Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational and encouraging entries

Rekindling Your Passion for God

May 14, 2020

As we prepared our song selections for this week's Worship at Home, we were particularly moved by the songwriters' lyrics in "Consuming Fire":

"Consuming fire, fan into flame

A passion for Your name

Spirit of God, would You fall in this place

Lord have Your way, Lord have Your way

With us”

This simple image of a fire being fanned into a high-reaching flame reminds us of an important truth. Fire needs fuel to grow. If you've taken a chemistry course or frequently build campfires, then you know that a fire needs several ingredients in order to burn bright and hot: oxygen, fuel, and heat. Without any one of these three things, the fire will weaken, and eventually extinguish. Furthermore, these ingredients need to be replenished so that the fire can continue burning.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. Our passion for God, that fire that burns within us, needs regular replenishment in order to keep burning bright. Even if the fire is burning well now, it will need more fuel, oxygen, and heat in the future. So how do we maintain the fire that the Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts?

  • Fuel - Susie Larson wrote in her blog post entitled, "6 Ways to Keep the Fire of God Burning in Your Life," that when she senses her passion for God has waned, it is often because she has stopped cultivating an attitude of gratefulness. She goes on to say that focusing on what God has not provided, rather than His everlasting goodness, quenches the fire inside of us. So how can we refuel the fire? Take some time to thank God for His blessings, His nearness, and His mercy. As you meditate on these things, let your heart respond to God and His goodness, and let thankfulness fuel the fire within you.
  • Oxygen - The Bible tells us that God breathed life into our lungs. Job 33:4 says, "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Yet, we often feel distant from that powerful source of life. Reading the Word gives us a way to connect with the life-giving, all-powerful God that created us. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness." Did you catch that? God-breathed. God breathed the Word into existence, and we get to read it! We can renew the source of oxygen to our fire by reading and meditating on the Word of God.
  • Heat - Oscar Wilde wrote, "The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring." If you have experienced a sincere embrace from a friend or the fuzzy feeling you get when you do something for someone else, you know the kind of warmth he is talking about. We were made to be loved, and to love. Luckily, we are loved more than we can possibly imagine. No one loves you like your Father in Heaven. He loved you so much, He sent His son to die for you on the cross! Ask Him to remind you of his amazing love, and to let the warmth of His love rekindle the fire inside your heart. And don't forget to extend that love to others. The warmth of fellowship may be exactly what you need to fan your flame into burning brighter. 

"But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot" 

-Jeremiah 20:9

"Hitting the Wall" - The Marathon Runner's Mental Battle

April 17, 2020

Distance runners often refer to a particular psychological point in long races as "hitting the wall." This is the point where the body is begging the runner not to continue, and the mind is overcome with negative thoughts that make it difficult to persist. 


Biologically, this point occurs when the runner has exhausted his or her body's supply of glycogen. The physical effects include exhaustion, unintentional slowing of their pace, and difficulty focusing, and the runner often wants to walk or quit altogether. According to exercise psychologist Dr. Alistair McCormick, it is at this point that the marathon becomes "a real mental battle."


Runners have various ways of overcoming "the wall," one of which is speaking motivational things to themselves. Other tactics include visualizing the goal of crossing the finish line, running with a partner for mutual encouragement, and a technique called "attention narrowing," in which the runner focuses only on an object far up ahead in the distance.


These same tactics apply to the race of life that the Christian is charged to run. We, too, "hit the wall" and become overwhelmed by negative thoughts. We, too, become exhausted and unintentionally slow the pace of our pursuit of Christ. However, we can take a page out of the marathon runner's book when we're engaged in a "real mental battle." We can

  1. Speak motivation to ourselves in the form of Scripture. Allow the Word to remind you of your hope in Christ and motivate you to continue running your race. You can even sing or listen to Scripture-based songs to get the Word into your mind and spirit!
  2. Visualize the goal. Remember Jesus's promise of salvation for those who believe in Him, His promise that He is preparing a place in His father's house for you, and that there are greater things to come!
  3. Run with a partner. The fellowship is a great way to recharge, reconnect, and recenter our thoughts on God and His goodness. Talk to a fellow believer about your current struggles, and reflect with them about how God has brought you this far.
  4. Apply "attention narrowing." Paul says in Colossians 3:1, “Therefore if you have been raised with the Messiah, keep focusing on the things that are above, where the Messiah is seated at the right hand of God.” So narrow your attention to one thing: Jesus.

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." 

-Hebrews 12:1-2

"....anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! -2 Corinthians 5:17

2020 New Year Message and Prayer

May God bless each of your lives to be filled with the power of prayer; the anointed results of the power of prayer and may others be blessed and delivered because you took the time to pray, have faith and believe that the impossible IS possible with God!

