“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3
I was cleaning my bookshelves a while back and came across a book that I hadn’t given much thought to in many years; it is the Prayer Book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Let me tell you how this little 80-page book blessed my life.
It was just after Thanksgiving time in 1995 while I was working as a pastoral assistant to a Catholic Pastor in Massachusetts. He was a great priest and a great friend. However, he was also great at volunteering me for projects! (I will admit that I really didn’t mind at all)
We traveled to Boston one afternoon to visit with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; what an amazing ministry they have. While taking a tour of their lovely chapel, we noticed that their prayer books were a torn and tattered mess that consisted of a folder of mismatched cards and papers. Continue reading
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
I was widowed in early 2006. Some months had passed and circumstances had gone from bad to worse in the business and financial area of my life. The business that I had started with my late husband had all but dried up… the money that I was earning from another job had also disappeared when that job ended. I was a thousand miles from any family, alone and down to the last of my dollars.
It was Sunday morning while I was driving to Church that I felt such a burden on my heart because I was not able to give anything in the Church offering that morning. My checkbook had just $12.83 remaining after paying my other bills that month. Yet my car insurance bill had showed up in the mail and they wanted somewhere around $30.00. I had no idea where that money was going to come from. Things didn’t look good. I was without resources, business prospects or family to rely on… I was sad, alone and desperate. Continue reading
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, life to the fullest” John 10:10
You are the son, the daughter of the Most High King. Do not back down when the enemy comes around; do not cower, for we are called to be as BOLD as the Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5). God Almighty has put His Power in you so that it is there when you need it to ROAR.
Our enemy, satan, will use your past, your weaknesses, and areas of your life where you are not strong to entice, beguile and tempt you; believe that he will and he does. Scripture tells is in John 10:10 that satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy your life, your dreams, your future.
“As we are approaching the end of this age, we will come to see that those things which are to be shaken shall be removed and only those things which are not to be shaken shall remain. May we therefore seek for things unshakable which come through the spirit of wisdom and revelation.”[i]
Recently we began an all Church Bible Study called Experience Life by Pete Briscoe. In the week two study, we are challenged to develop and deepen our relationship with Jesus by committing ourselves to spending time with Him, becoming more the person He desires us to be. “Discipleship requires Discipline” “We have a new life in Christ – a relationship with our living Lord!” Just as when we meet a new friend, we want to get to know them better, we do this by spending time with them – talking, learning about them, their past, their likes, their dislikes, etc. “For the Christian, isn’t that what spiritual growth really is – getting to know Jesus better, communicating with Him, learning what He likes and doesn’t like, and adapting our lives to His?” Continue reading
This is part two – in continuation of last week article “The TRUTH of False Teacher, Preachers and Prophets”
We all want to think that the preacher we sit under is an anointed man of God and he is there to teach and speak the TRUTHS of the Word of God. But sometimes things happen and that person (man or woman) stumbles or falls. Somehow they begin following the wrong path. Perhaps it is greed, the allure of notoriety, the attention, or the perceived worship of an entire congregation of folks wanting to hear what they alone have to say… perhaps it is arrogance or pride… whatever it is; sometimes our leaders fall. Sometimes they take on the mantle of being the singular authority in all things Biblical. Their interpretation and understanding becomes TRUTH; and while it is acceptable and palatable to those listening, it may not be the TRUTH of the Bible.
Accurate and sound doctrine is fundamental to our salvation and increase in spiritual development. God warns us many times in the Scriptures to be alert and watchful of false teaching. As Christians, we need to be able to identify counterfeit teachers in order to know when we are being led down a wrong path. As an individual, we should be already in tune with the urgings, or promptings of Holy Spirit. Call it intuition if you want, but you know when something just isn’t right. You recognize the small voice inside telling you to be warned. When that feeling deep in you starts to stir, what then?
2 Peter 2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”
Matthew 7:15-20 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”
Created with Purpose: Unlocking Your Dreams and Fulfilling the Desires of Your Heart by Johannah Clark Leach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Become the Confident, Secure, and Powerful Person God Designed You To Be. Do you live in fear of what others think of you? Do you worry about missing out on what God has for your life? Are you lacking the confidence or courage to pursue the dreams in your heart?
You have been created with a unique purpose and divine destiny on your life. There are dreams in your heart that are just waiting to be released! Unfortunately, so many people let their insecurities and fears hold them back from being the world-changes that God made them to be.”
Created with Purpose by Johannah Clark Leach and Victoria West Henady is a must read. So many of us today wonder why we are here. What is our purpose? Are we doing what we were created to do? What were we created to do?
Kingdom Authority by Kynan Bridges
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Kingdom Authority provides deep biblical insight into the authority that you possess as a child of God. You will discover how to invoke God’s Word and the name of Jesus to gain victory over the enemy and take dominion over the powers of darkness and their torments, finding freedom from fear, depression, lust, sickness, poverty, and bondage of all types.”
Do Not Miss This Book. This is a must read for all Christians! While it is only 200 pages, it is packed full with Godly Wisdom and Truth. Buy this book for your friends and family.
The Miracles In You: The Power of Positive Living by Mark Victor Hansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Many people do not believe in miracles. Both Mark Victor Hansen and I have experienced or witnessed many miracles. His descriptions of these events in this book will help all readers, including skeptics; believe in those inexplicable, non-tangible aspects of humanity.” —Ben Carson, MD, New York Times Bestseller of One Nation. Believe The Miracle. See The Miracle. Be The Miracle.”
There are so many people that don’t believe in miracles. They believe in coincidences, but not miracles. Some folks think that miracles must be on the grand scale of the parting of the Red Sea in order to qualify for a miracle. But day in and day out, God is in the business of miracles in the lives of His children. I’ve seen them in my own life. There have been circumstances, events and happenings can not be explained in any other way. Continue reading
Life Unstuck: Finding Peace with Your Past, Purpose in Your Present, Passion for Your Future by Pat Layton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Everyone has felt stuck at some point in life. Our inertia is gone, momentum is wiped out, and life trudges on devoid of passion. But God has so much more than this planned for his daughters. With passion and enthusiasm, Pat Layton invites women to imagine their world unstuck–a place where they feel at peace with the past, find purpose in the present, and revel in the possibilities that the future holds. With her rousing Unstuck Manifesto, she delves deep into the areas readers get stuck in the most–relationships, finances, ministry, career, and more–and, with the Scriptures as her guide, unveils the path to positive forward movement.”
Had I not gone any further than page 13 to what the author titled “Unstuck Manifesto”, I would already have been beyond blessed by this book. However, I kept reading. And oh how I was blessed. In Life Unstuck, the author, Pat Layton, so readily shares testimony from her own life where she was stuck, and allows us into her journey of freedom.
Simply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday by Greg Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“The simplest, most transformative prayer you may ever pray—the five senses prayer. This book invites you to a simple practice of prayer and awareness that can turn each ordinary workday into a deepening spiritual journey.
No matter where you are or how busy you get, your five senses are always “on,” your mind and heart responsive to what you perceive. These channels of awareness can take you deeper into God’s great mystery if you practice the discipline of submitting them to the One who is closer than you imagine. The beauty of such a contemplative path is that you can follow it anywhere—alone or in company, in quiet meditation or amid the bustle of your craziest day.“
This book, Simply Open; A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday, was a pleasure to read. It certainly gave me pause for thought on more than one occasion. It is based on our everyday moments, the moments where we encounter God by asking Him to open us up. Continue reading