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Choose Joy

Speak the Truth: 

Romans 15:13  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 126:3   The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.

Talk the Talk:

When you look up the word choose in the English dictionary, it says…  To select from a number of possible alternatives; decide on and pick out.  One of the greatest choices we get to experience as believers is whether or not to be joyful. When we invite Christ to rule over our lives, He promises to fill us with joy.  Don’t hear me wrong…  He does not promise us a perfect life absent of obstacles or struggles; that is not what is meant.  It means no matter what happens, He is with us, He is in complete control, and we can rest in the fact that everything happens for a purpose. Nothing takes Him by surprise.  We know that we can trust Him completely. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” That is an awesome promise. 

So He fills us with Joy and it is readily available to us; we just have to choose it.  One other major distinction that I think is important to make before we go any further is to point out the difference between Joy and Happiness.  Just because we have Joy, doesn’t necessarily mean we are happy all the time.  They are 2 separate things. Our Joy comes from deep within, and can be found even in some of the saddest and most trying of moments. Our joy is not determined by our circumstances. According to gotquestions.org, the book of Philippians is a great study in the difference between joy and happiness.( Let me encourage you to delve a little deeper. http://www.gotquestions.org/joy-happiness.html#ixzz3DQ2vv2Ne)

Now that we understand that Joy comes from Christ, here are some ways I can choose joy in my daily life….

1. When my kids spend 15 minutes brushing their teeth and leave the bathroom with water all over the counter, I can choose JOY because my kids are able to brush their teeth with running water. (Phil 4:19)

2. When money gets financially tight, and there are unexpected bills, I can choose JOY because my Savior always provides. (Matthew 6:26)

3. When a family member or friend breaks a promise or hurts your/my feelings, I can choose JOY because Jesus is my best friend and promises to never leave me or forsake me. (Heb 13:5) (Prov 18:24)

4. When someone becomes sick or a loved one dies, I can choose JOY because the Lord sustains us and gives us Peace. (Psalm 41:3)(Psalm 147:3)

Walk the Walk:

There are so many other examples that I could use to illustrate how to choose joy because the Bible is full of promises of Christ’s love for us.  Take some time and try to think of different examples in your life, times when you feel anxious or sad and look up verses that will help you find joy in those circumstances.  You could probably use some of the same verses I have referenced above.  WE HAVE A CHOICE.  We can choose to focus on being depressed, sad, and lonely, or we can keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and let his Joy & Hope overflow in our hearts.  When we choose joy, others will notice a difference in us. That is what makes us different from the rest of the world.  How can you be so joyful when you are going through so much?  It’s because I know Jesus reigns.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Attitude, Health and Wellness

 

Our Biggest Defeat

Speak the Truth:

Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,[a] he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

Talk the Talk:

So here I go again, I have embarked on yet another Beth Moore bible study, the book of Daniel. Beth has challenged us to learn. To learn shouldn’t be that hard, right? The Holy Spirit sure can speak a word through this woman.
One of the first things said or maybe it was one of the first things I heard, Satan wants to take us back to our biggest defeat. I sat for a few minutes with my mouth hanging open over that one.
My biggest defeat; some days I feel as if I am still living in defeat. I move forward to only be pulled backward. My mind is the place Satan likes to attack. My self- esteem and self- worth. Can I get an amen on that one?
So Daniel and his buddies, all smart and handsome, royalty even are taken into the King’s service. Rather…. taken to be trained to be in the King’s service. Is that not what we are to be, in the King’s service? A different King that is.
We are spotless, we are royalty, we belong to the King. We are fed and clothed and trained to serve the King. The King of all Nations. Then how or why do we live in defeat and fear? Good question.

Beth talks about Babylon, and what defines Babylon. When I think of Babylon, I think of evil, a place where every desire a person has can be seen to fruition. I picture a place where anything goes. No real boundaries, more like lines drawn in the sand. When a wave comes, they are washed away.
From what my eyes can see, I’m living in Babylon. Not only do I physically live in Babylon, I mentally live there. Self-will, over indulgence and rebellion to name a few Babylonian attributes.
I am tempted, tried and enticed by this world and the many, many choices laid before me. The world tells me to self-indulge, to find yourself, do what makes you feel good. Follow your heart. You’re the only one that matters, your happiness is all the matters, etc.
I envision a new friend group, a couple of girls you hang out with, mainly because you’re bored and have no one else to do anything with. But you don’t really like to go to the same places they like or indulge in the same things they seem to enjoy.
The question is why do you keep these girls around? Why hang out with them? Because it’s easy. They require nothing out of you and you’re comfortable in this non assuming friendship.

