Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

Posts tagged ‘following God’

Vacancy

When a person is trying to quit smoking, they often use hard candy or gum to help them stop. A couch potato is advised to take a walk instead of watching TV. A lot of us have munched on an apple, while thinking about that Snickers bar. These are examples of good exchanges.

We have witnessed things being replaced in our society, however that are not good.  I have heard people question how our country has seemed to have morally declined so quickly. I think the answer is that it didn’t happen fast at all. It has been a slow, calculated process.

A definition of vacancy is emptiness.  The enemy seeks out voids left in a person, family, church, even country to fill with his agenda. Prayer was taken out of school. It was replaced with humanism.

Humanism mindsets can never fill a spiritual vacuum.   Gun violence, rape, and the absence of morals in schools were not rampant when God was a part of the classroom.  Even some churches have aided in this moral decline. Holiness has been replaced with entertainment.  Services have become all about self and flesh.  Little or no teaching on maturing, sacrificing, seeking God, or growing in Christ is heard in these self-edifying services.  God wants us to know who we are  in Him. This should never overshadow Him or His greatness.  Glory is due His name.

Marriage is no longer held in high regard in society.  The norm now seems to be for a couple to declare their love by going to the “next level” by living together.  That is not Gods plan. It is a cheap counterfeit  for the covenant of marriage.  The enemy has stolen the security marriage affords. That is because he knows there is strength and unity in agreement.

The good news is that God always has a people. He always has a plan. He will have those who listen and obey his voice.  We as his people do not have to accept this decline.   We examine ourselves first. What vacancy have we filled with the wrong things? What lies have we begun listening to?  We allow God to show us any changes or repenting we need to apply.  We can then pray for our own families.  Ask God to reveal and replace the enemy’s  agendas for His.  We then move on to our jobs, churches, neighborhoods, and yes, our country. We can still declare that we are one nation under God.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit Vacancy © kd kelly via freeimages.com

Advertisements

Put Me in Remembrance

We call Abraham “father” not because he got God’s attention by living like a saint, but because God made something out of Abraham when he was a nobody. Isn’t that what we’ve always read in Scripture, God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many people.” Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!” ~Romans 4:17-18 (The Message Bible)

We are to call things as though they were according to the Word of God. Abraham had to transition from a possible situation to an impossible situation. In the natural Abraham could not see this. In the spirit realm it was already done.

Abraham heard from God then he had to believe what God had said would happen. Just like Abraham we must be believe what God’s Word says about our situation and hold on until that word manifest in our life. We must mediate on that word and confess the Word of God out loud for yourself, nation, and church.

In the Word it says that God is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. He has exalted His Word above His name.

~ Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie; nor the son of man that He should repent: hath He not said, shall He not do it? Or hath He not spoken, shall He not do it?

God is the God of the impossible! All things are possible to those who believe. There are promises in the Word that apply to your situation. Take hold of the Word and apply them. Let the Word do the work!

 

~Tammy Sanders

Image Credit: Man with a megaphone 2 © Bartek Ambrozik via freeimages.com

Waiting for Direction

With Christmas behind us and all the excitement of the holidays a memory, it’s time to slow down. We had an especially hectic December. Last May we began looking for a house. We had moved to Georgia from North Carolina in July 2011. We were living in Royston and loved this area. We had been praying and seeking the Lord’s will concerning which house to buy.

I can remember as a young couple buying our first home in 1971. We didn’t know very much about houses. We just knew we wanted one. Over the past fifty years we have owned several homes. Buying a home is a major investment with many important decisions to factor in. Number one is location. You can remodel, paint and add on to a house, but you can’t change its location.You may not learn the above until you have owned a house in a bad neighborhood.

Loud neighbors, barking dogs, heavy traffic, and school zones are just some of the negatives that you can be faced with. I have made many mistakes over my life and had to live with the consequences. We have all done dumb things and regretted our choices. One definition of a fool is never learning from his mistakes. We all have to make decisions and choices in life. Some of them are minor with little or no lasting adverse effects. When it comes down to making major decisions we need to seek the Lord’s guidance.

As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, I have learned to trust Him for direction and wisdom.

~ Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

It’s taken us eight months of praying, looking, and searching, but we have a home. It’s exactly what we wanted and needed. God is faithful to help us when we ask and wait for Him to answer.

~ Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Irish House © Giuseppe C via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/waiting-direction-1#sthash.kYrrGeTu.dpuf

Keeping it Real

~Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth thee.”

I do not know what this year holds. I don’t think I have seen as much uncertainty in the world since 9-11-2001 until recent years. I saw a lot of it in my own personal life. More than once, loved ones were rushed to the hospital. there were car accidents. We had bad reports concerning our son’s heart. Cancer reared it’s ugly head in my families’ lives. Friends lost jobs. My best friends’ husband came too close to losing his life. One aunt faced terrible health issues. I was heartbroken as another aunt went home to be with The Lord. I am sure by now you have gotten the picture.

These times weren’t all bad. We welcomed new babies. There were weddings to celebrate. Maybe as you read this, you are thinking back over your own year. I hope it was a good one for you. I am not one of those people who go around shouting that everything is great when it is not. God will work all things together for my good.

I have been a Christian for many years now. I knew from times gone by that God is always near to those who call upon His name. It has been true in every circumstance I have faced this year as well. I have felt his presence fill the room as we gathered to pray for a loved one. I have seen unbelievers find Christ. I have witnessed miraculous healings.

Don’t wait until things are bad to spend time in prayer and worship to God. It is the most amazing experience you could ever have. Come to think of it, anytime is the perfect time. I am going into this next year with great expectations. More importantly, I am going in knowing that God is well able to keep me. God bless you in this coming year. If you don’t know Him, He is only a prayer away. Don’t spend another day without Him in it.

~Ricky Robinson

Image Credit  tunnel © Asier Barrio via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/blog/keeping-it-real#sthash.FH5MGLuj.dpuf

Thanks for the Gumball!

My job was absolutely awesome. Here at church, I was being challenged and equipped to be an effective disciple for the Kingdom. My artwork was being hung in art galleries. I had great friends, great favor in my community… my life was fantastic, but I was… well…frustrated.

I couldn’t put my finger on why I was feeling this way, but a dream I had started to help me be able to articulate what was going on. In the dream, I was standing at a gigantic gumball machine with a burlap sack full of quarters in my hands. I looked in the glass to see which color I wanted and decided that I HAD TO HAVE a blue gumball. I put my first quarter into the machine and turned the knob. I got a red one. I put it in my pocket and put another quarter in the machine. Purple. The next two quarters got me a yellow and green one. Since they were not the blue gumballs I wanted, I just put them in my pocket and kept putting quarters into the machine.

One right after another, I got pinks, reds, greens, purples, yellows, oranges…every color in the gumball machine EXCEPT the blue gumball. WHAT?! There were blue gumballs in there! I could see them with my own two eyes, but I didn’t have one! Was this machine rigged? At that point, I was extremely disappointed and FRUSTRATED. Being the very tenacious (or hard-headed) woman that I am, I decided that I was going to stay at the machine until I got a BLUE gumball, and that was final! After countless quarters, I stood there sobbing, absolutely livid, with my pockets heavily weighted down with “unwanted” gumballs, the blue gumballs still in the machine and the burlap sack almost empty.

I shared my dream with a friend who asked me, “What are all of those ‘unwanted’ gumballs in your life, Ann?”

Angry and frustrated, I replied, “I don’t know! Gifts, talents, jobs, people…I have no idea!”

“Well, what is the basis for your career, for your life, right now?”

I thought for a minute. “Well, my plan is that my Biology degree would be my basis. Then, I could do music and art and wouldn’t have to worry about where my money’s coming from.”

“What if your art is suppose to be your basis for your career?” she asked.

I was dumb-struck. I hadn’t considered that. I had purposefully not majored in Art in college because I was sure that God did not want me to be a “starving-artist”.

“What if your art, your Biology, your music…none of those things are supposed to be your basis? What if God is your basis, Ann? What if HE is the foundation for your life? What if God gave you all those ‘unwanted’ gumballs to show you that He is your basis and not those blue gumballs you want so badly?”

