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Who are you?

Speak the Truth:

Daniel 1:6

Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.

Talk the Talk:

I just joined a Bible study on Daniel.  We are only 2 chapters in, but I am already hooked. In the very first chapter, we learn that Babylon takes captive several young men from Judah in order to train them and build up their kingdom.  One of the very first things they did with these young men was change their names.  I posted the verse above that shows what their names where changed to.  You see, their original names all pointed to God.  Daniel meant God is my Judge, Hananiah meant Yah has been gracious;  Mishal meant who is what God is; and Azariah meant Yah has helped.  The Babylonians believed that by changing their names, they could change their identities.  Their identities would be used to bring glory to the king, and not to God.  However, Daniel and his friends were secure in their identity.  They knew they belonged to God and throughout the rest of the book of Daniel we are shown over and over again how they stay strong in their faith.  They never waiver.  It didn’t matter what others called them or commanded them; they knew who they were.  They knew they were untouchable with God by their side.

So, as I thought about this, the question came to mind. Do you know who YOU are?  Do you know that you are the Child of the One True King? (Which is also an awesome song by Matthew West.)  Do you know that you were made for a purpose?  Don’t believe what the world says about you.  None of it matters. I know personally. Satan knows my weaknesses, and will use anything he can to try and change my identity. Our identity needs to solely rely on what Christ says about us and who Christ has created us to be.  We cannot allow the labels of society to penetrate our hearts and turn us from our one true purpose.  Can you imagine how much different the book of Daniel would look if Daniel and his friends hadn’t stuck up for their faith and what they believe?  I hope that one day others will say that about me.  I hope that people see something different in me.  That they are able to look past the labels of society and the devil.  That they see my identity was found in Christ alone, and my life will point others back to Him.    I struggled with this for many years; I had many labels that I wore around my neck, and they wore me down. As long as I held on to those labels, I couldn’t replace them.  You can’t believe that you are ugly and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made at the same time.  You can’t believe that you are worthless and that you are created for a purpose at the same time.  The labels that I held onto were clearly against scripture.

Walk the Walk:

On a day where the rest of the world puts on costumes, let me encourage you to shed your labels and embrace who you really are in Christ Jesus.  Write down the labels that you have embedded on your heart.  Then turn to scripture and find out what God really says about you.  How does it compare to your labels?  Then burn your list, throw it away, stomp on it, rip it up, or whatever it is that brings your heart joy.  Start a new list with scriptures that will remind you of the promises God has in store for you.  Scripture that lift you up, and draw you closer to your Savior.

 
 

Can’t Run/Can’t Hide

Speak the Truth

Psalm 139:7 “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”

Talk the Talk

Do you remember participating in tag games or hide-and-go-seek games when you were younger? Occasionally, the tag game might stop before anyone could catch you. Maybe in a hide-and-go-seek game, you would get a free pass back to base because the person gave up trying to find your secret place. There are people in the Bible who tried to hide or run from God, but it was impossible. Just to name a few: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they disobeyed God. (Genesis 3:8); Hagar when she fled from Sarai (Genesis 16:7); Elijah first under a tree and then in a cave (1st Kings 19); Balaam on the road to see Balak (Numbers 22); Jonah running and pouting because he thought God should do things his way (Book of Jonah). The Bible tells of God’s people trying to run and hide. Do we still not try to do this at times? Just as it has been from the beginning of Creation and will remain so for eternity, God Knows All! He knows our thoughts, He knows where we are, what we are doing. He knows what we have done in the past, and what we will do in the future. But, instead of trying to run or hide, we should be embracing His Presence. He’s as close as the mention of His Name. He’s right here, right now, and He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives. Why? Because He loves us. The truth of the matter is, we should be running as fast as we can to God. We should rejoice that He has found us and loves us, even in our disobedience and brokenness. We should be on our knees asking God for His forgiveness and praising Him that He shows His grace and mercy to us continually. We should be sharing the Good News that God sent His Son to die for our sins so that we can be with God and not separated from Him. So, let’s change the rules of the game and run to God. Let Him find you in your fears, your darkness, and your uncertainties. You will be blessed.

Walk the Walk

In Chris Tomlin’s new recording, “Jesus Loves Me”, the lyrics say “I couldn’t run from His Presence. I couldn’t run from His arms. I stepped out of the dark and into the Light when He called my name. He holds the stars and He holds my heart with healing hands that bear the scars. The rugged cross where he died for me, my only hope, my everything. Jesus loves me.” This week, feel His Presence as you do your daily activities. Cherish His closeness.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2014 in Missions and Discipleship

 

Your turn.

Wednesdays are dedicated to health and wellness.  Health of body, mind, spirit….

What verse or verses encourage you in your endeavor to be healthy?  Please share.

 

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Health and Wellness

 

Learning how to dance….

Speak the Truth:

Ephesians 4: 31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Matthew 18:15  If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Colossians 3:13 Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

Talk the Talk:

I think it is quite humorous that a significant part of the wedding reception is the dance.  The new bride and groom dance to ‘their’ song in front of family and friends.  Jeromy and I actually coordinated our dance to a Harry Connick Jr. number about friends.  We choreographed and rehearsed, laughing the whole time.  We had a lot to learn.  He is 6’4”; I’m 5’4”.  He has long legs; I have short.  When we were putting our steps together, we had to communicate a lot to make it all work.  When the big moment came, it was quite romantic.