There is a price to be paid for this type of living. Your soul. Your spirit. Your life. To live the Babylonian life, the freedom you foolishly think you have is in reality a life of destruction. Satan loves to attack at our weakest point. Oh how he knows the right buttons to push.
I said before, we as Christians are here to serve a King, the King of the universe. So why do we live in defeat, fear, rebellion, over indulgence and so on? Because we have forgotten where we left our shovel. The hole is deep and filled so full of this world, the way out has seemingly been blocked.
To put God first goes against everything this world believes in. When the light bulb comes on and the reality of our eternal salvation is realized, we will be uncomfortable. Stepping away from that friend group we have become so comfortable with will not be easy.

Walk the Walk:

Is Babylon a physical, mental or both physical and mental place for you? And how do we get out of Babylon? I think it takes a different kind of rebellion. A type that says no, I’ll do it God’s way….not the Babylon way. We have to refocus and zoom in on God. No playing around. A serious look at God’s plan for His people and real transformation. Oh, I can type the words but to live them out will take God and His almighty power. I’m not there yet.

Bring me out of Babylon Jesus, show me the way to tunnel out of this hole I am stuck in. Throw me a line and drowned out this world. I pray this in your name Jesus. Amen.

 

Square One

Speak the Truth:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

Talk the Talk:

I was an English teacher for many years.  Truly, I loved every second of it.  My favorite part?  Literature.  My second favorite part?  Diagramming.  Yes, I know.  Very strange and according to some, sick.  There was just something about taking a sentence apart, only to put it back together again.  All these years later, I stand by the fact that if a student can deconstruct, he/she can then construct.  There were times, however, when I looked at the faces of my students and I just knew.  I knew what any good teacher knows.  Time to reteach.  Time to go back to square one and review the foundation.  In English, the review took the form of the eight basic parts of speech: noun, verb, pronoun, preposition, interjection, adjective, adverb, conjunction.  Anyone having grammar school rock flashbacks yet?

Often, in the Christian faith, I think we need to do a little stop and rewind.  Check Who we serve, who we are in Who we serve, and what it is we are supposed to be doing.

Taken from The Joshua Code

Who?  You and Me…..Believers, Followers of Jesus

What?  Power….Take a few days and reread the book of Acts.  Therein lies divine documentation of some serious power!

When? When you received the Holy Spirit.  So…..NOW!

Why? To be His witnesses

Where?  To the end of the earth….no need for a geography lesson…spin the globe and there you go!

Every second of every minute of every hour of every day, Jesus wants us to use the power that dwells within us and witness for Him….at home, in our neighborhoods, to our friends, at the gym, at the coffee shop, at school………your witness accompanies your feet.

Walk the Walk:

Here are the lyrics to Newsboys’ hit, We Believe...

 

18 Days Left!

Amanda Williams:

Please share their story as you feel led……

Originally posted on kitefamilyonmission:

18 Days Left In the 100 Day Journey to become fully funded, homeless and on our way to Canada.

Here is a quick update:

  • There is a couple preparing to make an offer for our house. This could be in place by the middle of this week.
  • We are preparing to bid on a used van that goes to auction today.
  • Progress continues to be made on our fund raising needs.
  • We have begun purging and packing.
  • Our hearts are strong – this is going to be a great month!

Our prayer needs:

  • Pray for us to have wisdom concerning the potential offer for the house and the purchase of the van. We are praying that God makes it very clear and easy to see His hand at work in this process.
  • Ask God to continue stirring the hearts of people to join our ministry partnership team. We are praying for…

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Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

“Where Are The People?”

Speak the Truth

Matthew 4:25 “And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.”

Talk the Talk

On my first trip visiting Uganda, I was overwhelmed with the number of people gathered or walking along the roadside. In every village, community, or town we traveled through, we observed wall-to-wall, open-faced markets, stores, places where furniture was being produced, people sewing and weaving, some selling fruits and vegetables, others cooking food. There were goats, chickens, and cows mingling in the throngs of children and adults. People were conversing and assisting each other. The roads were filled with walkers, and bicycles, and boda-bodas (small motorcycles used for transporting people and goods).
When we arrived in the village of Kamonkoli, people were everywhere. Children were playing together, and many adults and children were gathered outside their small establishments either talking, eating, or working. We witnessed large crowds of students walking from their schools. Later as we attended activities at the church, we worshiped with hundreds as they lifted their outstretched arms and raised their beautiful voices in gratitude to the One who provides.

