Not Abandoned

Not Abandoned | I select my podcast topics typically after prayer and this topic, not abandoned was selected months ago! It seems so timely for our current situation. We are not to fear, and we have an Almighty God that calms us in the midst of the storm. Let's focus on those two points as we listen to this podcast. | #podcast #christianpodcast #notabandoned #helpwhenlost #christians #christianity #Christ #Prayer #Prayers #BibleI select my podcast topics typically after prayer and this topic, not abandoned was selected months ago! It seems so timely for our current situation. We are not to fear, and we have an Almighty God that calms us in the midst of the storm. Let’s focus on those two points as we listen to this podcast.

Not Abandoned – Episode 136

Just the word abandon upsets me. Yet we feel abandoned so many times in our lives. We feel lonely or misunderstood. I often say, “No one listens to me,” typically many times a day when my kids are home. When we apply our feelings to that of Almighty God it gives us pause.

Exodus 17:7 asked the question, “Is the Lord in our midst or not?” Even the “chosen” people asked one another this question as they traveled out of bondage into the desert. This has so much symbolism for us, doesn’t it? They were bound as slaves to the Egyptians, but we learn as we continue to read in Exodus that their minds were also bound to sin. They were slaves to sin. The wandered and wandered making mistake after mistake and ultimately while they reached the promised land, only their descendants would actually set foot upon this place, “flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:8

When I read the scriptures I often see myself. I see that I often don’t trust the Lord. Why would I believe that the Lord was with the Israelites in the desert but that He is not here with me now?

Friends, we must vigilant and not let the anxiety go unchecked, anxiety leads to fear and fear leads to panic and depression. It might seem like an endless road and every time we get through one obstacle another one comes up. That is why we must choose to fill our minds with good things, with the things that will be a blessing to us and not worry or cause us to become anxious.

God is here He is providing for me and He is holding me in the palm of His hands. Isaiah 49:10

When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well – the woman was known to be in a sinful situation, she became changed and she also told everyone about the Messiah, the Christ, the savior of the world. He was there in their midst and he is here now in ours. We gather in His Name at church, we pray in His name, we cry out to Him. Why do we get upset (or I do) when someone uses the Name of God in vain, or in a blaspheme– because I know that the Lord’s Name has significance and He is all-powerful and Almighty. If he did not abandon the woman at the well, I know my Lord and Savior will not abandon me!

What can we do so that we do not feel abandoned?

  1. Spend time with God. Just a few minutes with your eyes closed every day. Make it a habit.
  2. Read the Bible. Start out in the psalms, or read Isaiah Chapter 49
  3. Journal what you are thankful for each and every day.
  4. Journal your prayer requests. Journals help us to see prayers are being answered and we will know that we are not abandoned.
  5. Ask the Lord to use you. What can I do for you today?

In Isaiah, we read, “I will never forget you, see, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you, your walls are ever before me.”

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord I know I am not abandoned because you tell me over and over in the scriptures that you will never forget, and you have me in the plans of your hands, you hold me up each and every day, you help me through the life burdens that sometimes seem so difficult! I want to praise you and thank you for this and ask you, my Lord, to help me to help others, how can I bring joy in the lives of others? Please, my God, hear my prayers as I pray for the following… I praise you and thank you for hearing my prayers and pray this in Jesus’ Name Amen.

Calm In The Storm

Calm in the Storm |Can we really have calm in the storm of life as our world is thrown upside down? In this episode of A Few Minutes with God the idea of spending time with God has never been stronger.

Calm in the Storm Episode 135

Jesus calmed the sea and when the apostles thought for sure they would surely die. In the midst of the chaos, and the churning waters Jesus appeared to be undisturbed. That was then and this is now, you might say. You might also add — and Jesus was with them, in the flesh and He is not apparent now as he was at that time. Even though the apostles had Jesus there with them, in the same boat they doubted. So, what hope is there for us?

I know I’ve been thrown into upheaval by the events of the last few weeks as a new virus was discovered that was easily transmitted by human contact. All of a sudden the store shelves are emptied and everyone is scurrying to stock up on food because an order to stay at home will be issued soon. This is the first time ever in my life that I’ve been asked to stay at home because of the spreading of a disease. Anyone who hears this, no matter where you live in the world will remember this time in our history. While schools are closed and stores that are non-essential lock their doors we have more time to think.

This self-imposed isolation for many causes us to rethink our lives and all the running we do. I believe the Lord is giving each and every one of us new eyes. New eyes as we read the Bible, new eyes as we think about our lives and new eyes as we think about the frailty of human life.

But we should rejoice. Because our Lord brings us calm in the storm of our lives, in the storm of our indecision, in the storm of our medical issues or those of our loved ones. The Lord helps us and he is there for us. He is steadfast, He is our rock and our refuge. Where else would we go? We echo the words of Peter when he said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” 

Where do we go in the midst of the storm? Where do we hide? Do we hide in the Word of God, in our prayers, in our journal, in our time with God? Our Lord is a Lord of justice, a Lord of order, a Lord of calm. In Deuteronomy 4:29 we read:  “Yet when you seek the Lord, your God, from there, you shall indeed find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.”

In times of temptation or trouble, we cry out to the Lord and feel abandoned. Those who do not know Him I am sure are in a state of despair. If I didn’t believe in a righteous God I can’t imagine how I would feel! But we who believe say, “There is a God and I chose to believe.” He is here even in the midst of chaos and strife, even in the midst of all that is broken he is the calm in the midst of the storm.

We can choose to say things with bitterness or with faith. I chose faith – I chose time with God. The Psalms remind us over and over that God does hear us. He always hears us. The issue is with us, do we hear him? Are the windows of our life washed clean so that we can hear Him in the Scriptures in the time of prayer? He wants us to help Him to be cooperative with him to be His eyes, His ears, His heart to give people hope to reach those who do not have faith or feel lost.

If we seek the Lord He seeks us – the famous verse in Psalm 23 (read on air).

He shall comfort me – do you hear that? He shall comfort me and comfort you. We can become a new creation in Christ – there will be a new heaven and a new earth – where we will be always rejoicing. Friends I love my life but sometimes I wonder why are we so afraid to die? For those of us who believe in heaven how much rejoicing and happiness will we have when the Lord is ready for us?

We need to turn off the news and pray, contemplate and get filled up! God gave the woman at the well and a new chance at life–she was redeemed, the man born blind received new eyes and Lazarus was raised from the dead. These scriptures apply to our lives each and every day.

Let’s Pray:
Lord, we rejoice in your because you are a God who cares about us, about our every need. You know what is happening in our lives right now and we give you all our cares, we toss them upon the seas and the same way that you calmed the seas when the apostles were so worried and scared about drowning in the boat we ask you to calm our fears. Anoint us with the gift of your Holy Spirit so that we may be renewed once again, that our eyes are open to sin and we can turn away from it that our ears can listen to those things that are pleasing to you, that our minds are made new. I pray specifically for the following needs… and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid | In the face of this pandemic, we must "be not afraid," and realize that all of this is not a surprise to God. How are we acting? | #podcast #christianpodcast #christian #fear #worryBe Not Afraid ~ Episode 134

In the face of this pandemic, we must “be not afraid,” and realize that all of this is not a surprise to God. How are we acting? If we as Christians are not setting the example then who will? In this episode, Felice shares how God is showing her through the events of this current time that is still in control.

Wow, what the difference a week makes. I had planned for a work-friends retreat for over six months and was set to leave on Monday when I heard the news about an outbreak in the US of the Coronavirus (more information here). One person had died and there were other cases of people who were on cruise ships and in quarantine.

Within a few days, the news was filled with more and more cases, we heard of countries where the virus had taken over it seemed in Italy among other places. I quickly sent a message to cousins who live in Sicily to learn they were healthy yet staying at home to avoid others. By the time I was heading home on Saturday I worried at the wisdom of leaving home in the first place. You can imagine my surprise when I attended church to learn that the doors would remain open but social distancing was recommended and no handshaking. The ushers greeted us at the door wearing plastic gloves.

Watching the news increased my anxiety but then being uninformed is not helpful either. So, what are we to do? The first words that came to mind were “be not afraid.” I looked in the scriptures and found so many!

Scriptures that discuss why we as Christians should not fear!

Genesis 15:1
Deuteronomy 20:3
Isaiah 41:10 
1 Samuel 22:23
In this time of confusion, misinformation, and alarm we must keep our eyes on the Lord. We will never look at our world the same – but the bigger question is, will we ever look at ourselves the same way?
This time is a challenging time for everyone in the world. Not just in my home or yours but the entire world. Is this an accident, is this something that has been known since the beginning of time. I don’t have answers however what I do know is that it is a time for us, as Christian believers to set our sights on the Lord and what is important in our lives. The only precedent we have is a world war – and it has been so many years since that happened that I believe we became complacent as believers.
Today I spoke to a friend of mine who is a Catholic priest and he shared that I should read the scriptures beginning in Isaiah about how the Lord deals with the unfaithful. We need to use this as our guide to repent (we all sin) and to rejoice that we at least have our faith and the Lord. Fr. David shared that he believed this was a judgment of all humankind. Our world has become pagan and I believe now is a time for self-examination. It is a springtime of re-evaluation, not to point fingers out but to point fingers inward, to ourselves. I hope to do a podcast with him soon on the topic of Spiritual imperfection and how, to be honest with ourselves and to look at our weaknesses and repent. He explained it was similar to the 12-step program to get free from addiction and in this case, it is the addiction from sin. So many things we consider not that bad – now is the time to look at those things and wash the window of our souls so that instead of spottiness there is a clean surface that can only happen by the mercy of God.
Let’s pray:
Dear Lord, please send your mercy and provisions for us all – as you said in the scriptures over and over again, “Be not afraid,” or do not fear, do not lose heart. In this time of need, we do not want to despair but we want to take the time to examine ourselves, our souls and our outlook on life, the life we have known and the life we hope to lead in the future one that rejoices in the Lord. Dear Lord, we lift up the following intentions… and we pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.
Scripture verses that discuss why God says we should not fear!
Genesis 21:17
Genesis 26:24
Genesis 26:24
Genesis 35:17
Genesis 43:23
Genesis 46:3
Genesis 50:19
Exodus 14:13
exodus 20:20
Numbers 12:18
Numbers 21:24
Deuteronomy 7:18
Deuteronomy 20:1
Joshua 10:25
Joshua 11:6
Ruth 3:11
1 Samuel 4:20

Tips For Lent

Five Tips For Lent | Do you take the journey to Easter with seriousness? If so, this episode contains tips for Lent to develop a deeper prayer life and contemplate the meaning of the days leading up to this day of celebration when our Lord and Savior paid the ultimate price for our sins. #podcast #christianpodcast #lent #lentjourney #fivetipsforLent @simplelifelessonsTips For Lent Episode 133

Do you take the journey to Easter with seriousness? If so, this episode contains tips for Lent to develop a deeper prayer life and contemplate the meaning of the days leading up to this day of celebration when our Lord and Savior paid the ultimate price for our sins.

Thanks to Media Angels our sponsor – our sponsorships keep us on the air so be sure to check them out. MediaAngels.com Check out the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Show Notes Tips For Lent

Scriptures to Study 

  • Matthew 16: 24-26
  • Matthew 9:35-38

Top Five Tips for Lent

In Matthew 16:26 we read for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? I’m going to share my top five tips to really think about these 40 days leading up to the time that we celebrate the Resurrection, on Easter!  Do you look at this time with great introspection?

I mean, what else do we ever have the time or luxury to really think about our lives and where we are going? I used to hate plans. I used to hate to have goals. And the reason for this was that I am a pretty competitive person. Mostly against myself. And so I always felt if I can’t win, I’m not even going to participate. And it was a horrible attitude to have, right? That’s why I didn’t like to play games.

I didn’t make goals because I could possibly fail. What a horrible way to live and think. And it wasn’t until I got older and really took a look at why don’t I like doing these certain things or why was I not setting goals, I realized it was a self-defeatist attitude. Lent is one of those times for me, and it is a time to really delve into the scriptures. It is a time to really go into prayer. It is time to really give my life to the Lord in a renewed way. And so I hope it becomes that time for you as well.

