Saturday, May 31, 2014

Total Commitment

So now: Fear God. Worship Him in  total commitment, Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.
Joshua 24:14 Message
I love this scripture. It is just totally completes the thought of living a Christian lifestyle to me.
Fear God. - Have reverence towards Him. Be in awe of Him. Respect Him in all your ways.
Worship Him in total commitment. -  I love the fact that this verse doesn't just say worship Him, it says worship Him in total commitment. There are so many ways to worship God. Praise and worship, prayer, obedience - He said commitment, total commitment. Are you committed to Him. Are you worshiping Him through your commitment? This might be a subject a lot of people don't want to talk about, but you have to worship God through your commitments. What are you committed to? If you don't have a particular ministry you are committed to you need to find one. It is another avenue to worship God through. The way you worship Him through commitments is exactly how it sounds committed. Giving it your all, not quitting, showing up on time, always willing to do extra, leading others on the path to serving God, showing the love of Christ through your commitment.
Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped. - You can be different. You don't have to follow the generational path that has been laid out to you by your ancestors. You can be committed to God alone. You can worship Him through your commitment. You don't have to make the same mistakes they made. You can be different.
You, worship God. - You follow God. You worship Him above all else. You make the commitment and stick to it. You put God first.
I hope you all are having a great day! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this devotion! I would love to connect with you! email me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com
God Bless you!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Garbage going in- Garbage going out

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


Putting garbage in - then garbage is going to come out. 

Think about all the negative thoughts we let into our minds. These thoughts soon plant into our hearts. Then these thoughts begin to start forming who you are and what shape your life takes. 

So how do we put positive thoughts into our minds? Super easy! Read your Bible! Meditate on Gods word. Plant his word deep into your heart, and Gods word will start producing Godly fruit into your life! 

Life gets busy but we have to make time to read our bibles! Spend some time reading God's word and you will understand what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. 

Thank you for taking time to read today's devotion!! My name is Mandy Robertson! I love to read everyone's thoughts and comments, so please comment below!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

You've Got A Friend

Prov. 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.


I have been thinking a lot over the last few days about the importance of friendship. I have been blessed in my life to have many amazing friends. This devotion would be unending if I tried to list them all.

There is a group of four of us that have been friends since junior high. I have one dear friend that has been my friend since we were 4 years old. Trust me, that's been a LONG time!!!! Over the years we have been there for each other through good times and bad. No matter how much time goes by or how many miles there are between us, when we get together it's always like old times.

The Word of God is full of stories of friendship. Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:16-17), David and Jonathan (1Sam. 18:1-3) and Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:2).

The Word tells us that we should choose or friends wisely.

Pro. 13:20 He who walks with wise  men  will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.

Pro. 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Pro. 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive  in    him  the lips of knowledge.

1 Cor. 15:33 Do not be deceived:  “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

The Word also instructs us on how to treat our friends.

Luke 6:31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

Rom 12:10 Be  kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,  in honor giving preference to one another;

But who is our greatest friend?? Who is our best friend??

Our earthly friends are very important to us. We should remember to be thankful for them everyday. The truth is our Heavenly Father should be our "best" friend. The Word of God reminds us that he is our greatest friend.  If we will draw close to Him He will draw close to us.(James 4:8) He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:5)

This week I am ending my devo a little different. I would like to ask that each of you reading this say a special prayer for this dear "oldest" friend of mine. God knows what this need is.

I would love to hear from you.
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Instagram & Twitter - beffie221








Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Church Problems 101

Church Problems 101

I was speaking with a friend from work earlier today about devotion topics. She mentioned writing about overcoming church problems. I thought this was a great idea! As a Pastor's wife for the past 5 years and Youth Pastor's wife for 3 years I could probably write a whole series on this subject.

One of the main things, I think, to keep in mind when dealing with the delicate situation of church problems is this: We are humans, and when you deal with people there is always going to be problems. It's how you deal with the aftermath of the problem that makes or breaks a church. It's the deciding factor - wether you treat your church family like family or like church family.

You want them to treat you like family and in return you need to want to treat them like family. That is what church is all about.

Matthew 12:49-50 ESV

And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Life is messy sometimes. And I don't know the particular dynamics of your personal family, but family is messy. I grew up one of three girls, it got messy sometimes. I married a wonderful man who has the call of The Lord on him, and we operate at the church AwakeningLife in very close quarters with our family. It gets messy sometimes. Family gets messy! Family is loud and outspoken and in each other's business all the time. You tell each other what you think. You might even argue. You might disagree on some things. You might not always get along.

There is this thing about family that's universal though. Most normal families go through all the "mess," and then an amazing thing happens. They make it through it to the other side. And the huge kicker - they are still family! They don't disown each other and change their last name. They somehow always find a way to work past their differences. You see, they are family and they love each other. Like family should. They learn from their mess. They learn to make room for imperfections. They learn to pull the good out of any situation and move on. They learn to genuinely love. They learn how to function as one family unit.

Why should church be any different? I don't think it should be. Jesus said Himself: Here are my brothers and Mother. Anyone who does the will of my Father are my brothers, sisters, and mother.

He didn't say they are like. He said they are.

So if you have been involved in a church conflict, or if there was a massive church blow up at your church, or if you have any kind of issues going on at your church, consider this point of view.

How you deal with the aftermath of the problem, that is what makes or breaks a church. It's the deciding factor - wether you treat your church family like family or like church family.

It's ok for family to get messy. What did you learn from it? How can you grow together and make something beautiful out of it again? How can you learn to do life together? That is what family does!

We all mess up here and there - it's what you make out of the mess that separates your church from the rest.

Thanks so much for reading this devotion! I love to minister with people one on one! And I would love to minister to you if you are a church leader going through a hard time! I've been there and I have a heart for you! Contact me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

There's More to Jealousy Than Coveting

         Anger is cruel and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous. 
Proverbs 27:4

          I don't know a single person who hasn't at some point wished his/her life was different. We all look at others around us, compare our lives to theirs, and decide what we have is a bit lackluster. We wish for more money, a greater talent, a higher status, a better car, a nicer home, or sometimes even to trade lives entirely, thinking that someone else's family situation would be much better than our own. We are all guilty of wanting what someone else has, of coveting, of jealousy. 

          God focuses on jealousy in the Bible many, many times. He wants us to understand that harboring jealousy in our hearts is dangerous to us and to our relationship with Him. When we are jealous of others, we are proclaiming to God that we don't have time to thank Him or worship Him for all He's done in our lives because we are too busy being angry and upset that He hasn't given us the same things He gave others. Having a jealous heart does not demonstrate a life of worship.

          Do you realize that being jealous could be the root of several other issues in your life? Just a few months ago, I was struggling with jealousy in my own heart, and the Lord prompted me to do a word study on the subject. What I found surprised me. I always saw jealousy as only that: envy and covetousness. However, God opened my spiritual eyes to a concept I never took into account before. Allowing jealousy to thrive in my heart was turning it into a breeding ground for so many other issues: resentment, bitterness, spite, suspicion, distrust, insecurity, and anxiety. Think about that list for just a moment. Doesn't it make sense?

          When we are jealous of others, we are already full of insecurity because we've stopped focusing on the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. In addition, we will begin to resent and feel bitter toward whomever we are jealous of; after all, the source of our discontentment is our focus on what they have and why they have it. We don't just wish we could have what they have; we also begin to evaluate why they are allowed to have what we want but we aren't. We focus on all the negative things about those other people, justifying in our minds that we are no worse than they are or possibly even better than they are, so it doesn't seem right that everything good happens to them and nothing good comes to us. This resentment and bitterness turn to suspicion and distrust because we obviously cannot trust people who are so [insert whatever negative things you decided upon earlier.] Once we stop trusting people, we automatically think they are out to purposefully hurt us, so we begin looking for ways to spite them because we need to get back at them for hurting us. All of these negative thoughts and negative actions produce anxiety in our lives, and before we know it, our minds and emotions are spiraling out of control. We put ourselves in the position to be filled with so much hate and hurt all because we stopped being thankful and started being jealous.

          God is a good God. He takes care of us. He loves us. He wants what is best for us. Having jealousy in our lives is like telling God we don't trust Him. When our lives are controlled by what we don't have instead of what we do, we are allowing  our bitter hearts to turn us into whiny, mean, unappreciative people who think we are entitled to everything we want because we are better than everybody. This is not the life God has for us. He has a life of peace and joy filled with His provision and prosperity. When we look to Him and praise Him for what we have instead of being consumed by what we don't, we will have lives and relationships that are full of confidence, contentment, trust, and satisfaction.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Love,Love,Love

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)


Love, love, love!!! Life is all about love! We are here to show God's love to the world! Learn to love! No matter what's going on around you, no matter who has hurt you and no matter what your situation is... LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!  

This short and sweet devo was written by Maggi Sellers:)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
 
Nothing in this world can separate us from the love of God! Nothing can take that away from of us! However, we can walk away from it. We can abandon it. If we don't hold tight to our God and remain Christ-minded in all things and situations. Our flesh becomes stronger than our spirit. Our very own flesh betrays us and we walk away from our God and the love that is our salvation!
 
The love of God, in Jesus Christ, by grace, is ours! For eternity! Nothing can snatch us from His hands! We have to love God! We have to be desperate for Jesus! When we feel the pull of the world growing stronger on us; when we feel ourselves slipping deeper and deeper into the corruption that surrounds us, we needn't feel helpless! The truth is, the love Jesus is stronger than any pull our hold this world has on us! We simply have to snap out of the deception that satan has us in and realize that with Jesus we can over come anything; any bondage; any sin; any stronghold!
 
 Even if it doesn't seem like much of a stronghold. Maybe satan is just keeping you busy. Too busy to go to church, bible study, or just to simply read your bible for a few minutes everyday. This is a lie. It's a very clever deception because it's not really defined as sinful. You just have to take your kids to ball practice. Or you've just been so busy with so much all week with work and kids that you're going to sleep in this Sunday. No real sin here, right? Well, then it snow balls in to more excuses and more missed time with God; much-needed time at His feet missed. Then the next thing you know you're watching horror movies, and listening to secular music. Now you're not reading your bile every other day or even every week. Things are getting out of control and you don't realize how quickly or how badly things have gotten. All because you were busy; too busy. It won't get better until you realize nothing is more important than maintaining your relationship with God! I mean think about a relationship; a marriage. You have to maintain the romance, you know, that 'loving feeling'. If you don't actively maintain it, one day you wake up and you don't even really know the person you're laying next to any more. That is if your blessed enough that they are still there.     
 
We have the power to overcome through Jesus! He has already concurred! He is in control of all things. We simply have to surrender ALL things to Him. Our schedules, our finances, our sinful nature, our marriages, our relationships, our children; Everything! If we give all things to Him, NOTHING can keep us from His love and mercy! I thank God for His amazing love and His many promises outlined in His Word! I hold tight to them tonight and always! He loves us so much! He wants to do so much for us. We just have to let Him!
 
Thank you for reading! Be calm and know you're blessed! Questions, comments, prayers email chassidyhester@gmil.com 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Never Give Up Hope

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." 

I have a question for everyone: What are you hoping for ? What are you trusting God for ? What are you expecting out of life ?

Are you looking and waiting for something wonderful to happen or your expecting to be disappointed from the beginning?

So many people are feeling so hopeless these days. HOWEVER......... Jesus did NOT die on the cross for us to be hopeless! He died so that we could be full of hope and faith!!!

Of course the devil wants to steal your hope and he is constantly feeding us full of lies! He tells us all kinds of crazy lies!!! He tells us that nothing good can happen in our life. That what we are trusting God for will never happen. He tells us to give up. If you are struggling with a difficult  situation he will tell you it will never get better. But that is just it! It is ALL lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And as believers we have to be God lead and know the devil is a liar!!!!! And you have to stay full of hope! God can change everything!!!!!!!

God is GOOD and he has good plans for your life!!!!!




For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New Living Translation)

If you will maintain your hope, especially in the midst of your battle and uncertain times, he has promised you double for your trouble!!!



Zechariah 9:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;    even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.


So make a choice today to refuse to give up your hope and REFUSE to listen to the lies of the devil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Start expecting God to answer your prayers and do something amazing in your life!!!!