BAM!

It finally hit me! I’ve must have said, “God is my foundation!” thousands of times in the past years. I’ve said it and said it, but somewhere down the road, God had taken a back seat and other things had taken His place. When did that happen?

Now some of you may be saying, “God IS my foundation, no matter what!” That’s great! But get a good image of the one thing you treasure the most. What if God told you to give that up to pursue something else for His Kingdom? What if that other thing was something that sends dreadful chills up your spine every time you think about it? What if God told you to keep doing that for the next 10 years? Could you do it willingly?

I can honestly say with all assurance that if I never get those “blue” gumballs, I’LL BE CONTENT!!! As long as GOD is my BASIS…not my Biology degree, my families, my gifts and talents…I’ll be fine with whatever color gumballs that I have. As important as those things might be, they are not my foundation…God is!

We are in the midst of a great transition. We have to make some pivotal and life-changing decisions. I don’t know about you, but I NEED for my foundation to be strong, without any cracks. Check out your own foundation… is it really, truly God or are you looking for your own special gumball?

~ by Ann Bowman

Failure Is Not An Option!

Have you ever faced obstacles that, in your own mind or way of thinking, there seems no way any good will come out of them? That has  pretty much been my life! As a young girl, I had dreams of marrying the right man, having children and having a wonderful life filled with love. Not once did I dream that I would end up with an unfaithful husband or wind up divorced and raising two boys on my own.

But things happen, and life has been very different from what I expected it to be. As a single parent, I did not have the luxury of having someone to come home to, or someone to help me through the trials and tribulations. Still, failure was not an option for me because I knew I had God, and I knew I could trust Him for everything.  The more I had to rely on Him, the more I learned how to talk to Him and lean on Him. He is faithful where people have not always been, and I knew He wanted me to succeed. God cannot fail, so I cannot fail with His help.

It would be easy to say, “Failure is not an option,” if you never try to do something that is hard for you. I mean, you can’t fail when you’re not doing anything new, right? Well, I didn’t have that luxury in my walk with God. When He told me to go back to school in order to become a teacher, it meant stepping out in faith because I had to quit the job I had for years. I had to give up a nice salary and benefits in order to do something with less pay and no benefits just so I could work around my school schedule. Not only did it take faith for my finances to follow God, but I had to exercise faith and trust in Him to even be able to take the college classes. I was not a straight A student in high school, and I worked hard to get the B’s and C’s that I had in my classes. It surprised lots of my friends and family, in addition to many of my college professors, when I graduated from college and passed my teaching exams the first time around! To be honest, it surprised me, too, to be able to do things in the grace of God that I had struggled to do on my own. But the more I followed Him, the more I realized that my success brought Him glory… I certainly couldn’t do any of the things I was doing on my own!

Following God is always full of surprises. I thought I had done all I needed to do when I began teaching in the public school system, but I kept feeling as if God was trying to put me into leadership for some reason.  My  first principal was constantly encouraging me in leadership and one day actually mentioned to me  how to handle a certain kind of situation when I became principal. I had no plans to become a principal! I like being in the background. But as I continued to follow God, things like that kept happening to me every school year.

Two years ago, I went back to school for my master’s degree. My thoughts were to get an advanced degree in something I could do, like reading and math. When looking at the brochure that came with registration, the degree for educational leadership jumped off the page, almost literally! Well, I followed the leading of Holy Ghost and enjoyed my course work, although it took a lot of work and gave me many opportunities to quit. When obstacle after obstacle would hit me, I would just dig in and keep trusting God. I kept hearing my dad’s voice telling me “Chapman’s do not quit!”  The Word would rise up and take a hold together with the encouraging words I remembered from my father, and, somehow,  I would get the strength to make it through. I finished my Master’s in Education in Leadership with high praise from my professors and my principal. I give all the glory to God, because I wouldn’t have made it without Him!

Failure is not an option for me, even though things are not always easy. God will take everything and turn it into a testimony of Him working in your life if you do not give up and quit. He is truly awesome! I am excited about what the future holds for me because I know He holds my future!

~Ronda Sullivan

%d bloggers like this: