Real Church. Real Life. Real Celebration.

Posts tagged ‘real life’

A Spiritual Raking

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness for God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” ~ Matthew 6:14, The Message

I was outside cutting grass after all the rain and had to rake up the grass clippings because it had been a while since I had cut my grass. My goal was to have all my grass cut the same length, because I can’t stand to have a piece not uniform with the rest. Even though I was enjoying raking my little piles up, I started to get irritated at the grass in areas. In some places in the yard, raking produced areas that I thought were cut but actually were not. Well, I went back over these areas with the lawnmower to cut them down, but when I raked again I realized that there was another piece that needed to be cut! I finally put the lawnmower blade down one level and went back over the whole spot. I was frustrated by all the extra time I had spent on it, but I got it taken care of eventually!!

As I worked on my yard, it occurred to me that we have areas in our lives that we think are okay until we examine them closely and find uneven places that need some trimming. I could have left my yard alone, and it would have been a job well done for most people. If I had not raked up the waste left in my yard, I would never have found the areas of grass that escaped the trim. If we never examine ourselves a little closer than usual, we will overlook the little things that escape the first pass of prayer or repentance. Our spiritual landscape may pass for a while, but that one piece that we overlooked will eventually grow and raise its ugly head above all the other areas of our lives if we don’t take the time to properly eliminate it in the first place.

How often have we thought something in our life was taken care of only to find it surfacing later on down the road? It is the little things that we think we have taken care of that will sneak in and cause us not to walk with God the way that you should or experience the fullness of what He has for you.

So rake through, and let your spirit show you that little twig of grass that needs to be dealt with. Whatever it represents, put your spiritual mower on it and get it out of your life so it doesn’t cause you problems on down the road!

~ Ronda Sullivan

Image Credit: The Symmetrical Rake © Jon Watkins via freeimages.com

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 freeimages.com

Peace

Do you have peace? Where do you find it? Everybody loves to have peace of mind. We all strive to have peace in our homes, in our relationships, even in our own selves. There is no greater feeling than to have peace within.

I think back to the 60s and 70s. There was a lot of civil unrest, riots, marches, and protests. The United States was involved in the Vietnam War. Our country was faced with a lot of turmoil. With all of that going on, the hippie movement was birthed.  Harmony, love, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll was the world’s answer to peace. Millions were caught up in this fad seeking for inner peace and happiness. In the end it was a pseudo peace that only lasted a little while.

Man’s search for peace has been a very elusive trail. We have sought it through education, careers, material possessions, relationships, and every external thing possible. Some have tried alcohol, drugs, therapy, recreation, sports, and religion only to be disappointed after a short while.

Is there a real lasting peace to be found in this world? The answer is yes. Real peace, lasting peace is found from within. Man has always sought his solution in the external world, which is temporal. “When God created mankind He breathed into us His breath. We became living souls or eternal beings.” ~ Genesis 2:7

The Apostle Paul explained it in ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23 by saying, “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The only way to lasting peace is a relationship with the God of peace through His son Jesus Christ.

When we invite the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart to be our savior, a transformation begins. Our spirit man comes alive. God’s Holy Spirit resides in us to give us lasting peace. No matter what is going on the outside God’s peace is always with us.

“Peace I leave with you,my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” ~ John 14:27

~ Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Peace Patch 2 © Kimeone via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/peace#sthash.usPG583i.dpuf

For the Hungry Ones

I get so tired of just taking from people all the time. Yes, we have to have food, clothes, and shelter. These things are all gotten through other people. I’m not talking about those things. I’m talking about just everyday things. I want to be able to give back. I’m talking to those who are hungry for more.

Sometimes, I get so frustrated because I am not able to go on a mission trip yet. I know I will someday. Then, I remember I can make an impact on someone’s life in the classroom, in town, or in the grocery store.

There are people all around who need hope. Just a smile and an encouraging word or asking how someone is doing is enough to remind people that life is worth living. We all get discouraged from time to time. That is normal. One thing that helps me is finding ways to help other people.I may not be physically able to go on a mission trip right now because most places are not handicap accessible, but I can give of my time and talents. How much are you giving to others?Are you so focused on yourself and your goals that you have forgotten that people need you right now? Yes, they need you right now.

They are searching for something real in the midst of this materialistic you-centered society. People need to know that not everyone is greedy. They need to know that not everyone is rude. They need to know that there are still people in America who uphold moral values. They need to know that not everyone has abandoned truth for political correctness.

This post is for the hungry ones. The ones who aren’t afraid to question things. The ones who are still pursuing truth when the vision of this nation is more clouded than ever.

There is more to life than what you see. There are wellsprings of life in the desert. If you stop hungering for more, you will become like those around you. You will conform to their thoughts and their speech. But most of all, you will begin to settle. Don’t do that!

You were made for so much more. God has made the Church for more than social gatherings! Many of you might know you need something more, but you don’t know what that is. You are hungry for God! The hungry ones want to fulfill their God-given purpose and destiny.

The only way you can do that is to be a part of a church that encourages growth. You need a church that will challenge your thinking. You need a church that has apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God wants us fitted together with others while working towards a common purpose. You need a church that will help you develop in your gifts. If you feel like you are dying, your church isn’t feeding you! It’s okay to admit that.

Let the hungry ones unite!

~Madison Sanders

Image Credit Hunger and Gratitude © leona lim via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/hungry-ones#sthash.TmCO6Zg1.dpuf

God is not infatuated with you!

There are so many bizarre “reality” shows on TV these days. The strangest ones to me are “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”. What exactly is REALITY about that?? Where in the real world do you have a couple dozen guys come and live with one woman in a house and take turns “dating” her so she can find out which one is her “true love”? I mean, does anyone really buy the “true love” part of that? All the role playing, manipulation, back-stabbing to try to get someone’s attention? Yet, for some, this is their idea of “fairy tale romance.” Let’s keep it all in perspective, shall we? It’s all about the money!  But the popularity of these shows and the way viewers get caught up in the illusion of “romance” explains further why we get so caught up with a false idea of “perfection” and relationships in our society.

One of the reasons we don’t believe that God loves us the way we are is that we put Him in the same category as all the other relationships we’ve ever experienced. You know the dating drill…someone meets you, thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread, decide they’re going to date you, and THEN find out you’re not “perfect.” Then when you don’t measure up to their expectations, they say things like, “Maybe I’m not in love with you anymore,” or “You are just not the person I thought you were.” You didn’t change… you were like that when you first met them, they just didn’t know it because they were caught up in the infatuation and you were caught up in trying to be something you’re not to win their affection.

And here’s the difference…

God is not infatuated with you…God loves you. Agape love. Unconditional and unrestrained love. He knows you…He formed you…He had a plan for you from the foundation of the universe. He’s not merely infatuated with you until He finds out you’re not perfect and He’s not going to dump you because you have flaws or failures… He knows all that up front, even better than you do! You can’t fake Him out! His love for you is the true REALITY. And in that reality of Him, you have already been made perfect! So quit trying to live up to a false idea promoted by television designed by satan to keep you from enjoying the true love God intends you to have for Him AND for yourself!!!

~Linda

%d bloggers like this: