Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.


My life may not make sense to someone on the outside looking in. I pray, I go to church, but I also actively recognize my need for Jesus. I am broken. I need mending. I need grace and mercy. In order for me to have grace and mercy, I have to give that to others. That is where the problem lies!

My human flesh doesn’t always want to turn the other cheek. My first instinct is often to lash out and give that person a piece of my mind. Afterwards, something in my head says, “You did good. You told them the truth.” That might be true, but I didn’t do it love. I did it out of anger and frustration. I projected my feelings on to the other person. In other words, I vomited hate and anger all over the place!

I am continually needing God’s grace to let go. I can’t control other people, BUT I can control my reactions to situations. I am responsible for the words I say whether I like it or not. Have I been sowing seeds of love lately? Not always.

I was listening to Charles Capps the other day and he said something that struck me: “When you sow seeds of faith it produces faith, but if you sow seeds of strife it produces strife.” It sounds simple, right? It hit me that the negative words I had spoken produced strife. I had never thought about that! I don’t want to produce strife in my life OR someone else’s.

My mom’s actions early in life hurt her witness. She said whatever she felt like saying. When Mama wanted to talk to old friends about Jesus, they didn’t want to listen because of her attitude towards them before she found Jesus.  When you do things God’s way, your light grows brighter.

A soft answer turns away wrath. That’s what the Bible says we are to do, even when we know a person is doing wrong AND they know.

As Christians, we are held to a higher standard. Jesus expects us NOT to respond to situations the way the world would. This week a friend said that God gives us grace to walk in patience and love with people that we don’t have patience for. With Him, all things are possible…even the hard things.

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Seeds © Razief Adlie via

The Mission of Transition

~ 2 Peter 1:10 “Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.”

I like elevators. I rarely choose the stairs. Homemade food taste best. I want it ready in microwave time. We must be careful not to carry this mindset into our spiritual life. Our walk with the Lord is a journey. It is not a sprint.

We are hearing the word “election” a lot right now. Maybe more than we would like. I want to look at a different type of election. The word election in the Bible means to choose.  God has chosen his children to walk in destiny. I don’t think you just stumble into God’s will or best for your life.

Our church has been lead to move into a transition period. Both as a body and in our individual lives. We are praying and submitted to hearing the voice of God, and following His direction in this.

Transition means to change from one thing to the next. We are not seeking a new program, movement, or way to draw a crowd. We are seeking our Kingdom assignment and appointment for this hour.

In the Book of Genesis, God rested. He created us to rest. He did not create us to stop. To fulfill your destiny and purpose, stopping is not an option. I am not talking about works. I am speaking about obedience. The verse in 2nd Peter tells us to make our calling and election sure (firm and stable.) It says that if we do, we will not fall. That tells me that if we don’t, we are in danger of falling. Complacency can stop a person or church from the best God has for them. God desires for us to advance His kingdom in a world that so desperately needs to see it in operation.

I have faced some personal challenges during this seeking time. I have felt like giving up and just focusing on myself. The teachings from Apostle David Coker, and the prayers of my church family has encouraged me to come along beside of them in this journey. I am determined to complete the mission of transition. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

~Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Elevation © David Burbach via

Cultivate Your Praise!

This phrase came to mind the other day. It got me thinking. Cultivate means nurture, develop, or work on. Praise isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. Our minds are geared to think on the negative things. It is easy to get bogged down by people and situations. Without even realizing it, you will fall into a pit of negativity.

That is why it takes effort to develop our praise. In hard times, we have to plow through those negative feelings, reach down deep on the inside of us, and praise Him!

You will develop an attitude of gratitude if you shift your perspective. Look for the best in a bad situation. Like a song at our church says, “No matter what comes my way, I’ll lift my voice and say, Hallelujah anyhow!”

The more you choose joy; you will bear much good fruit in your life. The more you look for the good in things, the more you will find it.

My prayer today is, “Lord, help me to see all the many blessings in my life. I have so much to thank You for. Thank You for being patient with me. Thank You for Your mercy when I mess up. Thank You for loving me in the middle of my bad attitude. Thank You for reminding me to focus on Your goodness. Thank You for all You have brought me out of. Thank You for what You are bringing me into.

Praise shouldn’t be determined by what kind of day we’ve had. We shouldn’t just praise God on Sundays in church. God is good all the time. It’s time for us to stop letting the cares of this life rob us of a victorious life!
~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Praise © Chris Wittwer via

Grace to Embrace

God, thank you for the grace to embrace this change

We will not stay here

We don’t want to die in this place


For too long, we’ve lived in a bubble

Thinking everything is okay

When you have moved on


You long to do something new

You long for a people who will go with You

No more excuses

No more placing blame


The time is up for that

It is time to embrace all that You’ve said


I don’t want to settle for part of the blessing

I want it all


You said the Promise Land flows with milk and honey

We’ve been stagnant

Falling into familiar patterns


We’ve thought we had the best

We haven’t even scratched the surface


Thank you for Your mercy towards us

Thank you for Your grace

I know You will help us make the change


Forgive us for hindering You with our man-made plans

Forgive us for frustrating You


I am expectant

I am trusting

I don’t know what lies over the horizon, but I will take the steps

I choose to be obedient


What say you?

What will you choose?

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Hands Series #2 © Marco Michelini via

The Value of Pain

A nurse told me that pain is my friend. I disagreed. Pain does not fit my definition of a friend.  I do agree that pain has value. If we did not feel pain, we would not know something was wrong.  I, like most, have had a measure of it in my life.

I felt the pain of rejection as a child. My marriage was not Christ centered in the beginning years. Because of that, I experienced pain of a failing marriage. I know the pain of fear when my child is suffering, and a doctor does not know the answer.  I have experienced the heartbreak of losing someone to death.

God is love. He does not schedule bad things to happen to us. He does sometimes allow it to take place.  During these trying times, God doesn’t want to just change our situation. He desires that we also change.

Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for our good to them that love God. All there means all.  How can pain work for our good? I have heard many messages, read books, and heard prayers prayed about rejection, fear and failing marriages.

There is much power in the words when the person has come through these situations themselves. They speak with understanding and clarity.  Pain teaches us a depth of compassion. We know better how to comfort and do warfare in prayer for others.  Because of my past, I can relate better to the people I call “Who’s you?” than I can the “who’s who.” Did I enjoy the things I have learned from? Of course I did not.

I do enjoying seeing someone set free from despair. I find pleasure in seeing hope come alive and replace fear in others. The pain they feel is not foreign to me.  Our church is going through a transition time. Transition means change.  I am asking God to transition me. I want to become a more effective part of the body.   Maybe you are suffering in an area right now.  Find comfort in knowing that because God is good, you can trust Him through in this process.  You can be assured that your situation will change. Allow God to strengthen, teach, and change you.  The value in what you learn will be priceless.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Hospital Room © Jyn Meyer via


With some of the things going on in the world today, there’s a trending thing I’ve noticed as of late. I’m talking about the belittling of leadership. The interesting thing is that this action is coming primarily from the leaders themselves belittling the gift of leadership that is placed in them. What I mean by this is a leader saying we’re going to the right, but someone else wants to go to the left. So the leader decides to go to the left because Susie wants to go left. The leader has now put down his leadership role and became a follower. Now let me say there is a difference between taking advice and processing an opinion versus just giving into the wants of those who are supposed to be following you.

God has set you as a leader to lead, which means He trusts you in the decisions you make over those he has placed under you. (Not saying you will always make the right decisions).

The flip side to this is the lack of appreciation followers have towards their leaders. As a follower, the ground you gain is directly associated with the ground your leader has gained. There are things you will never have to face because your leader has already broken through them or broken through that level of warfare as some would phrase it.

It is for this reason leaders MUST recognize the importance of their role. It’s just like the “V-formation” a flock of birds use. The leader goes first bearing a lot of the responsibility, but he doesn’t create a situation in which the rest of the flock will have to do nothing. Rather, the rest of the flock must also endure to make it to the destination, but because of the lead bird, they had to bear much less weight.

To not appreciate a leader is to say you’d rather go through what they went through than the little that you went through. For a leader to let someone or something else (outside of those who are over you) lead you and decide which direction you go is to try to make them the leader. To lay down your leadership role and let someone else take over is to deny God and His power because if He wanted you to be the follower someone else the leader, that’s what He would have done. Leaders, don’t be afraid to step out in faith. Trust God to direct your steps. Followers, appreciate your leaders! An encouraging word is a blessing those who hear it.

~ Jevallye’ Beverly

Leadership © Craig Parylo via

Be Encouraged

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us is all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Some people act as if they have an answer or solution to any situation others are going through. I call that presumption. How can someone assume they have an answer for everything? Usually it’s rooted in pride or arrogance. If you have never driven to California, how can you tell me how to get there? We have all faced situations needing an answer. Just be careful who you ask for help or advice.

I have dealt with depression for a number of years. Reflecting back, before I was faced with it, I use to tell people, ” Get over it, Shake it off. It’s not that bad”. If you have never suffered with depression, you just don’t know. We should pray and ask for the Lord’s help before speaking.

The scripture I wrote at the beginning of this article means a lot to me. God is my Father. He is the God of all comfort. He is able to comfort your mind when turmoil and anxiety are raging. He is the Peace Speaker when the storms of life are blowing. He is that small, still voice when anxious thoughts are bombarding your mind. He is a friend who will never leave or forsake you. He is that abundant, available help in the time of our need.

I find strength, hope, and comfort in reading and meditating in His word. “Heaviness or anxiety in the heart of man causes depression; but a good word maketh it glad.” ~ Proverb 12:25

God’s Word will get you through it.

~Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Fire in the Sky © Brett Theriault via

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