Friday, November 30, 2018

Mandatory Transfer

Mandatory Transfer
Commuters may not be fortunate enough to find a direct trip to their place of employment. Ticket agents map out the best route and explain where they will need to make proper connections. Split second timing is observed; passengers transfer from one bus or fast rail train and clock in at the job right on time.

God has arranged for our mandatory transfer from one kingdom to another. “He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians1:13-14 NRS) He does not depend us to rescue ourselves and make the critical transfer. We simply accept his forgiveness and follow him to Jesus' kingdom! PamFord Davis

Friday, November 23, 2018

A Time for Reflection and Giving Thanks

A Time for Reflection and Giving Thanks
November, what a wonderful month! Fall is a time for us to stop and see God’s beauty in the world around us. It’s a time to be with family, to have fellowship with one another, a time to laugh and a time to make memories. It’s a time to stop and reflect on our blessings for the year and to give thanks to God for all He has given us. Even if our loved one isn’t with us we can still thank God for those memories we have and thank Him for the time spent with the one who meant so much to us. It is a time of reflection and a time for thanks.

As I reflect on the month of November lots of things come to mind; football games, lots of food, sharing, birthdays, and even death. As I take time to give thanks, I find my blessings are so bountiful. I sometimes feel like God has blessed me more than I deserve. I have health, a wonderful family, beautiful grandchildren, a home, a car, and the list goes on and on. I also thank the Lord everyday for my Church family. My church, as well as another church, has played an important part of my life and for that I am blessed.

In the dictionary thanks is described as “an expression of gratitude”. Gratitude is explained as “an appreciation for favors received”. The dictionary explains favor as “a kind act, a small gift or token”. We could go on and on, but to get to the point, being thankful means appreciating what people has done for you or given to you. Most of the time in church we are asked to stop and give “Thanks” for our blessings. One of the first responses always seems to be our family, our home, etc. Somewhere down the list we finally get around to mentioning God and what He has done, but for most people He is not on the top of the list.

Since November is a time of reflecting, I think we should stop and reflect on what God has done for us. If you are reading this then you are alive. We each should be thankful for the time we have here on earth. We are never promised tomorrow, so we should live life each day to its fullest and be thankful at the end of the day. If you are reading this then you are blessed with eyesight; even though it may not be what it was a year ago we should be thankful for the eyesight we do have.

Another favor we have received from God that we didn’t deserve, or ask for was the giving of God’s son, Jesus for our sins. God gave each of us a token of His love by sending His only Son to this earth to die for us. When He died on the cross we became new creatures, our sins were not only washed away, but God forgot about them. This Thanksgiving look around your table; look at your family and friends. If God asked you to sacrifice one of your family members just as He did could you do it? Which one of the family members would you be willing to give up?

As you ponder this remember one thing, the one you choose will not be a sacrifice for just your family, but for all of humankind. That includes prostitutes, murders, the guy at work who you don’t get along with, the people you don’t know, the thugs sitting in jail, or your next door neighbor. It will be a sacrifice for everyone. The sad part of it is even though you offer your relative for a sacrifice not everyone will accept the free gift. Now how does that make you feel? Even though God offered His Son as a sacrifice to wipe away every sin committed there are people who still don’t know Him or won’t accept Him.

There is not one of us that would be willing to make that sacrifice, but God did. He did it for you and me and everyone else.

This Thanksgiving as we are once again asked to stop and give “Thanks” let us thank God for His ultimate gift of life and His forgiveness of our sins. November is a time for reflection and thanks. Let each of us take a few minutes and reflect and give thanks to God “for His goodness” to us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him”. John 3:16-17

Dear Lord, as we sit around the table looking at our family and friends we know in our hearts we can't sacrifice them. We aren't willing to let them die a death for people we don't know or for those who we don't think deserve life. Yet, God that is what You did. You sent Your only Son to die for each of us. Not only for us but for those who we don't know, those who we judge as not deserving Your love. You died to wash away the sins we have committed and those we will commit. You died so we might have life; live eternally. All You ask in return is our love and to love unconditionally those You have put in out midst. You ask us to forgive and be forgiven. You give so much to us, yet You ask for so little. We thank You for Your Son, our family and friends. We thank You for the blessings You pour out on us each day. We honor You with our lives and our love. We lift Your name in Praise and Thanksgiving for all You do for us. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Becky Brown

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Blessed Thanksgiving 2018

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 118:1 NAS)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Manifesting the works of God

Manifesting the works of God
In John 9:1-7, Jesus’ disciples wanted to know whose fault it was that this man was unable to see. Instead of trying to help them find someone to blame, Jesus had them take a different look at the situation. He told them that through this man’s affliction, the works of God were going to be manifested.