CHANGE of SCENES: The pastor, his wife, young daughter, and the missionary from Uganda are visiting in the United States. Their first question upon leaving the airport was, “Where are the people?” The little girl arriving at the destination where they were to stay, echoed her parents’ concern as she asked, “Where are the children?” At a dinner honoring the family and missionary, the pastor spoke and described his thoughts on observing our culture and neighborhoods. He explained that our way of living reminds him of people being in cages with each unit (house) being locked away in their own little world. He went on to say that when a new person or family moves to Kamonkoli, the people go and visit and ask what they may need, and find out more about the newcomers. He further went on to say that when a person becomes ill, or has no provisions, or is suffering, many other people provide assistance.
The truth is, our society for the most part, has stopped communicating with neighbors. Not only that, but all of us have witnessed families in restaurants as each member is completely absorbed in a phone, or game, or other device. How did this situation develop in our country? When did we stop knowing and caring for our neighbors? Jesus commanded us to not only love our neighbors( Galatians 5:14), but to let our light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Walk the Walk

Our streets and towns will never provide the opportunities to mingle and visit with others as those in Uganda do, but maybe we can open up some of the “cages” in our neighborhoods and be His witnesses to this world.(Acts 1:8)

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2014 in Missions and Discipleship, Uncategorized

 

Beautiful You.

Written by Guest Blogger: Katie Tamblingson

Speak the Truth:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139: 13-14

Talk the Talk:

Recently I volunteered at an event at my church for young tween (8-12) girls. The speakers were talking about beauty and how God made each girl beautiful. Then the speaker had each girl close her eyes and place her hand on one part of her body that she didn’t like. I looked around and it made me so sad to see all these beautiful young girls own something they didn’t like about themselves. One particular girl stood out to me. She was no older than 11 and placed her hand on her stomach and started crying. It made me so sad to see that she already didn’t like her stomach and the way she looked. God made each of us so beautiful. His works are wonderful! We, as women, want to see ourselves as beautiful but we struggle. We are bombarded by so many voices telling us that we are not beautiful or wonderful, and so often that is from other women. We should be encouraging each other to see the beauty that God made in us. We are all beautiful and wonderfully made by our God. We are His masterpiece and He says we are wonderfully made!

Walk the Walk:

Ask God to show you one other lady in your life that needs to hear how God made her beautiful and wonderful. Tell her at least one way that you see how God made her beautiful.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in health, Health and Wellness

 

Praise Him

Speak the Truth:

Psalm 150: 1-6 (ESV)

1Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Talk the Talk:

Last week I was riding in the car with my two little cousins who are 9 & 11. From the time they were itty bitty, they understand when they ride with me I have on Christian music. So, needless to say, they have their favorite songs and they don’t hesitate to make requests. On this particular drive the 9 year old wanted to hear her 2 favorites – ‘Oceans’ by Hillsong and ‘7×70′ by Chris August. She told me, “I’m going to DIE if I don’t hear 7×70.” Now, this was quite the exaggeration, but I was happy to play it for her. Once it finished and we moved to her second request, ‘Oceans’, she asked, “Why do people raise their hands when they sing ‘Oceans’?” Her sister was quick to say, “They are worshipping God, duh!” While the attitude could have been dropped from her response, it was filled with truth, and her response satisfied her sister who then started to belt ‘Oceans’ out with her arms waving through the air worshipping. Watching through my rear view mirror, and listening to their sweet voices sing one of my favorite songs to my God was indeed the best worship I’d had in awhile.

Walk the Walk:

So, whether you have a great voice or you can’t carry a tune….whether you raise your hands or just stand or sit while singing….whether you like contemporary or traditional music best…whether you are in church, your car, or the shower…whether you are in a group or all alone, the point is you are supposed to praise Him! You are to worship the Creator of the universe! He wants to hear your voice singing to Him. Through your praise you are able to glorify God. What a privilege!  However, it is also encouraged throughout scripture as seen in the following verses:

· 1 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV) Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!

· Psalm 7:17 (ESV) I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

· Psalm 47:6 (ESV) Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
So, even though I sing a bit off key, I am thankful I have a voice to sing and ears to hear when praise is being offered. I am also grateful I get to share worship with those I love, and that together we can turn a car ride into church and a personal concert to praise Him. Go ahead, give it a try…I dare you.

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Angela Thomas

Angela Thomas

Proverbs 31 Ministries

Speak the Truth. Talk the Talk. Walk the Walk.

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