!!! Through the good and the bad!!


Praise The Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary... praise Him for His acts of power... praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet... let everything that has breath praise The Lord. 

Psalm 150


This devotion was written by Mandy Robertson. I pray we always remember to praise God through the good and the bad! Please comment below!



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

There is a Savior.


Revelation 19: 11 - 16

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”[a] He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

We win in the end. If you are a Christian and proclaim Jesus as your Lord and Savior, we win. It's an awesome feeling to be reminded of that. Amidst the chaos and the hustle and bustle of this world, in the middle of all the hurt, discouragement, and failures; to be reminded that in the end we win. Sometimes we need to just take a deep breath and remind ourselves of this.

There is a song that comes on the Christian radio here that I love. I really wish I could remember the name or even the exact lyrics. The gist of the song is "Hey, there is a Savior, tell the lost it's going to be ok, your going to be ok, there is a Savior." Sometimes I just feel like screaming that! 

Be encouraged, We win. There is a Savior and He loves you. He fights for you. He wants to get close to you. If you have messed up in the past, start over. It's that easy. That's all it takes. Acknowledge it. Talk to God about it. Change. Boom.Boom.Boom. His Grace is enough. His Mercy will pull you through it. We win. Be happy. Knowing the end is enough to give any Christian daily joy. Spread the Good News. Let others know there is a Savior :) Everything is going to be ok.

Mary Sellers :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Here to Serve

John 13:13-17
     "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord', and you are right, because that's what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet! I have given you and example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 

     This is such a beautiful scripture to me! It is a story of how our Savior came to teach us how to serve others. I mean, this is JESUS! He sits at the right hand of God, and he is down here on earth washing feet?!?!? This is the perfect example of godly servant leadership! Leadership starts with being a servant! By putting other people's wants and needs before your own. 

     Another great example is Dr. Mark Keating. He went home to be with Jesus in 2012, and was the most precious godly man I had ever known. He had this servant leader thing down! His motto was "here to serve" and he modeled his whole life after the servant leadership of Jesus. He was an excellent leader and he completely humbled himself before God and man. 

Humbleness and humility are key players in servant leadership! Matthew 18:4 says that anyone who becomes as humble as a little child is the greatest in Heaven.  So  if the humble are great, what does that say for the arrogant?? When egos get in the way, failure is inevitable! No one wants to follow someone who is only interested in a title or position! Nor, will they follow a leader who puts their own wants and needs first!! 

So, follow the example that Jesus gave us! If you are a leader, or want to be a leader, have a "here to serve" attitude! Wash feet!!!! 

This devo was written from the heart of Maggi Sellers. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Are You Committed?

If we say we are going to do something, then we need to do it.-If we say we are Christians, then we need to live it.

How can we show our commitment to God?

•Reading the Word.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The best way to get closer to God is by reading his Word. In Psalms it tells us that God's word will actually guide us through life and that his Word is the light to guide us. So if you're not in the word, you don't have a light to guide you. You are walking through life blindly. Think about it, how are we going to know how to get through situations in life if we don't know how God wants us to handle it? We can only know this if we are in His Word.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4 NIV)

This verse tells us that basically we can not live unless we have the Word of God in us. We can't live on food alone, we have to read the bible. Just like food is nourishment to us, the Bible is also.

•Putting your faith in Him.                              
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV) 

Putting your faith in God goes hand in hand with trusting Him. Sometimes it's hard because we have been in situations where someone has hurt us. Maybe someone has betrayed you and you have a hard time trusting. I know because of the situations I've went through in my life, I have had such a hard time trusting people. But I also know when I actually gave everything I had to God, all my faith, I realized how unlike those people who hurt me, He was. I realized how even when I'm not faithful to Him, He is SO faithful to me. That's why it is so worth it to give everything you have to Him, because even when you turn away, He's still there. That's the thing that amazes me the most about God. He's faithful even when I am not.

•By praying.                                      
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

When we pray, we are supposed to pray in faith. Don't do the "woe is me" prayers. I used to be the world's worst at this. "Well God, I just hope you give me that job. If you don't, I don't know what I'm going to do." Instead, we should pray, "God, if it is in your will for me to have this job, then I pray it comes through. If not, I praise You that You have such a better plan for me, because I know your will is perfect! Do you see the difference in this? The first one says, " I have no faith in You." The second one says, "I have nothing but faith in you."                                                   

•By making Disciples                        
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19 NIV)                                        

We, as disciples are supposed to make other disciples. Jesus spent most of his time with 12 men. He taught those men how to live a Godly life. Those 12 men were disciples who were supposed to make other disciples. The best way to make diciples is to lead by example. Yes, I promise you we will mess up. We are by no means perfect, but that is why Jesus, who had no sin, took our sin upon him and died so we could live. I know that is someone worth staying commited to. Even when you fail, He will pick you up.

This devotional was written from the heart of Ashley Pierce!! If this has impacted you in some way, please comment below!! Your story could help others!!

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Do or Do Not. There is no Try

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
-Revelation 3:15-16


The other day I was watching one of my favorite movies, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when one of the most famous lines of the entire movie was spoken.
“Try not. Do or do not!! There is no try.”
I’ve seen this movie probably a hundred times and I’ve heard this quote maybe a million but suddenly, it took on a whole new meaning. I started thinking about what God wants from us as Christians.

In Revelation 3, it says that God spits us out if we are “lukewarm.” If we are lukewarm, we are neither hot nor cold. It means, we are neither passionate and filled with a zealous for God nor are we totally cold towards God. To be lukewarm means to talk the talk, to listen but not do, to be content with just being a Christian and attending church on Sundays because it is expected of you. There is no drive, no zeal, no passion to pursue a stronger relationship with Christ every day.

I think back to the quote: “Do or do not. There is no try.” This is how we as Christians should think. We should come at life with the mentality “I am going to be everything God wants me to be. I will live a life full of passion and zeal for God and everyday I will pursue an even stronger relationship with Him.” Don’t go about life thinking “I’ll try to be a better Christian..” or “I’ll try to listen to God more..” Don’t approach a task with the attitude that only an attempt will be made. Make your only option be to be the best person you can be for God.

God will not accept a lukewarm life- it says he would even prefer us to be totally cold rather than lukewarm. You either do what God says or you don’t- you can’t pick and choose what “Christian” habits you want to adopt. So let’s not straddle the fence. Let’s not just attempt to give it our all. Live a life of “doing” and not just “trying.” A half hearted attempt is not what God is looking for- He's looking for our whole-hearted best.

Do or do not. There is no try.


This devotion was written from the heart of Nealey Sims. Please comment below! Have a blessed day!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Truth or spam

"Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourself to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, wether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? Romans 6:16

 I remember sitting in a front porch swing at the house of some friends when we were teens. We talked about many things- the things that teen girls talk about- including- well- you know- sex.

My friend told us what her Daddy said about it:

 "Don't start the fire if you can't feed the flame".

 There is a reason for that. God designed sex for marriage so that a husband and wife could become "one flesh". (Genesis 2:24) So that they would bind together- forever.

 "Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it". Psalms 127:1

 Sex is for the fireplace of a house-  the heart of a home that keeps it safe and warm.
A guy will tell a girl anything to get sex- girls are turned on by what they hear. Guys are turned on by what the see. Just remember, if a fire is built in any other part of the house other than the fireplace- it will burn the house down.

 We honor God by honoring our bodies and one day the perfect mate will come along when the time is right. In the meanwhile just remember to keep the fire in the fireplace and if you get turned on by what a guy says to you or how a girl dresses and acts it may be the truth- or it may be spam. 

 Only time will tell.

 This is for those who wait.

Prayer: Dear Father, please help me to honor You with my body because You know what's best for Me. I love you. In Jesus Name, Amen.


In Christ
Cheryl Patton

Thursday, September 12, 2013

By Faith, Judge Him Faithful


Heb. 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

 
Whenever I am feeling my faith wavering I find encouragement by reading Hebrews 11. This chapter is often called the “faith hall of fame”. 18 of the 40 verses start with the same 2 words. BY FAITH!!! I am especially encouraged by the fact that Sarah is included in this list of the “heroes of faith”. Sometimes I feel like I could have been her!!

