Friday, November 27, 2015


a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak. (Ecclesiastes 3:7 NIV)
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV)

Thanks Living
According to tradition, when the New England settlers met with many difficulties and hardships, they often fasted and prayed for long periods of time. They had invested their all, to come to a country of religious freedom. Their dependence upon God was very real.

The time of first harvest, such as it was, had come. Another fast was called. One of the farmers stood, and pointed out that God had seen them through so many trials, when things could have been much worse. He then, pointed out that they had achieved the very thing that that came for, religious freedom! He then suggested that a day of gratitude would be a far greater gift to God, than bombarding Him with more and more of their desires. Thanksgiving Day was then established.

How many times do we pour out our hearts to God, He answers, and we go merrily on our way? Do we ever spend the time in praise that we do in asking?

This Thanksgiving, let’s give our God and Savior, a full heart of praise. We may have had problems this past year, but we have been led through both the joys and valleys!

As we eat an abundance of food, this Thanksgiving Day, let’s let our praises rise!

Thanksgiving Day is not the turkey,
Nor the table laded with good food.
It’s the lifting of a thankful heart
To our God, who supplies all things good! Verna Mull

Our most precious Heavenly Father, You have supplied all of our needs, our requests, and much more than we have even asked. We have seen you touch friends and heal them, bringing others to receive Your salvation. We have seen You convict and change many lives, and yes, You have convicted me, and helped me to realize that I am absolutely nothing without You. Today, I praise you from the bottom of my heart for Who You are! You are the Author and Finisher of our faith. You are the Creator, Sustainer, and Satisfier of my soul. You are the Great I AM! You are the Beginning and the End, and more than we can even name. You are, THE NAME. Take my life and help me to show forth Your praise to all that I meet. Father, I simply want to Thank You! Amen. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blessed Thanksgiving 2015

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the 
hard pathways overflow with abundance.

Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reduced to Naught

and the things which the world regards as base, and those which it sets utterly at nought—things that have no existence—God has chosen in order to reduce to nothing things that do exist; (1 Corinthians 1:28 WNT)

Reduced to Naught
I have constantly been posting Christian inspiration images on the social media for some years, and have noticed that there has been an increase in people giving up their belief in God or His existence. On a number of occasions when I shared images about God is in control or God cares for us, for example, I would receive feedback from people commenting that God does not exist or that He does not care or answer prayers. I can understand how they feel because I have been there before. Where was God when we needed Him most? Why did He not meet our needs even when we have reached total deprivation, unable to provide for our loved ones or self?

To many people, it is foolishness to see us continuing to believe in God when things are not going well or when God is seemingly withholding His blessings from us during desperate times and need. The truth is, more often than not, it is during our weakest point that we realize we can do nothing by our own effort. Only then do we turn to God as our provider and understand His unmerited favor and grace on us, a humbling process that breaks down every of our confidence to reduce to nothing what the world considers important (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24 ESV)

Unless we give up our confidence in self, our own effort, the things of this world or the things we sowed, we cannot bear much fruit. If we wish to live the life God has intended for us or to follow His will, we need to let go our own self-confidence and put our complete trust in God. For we have need of endurance, so that when we have done the will of God, we may receive what was promised. Therefore, do not throw away our confidence in God, which has a great reward (Hebrews 10:35-36).

Dear Lord, help us to regain our confidence in You, for we have struggled and known what it is like to be totally helpless without You. In our despair, do not let us wander away or give up trusting You. Meet us at our weakest point when our confidence in self and the world is reduced to nothing, that we may through realizing Your unmerited favor return to You.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Chills and Hails

He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold? (Psalm 147:16-17 NLT)

Chills and Hails
Not everyone likes the cold that comes with winter. But for some of us, it is the best time of the year to go up to the mountains for some fun sports and other activities. Others, however, prefer to stay in the comfort of the indoors. How we choose to enjoy our winter is of course entirely up to us.

For most of us, the season of chills and hails are not something we appreciate. Yet in Psalm 147, we are called to praise and glorify God who sends the snow, scatters frost upon the ground, and hurls hail stones amid freezing cold. The psalmist exemplifies such cold and harsh weather as a period of rebuilding. When it is over, at God’s command, the snow and the frost melt; He sends His winds, and the ice thaws (Psalm 147:16-18).

Are we facing a time of cold and harsh in our life? If we are, do not fret, because such a time is for building us up and is temporal. The time will come when the LORD will restore what we have lost and heal us from our wounds (Joel 2:25-26; Psalm 147:3). 