Five Tips for Lent:

  1. Prayer and contemplation. You know, it’s taking that few minutes with God. Be quiet before the Lord. Even if you don’t hear anything, open up the Bible and you read the Scriptures, that’s the Word (God) talking to you.
  2. Forgiveness. Making atonement or amending relationships. Unforgiveness can cause us to be held in bondage. A tool the enemy uses is this unjustice. You know, that’s not fair. I can’t believe that person did this to me. Or you know, whatever that is, let go of that guilt. Let go of that unforgiveness. Let go of whatever that is and just pray blessings upon the person that irritates you. P
  3. Say no to whatever “that” is in your life. What is that thing in your life that is again holding you down? You know, it can be a giving up something like a piece of chocolate or dessert or foul language.
  4. Giving, your time, talent and treasures. What are those things, those gifts that you have? For me, time is very, very precious. My time is one of those things that I just hoard. And so during this Lenten journey, during this time of lent, I am going to give my time, talent and treasures. And for me it’s actually going to be teaching a class online. And while it’s a topic I love, just the time it took to put it together was a labor of love to help other people. And so whatever that is, whether it’s visiting family in the nursing home, or just visiting with a neighbor.
  5. Spiritual growth. It is that time to, you know, get into the Word, to read a book that may be sat on yourself shelf for a year.

Let’s Pray.

Dear Lord, help me, help me in my unbelief. We all struggle at times my God really focusing on You and really seeing clearly the path that you have opened for us. And I just ask you my God to shine a light upon our path, to help us with our focus, to give us clarity, to give us a vision, to give us that joy of life that you want for us, that you so abundantly want to give us. And I pray, Lord, that you help me during this journey to focus on the things that you want me to see. I just praise you and I thank you for all things. My God, I asked you to help me to focus and be thankful, and I would like to lift up the following needs and prayers… And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

Lent Begins

Lent Begins | Lent begins and it is a journey, the forty days before Easter. It is a time of prayer and reflection and it can be life-changing if we take the time to spend some time in quiet with God. Are you ready for the best Lent ever?  | #podcast #christianpodcast #lent #40days #lentenjourney #christianfaith #catholicfaith Lent Begins – A Prayer Journey – Episode 132

Lent begins and it is a journey, the forty days before Easter. It is a time of prayer and reflection and it can be life-changing if we take the time to spend some time in quiet with God. Are you ready for the best Lent ever?

Thanks to Media Angels our sponsor – our sponsorships keep us on the air so be sure to check them out. MediaAngels.com Check out the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Mark 8:36 What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Do we consider this as we live our daily lives? What is in it for me is how most people think about their journey and they are surprised when their relationships fall apart especially their relationship with Almighty God. I believe that Lent – whenever that is for you – is a time that God gives us these forty-days to do some serious soul searching and introspection. What are we about – what is this thing called life – do we want eternal happiness with God in heaven or do we want death and damnation Those are real choices and we have the free will to make them.

Have you heard the saying – to live in joy is to die to self. This is a truth – when we chose -whatever that choice is we live our lives freely and that choice becomes the way we live our life. Let me ask you what you would think about someone who is very wealthy but got that way because he cheated poor people out of their money? You probably would not think very highly of that person. Right?

Some things – some truths are black and white – very clear but others are not.

Our pastor shared this quote, “He is no fool who gives up what He cannot keep gaining what He cannot lose.” Think about that.

Our lives are temporary but how we live our lives is what the journey is all about. The Lenten journey is a forty-day journey of victory that started with our Lord Jesus Christ in the desert. He was tempted by Satan who used the Scriptures against Him and Jesus answered back with the Scriptures. Jesus lived, died and rose again in a victory that has saved those who believe.

In the history of the Bible, we see Moses and the people of Israel wandering in the desert and never seeing the promised Land because they continued to give in to the temptation and sin.

Adam and Eve when tempted fell into the lies of the evil one and sinned.

You think that was then but this is now? Friends – the sins of the past are universal.

Sins such as pleasure, power, and prestige are ones that can be used to destroy those around them. How about futility – disparity – hopelessness – why bother because of nothing matters?

What about pessimism or shortcuts – attaining things fast while cheating others ?? Procrastination, unforgiveness, putting things off –

We all sin. It is a human fact but the wonderful thing about this time of prayer is that we can turn things around for the better and while we can try to do it alone we have our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who comes alongside us and says, I am here always until the end of time!

The true translation of the Lord’s prayer – where it says, Lead us not into temptation

In Greek the translation is: Lead us so we do not fall. Lead us, Lord, away from sin – lead us Lord far from temptation.

The temptation is a suggestion that someone disobeys and commits sin – why does God allow it – because we have free will we are not puppets of the Almighty – he gave us the ability to chose.  It is to the temptation that is the sin it is what we do with this temptation and how we act upon it. God gives us the grace to overcome and Jesus gave us this example in the Scriptures – he experienced temptation and remained obedient to the Father.

Praise you and thank you God the Father in heaven that you have set us free – that you lived, died and rose again so that we could have eternal life. I thank. You for this time of Lent this time to pray and discern what we should give up in our lives – to be aware of the temptations in our lives – the sin of unforgiveness, the sin of hopelessness, the sin of pessimism or despair. Dear Jesus forgive me of my sins especially these I now pray about… dear Jesus I lift up and pray for the following… And I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen!

 

Depend on God

Depend on God | They will know us by our love and by our fruit, but if we do not depend on God how will we show others the love of Christ? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and depend on the Almighty? | #podcast #christianpodcast #dependingonGod #dependonGodDepend On God ~ Episode 131

They will know us by our love and by our fruit, but if we do not depend on God how will we show others the love of Christ? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and depend on the Almighty?

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

The last podcast was on trust in God and how we often say we trust Him but then we take it back and we stress and deal with things in a way that is harmful to us. We let go and let God and then let the world crash down upon us with a to-do list that is longer than the longest highway. Those lists and those thoughts can keep us up at night and keep us in bondage. Today I want to share some ways to overcome this and truly depend on God.

When I think of those with great faith I think of the martyrs of the past or those who died or were persecuted for their belief in God. They cared so much that they would rather die than deny God. This is the opposite of what we see today and in our world, so many times all we want to do is focus on the negative or overreact to every little thing so that it gets blown out of proportion. how did we get in this state of anger or division?

I believe much of it has to do with taking our eyes off of God. If we are Jesus to our brothers and sisters, as you can imagine the world we live in would look so much different and obviously so much better. We could be joyful and help as the Lord would have us help. Instead, we put our heads down, try to avoid conflict and live our lives in isolation with walls and yards dividing us from our fellow man. Is that what God wants of us? I doubt that very much.