May you, your family, children, home, place of employment and finances experience total and complete increase for the greater good. I pray for excellent health, restored relationships, mended hearts that may be broken, renewed hope and more than ever to develop a closer walk with God. Amen!

A relationship with God can and will restore your Rhythm in Life or perhaps help you find that rhythm. Studying His Word and building a life of prayer will prove to be your road map to repairing, restoring, renewing and introducing yourself to the magnificent glory of God. This path will help settle the things in life that require resolution and forgiveness.

It's a new year! Make everyday count for building a better quality of life. Live into your best self. Think positively and intentionally impact a better year for yourself, others and this world. Old things must pass away (let go) so new life can begin. Live life in the peace zone in Rhythm with God!

Happy Blessed 2020 Y'all!

Thanksgiving Season

Another designated season for giving thanks. Thanksgiving Day a time to give thanks to God giving His Son to man and the Son giving His life for man and the Holy Spirit who remains with us to lead, guide and direct our path life. Oh give thanks unto the Lord all ye, His chosen people and acknowledge His Sovereignty and perfect love. Forgiveness plays a huge role in being thankful. Thanksgiving is a time to search the heart and determine to let go of past hurt. Forgive those who may have wronged you. Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to be friends or occupy a familiar space with someone who hurt you. It means you have sincerely let go of the pain and ill feelings toward another person and are moving forward into the light of your future.

God Will Restore You

You may be carrying a heavy burden. Perhaps disobedience toward God (sin); or a heavy workload, or perhaps you don't have a stable income and you struggle to make ends meet, or your relationship with your spouse or a close friend may be going awry. Perhaps you are struggling with depression, oppression, unforgiveness, negativity, anger or frustration. These are all heavy burdens that can take a toll on us mentally, physically and emotionally. We were not designed to carry the burdens of life on our shoulders. Jesus said. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus is offering us an opportunity to become a follower, to have faith in him and learn all we can about him.


He is a very present help in the time of need. If you come to him, he will provide a new life for you and your burdens will be lifted. He can help you syncopate with him. "He can restore the Rhythm of Your Life"! Rhythm of Life begins with "Rest, Relaxation, Renewal and Rejuvenation"! It can begin today.

Suffering Because of Our Faith

I Peter 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,

being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit."

If you have ever been treated unfairly or unjustly because of who you are in Christ Jesus (for your faith), take heart brothers and sisters. The word of God teaches and warns us that we will be persecuted and unfairly treated just as Christ was persecuted and unjustly treated. Not only did Christ suffer but he was crucified for our sins (an unjust judgment and an unjust punishment).

Why would Jesus die for us? So that we might be reconciled back to God, saved from the penalty of sin, restored, revived, rejuvenated, repented.


I am reminded that though we may suffer hardship and unjust actions here on earth, our suffering in no way compares to the suffering of Jesus' journey to and upon the cross. He did it (suffered) just for you and for me to draw us to the all-loving, all-knowing, almighty Father~God! He gave his life in exchange for ours so that we might know the truth, live the truth, teach and speak the truth and to have faith in the truth. So that we might die to the flesh and live in the spirit and life of Jesus.


"He is the way, the truth and the life for no one comes to the Father except through the Son" ~ John 14:6 

Amen!!!

Teamwork

Teamwork is fun work when we strive together in our work! The Body of Christ should work as a team. We are one through Christ Jesus. There should be no division or acts of going so-low (solo). Instead, let us strive to work diligently and faithfully. Work diligently together to improve our relationship with God, one another, our families, our co-workers, our church and within our communities.


This will require you to STOP, take a breath and pray before you give your ("piece") peace of mind to the one (the enemy) who works just as diligently through others driving you to give away a piece or pieces of your peace. The adversary (the enemy) enjoys witnessing God's people ultimately burning in frustration and anger simply because they (we) decided it was more important to give a piece of their (our) peace away which has the tendency to cause any team unit to become fragile to the point of a breaking.


Teamwork is always better than so-low work, even if you have to work it from a distance. Peace was created and given to us as a gift from the Father. Don't hand it out or merely give it away in pieces for soon there will be nothing of you left to give but bitterness and anger.


Jesus died for you to have peace, his peace. Treasure it, protect it and do not be fooled into losing it, trading it in or rejecting it. It is a gift from the Father to keep you balanced, level headed and seeking Him for comfort, direction and instruction. By doing so, you will not lose your way when Satan's schemes and demonic attacks come your way attempting to shut you down spiritually.


John 14:26-27 (NIV) "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Verse 27, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."