Dear Lord, we know in every season of our lives, there will always be lessons we can learn through the chills and hails. Help us recognize Your care in the midst of the cold and harsh in facing our storms so that we are able to continue to praise You. Heal and restore us from the years of our lost that we might once again rise up and not be ashamed.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Information versus Transformation

As the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:26 NIV)

Information versus Transformation
A fiery (but not too wise) preacher was pelted with stones after he preached the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) to hungry slum dwellers, “… blessed are the poor … blessed are those who hunger and thirst …” It is for such that Paul agonized, "Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives," (Galatians 4:19).

Many people know the truth about Jesus Christ and agree with the teachings. They delight in the information they receive in a purely academic way. This is referred to as intellectual assent. Faith based on intellectual assent is not complete. It is only when you take this information and it becomes part and parcel of your life that you become a true believer. You commit to trust the Lord and apply the truth you have learned about Christ to transform your life. It is not enough to know and believe that vitamins are good for you; you have to actually take them for them to work in you. If you cannot help those it is within your power to help, then your faith is hollow. While deeds do not bestow salvation, they are a verification of our faith.

Do you have true faith or do you have faith that is merely intellectual?

True faith feels empathy and kindness. It is based on wisdom, a sign of mature faith. You cannon have true faith and continue to live the same worldly way. You are transformed to become “… pure; then peace loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:13) Wangari Murathe

Friday, October 30, 2015

Independence is Not an Option

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

Independence is Not an Option
It sometimes seems like we wear our independence on our sleeve almost as though trying to say we can do whatever we wish because of our cherished freedoms. Unfortunately, too often we do end up doing whatever we wish, to our own detriment. Independence from tyranny, oppression, and domination is laudable when we are discussing how best to shape a society, but to assert our independence from the One who made us is foolhardy at best and dangerous on many levels.

Why is it impossible to be independent from God? One little word found at the end of Colossians 1:17- 'consist'. When looking for the dictionary definition of a word, the first definition you come across indicates the most common usage. In the case of consist, the most common usage is "to be composed or made of', indicating that all things are made of Christ. That sounds more like pantheism than orthodox Christianity. But one of the archaic definitions of the word reads "to be held together", indicating that God takes an active role in the universe He created. Far from being the Prime Mover who sets the universe in motion and then sits back to watch it spin, He is involved on a moment-by-moment basis maintaining the universe.

If God in Christ is holding the universe together, then there is no such thing as independence from God. We are all terribly dependent upon Him. Even an atheist can't get away from it. If God were to remove His hand from us, we would wither up and be blown away by the next strong breeze. So the best we can do is assert a false, fragile independence. But the paradox here is that the more independently we act, the weaker we become. Only by acknowledging our dependence upon God can our crippled bones be made strong.

"How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings." (Psalm 36:7) Bill Schwan

Friday, October 23, 2015

In the Place of God

And Joseph said unto them, fear not: for am I not in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:19-20 KJV)

In the Place of God
Have you ever crossed paths with someone that got a kick out of your apparent demise? They felt like they had the upper hand and watched with sadistic humor, as everything seemed to be crumbling around you? They waved a sense of control before you as if they were in charge of what happened in your life? They thought they controlled you with money, or past secrets?

I have! I’ve come face to face with people who acted as if they had control over the destiny of my life and the lives of my family. They liked to rub in our faces the fact that they held the switch – or so they thought!

You see when the enemy laughs in your face! When the enemy attempts to do you harm! When those around you cannot possibly wrap their head around how you can be so calm when everything around you seems to be falling apart – you can stand with resolute assurance and proclaim: I AM IN THE PLACE OF GOD!

I am here to tell you many will not understand and many will mock your resolution, but when you know deep within that you are walking in DIVINE PROVIDENCE and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WILL HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE WITHOUT GOD’S COMMAND, then as the enemy has their last laugh, you will know that the last laugh will be on them!

Regardless of how dark the prison may be! Regardless of how everything around you seems to be falling apart! Regardless of how nothing seems to work in your favor – I encourage you today – DO NOT GIVE UP! Everything is going to turn around – just like it did for Joseph! His brothers who intended to do him harm – and thought evil against him – ended up on the other side of the table! 


Lord God Almighty! Thank You today for Your Word! Thank You for Your divine protection in the places that are not always pleasant to our human nature! Thank You for guiding every step – even though those around us shake their head in confusion! Thank You Lord for not leaving us when we were thrown to the lions – and thank You for walking in the midst of the fiery furnace with us! Thank You Lord the assurance that we are IN THE PLACE OF GOD! We thank You for the souls that will be reached and the lives that will be touched and we GIVE YOU ALL THE GLORY IN EVERY SITUATION! KNOWING THAT YOU ALWAYS TAKE WHAT THE ENEMY INTENDS FOR EVIL AND TURN OUT PURE GOLD! 