This devotion was written from the heart of Mandy Robertson! I hope this encourages your to never give up hope! Please comment below and share how this might have impacted you! You never know! Your comments or story could encourage others!!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

If It Is Worth It, You'll Fight For It

Life isn't always easy. This might not be the most popular devotion of the week, but these are the words I hear the Holy Spirit loudly speaking to me.

If it is worth it to you, you'll fight for it.

I have always had a fight in me. A little fire. Maybe not always the best and most Godly character trait, but sometimes it works in my advantage. 

At work the girls always "make fun" and joke with me about it. I have a reputation of deciding to to something, learning it, going for it, and doing it. They will say, "gee Mary is there anything you can't do?" We all laugh about it! It's the truth! Anyone around me more than just a little while can easily see it. If I decide to do something, I learn it, and do it. I decided I wanted to be a photographer. Bought a camera. Watched some youtube videos. Started a business. I decided I wanted to sew. Bought a sewing machine. Watched some toturials. Made my little boy a complete outfit with bow tie within a month. I have a little fight in me. If I want it bad enough, I'll pursue it.

Being a Christian isn't always the easiest thing. Living a Godly lifestyle isn't always easy. Somewhere down the line, through generation to generation, it has been construed that being a Christian is easy. It's not. It's a fight. Life is a fight. Don't ever think any different. It's not just you that struggles sometimes getting this right. You aren't the only one the devil likes to target. It is a fight!

People in the Bible had to fight all the time for things they were trying to obtain. Think about David. He had a little fight in him. Enough fight to fight Goliath! The Israelites peace, protection and land was worth it to him. He had to fight for it!

If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other. 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

1 Samuel 17: 9-11

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

1 Samuel 17: 32

No matter what you do in life it is always going to require some type of effort and even fight.Christianity is the same way. It requires effort, it requires fire inside, it requires you put up a fight! 

If you want anything bad enough, if it has any worth to you, you will fight for it.

Will you fight for Jesus? Will you fight to stay on the straight and narrow path? Will you fight to love when it seems like an unlovable situation? Will you fight for healing when the diagnosis seems unnerving? Will you fight? Is it worth it to you? 

Thanks for reading! I would love to connect with you! Email me at catmaloneseller@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Don't Compare

Psalms 37: 1,4,7
Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
Be still in the presence of the Lord , and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Do you ever find yourself looking around at the lives of people around you?

Do you wonder why some people live however they want yet seem to have it all?

Do you ever feel as if you try so hard to live as The Word of God instructs but you seem to be always waiting for your prayers to be answered?

Honestly I would have to answer yes to each of these questions. I must admit that I often get frustrated and sometimes just want to give up and give in. It is part of satan's plan to try and get us to compare our lives to others and make us feel like they just don't measure up. He wants to try and get us to compromise our morals and values just to get what we think will make us happy. He can make wrong look right. Evil look good. He can cause us to think that God needs our help.

But the word of God tells us that we should not worry or be envious of those who prosper in doing wrong. We are to be still and delight in Him. To wait and He will give us the desires of our heart. Although it can be hard, waiting on Him will always be the best choice. His best is always THE BEST.

So today if you are like me and sometimes get frustrated with how the world is around you let me encourage you to wait patiently for Him to act and He will give you your hearts desire.

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear from you.
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Instagram and Twitter - beffie221


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Perfect in His Eyes

"I praise you because I am fearfully & wonderfully made.." Psalm 139:14 

   A good friend read a paragraph to me this week & boy, did it hit home. "It breaks God's heart when you are constantly criticizing yourself, because He made you perfect. You are perfect to Him." 

  How often do we wish we could change something about ourself? Our weight, our hair, our smile, our eye color, etc.. (I could go on & on.) 
If you are anything like me, I do this daily. Especially with my weight. This breaks God's heart to pieces when we aren't happy with the masterpiece He created!  

  Okay ladies, (& even men), let's get it together!! Let's praise Him for the person He made. When you look in the mirror tell yourself, "I have a purpose! I am beautiful! God made me in His image!!" 

This devotion was written by Kasey Brown 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fight Like Jehoshaphat

          In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, we find the story of a man who got some really, really bad news. War was brewing in his kingdom, and he knew that his natural circumstances spelled out defeat. Verse 3 actually tells us that "Jehoshaphat feared," but it was his reaction to this fear that sets him apart as a sound example for the way we as Christians should fight our battles. Read on to learn more.

  • Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a vast. (verse 3)
    • Jehoshaphat was afraid. He didn't like the projected outcome of an overwhelming situation. He experienced a natural human emotion, but how did he respond to it? He didn't let fear run his life or overtake his faith. Instead, he set himself to seek the Lord, understanding that his life depended on it. He took this time seriously, setting his heart to search out God's will and making sure his flesh continued to succumb to his spirit by fasting. 
  • Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; they sought the Lord together and yearned for Him with all their desire. (verse 4)
    • Jehoshaphat did not go it alone. He gathered the whole nation around him to help pray for their safety and for guidance. The entire nation came together in unity, and as one, they asked for help. The beautiful part is they didn't just walk up to God and say, "Hey Big Man, if ya got a second, I could use a little help." They realized God was way too powerful and way too concerned with their well being to act so casual. God's love and His protection are, after all, not a casual thing. They came to Him, hearts open, yearning for the fullness of what He had for them. They desired God and His truth with everything they had.
  • Jehoshaphat reminded God of all the Lord had already done and all His promises in the scriptures. (verses 6-9)
    • Jehoshaphat stood on every piece of God's Word. He declared to the Lord, "I know these things must come to pass for my people because You spoke it." In declaring the promises God made and recounting His blessings from previous trials, Jehoshaphat was reminding himself that God was trustworthy, powerful, and sovereign. He was making sure his soul knew God was in control.
  • "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (verse 12)
    • Jehoshaphat didn't pretend he had it all together or knew what was going on. He shamelessly admitted he was clueless and helpless, but in his helplessness, he didn't panic. He was completely at a loss, but he didn't let his inability to find a solution hinder his nation's destiny. Instead, he said, "It doesn't matter that I don't know because I know You do, and I am looking to You for the answer." 
  • "Then all Judah stood before the Lord." (verse 13)
    • After they poured their hearts out before God, after they sought Him with everything they had, after they spent themselves on Him, it doesn't say they turned around and went home. The Word tells us they simply waited. They stood and waited on God's response because they knew without a doubt that He would answer.
(By the way, this was God's response: "Be not afraid or dismayed at this for the battle is not yours, but God's. Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord Who is with you." [verses 15-18.])
  • Jehoshaphat and his people worshiped. They worshiped before God and each other (verses 18-19,) and they worshiped before their enemies (verses 21-22.)
    • While every step of the way Jehoshaphat worshiped God with his attitude and his choices, he also made sure to worship God with his voice. All of the people who gathered together to seek the Lord now came back together to praise Him for all His faithfulness. Their physical battle had not yet begun, yet they knew God deserved praise for who He is. They worshiped the Lord with loud voices and instruments and dancing; they worshiped altogether and in front of their enemies, sending a message loud and clear: "We will rejoice for God is on our side, and if He is for us, who can be against us?"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Refuse to Fear

