Lead Me To The Rock

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When you feel overwhelmed, when you begin to feel hopeless, when you lose heart, cry out to the Lord. He is your Rock, your Strong Tower, your Safe Refuge from the storm.   The God you serve is a mighty God. He will protect you and He will keep you safe and deliver you!

Always remember God’s great love for you. Remind yourself of His loving faithfulness and of all the times He has come through for you. Count your blessings and refuse to waver in your faith and trust in Him.

Psalm 34:19 says, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

It helps to be so grounded in God’s Word that when you face these tests, trials, afflictions, storms, and outright assaults from the enemy, you will not waver, be swayed or shaken.

  • Psalm 91:2 (KJV) I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
  • Isaiah 54:17 (NKJ) No weapon formed against you shall prosper…
  • Luke 10:19-20 (NKJ) Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
  • 1 John 4:4 (KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NIV) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
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The Ultimate Sacrifice

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I witnessed the worst and the best of humanity last night.  I was on a call as an advocate on a child abuse case.  A 14 year old girl had called the police to report her step father for sexually abusing her. This had been going on for 7 years.  Her mother had threatened her continually, if she ever told anyone she would be thrown out of the house. During the interview the young girl was asked why she decided to call the police now she said “because my little sister just turned 7 the same age when he started molesting me, I wanted to protect my sister.”

This young girl had endured horrible abuse at the hands of her step father for years, Threats from her mother, no emotional support.  Yet, the love she had for her sister caused her to risk everything to save her.  When the stepfather found out what she had done and why, he responded..”I would never touch my biological child, I have morals” really you have morals?  He was arrested and the mother decided her abused daughter could no longer live under her roof.  she would be going to her grandmothers house to live.  At the end of the night about 3am, I was sitting in the sheriffs suv crying my eye’s out and looked over and the big strapping deputy was doing the same thing.

While thinking about what a loving sacrifice this young women made for her sister. I thought about the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  Jesus paid the highest price for you and me because He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He was put to death by being crucified on a cross, and his body was laid in a tomb behind a stone. He lived and then died rejected and alone. Like a rose He was trampled on the ground. Jesus took the fall and thought of you ABOVE ALL!

Jesus saw sacrifice as something beautiful because it would bring us life.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16.

Jesus’ calls us to voluntarily lay down our lives as He did–to sacrificially love people even when it’s uncomfortable or painful. What if you saw sacrifice as a beautiful word?

Just as this young girl sacrificed all for her sister, sacrificed her home, her security. This is real love.  I pray for this young women, I pray when we follow up that she comes to know Jesus as her savior.  That his transforming power will heal her heart.  I know this young women changed my life with her sacrificial heart and bravery.

 

 

 

 

Our Disposable Society VS Enduring Faith

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We live in a disposable society. It’s easier to throw things out than to fix them. We even give it a name –we call it recycling.”

If something breaks, instead of trying to fix it, we just throw it away.  If a relationship with a friend becomes broken or too hard, we throw the friendship away.  If the marriage is broken, we get divorced.
Fifty years ago, people used their sewing kits and darned their socks when they got holes in them.  When appliances broke, they took them apart and fixed them.  As a child I remember when the t.v. repair man came to our house and took the back off exposing all the glass tubes inside.   When marriages were falling apart, they stuck it out until the hard times passed, in 1950’s the divorce rate was around 25%.  When God failed to answer their prayers, they clung to Him anyways knowing He was in control.
Our lack of commitment and willingness to work hard on repairing things and relationships is destroying our society.  Our children are not learning the hard lessons of endurance, instead they want instant gratification. Our landfills are becoming filled with junk.  Our children are motherless and fatherless from broken homes.  More and more people are walking away from God’s ways and doing things their own way, thinking that life will some how be better.
We live in a world of drive-through dining, instant-messaging, digital cameras with instant review, and now the cell phones are such that you can carry on a conversation with someone while surfing the internet on the phone at the same time, replacing personal face to face conversations. Let’s face it, we are the microwave generation; however, God is more like a crock pot. He doesn’t rush into anything. He knows time is sometimes the greatest teacher of all.
We desperately need to become people of hard work and commitment.  Not afraid of confrontation or hard conversations.   We need to learn to not throw things out the moment they break.  We need to learn to repair them, whether it is material things or relationships.  We need to learn to stick it out through the rough times and do things God’s ways instead of our own way, for our own instant gratification.  We need to do things the opposite way the world does and become faithful, hard-working, commitment keeping children of God.