Little did we know, learning how to ‘dance’ together would become a significant lesson in our married life.  Eighteen years and counting, we are still learning the dance called ‘conflict’.  Disagreeing is going to happen and it’s most likely going to happen often.  We came into our marriage with two very distinct ways of handling conflict.  I wanted it handled ASAP; he wanted to not see my face, much less hear my voice.  There were tears, pouting sessions, slammed doors and long nights.

What we have learned is that transparency, honesty, communication and the willingness to get it all out are vital to a healthy marriage.  We don’t always get it right, but man, we have gotten so much better.  So many times, our tendency with anyone is to hide, gloss it over and pretend that it’s all ok.  Here’s the thing.  When it’s not ok, exploding is bad, imploding is worse.  Invest in your relationships and learn how to disagree.  It will pay dividends later on.

Walk the Walk:

I’m no marriage counselor, but set some ground rules.  Talk about it beforehand.  Don’t be tempted to give up and walk out.  Most importantly, pray together.  I am convinced this makes a huge difference.  Communicate with one another…..dance.  Fight for your relationship.

Warren Barfield

Love is Not a Fight

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It’s a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We’ll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

To some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they’re falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we’ll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It’s worth fighting for

 

Show them Me.

Speak the Truth:

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Talk the Talk:

“Don’t just tell me.  Show me.”  Have you ever said this to your children or to a loved one?  Words vs Action.  Which one is the most meaningful?  The most impactful?

In John 15:12, Jesus said, “12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Love.  A verb.  Not only a verb, but a verb with an example attached to it.  People desperately need to know they are loved.  Most are told, but few are shown.  Christ knew this; it’s why He came.  I flipped through the gospel of John to glimpse at Jesus’ way of showing love.  I would encourage you to do the same.  

He was obedient.  He became flesh.  He dwelt among us.  He invited us to follow.  He saw us.  He stood firm.  He engaged us.  He met us where we were.  He testified.  He healed. He calmed.  He was transparent.  He did not condemn.  He gave hope.  He was specific and intentional.  He was patient.  He was sympathetic.  He died.  He rose again.  He is coming back.

Think of the gift we were given with His very presence on earth.  He could have paid the ultimate price for our sin without walking the way He did, dwelling among us the way He did.  No, God came in human flesh to show us what love is.  What it looked like.  Jesus is love personified.  We are His ambassadors.

Walk the Walk:

Read this today.  Meditate on it.  Pray through it.

1 Corinthians 13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Way of Love
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Faith and Spirituality

 

100 Day Journey Complete – 1000 mile Journey has begun

Amanda Williams:

They have arrived! Praise God!

Originally posted on kitefamilyonmission:

Wow… Our God is so good!

First, I would like to apologize for not getting an update together sooner. It has been a crazy couple of weeks – full of activity. We have completed packing up our belongings (which now fit into a 26 foot moving truck), said goodbye to incredible our incredible family and friends, and started the journey to our new assignment. Thanks for being patient with us…

It seems impossible to find words that would even come close to expressing what we have experienced in this journey. Our family is simply overwhelmed by what God has done over these last few months. He has been so kind by calling us into this new season of life in such an awesome way. Our hearts are eager to see what is ahead but we all want to hold onto this incredible moment of knowing that we are loved so…

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Sympathy or Compassion?

Speak the Truth

Mark 6:34 “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.”

Talk the Talk

Sympathy: A feeling or expression of sorrow for another’s distress, loss, or misfortune.
Compassion: Actively sympathetic concern for the suffering of another; mercy; deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it.
Notice the common thread of feeling the distress or suffering of another, but compassion goes deeper. Compassion is active and involves trying to relieve the suffering. Prior to Mark 6:34, Jesus had been teaching and healing before large crowds. John the Baptist had been executed. Jesus and the disciples were tired and hungry. They decided to travel in a boat to a desolate place to rest, but “many saw them going and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.” Mark 6:33
Jesus could have just sympathized with the crowd and explained that although He and His disciples knew their needs and sufferings, they were tired and needed to rest for a while. But, as Mark 6:34 says, “He had compassion on them.” Yes, Jesus was tired, worn out, saddened by the death of John the Baptist, and He needed rest and food, but the verse continues to report, ”He began to teach them many things.”

In our present times, we know people in financial difficulty, troubled marriages, wars, natural disasters, millions of orphans around the world, poverty and homelessness, diseases with no cures, depression, loneliness, and hopelessness. We talk about and sympathize with others struggling through difficulties, but are we showing compassion? Do we have a strong desire to alleviate the suffering? Compassion for others must become a priority in our lives. God, our Heavenly Father, is THE EXAMPLE of compassion for mankind since the beginning of creation. When Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden, and allowed sin to ruin the world God had designed for us, He could have sympathized yet done nothing. Instead, He began the story of compassion which is displayed throughout the Bible. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to be our Savior, Redeemer, and Friend. Even though we continue to sin against Him, He pursues us, and brings all who believe in Jesus to be forgiven. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us and He suffered and died on the cross so that we can have eternal life with God. THAT is COMPASSION!

Walk the Walk

In the song, “Mighty To Save”, the lyrics say “Everyone needs compassion, a love that’s never failing. Let mercy fall on me. Everyone needs forgiveness, a kindness of a Savior, the hope of nations”. Let us follow as Jesus has taught by feeding the hungry, spending time with the lonely, ministering to the single mom or those who are ill, by babysitting, shopping, or cooking a meal. Let’s all find a way to take and show “compassion” to those suffering and struggling in this world.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Missions and Discipleship

 
 
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