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 KJV)

Many of us struggle with fear. It seems to be the one thing that just runs a muck throughout the entire body of Christ. Everyone seems to struggle with it in one way or another. I, myself have been delivered and set free from fear numerous times, but I always let it creep it's ugly face back in! This usually happens when I haven't been in the Word as often as I should (I'll get to that)...

Stress, anxiety, depression, worry, anger, rejection, bitterness, loneliness, hopelessness, sadness, feeling insecure... These things all stem from fear! What we have to remember is that fear is NOT from God!! He did not give us a spirit of fear!! It comes directly from Satan!!! Joyce Meyer says, "Everytime you fear, it is manifestation of the kingdom of darkness." Now I don't know about you, but I sure don't want any darkness being manifested in my life!!!! She calls fear the "master spirit". It's the spirit that Satan uses most to try to rule God's people! 

As the scripture above says (and I can agree from personal experiences), living in fear can be pure torment! It can completely consume you. Fear itself is the absence of faith!! So, how do we get rid of it?? We increase our faith! We get deeper into the Word! We pray more! We cast the spirit of fear back down to the pit of Hell where it came from! We spend more time in the presence of God and learn to live in his perfect love!!! Because in his love, there is no fear!!! 

Maggi Sellers

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Life Lessons in Little League


Colossians 3:17 (NLT)
17And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. 

My son is ten years old. He has played baseball for four years now. He is not the best player on his team. He probably isn't even in the top 5. Sometimes, I almost wish he would just hang up his baseball cap all together. However, between him and his daddy, that is not going to happen any year soon. He has played football longer and is much more talented when playing on the grid iron.
He tends to be rather negative just in general. It urkes me to my core! However, it's difficult for me too be too hard on him about it because I know exactly where he gets it from. I won't be too specific here but I will say it was past down on the paternal half of his DNA, but that's a whole other devotion. Anyway, for whatever reason it really bothers me when he makes excuses for striking out or any other random errors in baseball. But, it goes further than excuses; it's whining, bad attitude, not doing his best, slacking, etcetera. So I finally decided it was time to discuss it and see if we could correct the issue. 

I won't go into all the details of what he said was his reasoning behind his terrible actions. But,  will tell you that there was nothing that could not be neatly fit under the heading of "Excuses". I let him finish giving me his side of things. I sat there for a moment; and as usual, all that came to my mind to say to him was scripture; the above scripture as a matter of fact. Now, Micheal is a very soft-hearted, thoughtful, and (I don't think its a stretch or untruth to say) extremely worrisome little boy. He wants deeply to please God and to do right by Him. He, as all of us do, forgets to stay mindful of this desire. But if you put him in remembrance of it, and give him scripture, he quickly shows remorse and repents. I told him the scripture and told him how it doesn't matter if we are scooping poop off the sidewalk, cleaning our own bedrooms, or playing Yahtzee; we are to do it as though God, Himself, has directly charged us with that task. Do it to the degree that God will be pleased by our actions, our workmanship, and/or our sportsmanship! I explained to him that it did not mean we have to always win. It just meant that no matter what happens at the end of the game, our actions throughout the game simply point people to Jesus. That our efforts and our attitude would only bring God glory! Win or lose, it is simply how you play the game! Go through this game of life in such a away that it moves the Maker of the Stars to show you favor! Tie goes to the runner.... no. Tie goes to the one who plays for God! 

I'm pretty sure that our discussion has helped Micheal to a great extent! I think it put things in prospective for him. It gave a whole new reason to swing for the fence! Since it helped him so, I thought that there may be more people out there who could benefit from this lesson from little league. I hope this blessed you in some way! If you need prayer or if there's anything else I might can help you with, contact me at chassidyhester@gmail.com 

Thank you and be blessed!

 


 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I will follow you.....

    There is no particular bible verse that I can list for this blog because I would have at least 20. (Ha!) However, I would like to focus on one simple phrase. "I will follow you".
    The disciples made that statement when Jesus called them to follow Him. Various people within Jesus ministry said the exact same thing. Why? Because they had an encounter with Him. That encounter made them drop everything they were doing and go fervently towards God. 
    I recently had an encounter with a co worker of mine (and by recently I literally mean two hours ago. Ha!) that made me stop and think. He isn't a believer but he believes in the existence of the Almighty God. There are several reasons as to why but without going into detail, he was of the Masonic variety. It was actually a very educational conversation for myself, but I took something deeper away from it. My friend was so passionate about his brotherhood and his beliefs. He is, to say the least, an intellectual who is very educated in many different religions. 
    As the conversation went on, we discussed several different aspects of Christianity, other religions, and how he believes that they all point to God. He shared some personal things with me about his teenage years and how he had a life altering experience. "He literally felt the presence of the Almighty Creator", he said. Then he began to tell me how that opened the door to his current belief system and his choice of societal membership. He called it "his path" in life. 
    The conversation was very respectful and he did not "bash" the fact that I believed differently than him. Actually, the conversation opened the door for me to plant seed in his life. I wish you could've been there because this just scratches the surface, however, out of respect for my new friend I'm not going to go any further into detail. 
    The thing that stuck out to me the most was his passion in his beliefs. With conviction, the conversation ended with him telling me that "He was just a servant of the Almighty Creator and his hope was in God". "One day I hope to pass from this life into that lodge in the sky", were his last words. 
    It's obvious that I don't agree with everything this guy has to say; both to him and you guys. However, this guy was so passionate about his ideaology that he will literally follow it until his last breath. Of course I will continue pouring into him and planting seeds, but let's get back to the passion factor. 
    Everyone that had an encounter with Jesus was forever changed and with conviction they made a choice to passionately follow Christ. Peter did it, along with the other eleven disciples, and Paul went to his gruesome death with it. 
    We have all had an encounter with Christ. We all KNOW without a shadow of a doubt who our Father is. If you don't, then I greatly encourage you to find out because IT IS WONDERFUL! 
    My new friend taught me a lesson tonight. In his beliefs, some of which were kind of out there, he completely revolutionized my perspective on what those words I will follow you meant. So today friends, I encourage all of us to passionately follow God with all of our hearts. I don't mean the cliche of what that term has become. I mean just as the disciples did, just as the woman with the issue of blood did, just as Paul did. I encourage us to passionately race after Christ and with as much conviction as humanly possible and say, "WE WILL FOLLOW YOU GOD!" Until our last breath or until you bring us home. We will follow you! 

    The Holy Spirit dropped this into my spirit on my ride home and I pray it is an encouragement to you today as well. The Lord spoke to me and said, "What if every single one of my children walked with conviction and passion as this guy does. What if there was a complete absence of complacency and everyone dropped denominational and religious boundaries and simply said I will follow you." He also said, "It starts with one then overflows into the next". 
    I know this encounter was definitely 99% for me. But I want us all to be encouraged and follow after Christ passionately because WE CAN and WE ARE making a difference in our town and county. We are producing spiritual fruit, so be encouraged and let's dive even deeper and follow more passionately than we ever have. Just like the people in the days of the bible. 
    

    Father, show me what it means to follow you with more passion than ever. Show me deeper things in the spirit, speak to me through your spirit, and revolutionize my walk with you. I don't want to grow stagnant. I don't want to be complacent, but I want to follow you, Father. I am yours. Your kingdom come and Your will be done in my life and the life of everyone reading this blog. 

I love you guys!!!
Thanks for reading!!!

-Kyle Bolton-

Friday, May 16, 2014

Lost in the Grocery Store

I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.  When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. (Psalms 94:18, 19 NLT)

There are times in our life when reading the Word or Praying is the last thing on our mind. I know this personally. I know that the business of life just seems so overwhelming sometimes that all we want to do is crawl in the bed, or on the couch and just sleep life away. We have to understand that this is a tool of the enemy to wear us down and keep us from moving to another level in our relationship with Jesus.

I feel like there are little moments in our life that lead us up to a place where we are actually slipping away from The Lord, either just from exhaustion, or simply disinterest. Yet, whatever it may be we eventually find our way back at the feet of Jesus somehow somewhere.

Do a better job of not allowing the business of life to help you slip away from the most important thing In your life, your relationship with Jesus.  Learn to recognize when it is approaching and cry out to God like the scriptures say. Crying out has always been a sign of desperation. I don't think that this is an issue when we are on fire for God! I believe we cry our when we realize how far we are away. 

Think a bout a child grocery shopping with his mom. He walks around the store reaching and grabbing everything he wants and having a grand time. However he gets consumed In the things around him and looks up to see that his mom is not in sight. What does he do? He cries out to her and she comes running to find him.

Think about the feeling when they are reunited. Safety, peace, happiness, and comfort. So when you look up and you realize you have been caught up in everything else and realize you can't feel, see, or hear God just cry out to Him and He will come running to find you


Pastor Ant

Thursday, May 15, 2014

When My Heart is Overwhelmed


Psa. 61:2-3 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.


I am sure that at some point in time each and every one of us have felt overwhelmed. The truth is there have been many days I have felt very overwhelmed with the things of this world.

 That feeling of being overwhelmed can come from many places. It can come from the demands of your job, having a sick family member or financial difficulties. Maybe you are a parent feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your family. Maybe you are a single person and feel overwhelmed with loneliness because there is no one to share your life and home with. I could go on and on with this list and never complete it!!

The truth is that life can be hard. Trials and difficulties come. When they do, we should take a lesson from this Psalm of David. When his heart was overwhelmed he cried out unto The Lord. David knew just where to find that shelter from the enemy. In The Lord!!!

So today if you are feeling overwhelmed with the demands of this world remember also these words from Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the  Lord , the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.   Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the  Lord  shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. You see The Lord is never overwhelmed!! He is where we are to get our strength!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I would love to hear from you.
Email - beffie221@gmail.com
FaceBook - Beth Reed
Instagram and Twitter - beffie221

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He is My Strength

"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." 
                               Philippians 4:13

Feeling discouraged, down, upset, not good enough, never going to accomplish your goals? Or maybe you're just simply having a bad day & need some encouragement? Then read the scripture above. (Go ahead, READ IT! I'll wait..) 

Yes, you read that right!! What a powerful scripture that is! Jesus Christ says you can do ALL things through Him because He gives you strength! He doesn't want us to feel like we have failed. He wants us to have faith & know that we can do anything as long as we look to Him! Trust Him!! He is our strength & He will always have our back! :) 

This devotion was written by Kasey Brown 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spying On Your Neighbor

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting one another, but encouraging each other.
Hebrews 10:24-25

          As I was sifting through some Facebook posts yesterday, I saw one that caught my attention. It was a meme with the simple phrase, "I'd like to see myself from someone else's point-of-view." I found myself thinking about all the times in my life that others have poured positive perspectives into me. I thought about moments when family, friends, students, co-workers, and even strangers have shared with me their images of me, things I couldn't see on my own but was so grateful someone else could. In those moments where people took the time to encourage me, I walked away feeling stronger, more capable, and more confident in my talents and in who I am as a person. People who choose to see good in me help me see good in myself.

          Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Working with middle-schoolers whose life goals are to push the boundaries of societal expectations in all they do (including using manners) can be a complete nightmare. Any bad day is amplified by the number of children in each class whose deepest desires are to point out your every flaw. If you are in a bad mood, they will tell you just how grumpy you are and that you probably should take some medicine. If you are having a bad hair day, they might say something sweet to you like, "What happened to you?! It looks like your hair got chopped up by a lawnmower!" If you make them close their mouths, they love to open them again to tell you that you are no longer their favorite teacher, and heaven forbid you gain a pound because they will all come up to you and announce in front of their friends that you look pregnant. What I've noticed in each and every one of these moments is that even though I know these little humans are just pre-teens whose opinions about me should hold no weight, their words hurt, and I end the day feeling discouraged, stressed out, and irritated. My students' disapproving thoughts can transform my perspective from one of victory to one of defeat.

          I shared all of that to remind us of this one simple truth: the way you choose to look at others matters. Your thoughts of others influence your actions toward them and your words about them. Sometimes people do not make it easy for us to think good things about them. They're rude, short, arrogant, hateful...they (gasp) have bad days. They make mistakes. They let their emotions control their actions...probably just like you've done before. (I know I have, anyway.) Here's the truth of the matter, though: when God looks at you and me, and He sees the mistakes we've made, He doesn't view us as worthless people who deserve to feel bad about ourselves. He doesn't whisper in our ears that we are horrible, ugly people. He doesn't make us feel discouraged or depressed. Instead, our Father looks on us with love, reminds us that Christ's sacrifice covers all, and welcomes us into His arms where He calms and comforts us. 

          God gives us all incredibly personal examples of how to treat others with love and compassion, yet sometimes we are so blinded by negativity, we completely forget that He expects us to use those examples to care for others. None of us get it right every single day. All of us need God's mercy, His grace, and a million second chances, and all of us need love, encouragement, and support from each other. This doesn't mean we should all walk around ignoring each others' sins or our own. It simply means that when we find ourselves peering in with an unsavory point-of-view on someone else's life, we should remember how it feels when those same eyes of scrutiny are spying on us. Most of all, we should be more willing to think and talk about others with words covered in the same grace, love, and patience God bestows upon us.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, just as Christ has forgiven you. Above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called into one body.
Colossians 3:12-15
          

Monday, May 12, 2014

When I am Weak, He is Strong

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT)

Do you ever have a day or a week, when it seems like you are failing at everything you do?? That has been the case for me this past week! I felt as if I had failed as a wife, as a sister, as a daughter and as a friend! I even felt like I was a failure to my patients at work! I have been told that the lifestyle that my husband and I live serving The Lord is all wrong and that we shouldn't do everything we do. I was at the lowest of lows this week and I began to let depression and anxiety set in! But yesterday when I was in the shower I started crying out to God asking him to move in my life and change my situation! That's when he spoke to me! I could feel this scripture burning in my spirit! 

Our weaknesses, the insults that are thrown at us, our hardships, our persecutions and all of these trials we go through are ment to teach us to rely on God to take care of us!! They are meant to show us how much we need him and to how us how strong he really is!! 

This devo was written by Maggi Sellers! 
Follow me on Insta and twitter!!!! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Joy Unspeakable!

 
 
1 Peter 1:8
    You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
 
Joy Unspeakable! I remember when I was a young child, seeing my Great Aunt Sylvia and thinking that she was one of the most joyful and pleasant people I had ever known. I often thought that she must have such an easy life to be so happy all the time. It was also common knowledge (mainly because she talked about it all the time) that she had an unshakeable devotion to God. It was not until many years later that I understood her immense joy and it's relation to her faith.
 
I lived with my Aunt for about a year when I was 17. I was going through the hardest battle I have faced in my entire life even until now. I realize now that it was divine intervention that I wound up with her. As I lived there and watch her, I was taught so much. I realized that even though her cheery disposition made it seem as though she never had hard times, in reality, she endured more than her fair share. However, her faith gave her something to be joyful about no matter what storm was raging in her life.
 
Early every morning , as I laid sleepless in my bed, I would hear her saying her prayers. Sometimes they were soft and meek and others they were loud, sorrowful cries pleading for God's intervention in painful situations in her life. Afterwards, she would offer praise and thanksgiving not only for the blessings but also for the trials. When she finished she would always sit quietly at the kitchen table and read her Bible as she drank her coffee. It amazed me. It still does, really.
 
Even to this day she probably has no idea what an impact she had on my life. I don't think she was really even trying to. She was simply living her life devoted to Christ as she had always done. Her faith, trust, and sheer joy made all the difference in my young life. She just let the joy and the light of Christ shine through her in a way that caused me to need Him in me. This is the way all of us, as Christians, are suppose to be. We don't even have to put any effort in to winning people for Christ. If we simply walk around with the joy of our salvation, and the faith that He has won all our battles for us, people will see that and desire it for themselves.
 
Joy unspeakable! Be ever joyful! No matter what you're facing. Rejoice in the Lord always! He is good and will do good things for you and through you if you let Him!
 
Questions, comments, or prayer requests contact me at chassidyhester@gmail.com
Thank You and God Bless!

Friday, May 9, 2014

No Weapons....No Whammys

"No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 NIV)


    So many times we walk through life wondering why we are chastised as believers. We often wonder why everything seems to come against us and goes right for everyone else. Let's look at a small excerpt from the story of renowned evagelist Joyce Meyer.
    Throughout Mrs. Joyce career, she has been thrown under the bus for being financially blessed. Ok, let's face it, she's rich. She's a New York Times best seller, a world renowned evangelist, and is actively touring as an evangelist. She has her own private jet that she purchased, she has a multi-million dollar headquarters as the main hub for JMM, and I would assume, though I haven't seen it, that she drives a pretty nice car and has a pretty nice house. You can do quite a bit when you're a millionaire. However, with her wealth (that she only profits 10% of per year and donates the rest because she is a legit 501C3 non-profit organization) she has had lawsuits against her saying that she was "using and extorting from the Christian community to get rich". She fought this battle for two years. Her reputation in the eyes of some is still not that great. However, where is she? She's still spreading the good news. She's still preaching, giving, loving, and being a Christ like example here on earth. So why has Joyce had so much success in the wake of so much accusation? She is a child of God doing her best and using what God has blessed her with to bless other people. 
    What's the difference between her and you and me?...Nothing! No weapon formed against Gods children shall prosper. The enemy can try but it is a mute effort because the cross of Christ rendered him powerless. There is nothing that we can't face as children of God. Let come what may. Let the stones be thrown. They will never do us any harm because we are completely protected by our Father. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. Thus is the fate for all of Gods children!!!! He is our vindication! He is our victory! Nothing can bring us harm! 
    So today child of God I prophecy into your life and I say that no weapon formed against you shall prosper because our daddy in heaven said so. He has your back. He is your protection and most importantly, our vindication! This is his promise to his children and you are not exempt from it because you are a child of the almighty God!!! So walk into this day in confidence knowing that nothing that is thrown your way can succeed against you because your daddy said so. This is YOUR day child of God. This is YOUR life that God has promised each of his children. Walk boldly and don't worry when those hardships come or those stones are thrown because you are protected by the almighty! You are covered by Him! He has promised you protection, victory, and vindication because he loves each and every one of you. So I encourage you to walk into today with the confidence of heaven on your shoulders because it is your right as a child of God. :):):) Is that not an awesome thought? Be encouraged today guys! Until next time...


I love you guys!!!!
Thanks for reading!!!!
-Kyle Bolton-

A Plea For Godly Women

I write this as a plea. A literal plea for Godly Women to get their act together. To not conform to what the world has labeled us as. To be different. To let it start with us right here, right now. To love one another. To not assume the worst. To not be that persnickety trouble maker. To not be that snobby girl. To not be the gossiper. To not be the one that stirs it up. To not be the one who acts like a victim to gain sympathy. To not be the whisperer. To not be the two faced one. To not be the perceiver. To not be the one that says they are an outcast. To not be the one who wrecks womanly havoc because you are miserably on the inside. To not be what the world so desperately wants you to be.

Have you ever heard a group of men talk about women in general? I have and it's not very flattering. Especially if you are trying to portray a Godly women. "First of all let's remember you are dealing with a bunch of women." "You do realize you are working in an office full of women, what do you expect?" "When you deal with women you have to remember hormones, emotions, feelings, disaster!" "She is a women." It's discouraging. It's maddening. It's wrong, but oh so right. It's right because most of the time we are like they say. We have become this woman no body wants to be. We have become the trouble maker. We have become the walking hormonal disaster. {it's not wrong that we are hormonal it's the way God designed us, and it's very true a lot of women  have major hormonal issues - it's the way we handle this - we can handle them in a godly manner - we do have control over our mind, will, and emotions.} We have become the one who uses our womanly charms to get our under handed way. We have become that gossipy two faced manipulative girl. No one wants to be her. Why do we allow it? Why does this continue on? Is it insecurities? Is it envy? Is it jealousy? Is it unGodly competition? Is it just that mentality that because we are women we have to fight our way to get anything?

The truth of the matter is God is not in any of these behaviors. He called us to be peacemakers. He called us to be menders. He called us to be that steady reliable friend/wife/mother. He has called us to be a Godly woman.

A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. [Prov. 12:4; 18:22; 19:14.] (Proverbs 31:10 AMP)

Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! (Proverbs 31:25 AMP)

She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. (Proverbs 31:26 AMP)

There comes a point in every "Christian woman's" life that they have to make a choice. Am I just going to get by on salvation and that be good enough for me or am I going to go after this full hearted, passionately, 100% and be the unwavering peacemaker trouble solving genuine "Godly woman" He has called me to be.

Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. (Proverbs 31:28-29)

Think about any Godly women influences you have in your life. Whether it be family or friend or church family. What are their characteristics? How do they react to certain situations? How does their family perceive them? I bet they are honored, respected, and held of high regard. I want that! I want to be that woman! A Godly woman influence in my life is my Gran Gran. She knows when to overlook, she knows when to keep quiet, she knows when to love it through, she knows when servant hood will bring a victory, and she knows when to gently confront. She always sees the good in the person or situation; to the point of annoyance! I have even accused her in the past of always being against me and never taking my bratty side! That is how we should all be as Godly women. Seeing the best in other women. Willing to sense that one of our sisters might not be having the best day. Willing to intercede for them. Willing to bend our personality to make them feel wanted. Loving them. Truly loving them. Willing to admit we don't have it all together. Willing to admit we may need help. Willing to let offense slide by. Willing to let their worldly womanly behavior be overlooked in order to bring honor to our God.

Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! (Proverbs 31:30 AMP)

I look at being created a woman as an honor. An honor I want to uphold. So I plead with you today. Don't be this fake horrible rude selfish woman the world wants you to be. Be a Godly woman that is searching for the heart of God day and night. Be nice! It's ok to get along with other women! It's ok the show compassion and be loving! And it's ok to receive help! You can't do it all alone! Let's teach other women peace and grace!

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. (Matthew 5:9 MSG)

Thanks for reading this devotion! I promise I am not bashing women! I am a woman, mom, pastor's wife, employee, sister, daughter, and friend - I have had plenty experience dealing with other women and the obstacles we face as being a woman! My only intention was to draw attention to our worldly flaws and how we can bind together and dive in together to be Godly women living Godly lives, have God honoring friendships, and be treasured by our family!

I would love to minister to you on this subject! You can email me at catmalonesellers@yahoo.com

God Bless you! You are an honored woman of God! Act like it! :)






Thursday, May 8, 2014

Let The Spirit Be Your Guide

Romans 8:12-15 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,  you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,  you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children  of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

When I was a high school senior I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Europe. With several members of my family and many other high school students, I toured England, Germany, Switzerland, Amsterdam and France. While on this trip we were led around each country by our tour guide. Our guide knew all the places we needed to go and just the directions we needed to follow to get there. As long as we listened to and followed her directions we would end up right where we needed to be when we needed to be there. We saw every amazing and interesting thing there was to see.

Now, just think about what would have happened if a bunch of teenagers had decided to go their own way without regard to the instructions of our guide. I can imagine that we would have gone down many wrong roads and missed out on so much of what there was to see and do. But, isn't this what we do with The Holy Spirit sometimes? Choosing not to listen to His promptings and instructions and instead following our own path. Just imagine how much better our lives would be if we did just what these verses from Romans 8 tell us. If we, through the power of the Spirit, will put to death our sinful nature WE WILL LIVE!!!

This devotion was written from the heart of Beth Reed. I pray that each of us will learn to be led by The Spirit so that we can live the life that Jesus died for us to have!!