Paul prayed that Christians might be “strengthened with all power according to God’s glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father” (Col. 1:11–12).

We are called to a life of endurance empowered by Jesus Christ, and accompanied by joyful thanksgiving. Endurance requires patience, because reward for today’s right choices will come, but it may be months or years from now, or not until we leave this world. Those who tap their fingers waiting for the microwave to finish demonstrate that patient endurance doesn’t come naturally.

We should not shrink from hardship. We should endure it with patience. We are to follow Jesus Christ from start to finish, repenting quickly of our sins and moving forward in deeper devotion. Of course, there will be dry hard times, but overall, our path of spiritual growth will steadily rise higher and higher, not trail off so our lives end in a wasted lonely whimper, filled with regrets.

I read an article today about divorce, it said a study revealed that 50 per cent of divorcees have regrets about their break-up. Researchers found that after the dust settled, 54 per cent experienced second thoughts about whether they had made the right decision, with many realizing they miss or still love their ex-partner.

Who you become will be the daily choices you make.“The path of the righteous is like the first light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until day” (Prov. 4:18). This is why Scripture continually warns us against wrong choices: “Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on your way” (Prov. 4:14–15).

After all, our choices flow out of our hearts, and therefore we must take care to guard them from becoming impure: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov. 4:23). What’s the most effective way to contaminate a water supply? Poison it at its source. If you don’t guard your heart from the world’s values, you will be conformed to the world (Rom. 12:1–2). It takes no more effort to be conformed to the world than it does to float downstream. To be transformed by the renewing of our minds is to swim upstream against the current. Renewing our minds requires conscious, deliberate effort.

Endurance is Christ’s call to follow him, to finish strong for God’s glory. There is no higher calling, no bigger privilege, no greater joy.

A popular chapter in my house is Psalm 1 a powerful formula for endurance: “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”  Psalm 1 says the one who continually meditates on God’s Word “is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither.” Trees don’t choose where to place themselves, but we do. We determine what our sources of nourishment will be, which in turn determine whether we bear fruit or wither.

We need to learn that Christians will face trials, difficulty, and suffering. I realize this is not a popular message.   I once had a “friend” that measured everything in his life by blessings, thinking if it was of God all would go well and if it didn’t it was not of God.  He felt that if things went wrong, someone was doing something wrong. He ended many relationships and a marriage because of this. He felt God would always provide even when he was being an unwise steward.  I always felt sorry for him, because he was missing out on learning and growing from adversity.  Enduring hardship is when the Lord is strengthening and refining us.  He never promised us an easy life.

When we read Second Timothy, we get a completely different picture, than the easy life the world desires.  Look at the many verses just in this short letter where Paul talks about either suffering or endurance.

1:8 – “be ready to suffer…” 1:12 – “I am suffering…” 1:13 – “hold on…” 2:3 – “Endure suffering…” 2:9 – “I am suffering…” 2:10 – “I am willing to endure…” 2:12 – “If we endure hardship…” 3:1 – “there will be very difficult times…” 3:10 – “You know…my endurance…” 3:11 – “I have endured…” 4:5 – “Don’t be afraid of suffering…”

Life will not always go our way. There will be suffering. Now, I do not believe that we in America are suffering anything close to what Paul or the early Christians suffered. I do not believe that we in America are suffering anywhere close to what Christians oversees are suffering, like in Muslim countries where they are being beheaded because of their faith, or in China where they are being imprisoned.  We do not experience suffering anywhere near that level. Even though there are those who want to take Christians out of the conversation, to marginalize us, we still have incredible freedoms to speak and to share Christ.

How we respond to hardships shows our character. Our children pay attention when a parent loses a job, or gets a traffic ticket, or when both parents don’t get along and get a divorce. Your neighbors and coworkers are paying attention to you. Will you be just another defeated christian, throwing your hands up in the air when life doesn’t go your way? Or will you like Paul, look at the hardship before you, determine to get through it and keep your eyes completely on Christ? It may not be easy, in fact it probably won’t be. We may not do everything perfectly or even right, but when all is said and done, I want others to be able to look at me and say, “I can’t see how anyone could go through that and still be committed to God. That is a real faith.” Others are paying attention. Will we, like Paul, endure so that others might come to know Jesus?