We love You today and we praise You and we give you all the glory! AMEN! Jounda LaMance

Friday, October 16, 2015

In The Eyes of God

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. (Mathew 16:18 RSV)

In the Eyes of God
Who are you? A simple enough question. Are you an engineer? A priest? A corporate mongrel that delights himself when saying, “I am a partner and a CEO to one of the most lucrative realist ate company out there.” Are you a mom or dad; or a teacher even? It might be true that these are one of the roles you play in today’s society because these are your job titles. But does your job really define who you are? Even a prostitute will say she is much more than who society regards her to be. And so you, the engineer, are there not more to your being … to your soul? Is that how you would want God to see you?

The answer is of course, "No!" 

Who we are as human beings has to be greater than what is defined by our work. We must be the flesh and blood of a caring being. We are children of God who loves and nurtures; we are a strong spirit and a humble servant to the Lord, and an example to our human family. Would you like to know how God sees us?

In God’s eyes, you are:

  • God’s very own son or daughter, a child of the King. ( Romans 8:15-16)
  • a CHRISTian, called by God’s own name. (1Corinthians 1:2;Acts 15.14) 
  • a Saint, set apart by God unto Himself. (Philip 3:20)
  • a citizen of God’s Kingdom of Heaven, and a tourist on Planet Earth. (2Corinthians 5:20a)
  • God’s Ambassador to present His terms of peace to Planet Earth. (2Corinthians 5:20a)
  • Planet Earth’s Priest to stand in the gap and plead for mercy at God’s throne. (1Pet. 2:5) 

CHRISTian! God’s child! Saint! Ambassador! Priest! Citizen of heaven!

Ah, you are so greatly blessed, but your responsibilities are awesome beyond comprehension. In Christ’s name, do them well. Amen. Mai-Anh Le

Friday, October 9, 2015

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me

If Tomorrow Starts Without Me
One day it will actually happen. There will be no more sunrises. No more days, weeks, our months. Time, as we know it, will be no more. Every earthly possession that we hold dear, will one day vanish. Just like the magician who opens all sides of the box, as the audience peers through a vacant square of nothingness.

Any wealth, fame or power that we may have acquired along the way will have no significance whatsoever. It will all be meaningless.

Isaiah spoke the word of the Lord concerning this coming reality when he said:

“The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. (Isaiah 65:17).

Can you even imagine not being able to recall anything of your life while you existed on earth? Well that’s exactly what this verse is saying. The former things will not be remembered or even come to mind.

Whenever I read this verse it’s as if my life suddenly becomes surreal. I begin to see myself as here, but at the same time NOT here. I momentarily have an “all systems” shut down, as my thoughts are transported outside of myself while viewing all things present as nothing more than an after thought.

I don’t say these things lightly, or in anyway attempt to put a damper on whoever happens to be reading these lines. I simply share these thoughts as a reminder of just how temporary this whole thing called life really is!

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanishes away (James 4:14).

It is true that we came into this world with nothing and it is certain that we will leave the same way. So what is it that really matters?

There’s a well known saying that has circulated for years and it goes like this:

Soon this life as we know it shall pass,
Only what’s done for Jesus will last.

There it is. Perhaps as we consider that everything we see now with our natural eyes will one day pass away, we can than begin to rightly prioritize our lives in light of eternal significance. We must allow Christ to be so completely and thoroughly formed in us that all that remains is the manifestation of His Glory!

For in the end, that will be the only thing that truly matters.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18). Missey Butler

Friday, October 2, 2015

In His Hands

In His Hands
I cannot alter my past through memories I replay, and I confess the impossibility of controlling my future. God is sovereign, lifts the burden of anxiety from my shoulders, shelters from self-sabotage and draws me up into his mighty arms. I am not alone in my desire to harness memories; the Apostle Paul made a conscious effort to dwell not on the past.

“Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14 RSV).” He did not claim spiritual perfection; instead, he kept reaching toward the ultimate goal. Jesus had a firm hold on Paul. 

What memories did the past hold? Like many, Paul had things he rejoiced in and things for which he held resentments or remorse. As a Jew, Paul had been the cream of the crop, raised in an orthodox family, taught by a leading Rabi and held the honor of being a Roman citizen. If only … Paul in his religious zeal to uphold religious standards persecuted the church.

He pushed persecution to the limits, stood in agreement as an accomplice to Stephen’s undeserved death by stoning. After the apostles’ miraculous conversion on a Damascus road Paul experienced both blessings and great suffering. He could empathize with anyone who experienced hardship and endured in trials and afflictions.

“Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one-I am talking like a madman-with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times, I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure (2 Corinthians 11:23-27 RSV).” His faith sustained him. 

I have a “past.” God blessed me to see “today;” God holds the “future” in his hands. Pam Ford Davis


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