 
We know that God had promised Sarah and Abraham that they would have a son and that their descendants would be “as many as the stars in the sky”,” innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore”. But, Sarah became impatient in the wait and took matters into her own hands!! Oh, how many times I have tried to rush the fulfillment of a promise from God and like Sarah created a mess!!!! But, verse 11 tells us that even though she was “past the age” because she had judged Him faithful who had promised she bore a child.

 
The story of Sarah gives me hope. It reminds me that He is always faithful to His promises. That even if we get in the way and make a mess He is always true to His word!!

 
There is a promise that I’m waiting on my Father to fulfill in my life and there are times that I still want to try and “help” Him. But, because this promise is my most heartfelt desire I am doing my best to wait patiently. Believe me it’s not easy!!! But He is not a man that He should lie!! My job is to live BY FAITH AND JUDGE HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAS PROMISED and it will come to pass.

 
Is there a promise that you are waiting to be fulfilled? My prayer this week is that each of us will look at these heroes of faith and learn from their examples. That each of us will live BY FAITH AND JUDGE HIM FAITHFUL WHO HAS PROMISED!!

 
I hope this has encouraged you in some way. I would love to hear your comments. If you are unable to comment below you can email me at beffie221@gmail.com . I am also on twitter at Beffie221 and Instagram at Beffie221.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Distracted


Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42


I love this story in the bible about Martha, Mary and Jesus! Martha is clearly running around the house trying to get everything perfect because after all Jesus is there! And Martha is clearly upset with Mary because she isn't helping her at all. Mary is just sitting at Jesus’ feet. So Martha decides she is going to complain to Jesus about Mary. But Jesus answered her and told her she was to anxious and troubled about unnecessary things! He also points out that Mary has chosen the good portion and it will not be taken away from her!

Are you a Martha? Are you distracted by this busy fast paced day and age ? I find my own self guilty of this often. My days start early and end late. As soon as my feet hit the floor most days I am going nonstop! A lot of days I don’t even allow myself time to eat. I am sure a lot of your days are just like this also! I stay so distracted trying to keep up that sometimes my prayer time and bible studying time gets pushed to late at night when I am so tired and exhausted it is really hard to focus and stay awake! 

We need to realize that this is the devils plan to keep us distracted from God! The devil doesn't want us to make time to read the bible or pray! So let’s make a point from today on to not be distracted from this busy life,but to be focused on God! When we focus on God everything will fall right into place! So let’s all be like Mary and stay at the feet of Jesus!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

I pray that God spoke to you today through this devotion! Today’s devotion was written from the heart of Mandy Robertson. Please feel free to comment below!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Listen

I remember the first time I ever heard God's voice. I was going through a hard time. I was searching for some kind of answer. I didn't know how to listen to His voice. Sometimes I even wondered what people were talking about when they said God told them to do this, God told them to do that. Like what did they mean. Was He talking out loud to them? Did they hear it in their mind? Was I like the only weirdo that didn't hear an audible voice? I needed help that day. I was on my lunch break at work and I was spiritually young. I had rededicated my life to God when I was about 20. This wasn't too long after that. I cried out to Him. I noticed my Bible sitting in the front seat of my car. I grabbed it, flipped it open, and read.

Isaiah 43: 1-4
But now thus says the Lord, he 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.

The second I read the first couple of words. It happened. Tears started pouring. He was speaking to me. I heard it. It engraved on my heart. I felt it in my spirit. I knew it was His voice. I knew it was for me. I got my answer that moment. I had been redeemed. He had called me by name. When I walk through the flames I will not be consumed. I am precious in His eyes. I am honored. He loves me.

His voice that day changed me. It was a pivotal point in my salvation. It was an experience with God that is still so real to me that I tear up even typing this. I heard Him in such a real way that day. That scripture will always be my spirit's theme song.