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith.
I Corinthians 16:13
Conclusion
Why would Paul spend so much time in this letter to his young friend talking about endurance? Why does he tell Timothy over and over, endure, endure, endure? Because hardship is a reality, it WILL happen. And all of us run the risk at some point of abandoning our faith. Our disposable society has made even faith dispensable. There is a great temptation for us to stop, to retreat, to run away, to stop believing, to give up on faith, and give up on Jesus.
Many of us like my friend, have the mindset that if we experience hardship, we must have done something wrong. Sometimes, we are the recipients of the consequences of our sin. Sometimes, as the Bible says, our loving Father disciplines us when we get off track, so that we turn back to him. But sometimes we suffer because evil exists in this world and through it we can see just what is inside us; we can see the strength of our faith. We assume that difficulty has to weaken us, to defeat us. But do you realize that the persecution of the first century church didn’t defeat them? It didn’t weaken the church. It strengthened it.
Don’t buy into the lie of the disposable society
Don’t dispose of your faith and of Jesus thinking there is a better solution. An enduring faith is one that remembers Jesus. It is through hardship and persecution that true faith is forged. You are not being judged on your accomplishments, but on your faithfulness.

 

Ministering To The Hurting

This was sent to me from a friend this morning!  Little did my friend know how timely her video and kind words were.  The Lord is so good and uses people to minister to His children when we are hurting, sending comfort through our friends.

Today, my heart hurts, I was reminded yesterday of a happy memory probably the happiest in my marriage to my ex-husband.  A friend innocently mentioned they were having dinner at an italian restaurant. It was the Italian restaurant where he presented me with a beautiful diamond ring and asked me to marry him all over again, we did not have the money for an engagement ring when he proposed the first time. It was made even more special to hear his words of love and devotion, watching him getting down on one knee while presenting me with this beautiful gift.

My heart hurts because years later he chose his fleshly desires instead of humbling himself and restoring our marriage.  He took the easy way out and divorced me instead of facing his sin.  It was an abrupt and easy way for him, but the hardest thing for me, no closure, no communication.  So, today, my heart hurts, but I know my pain is temporary and fleeting.  I have a God who loves me and will be faithful to comfort me in my pain.

You see, I have learned that There is no such thing as pointless pain in the life of the child of God. This has encouraged and strengthened me when I walk in the valleys of suffering, brokenness, and pain!

One of the reasons that suffering has value is experienced by those who can say with conviction, “I know how you feel. I’ve been in your shoes.” Suffering prepares us to minister comfort to others who are suffering.

Feeling isolated is one of the hardest parts of suffering. It can feel like you’re all alone in your pain, and that makes it so much worse. The comfort of those who have known that same pain is inexpressible. It feels like a warm blanket being draped around your soul. But in order for someone to say those powerful words—”I know just how you feel because I’ve been there”—that person had to walk through the same difficult valley first.

Suffering often develops compassion and mercy in us. I have found in my life, through this experience, those who suffer tend to have tender hearts toward others who are in pain. We can comfort others with the comfort that we have received from God (2 Cor. 1:4) because we have experienced the reality of the Holy Spirit being there for us, walking alongside us in our pain. Then we can turn around and walk alongside others in their pain, showing them the compassion that our own suffering has produced in us.

Ministering saints are very precious to God!  We have all been given the power to minister and refresh a hurting believer, as my friend did unbeknownest to her with this video and words of encouragement. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s urgings, when you suddenly think of someone, reach out to them.  Pray that the Lord will give you discernment to know when people are hurting.  Pray for divine appointments, where God can use you to minister to His people.  There is nothing better than realizing the Lord used you to comfort one of His own.

Romans 15:2 says,“We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord”

Run To Jesus

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I once had a friend that was afraid he had fallen too far away from God.  He came to me one day and asked “What if I am so bad that I’ve crossed the line and God will no longer forgive me? I’m afraid I’ve crossed that line. I used to not even think about it, but now I’m really scared.”  I always told him the same thing “The fact that you’re afraid you’ve gone too far and God won’t forgive you is actually a very good sign, because it means there is hope for you! If you were unconcerned, then you’d never turn to God, and you’d never have any hope of forgiveness. After all, the person who’s in the most danger spiritually is the one who feels no need for God’s forgiveness.