I would love to hear from you. email - beffie221@gmail.com, FaceBook - Beth Reed, Instagram and Twitter - Beffie221

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear

Psalm 118:6 "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"

Until this past weekend I've never been away from my parents for a long amount of time & I definitely haven't been away from my children. I would get too home sick & worry too much. 
With that being said, my husband & I just took a four night five day anniversary trip. The first night I was absolutely terrified. I had nothing but negative thoughts & I was so afraid something bad would happen. I thought every noise I heard was some murderer who was surely going to kill both of us & I would never see my children again. Terrible, I know, but I was so scared!! I made my husband check under the beds, the closets, & I even pushed the couch in front of the door! I prayed to God to protect us (and I'm ashamed to admit this) but I didn't actually put all my trust in Him. I wanted Him to just make the fear go away without me believing it really would. 
Then He spoke to me! "HELLO!! Kasey!!! Have I ever let you down? Your fear is absolutely nothing but satan himself trying to steal your joy away!!" That's when it hit me!! My husband & I had been blessed with a trip together & I refused to let the devil take my happiness away. Instead of letting my fear run away with me, I let my faith be so much bigger than my fear!! This goes for anything going on in our lives!! NEVER let fear take over your life!! Let your faith be so much bigger! Turn everything over to The Lord, & let Him handle all your fear!! 

This devo was written by Kasey Brown 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Well Versed Hope

     Recently, there has been a new Facebook "tag challenge" circling among my social networking friends. The idea behind this challenge is that if you are tagged in a status, you must post your favorite Bible verse and engage others in the challenge. Honestly, I don't really think it should be that much of a challenge for Christian people to share with others their favorite verses, but at any rate, I have loved seeing my Facebook feed filled with the encouraging, enlightening Word of God. As was bound to happen, someone tagged me in this challenge a few days ago, and yesterday, I realized I hadn't even given it a second thought, so with that, I began to earnestly ponder what my favorite Bible verse is, and here is what I came up with: I don't have one.

     It's horrible, I know. Here I am, a God-fearing, Christian (insert other "churchy" adjectives) woman, and I don't even have a favorite Bible verse! Please, allow me to explain. 

     The first passage that came to mind when I sincerely began thinking about my favorites was the very first scripture I remember memorizing: trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6.) I also thought about Ezekiel 16, God's song of redemption to my soul or Psalm 91, His overwhelming promise of protection. I realized that at different points in my life, these verses had been my favorite, but for now, they were not. Currently, I've held Psalm 23 close to my heart, reminding my soul that God takes care of every piece of me, but even those verses didn't seem to fit the description. It was then that my truth hit me; I don't have a favorite, but there is a very good reason why. I can't choose just one favorite verse because the verse that captures my heart today may not have the same effect a month for now. The reason for this is plainly explained in the Bible itself:

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hebrews 4:12

     The Word of God is alive. It is powerful. It exposes everything I am. It separates my spirit from the rest of me. This means that because I am an ever-evolving human being, the Word of God is ever-evolving in my life. The same is true for you! God's Word doesn't sit stagnantly waiting for someone to come stir it up; It does the stirring up in our lives. It teaches us about the character of God; It lays out the promises God has given to His children, and It opens our hearts to receive direction from the Holy Spirit. The Word is absolutely everything we need in each individual moment of our lives. When we seek out what God's Word has to say about our situation, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us answers in the scriptures that once seemed hidden, a treasure tucked away for that precise circumstance in our lives.  Whatever we are in search of, we can find it in the Word of God.

     It is most certainly more than acceptable to have a favorite Bible verse (or even to have many,) but it's also exciting to realize that while one verse may give us the hope we need for a moment, we have over 31,000 verses filled with hope to help us whenever, wherever, whatever. What we are going through in life today may not be the same struggle we have tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes, God's Word will reveal to us a fresh perspective on how to handle that new situation. Regardless of where we are or what we are dealing with, God's Word is alive and has the power to transform our circumstances, direct our paths, and change our hearts. It truly is everything we could ever want or need.


Monday, May 5, 2014

In it, Not of it

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. (Romans 12:2 NLT)

This week my heart has been so heavy and burdened down. I am beginning to think that we as Christians, God's holy people, have forgotten that we are supposed to be different and set apart from the world!  

The scripture above clearly states that we shouldn't participate in the evilness of the world! It just boggles my mind how people are just riding the fence!! We have become so world-minded instead of Word-minded!!! We shouldn't even be in the same mindset as nonbelievers, much less act like them, talk like them, participate in their jokes, watch their movies and tv shows, or listen to their music! If we are acting like them, what's the point in even confessing our salvation?? It seems as though some of us are just using Christianity to get a title or receive a higher social status. This breaks my heart. We have got to start representing our churches better and at the same time representing God better!! We shouldn't say or do anything that would ultimately cause us to be a stumbling block to someone who could have received Christ! 

So, change the way you think!! Have the mindset of being in the world but not of it!!! We are here to change peoples lives for the good and the only way we can do that is if we are living like Jesus!! 

This was written by Maggi Sellers. I know it seems a little harsh, but it was what was boiling up in my spirit and it had to come out! My heart aches for the lost and it breaks me to see people not take these things seriously! My ultimate goal is to just see people saved. 

Connect with me:) 
Email me at lauriebaker8698@gmail.com
Follow me on Insta at maggisellers or twitter at maggisellers86

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Love With Your Words

Everyone knows we are suppose to love with our hearts. Have you ever thought about how we are to love with our words? 

Ephesians 4:29

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth, but only such (speech) as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.

Our words are powerful. Little containers that contain power when they leave our vocal chords. Power that can tear someone down or power that can build someone up. When you choose to not love someone with your words you are damaging their soul. The soul is made up by the mind, will, and emotions. This area is only accessed by God. He is the only one that can heal this area through unconditional love.

Think about these words.

Stupid
Dumb
Ugly
Failure
Clown

They don't make you feel very encouraged do they?

Now think about these words.

Hope
Life
Beautiful
Friend
Accepted
Anointed
Talented

These words lift you up right? They make you feel like everything is going to be ok!

Make loving with your words a habit! Let's help others accomplish things through Jesus with our words. Let's spread hope. Let's spread grace.

Proverbs 15:23

A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment - how good it is!

Mary Sellers