I get questions about this subject often: How do I know it's God's voice?, How can I hear God's voice?, Why don't I hear God's voice?

It's simple. Listen. Pray. Read the Bible. Listen. Then pray some more.

God speaks to us all. Sometimes its a  small still voice and sometimes it's a monumental life changing experience. Everyone has a different relationship with God. He speaks through His Word the majority of the time. It's called God's Rhema Word. You know when you have read the same scripture in Matthew a billion times since you received salvation, but today when you read it, it just jumped out at you and just had such a powerful meaning and you just really understood what it was saying there. That's God speaking to you. When you feel the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and training you. That's God speaking. You know when you go to say something and you just get this feeling like that might not be the nicest or best idea. That's Him. When you are praying about a situation and you have a peacefulness or either an uneasiness about it, listen, because that is His voice.

His voice is always there. The more you allow it to be the louder it will get.

It's simple. Don't try to make it so hard. Just listen. He is there. Always.

Thanks so much for reading! God bless you!

Mary Sellers
catmalonesellers@yahoo.com




Monday, September 9, 2013

The Bread of Life

John 6:50-51
     Anyone who eats the bread from Heaven, however, will never die! I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.

   The most important thing you can do to stay alive is eat! When you don't eat, your body gets weak and tired and eventually hits starvation mode! When you hit starvation mode, things begin to shut down and death could occur! The same thing happens to our spirit when we don't feed it the Bread of Life, which is God's Word!! Our spirits shut down and become dormant if it isn't in a regular routine of spending time in the Word! 

   This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to sit and read your Bible for hours upon hours and try to grasp some kind of meaning out of everything you just read, rather, take a scripture or two and meditate on them all day long. I heard a sermon from Joseph Prince once about meditating on the word, and he called it "chewing" on the word! He said to chew on a scripture all day long until you completely understand it and can apply it to your life and then move on to another!!! 

   So don't become spiritually anorexic!!! Feast on God's word!!! Make your spirit as fat as it can be!!!! 

This devotion was written by Maggi Sellers! I am a work in progress on becoming spiritually fat:) I hope this blesses you as much as it did me!! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Do you see the urgency?

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3 NIV)

I have such a heart for the youth. The things I went through while I was a teenager, I think would've been so much easier if I had someone to talk to. If I would've had someone to say, "I understand what you are going through. Let me tell you what I've been through." If someone would have told me about my God who loved me more than I ever could have imagine, I truly believe I would've taken a lot of situations much differently. God told me I would become a youth pastor. I remember exactly what I was doing and where I was when He told me. That's how powerful it felt.

Last summer I had the great privilege of being invited to the skating rink in Jasper, AL to hangout and hopefully get to share God's word with some of the kids there. I somehow struck up a conversation with a boy who was maybe 15 or 16. I asked him if he went to church anywhere. He replied he was an atheist. I honestly felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Yes, I know there are a lot of atheists and I knew I would probably come across that, but it hurt. I remember actually sitting in my car afterward crying. Tears are streaming down my face now as I recall that night. God said to me, "Do you see? Do you see how urgent it is that My name be known? Get out of your comfort zone and tell people about Me."

I have such a respect for people who go over seas and minister to kids and families who are less fortunate or have little means of hearing God's word. I think it's amazing what they do, but this boy I talked to that day was a kid who could live a street over from you or maybe he plays with your kids in your back yard. People NEED to hear about God. I heard a quote one time that's always stuck with me. "You may be the only bible people ever read." How powerful is that? We are supposed to be the living, talking word of God. But are we?

What if you knew for a fact that the rapture would take place tomorrow? You would be trying to witness to as many people as possible. Whether it be family, friends or people you pass by in Wal-Mart, you would feel the urgency of helping those people. The urgency is here.

My name is Ashley Pierce and I'm the youth pastor at AwakeningLife. I knew when God told me I would be a youth pastor, that He had big plans and expectations for me. I don't take that lightly. I urge you to get out of your comfort zone and wake up! When I'm called home, I want God to tell me He knows I did everything in my power to spread His word. That I saw the urgency and obeyed Him.

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