You are never too far gone. You are never too broken to be fixed. You are never too lost to be found. Today, I hope you understand that God can restore parts of your life that you may have thought were lost forever. The most important thing I can say to you is this: It’s never too late to turn to Christ. Even when you wanted nothing to do with Him, God still loved you — and He loves you still. By faith ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your life — and He will. You can trust God’s promise: “The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Listen to what David wrote in Psalm 139, “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me….How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139:1-10 & 17-18)

It’s so important for us to take God at His word and believe that He is with us at all times. But this doesn’t always come naturally; we need to ask God to help us realize this and take delight in His presence.

Will you do that today?

 

 

Jesus Is Calling Your Name

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God is calling you, but it’s up to you to respond.

In 1Timothy 2:4 it says: “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” God has an incredible plan for your life, and He wants to use you! He wants to save you from a life of sin and unhappiness to a life of true peace and joy. He wants to prepare you for eternity.

God is calling you. He loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you!

A personal relationship with Jesus is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. It is unlike any other relationship. If you go into eternity without this relationship, you will spend eternity apart from Him.

By His sacrificial death on the cross, Jesus took the sins of the entire world on Himself and made salvation available for everyone (1 John 2:2), but this salvation is not automatic. Only those who personally choose to believe in Christ are saved.  Listen to His words:
* “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
* “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:40).
* “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25).
Choosing not to believe in Jesus, leads to eternal condemnation:
“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

Are you a sinner? The Bible declares  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); and “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). All of us have sinned, and so we have all come short of the perfect righteousness which is required for everlasting life in heaven.

Are you a sinner in need of saving? Then look unto Jesus for salvation; “seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Confess yourself to be a sinner, who has sinned against God in thought, word, and deed. Believe and trust in Christ the Savior.”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Opening your heart to Jesus is making a decision to stop living for yourself completely, and giving Him full control, as your Lord and Saviour. It is a totally life-changing decision.  Jesus came to save you, and make a way out of all your sorrows, and this amazing new life is what He will lead you into, step by step if you will answer His call.

Don’t let anything hinder you from making life’s most important choice – open the door of your heart to Jesus today.

If you would like to give your life to Jesus’ today, continue reading.

Prayer For Salvation

God’s love is not based on our goodness or how we perform but rather on who’s we are and we are all God’s children when we accept His son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life for all of us. Receiving the love of Jesus and living in his love every day, is the first and most essential step in having a love worth giving. Jesus gave His life for you! If you desire to know God’s unconditional love and want to follow Jesus, you can pray this prayer of salvation.

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you, Jesus, for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you, Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you, Jesus, for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

If you decided to repent of your sins and receive Christ today, welcome to God’s family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.

  • Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
  • Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
  • Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
  • Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
  • Find a local church where you can worship God.

When you accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you will receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit [Holy Ghost], as it states in Acts 2:38:

Acts 2:38 – King James Version (KJV)

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

PLEASE NOTE: Confession of your sins is not something you do just the one time or periodically. Whenever you sin, you should immediately repent [ask forgiveness from the Lord] and turn away from your sin.

Then, as you grow in Christ [become spiritually mature], and your love for Him grows, you should be seeking Him through His Word [Holy Bible]. You will need to find a bible-based church and study God’s Word, and eventually become water-baptized. It is through water-baptism that you show your obedience to the Lord. Water baptism is a symbol of your salvation from the dead. You were dead but now you live, for the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed you for a price! The price was His death on the cross!

Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries states: “In terms of salvation, you cannot separate faith and repentance—both happen simultaneously. In order to be saved, you must place faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and that faith decision requires a change of mind (repentance) about your way of life. Yet many people mistakenly believe they must change their way of living long before they can make a faith decision for the Savior. The truth is, repentance does not mean that we must completely change our ways and “clean ourselves up” so we can receive Christ as Lord.

If you’re holding off on a decision for Christ until you think you are “ready” or “worthy,” you’re waiting in vain. Jesus is ready to receive you right now. Only as a child of God will you find the power—His power—to truly become the person you were created to be.”

 

 

 

 

Holocaust Memorial Day

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“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again” – Anne Frank

How can life go on? is the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2017.
The aftermath of the Holocaust and of subsequent genocides continues to raise challenging questions for individuals, communities, and nations. HMD 2017 asks audiences to think about what happens after genocide and of our own responsibilities in the wake of such a crime. This year’s theme is broad and open-ended, there are few known answers.
Author and survivor of the Holocaust Elie Wiesel has said:
For the survivor death is not the problem. Death was an everyday occurrence. We learned to live with Death. The problem is to adjust to life, to living. You must teach us about living.’