Too often we face challenges, or see others who are facing challenges, and wonder who is to blame for the situation. Maybe we ask God, “Why does this person have to go through this?” Perhaps we wonder, “What bad thing did this person do to end up with this challenge?” Or we might wonder if that person is suffering because of someone else’s faults and failings. Instead of looking for someone or something to blame, we should take to heart what Jesus told his disciples here: “This is a situation where the works of God can be manifested.”

Challenges, trials, difficulties, and tough times of life are something that we will all encounter. When you’re experiencing things you can’t change or don’t understand, take those problems to God and seek to have his works manifested through your challenges. He won’t fail you.

“Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9:3)

Lord, as we face the challenges of life, please help us to remember that as we allow you to manifest yourself through them, others can be blessed and drawn to you. Misti Chancellor

Friday, November 9, 2018

Manufactured Blessings

Manufactured Blessings
Have you ever thought about your blessings and where they come from? Some blessings are manufactured and some come from God. Now I know you’re wondering how blessings can be manufactured. Let me share what God has been teaching me. 

So what are those manufactured blessings? Far too often they come in the form of material things and things that we think will bring us happiness. We are a nation of people that has abundance and we have an abundance of activities. We have so much we now build storage facilities to keep our stuff in that we don’t have room for in our homes.

I am reminded of this story found in Luke 12:16-19, “Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’

We buy bigger homes and we still have leftovers. We have a lot of stuff. Our lives are full of activities too. We are so busy running here and there and doing this and doing that. Some years ago it was reported Americans were taking the fewest vacations in four decades. We are too busy to go on vacation. Now I am not opposed to material things. I have some myself and I am guilty of being too busy. These are what I call manufactured blessings. Blessings we created through our own doing. 

Now these are not bad things, but if you stop and really think about it we did not do these things on our own. God gives us new breath every day. God allows us to experience life once more when we get up. Now I don’t believe God causes death or brings on bad things, but I do believe He knows how many days we are to live on this earth.

“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)

I think each day when we rise we should stop and pause and say thank you to our creator for another day of life. I think we should thank him for surviving in this crazy world another day.

I am afraid for too many of us we have the mindset that it’s all about what I accomplish and we don’t give God a second thought. You may not agree with me, but who chose you to be born in the family you were born in or even the country that you were born in? God planted us where he wanted us. We could easily have been born in a country where there is no hot water, luxuries, or opportunities. Instead he placed us where we could have those things, yet often times we never go to church and give Him back a portion or say thank you. 

I am very aware of the blessings God has given me. Every time I get in the shower and the hot water is the perfect temperature and it runs down my body I feel blessed. I think about those who cannot take a hot bath. I have to make an effort to do this. It’s not something that comes natural. I have to make myself aware of the blessings God has given me. If I don’t make myself aware of who has given me those blessings then I won’t ever offer a word of thanks. I can get smug and think it is all about me when in reality it isn’t. 

God has blessed us in so many ways. He has blessed us in giving us his love and grace when so many times we don’t deserve it. He has blessed us with a mind that can work, hands that can function and feet that can carry us to work or wherever. I am afraid we are a nation of people with an overabundance of things and activities and an under of abundance when it comes to acknowledging who God is in our lives and lack of appreciation and gratefulness.

We are moving into a time when we think about harvesting this month and next month thanksgiving. When it comes to harvesting are you reaping blessings that come from God or are you reaping manufactured blessings? Do you offer thanks for those blessings or do you just carry on each day not giving a thought about those blessings? It takes an effort to think about how blessed we are and where those blessings come from. I challenge you today to make the effort to give thanks and then to make an effort to have a relationship with the one who has blessed you.

Dear God, I do thank you for each breath I take, each hot shower I am able to have and for the many little blessings that you give me each day that I often take for granted or miss. Thank you for reminding me I can fall into the same trap as the rich man who had to build bigger barns. May I never take blessings for granted and may I remember it is you who sends us showers of blessings. Amen

Becky Brown

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mandatory Evacuation

Mandatory Evacuation
Life in the Sunshine State is not always paradise. Even there, residents have to face the reality of nature. In this case, that means the strong possibility of hurricanes. Their power and destruction is deeply embedded in personal memories.

Our family evacuated before the impending arrival of Hurricane Opal. We took warnings very seriously. A hurricane can level structures and devastate entire communities. We took no chances; we made our evacuation plans.

When leaving, we had to make rapid decisions. What would we take? What should we leave behind?  We are often unaware of the grip possessions have on us. At the approach of a hurricane, priorities become clearer.

The Florida Department of Transportation & Walton County Emergency Management worked hand-in-hand. Evacuation routes were clearly marked. Locals and tourists needed to only follow instructions and evacuate to a safer location. 

In the spiritual realm, a force more powerful than a hurricane is lurking …

Evil forces and temptations are growing and gaining strength as they approach our homes, communities, states and nations. Do we see the coming destruction?  God freely gave us His evacuation route! He made a way of escape.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV)

A reminder, hurricanes are named alphabetically.

Our way of escape is J E S U S, the Alpha and the Omega, A-Z! PamFord Davis