If we are honest our dependency is on ourselves and our abilities. Why ask God when we are capable? We discussed this in the last episode. When I talk bout depending on God I’m focusing on the outcome and the joy that belief and faith bring into the soul. How can you be in a state of joy when you are worried about all of the gloom and doom that people are shouting about on national television. Even the local news is enough to cause us to retreat. That is why a focus and dependency on God is important.

Do you depend on God to:

  1. Provide for your needs?
    1. Mathew 6:21
    2. Romans 8:28
  2. Answer our prayers?
    1. Our way or God’s way?
    2. Isaiah 55:8-9
  3. Take away your worry?
    1. Proverbs 20
    2. Proverbs 20:24-26
  4. Provide for the hope of everlasting life
    1. John 6:38-40
    2. Romans 8: 1-2:

Hope everlasting life:

What is the hope? The hope is ultimately everlasting life but the dream is a life well lead, one without regrets because in Christ there is no condemnation when you repent and ask for forgiveness!

 

Let’s Pray!

Dear Jesus, we love you and we know that when we depend on You my God you make crooked lines straight, you take our hand and are truly our Father. You lead us as any good father would do and protect us from what really could happen. You help us out of confusion and we praise you and thank you ahead of time for clarity of mind and the joy in our souls. I pray in the Name of Jesus for the following people and needs including my own… Thank you for hearing me and offering me the truth, the hope and the joy that is in You, Jesus. Amen.

Trust In God

Trust In God | Of course, you trust in God, right? But do you really? In this episode, we will take a hard look at our lives and shine a light on all the times we thought we were trusting when we really holding back! \ #podcast #christianpodcasat #trustinGod #christian #trustinginGodTrust In God ~ Episode 130

Of course, you trust in God, right? But do you really? In this episode, we will take a hard look at our lives and shine a light on all the times we thought we were trusting when we really holding back!

Thanks to our sponsor …

Our lives are like a tapestry that begins with a simple thread but is woven into something beautiful, if we allow the Lord entry and to work in our lives. I don’t think that any Christian would argue that the Lord is all-powerful, all-knowing and always just. But even so, even if we know the Lord of the Universe the Creator God has our best interests in mind – we fail to trust.

This podcast is mostly for me, and maybe this applies to your life as well – so here is the challenge. When it comes to our most personal thoughts, prayers, wishes and desires do we really trust the Lord? This year as I prayed (at the beginning of the year) I asked the Lord for a word – one word that I could think about and pray about and for me that word was trust. I write the word in my journal I even purchased a coffee mug with the word “TRUST” on the side that I use to drink coffee out of daily. But still, I find myself slipping into old behaviors and thoughts and yes – unfailingly forgetting to trust!

I get worried, I’m impatient when I pray and don’t feel that God has answered me. I worry about my children, our finances and things that are upcoming in my business. I worry about the weather, the time it will take to get to the store or if I have time to do the things I want to accomplish each day. Worry is a form of taking trust out of His hands and putting them back in our own. We trust that we are capable but we also stress that capability. Am I making sense? We trust in ourselves more than we trust in God.

You may ask, “Why should I trust in the Lord? Didn’t God give us the ability to make decisions, what about free will? Shouldn’t we stand on our own two feet and stop bothering the Almighty?”

Is this what you think?

Let me ask, does it bother you when someone you love asks you for a favor or wants to hear your opinion about an important matter? Or how about this, when a loved one fails to ask you for help and then disaster happens! Do you feel annoyed when you have a wonderful solution to a problem but no one bothered to ask you?

Think about the Lord. He created us. He knew us before we were born. Do you think he cares about us and wants us to ask Him and ultimately trust that His providence, His will, and His wisdom is for our good? He does care about us and our eternal souls! So why don’t we trust?

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord; the Lord will be their trust. They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit.

What is the fruit of you life? Are we upset and tired and do we feel defeated? Or are we excited to spring out of bed each day because we can’t wait to see what joys and excitement is going to happen! That’s the dream, right? Well, it can be a reality in our lives.

Friends, I know that things are going to happen and not go the way we hoped or dreamed. But you know what is probably for the better. Trust. I recently made plane reservations and when I looked at them I realized instead of arriving at 10 am the flight was arriving at 10 pm. Well, I had to buy a new plane ticket and I was upset, but I just trusted that God had a plan. Can you imagine how I felt when that 10 pm flight was canceled? Was I happy I had spent the extra money on rearranging that flight? Yes! Trust.

Philippians 4:7 talks about the peace we should have when we trust, “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

 

Renew Your Mind

Renew Your Mind ~ Episode 129

It’s time to renew your mind with a mini-retreat! Every once in a while we need to be filled up to overflowing so we can be a joyful Christian and others can look at us and say, “I want what they have!” Are you joyful? No? Well, in this episode I’ll share some ways to change for the better!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

I was listening to an inspirational speaker who grew her business way beyond her imagination. She was able to help to provide for her family after her husband was ill and then became disabled. One of the things that resonated was when she shared that she would time everything in her life even her prayer time, and when she gave God her time she would constantly look at her watch. She realized this was not what she should be doing and when she gave her time to God her prayer life grew.

Stress is a huge factor in our lives. Those who get to a breaking point or are overwhelmed are often the same ones who do not take the time with the Lord. This is a reminder for myself as well as for you! IF we take the time with God another blessing comes. The Lord is asking us to slow down and spend more time with him! We will recover and receive Divine Strength and who doesn’t want that!

Renewing your mind is so important and if you listened to my last episode on the Ten Lies of Satan you will find that we get worn down by the lies of the enemy when we do not know what our Christian faith means. I can’t tell you how God works because our Almighty Father, the creator of heaven and earth is a mystery the more I learn the more I want to learn. But I can tell you this. God does not create junk and the enemy would like you to think that you are not worthy, or too sinful, or not good enough, or you need to be perfect, or you can’t trust or forgive, and on an on. But no, God loves you, baggage and all and He wants to fill you up with his love, peace, joy and grace!

Renew Your Mind

  1. Find a place that is quiet and you can relax and pray.
  2. Be ready. Don’t try this when you have laundry to do or something else pressing.
  3. Brew your favorite drink or grab a glass of water. You don’t want to give yourself excuses to get up!
  4. Play background music quietly if helps. No words just instrumentals. You can also use sounds of nature if those help you to relax.
  5. Set aside at least fifteen minutes or more. Don’t wear a watch!

Mini-Mind Renewal Retreat:

  1. Start with a prayer welcoming God. Thank you, Lord for every good thing. I want to give you this time my God to worship you, and to thank you. Please fill me with the joy that surpasses all understanding and fill me to overflowing. Again – in your own words.
  2. Praise and worship. Either use music or pray a litany such as I praise you, Lord, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning, and the end, You are the Almighty King of Kings the Lord of Lords. Just praise God. If you have difficulty you can find something online or in a prayer book or your favorite song. This is important to come into God’s presence.
  3. Read the Holy Bible. Slowly and savor each word. It can be a short passage to begin with.
  4. Write in a journal or just let the words wash over you. Does anything resonate?
  5. Meditate on these thoughts and add some of your own:
    1. What I am is God’s gift to me and what I become is my gift to God!
    2. God’s Word is an everlasting rock.
    3. God’s will is always accomplished.
    4. Salvation is dependent on knowing the truth and acting on this knowledge.
    5. Make a friend of Jesus, be a friend of Jesus, make a friend yourself and introduce your new friend to Jesus!
    6. Picture Jesus calming the sea and you are in the boat with Him. What does he say? What do you learn?
    7. The invisible God becomes visible when we spend time with Him.
    8. What I am is God’s gift to me and what I become is my gift back to God.
    9. Everything good thing comes from God.
    10. God is good all the time. More of God and less of me!

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord first give me the time to spend time with you. I want to do this every day but I especially want to do this in a retreat with you. I thank you Lord for every good thing that you have given me! I ask you Lord for the grace to be aware of the sin in my life and to avoid it. I pray my God that I put you first above everything else and I choose you! Dear Lord, I ask for the following prayer intentions:

I praise you and I thank you ahead of time for all answered prayer. And I pray this in the Name of Jesus, Amen!

Lies We Believe

10 Lies We Believe | We all do it we believe lies. There are ten lies we believe! The worse thing? The lies we believe are by definition not true! | #lies #podcast #ChristianPodcastTen Lies We Believe ~ Episode 128

We all do it we believe lies. There are ten lies we believe! The worse thing? The lies we believe are by definition not true! We give the enemy credit when all the credit should go to Almighty God! In this episode, we explore the most common lies and ways to combat them.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Why do we believe lies? Because many of us are wounded in some way or like to think of ourselves as broken. We are shaped by so many of life’s events. Sometimes it is our own sins, the sins of others, the death of a loved one, or a tragedy within a family. These things shape us and how we consider the future choices we make. God predestines no one to hell! God is the creator, he is love, truth, goodness, beauty. When we see those things in our world they originate from God. Sin is the refusal to live in the beauty that is God. God’s mercy allows us to choose. God never forces His love upon us, he respects human dignity and our free will.

Think about this. Hell is a testimony to God’s respect to our freedom. Love redeemed us and won heaven for us. God will not violate our capacity for choice. So if we want to believe the lies of the enemy we have freedom to do this. The only thing we can give ourselves credit for is sin – every good thing comes from God!

Remember the song, “…and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love…” I use to think that it was an injustice that I was not showing others God’s love because I did not feel His love myself. I was under a false impression. I believed the lies of the enemy. In my steps as a Christian, I had learned about God’s unconditional love – meaning we don’t need to work at it or earn it, yet I believed that God’s punishments were very real and the thought was depressing. Lies these are all lies. It took me years to undo and become free from these lies! And, friends, this freedom is amazing and I pray this for all of you listening today as well.

Jesus spoke about Satan in the Holy Bible, he said the enemy is the “Father of lies.”

John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:45-47 Jesus continues… “Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

If we can not hear what God says in the Word, from our pastors and from our prayers, the bigger question is, “Who DO you belong to?”  The first step in combatting the lies of the enemy is to recognize them. Evil is frightening and how do we respond to evil? First by recognizing it! We often credit the evil one with the things that belong to God. At the root of evil is pride – the root of all sin.

Top Ten Lies of Satan

  1. Satan is a myth. Does Satan really exist? The enemy likes people to believe he does not exist – God is a myth and all of this “penance” or “fasting” or “being good” or “faith” is a tall tale. My question is to people who do not believe in God, “If you believe in God and there is no heaven, you are assured a life where good is called good and evil is called evil. There is no confusion. But if you do not believe in God, and you follow the ways of the enemy (because of course, you are following Him – he has already duped you in believing he does not exist) and then you die and learn there is God. What is the alternative? A life in eternal damnation because a person who denies God and lives a life without God in it will turn their back on God eternally. Our pastor calls it the fundamental option.) I feel sorry for those who do not believe because they are missing an amazing joy! The joy of the love of a benefactor, a Father who loves us not matter what! We have the choice of obedient love or self-seeking which often leads to destruction. What I am is God’s gift to me and what I become is my gift to God!
  2. Not good enough – false pride- You are sinful and therefore not good enough to follow God. God made us on the sixth day of creation and He said it was “very good” therefore, God made us good. I know there are plenty of people out there that will argue with this statement. So, let’s look at Genesis 1:26-31

    26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.                                                                 So the question I have for you to think and pray about is this, if God made us good why do we think we are destined for evil, yes we adopted a “sin nature” as the term goes from Adam and Eve but that is why Jesus came! To take on our sins. Think about it.

  3. You must be perfect to be a Christian, and if you are not you fall short. First, there is no perfection outside of heaven but that does not mean we do not try. Secondly, we can not be perfect again this doesn’t mean we are lazy Christians but we don’t become holy by the way we dress or act toward others. Instead, the way we dress or act is an extension of our love of God and His goodness within us. It is a flow-through not a doing it on our own strength.
  4. Doubt — don’t believe what God says. Satan wants us not to believe what God says. Read Genesis 3:1-4

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

We must believe that when God says it, He means it. And do not believe or doubt God!

5. God Punishes You –– If you are a Christian nothing bad can happen to you. (So when bad things happen to good people, obviously God let you down or there is no God. God punishes you for your sin. Sin does have a consequence and a recourse but we must believe that God is good all the time and all the time, God is good!

6. Guilt, Envy, Infidelity – The evil one will tell you that these things are not bad but they are serious. Guilt can eat us up and make us focus on the problem or the issue rather than the solution. Envy is another one of those sins that takes our eyes off of God. Infidelity – well, enough said. Sins may start small but then it snowballs, and as you’ve heard there is no small sin.

7. You can’t trust God you have to do things yourself.  This is such a lie, we can trust God and we can ask God for help. You know you are believing this lie if you do not ask the Lord for help throughout the day!  Do you say, “I need your help Lord. How do I do this? or How can I carry on?” Or is it that I must take charge and take care of the issue without God’s help? God gives us the ability to handle things but a little prayer can go a long way to finding a solution.

8. Small Sins are not bad. Everyone sins – and your sins are just not that bad compared to everyone else. This is a truth I have heard people say! We are living a life after the fall is a battle. It is good against evil. Good is the promise of everlasting life and evil is the promise of a wonderful life on this earth without any thought of an afterlife.

9. God can never forgive you for your past sins, so why try. Your past does not define you. We are stuck in the past or worried about the future but miss that God is here now. And today? He gives us grace for today! Not for yesterday, or for tomorrow. This can cripple you and make you depressed. You may feel that God has punished you in some way due to past sins. You are a child of God! God lived, died and rose again to give us eternal life. He shouldered that pain and burden when He carried the cross. By His stripes, we are healed. Christ died for you and for me and now lives to give us abundant life! Ask for forgiveness, if you can go to your pastor – if you are Catholic go to confession and let it go!

10. Judgmental – We see the sins and failings of others and use that as an excuse to say that all Christians are hypocrites. Of course, some are and ruin it for the rest of us, but the majority of Christians that want to love and serve the Lord are too busy with their own lives to worry about the lives of others. This goes for our adult children. We can pray for them but must allow them to make their own mistakes. Intervention time is when they live under your roof! Christians do not put each other down or point out each others sins – not unless someone asks you! Committed Christians also give don’t flaunt their “holiness” in fact you will know someone is a good Christian if they don’t believe they can ever outgive God and they give God all the glory!

So how do you combat the lies?

  1. Pray. Keep your eyes focused on God. The #1 Satan buster is prayer. Even if it is just, “Jesus.” or “Jesus help me!” God hears us.
  2. Arm yourself with the power of Scripture – pray this verse daily! Ephesians 6:10-12 – I love Ephesians 6:10-12 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded Christians. This is so important!
  4. Go to church. I go to Mass each day as much as I can. By the time I get home, and I feel joyful!
  5. Listen to praise and worship music. It is difficult to believe the lies of the enemy when we are infused in a joyful atmosphere.

Friends, every day we have a choice. We can be obedient and love the Lord with our whole hearts and ignore those lies or be self seeking which leads to death! Often we chose the world over God! God wishes that we do not rest upon anything other than the infinite goodness of God!

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit please hear our plea to help us to combat the lies of the enemy who is fighting for our soul. We know you have won the battle by your life, death, and resurrection. You are so much greater than the forces of darkness. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Name above all Names and we claim the healing power of You God in our lives. We ask that you help us to combat those lies that we hear in our minds and instead give us words to praise and worship you. I pray for those that are in need of your healing and I lift up the following prayer intentions … and I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Caring and Compassion

Caring and Compassion | Some people are just natural at caring and compassion and nurturing or so you would think - we have this innate desire to be loved and to love. But sometimes we are so focused on ourselves that we miss those who are in need. #podcast #christianpodcast #ChristianMinistryCaring and Compassion ~ Episode 127

Some people are just natural at caring and compassion and nurturing or so you would think – we have this innate desire to be loved and to love. But sometimes we are so focused on ourselves that we miss those who are in need.
I remember going to the nursing home – not assisted care, full-care nursing homes where people look lifelessly out at nothing, sit in wheelchairs and are basically in God’s waiting room ready to be called. They have lived for many years and appear to sit there forgotten.
One time we walked by a little lady sitting in her chair, with her daughter next to her painting her fingernails bright red and chatting away. By the time we came back the poor, little lady was distraught. She asked us if we had seen her daughter. She said, “She is here one minute and gone the next!” I’m sure her daughter was painting her nails something she must have enjoyed for years and then, wished her mom good-bye until the next time. But in her age this lady forgot.
Do we forget those who are less fortunate or those who are lonely? Is it our neighbor or someone we know at church? It’s easier to have compassion for someone in our own families or our immediate friends and more difficult for those we did not know.
Jesus is a perfect example of love and compassion.
So what is compassion?
  1. Part of this is realizing each other’s needs for love and attention and fulfilling these.
  2. Having respect for others.
  3. Listening when others speak
  4. Empathizing with someone’s struggles
  5. Being willing to spend time with those in need.
Being compassionate often means self-sacrifice something that does not come easily for us. Sacrificing our time or something we want to do for someone else. In this case, our human instinct is to be annoyed or upset that we “have” to do this for someone else, and this often negates our ability to give selflessly. A decision to do something requires effort and action.
There are many rewards of being loving and compassionate especially if this does not come naturally to you or requires efforts. Some of the rewards are tangible and others are intangible. The tangible rewards would be approval or favor from those who observe your unselfish action or becoming friends with someone or developing a deeper friendship as a result of your efforts.
The ones we can’t see are those in heaven, those gifts that are waiting for our heavenly reward. You can never outgive the Lord – he is the one of abundance and blessing in our lives and one that we can count on to fulfill every place in our hearts that are hurting or empty.
A relationship with the Lord takes time, effort and listening something we discuss often in the podcast. Spending time with God in order to be infilled with his love and to listen to direction, which can be a feeling or a thought or even a Bible verse. We can pray and meditate on these and learn.
We live in a hurting world and this side of heaven is not always a happy place. We eat and exercise in a healthy way which often prolongs use our bodies but not necessarily helps our mind. It is the food of heaven, the acting on the gifts that God has given us like love and compassion that can bring joy to others in as a result of satisfaction in our lives.
Let’s Pray:
Dear Jesus, I praise you and I thank you fo fall the gifts and blessings you have given me in my life. I ask that you increase my love for others and my compassion. Bring me incidents where I can serve you and those around me. Help me to see the good in others and to seek to bring comfort to those who are in need or hurting. I ask for the needs of those I am praying for, Lord please grant these prayers and petitions … I pray this in Jesus, precious, Name. Amen.

Miracles Happen

Miracles Happen | We read about miracles in the Scriptures but do miracles happen today. Yes, miracles do happen! In this episode, we discuss the miraculous from the Bible but we look at the miracles all around you that defy explanation. | #podcast #christianpodcast #miraclesMiracles Do Happen – 126

We read about miracles in the Scriptures but do miracles happen today. Yes, miracles do happen! In this episode, we discuss the miraculous from the Bible but we look at the miracles all around you that defy explanation.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Some time ago I read a book, Miracles Do Happen by an Irish nun, Sister Breige McKenna and her story was riveting. She was very ill and suffered from rheumatoid arthritis that was so crippling that she had difficulty walking. She was sent to from Ireland to her community, the Sisters of St. Clare in Tampa, Florida with the hope that the warm Florida weather would help her. She was miraculously and instantly healed during the celebration of the Eucharist at Church. This was in 1970 and she was twenty-four. Later she received, in prayer, the gift of healing for which she is known. If you read her testimony you will learn that she was reluctant to receive this gift. I was blessed to work with a team of people to bring a book that contains her testimony in it to print, and I laughed when I read how this humble nun had to be told over and over by different people that they felt that God wanted to give her the gift of healing. One was a gentleman who was a protestant and said something to the effect that I don’t typically talk to Catholic nuns, but God keeps giving me this message to give me and won’t leave me alone until I give it to you! She realized then that she was being called. She has traveled the world bringing the hungry the word of God. She brings the focus to Jesus. I’ve met her several times and she has a riveting sense of humor. She spends at least three hours a day in prayer. I’ve been to prayer services that she has lead and it is truly a spiritual awakening.

When God uses us he often uses those who are humble and think they are the least of the ones that should be called. This humility can sometimes be a stumbling block. It can be false humility – yes that is a thing. When I learned about all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit I learned that these were to uplift the community and show the grace of God to the flock.

Miracles happen every day and we don’t see them because we are busy with life. Just waking up each day is a miracle. One more day, Lord – thank-you!

We don’t expect miracles but they are available for us. Maybe you’ve prayed for God to heal you or someone you love and the answer was no. That doesn’t mean that miracles don’t happen. They do. Everyday.

The first miracle we read about in scripture is when Jesus turned the water to wine at the wedding feast of Cana. The guests were amazed that the wine was better then what they drank at the beginning of the celebration, and usually, the wine that wasn’t as good was served later. We saw Jesus heal the blind, multiply the loaves and fishes, heal of the ten lepers, cast out demons and even bring Lazarus back to life. So, why do we limit the miracles to the time of Christ?

When Jesus rose He commanded us to go forth and make disciples of all nations – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ‘ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20.

We are commanded to follow in the steps of our Lord and Savior. At Pentecost, he left us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (An aside, Sister Breige was born on Pentecost Sunday in 1946)

In the Book of Isaiah 11:2-3, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed and they are considered the gifts that Jesus had and used. How do you receive these gifts? As a Christian, you can kneel beside your bed and pray for them! For me, as a Catholic we receive these gifts in the sacrament of Confirmation, we were told as teens we were becoming soldiers of Christ. This was our chance as a teenager to make our profession of faith, accepting Jesus as our Savior and following him.

The gifts are available to us – but why don’t we use them? Maybe because we fear what might happen. The gifts are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.

Friends, miracles do happen and it is time we are available to be used by God. The harvest is plenty but the workers are few applies to us today. Are you available to help the Lord? Sometimes it is just planting seeds, we don’t need to reap, God does that.

 

 

Prayer Partner

Prayer Partner | One of the biggest blessings that can come in our lives is to have a prayer partner, someone you can go to and pray with for your special needs. In this episode, we will discuss how to use this for the advantage of focused prayer. | #podcast #christianpodcast #prayer Prayer Partners – 125

One of the biggest blessings that can come in our lives is to have a prayer partner, someone you can go to and pray with for your special needs. In this episode, we will discuss how to use this for the advantage of focused prayer.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

Prayer Partner Defined

So, what is a prayer partner? As you can imagine it is a person you can pray with from time to time or even daily for the needs of those closest to you or for the needs of others. Typically it is one person instead of a group of people. This can be someone you know from church or a friend. It can even be your spouse. This person should be someone who is close to God or who wants to grow closer to God.

Why should you have a prayer partner? It isn’t necessary but it is nice to have someone to lean on and help you through a rough spot. Matthew 18: 19-20: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

What a wonderful promise! God created us as social beings and he even honors and gives grace to us when we partner in prayers.

A prayer partner is someone who:

  1. Is available to pray via the phone or in person.
  2. Is not a gossip
  3. Is not judgmental
  4. Is someone who can keep a confidence
  5. Is someone who is faithful and follows God

While there are no rules to praying with a prayer partner for me the outline below helps tremendously since it is not a time for visiting with a friend, which can actually come later after prayer. Some people don’t want a spouse as a prayer partner and would rather have a friend. It is whatever you feel comfortable with as well as the other person.

  1. A place that is quiet and you won’t be interrupted.
  2. Reverence, going before the Lord takes a time of praise and worship, praying something like this, “Please Lord help to clear my mind of the busyness of the day and help me to focus on you.” I also begin to pray in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity.
  3. Thank the Lord and praise Him. In worship, we can be in the presence of Almighty God.
  4. Sometimes I pray Matthew 18: 19-20 – and then each person takes a turn in lifting a need or petition. It may be a prayer for someone else or yourself. Let your needs be known. At this point you do not need a bunch of details – God knows. You can ask specific, like for a healing or a general, “Please Lord I pray a blessing on ___ as she graduates please provide a job and help her in her new journey.”
  5. Does something come to mind that might be helpful in this situation or is God leading you to another way to pray – speak it out and ask, “Lord I’m not sure if this is from you but please provide…” Or you might feel the Lord is prompting you to pray a specific way.
  6. End with thanksgiving and praise once again.

This is a thumbnail or a brief outline and you can pray in any way you want to – sometimes there is not time to go through each stage and it might be a quick text to your prayer partner asking for a specific prayer request. Many of us are on prayer chains where we get requests from people in need and many times we get so many emails we are unable to pray for each and every one. We pray a generalized prayer for those needs daily – and that makes having a specific person to pray with so important.

Your prayer life will grow as well. And, your prayer partner may change over time. I’ve had various prayer partners over the years and some close friends that I can text for prayers. I have a Facebook Page, A Few Minutes with God with the intent of those in need of prayers. I get notifications and pray!

Prayer, in general, keeps us grounded and it gives us the hope that is in Christ to overcome the evils of this world. Let’s pray!

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you for reminding us that where two or more are gathered in your Name, you are here in our midst. I praise you and thank you for being here always for us. Thank you for providing for our needs and helping me to grow in my love for you. I see that through prayer I feel closer to you and I thank you for this. I also ask specifically for the following needs: Thank you, my God, for your provision for your Divine Will and for the grace you give me each and every day. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Faith Walk Commitment

Faith Walk | Are you ready to make this the best year with a faith walk commitment? We have choices to make and this New Year is a clean slate! We can select our faith walk as one where we get closer to God, walk with purpose and have a goal of hope in mind! | #podcast #christianpodcastFaith Walk Commitment – 124

Are you ready to make this the best year with a faith walk commitment? We have choices to make and this New Year is a clean slate! We can select our faith walk as one where we get closer to God, walk with purpose and have a goal of hope in mind!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

In our lives, the choices we make often have repercussions for the good and for the bad. We want to choose what is right but more often doing the least amount is easier. Let’s face it is it easier to turn on the television and veg out rather than pour over the Bible, pray, listen and journal with the hope of making a significant change for the better in your life.

The Christian faith walk brings us to freedom and join. But it does not come, as with any good thing without challenges. There are obstacles in our walk, roadblocks, and detours. We want to go right and yet we turn left, we plan to move up and instead find ourselves down. The more we try the worse things seem. I remember telling my pastor that the more I tried to follow God the harder life seemed to get, and he reminded me of a simple truth. He said the keyword was the “I” the more “I” tried to follow God. Following God is simply a decision, putting one proverbial foot in front of the other. It isn’t what I am doing it is what I am deciding, each and every day. I choose You, God. I choose Your will for my life. I choose to follow You.

Check out this audio on making a new year’s faith journey.

The series of A Few Minutes with God began, as most of you know with the urging that I was doing quite a bit of talking to God but never stopping to listen. I have a ton of words – and I believed the more the better. But as an adult, my faith matured and I began to really seek God not only as a generous and benevolent Father – God, I need this, I need that… preferably now – to wanting more in my life. I wanted more faith, I wanted more focus, I wanted more of God. This translated for me into a much, much happier life which translates into relationships that were happier with my husband, my children, and my friends.

Relationships hinge on a simple truth which most of us miss. And, that is a relationship that is healthy can only we accomplished when we have the love of God in our life. Without God’s love, we can not pour into others. That is one of the reasons that there are so many dysfunctional families in our world today and truthfully depressed Christians.

Our eyes have been removed from the sacred above and focused on the devices in our hands—and all the temptations that come with this. In my lifetime I have seen such phenomenal growth in technology. We used to think that television was distracting and now we carry our televisions and computers in our hands many unrestricted with all types of temptations that lead to sin. These devices are amazing and valuable – in fact, all of you are listening to this podcast on a digital device. Yet, all of this distraction takes our eyes away from God—and sometimes right into the hands of the enemy and ruin relationships.

Relationships take time with God. Relationships take time. They take work. They take listening. They take change. Who has time for this?

But, guess what friends – what if I told you this can be easy. God isn’t complicated we make Him complicated. A faith commitment means saying yes to God – I want more. I want to live a life that is beyond good, beyond great – a life that is amazing and faith-filled. I want to live a life where God knows my needs before I even know them and provides. Easy.

Friends – this can happen and happens to me over and over again. I think it has happened my entire life but I was never tuned into God to see it! God is all around us but we do not have eyes that see!

A faith walk commitment means knowing that you have agreed to learn this year and to be wowed by the miraculous. Think about this. The Divine – Almighty God is the God of miracles. Our lives are a miracle the technology we have is a miracle, the advances in the medical field and so on are miraculous. Not long ago I did a podcast with a friend of mine who is a scientist on DNA and how it was believed that most of our DNA was considered junk (PUT IN LINK) because they didn’t understand it’s purpose. Well, with the advances in science the realization is that most of this DNA is now accounted for – and that is a problem for those who do not believe in God because it is basically impossible to happen out of nothing. I’ve placed the podcast link in the show notes on AFewMinutesWithGodPodcast.com – Faith Walk Commitment or visit CreationSciencePodcast.com for more.

As Christians, we believe in a Divine Creator, we walk in faith and our commitment just deepens the more we learn about God. We are not fearful about what science shows because everything points to a Divine Creator. Our commitment is not to know everything but to be open to learning. Are you ready?

Get out a piece of paper and think about what a faith walk commitment means to you.

Faith Walk Commitment:

  1. Saying yes to walking closer to God.
  2. Less words.
  3. Commitment to learning.
  4. Relationships
  5. Mentoring

My husband and I were asked to help mentor couples that are considering marriage. This is a huge responsibility to us and one we do not take lightly. My first response was, “Sure, after forty years of marriage I can tell you all the things not to do!” But, seriously it is a shame that among Christians the rate of divorce is similar to that for non-believers. Why? Because of relationship. If we get right with God everything, and I mean everything will be easier to handle in our lives. Are you ready? Make a faith walk commitment right now.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that you provide for each of us to walk closer to you this year, to make a decision each and every day for more of you Lord, more of you in my life. God, I can not do this alone. I need You. Please help me in my every day, in my decisions, in my choices and expand my time. I ask that you help me to see you in the little miracles of daily life. Dear Lord, I ask for the following prayers … Lord provide for those I pray for and for my special intentions even those I have not asked for – you know my heart, my God. And, I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

New Year Faith Journey

New Year Faith Journey | As we turn the calendar are you prepared for a New Year Faith Journey? In this episode, we will explore the exciting New Year that God’s got for you, and we look at it with expectant hope. | #podcast #christianpodcastNew Year Faith Journey 123

As we turn the calendar are you prepared for a New Year Faith Journey? In this episode, we will explore the exciting New Year that God’s got for you, and we look at it with expectant hope.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

The end of a year brings celebration, not because the year ends – well, I guess it depends on the summation of the year you’ve had – no, the celebration is symbolic of the excitement of the year to come. We look at it with excitement and hope for the best. This is how we as a Christian should look at the coming year.

Our Hope is in Christ and the New Year Faith Journey should look something like this:

  1. I can’t wait to see all that God is going to do in my life this year.
  2. I am so excited about how I can serve others this coming year.
  3. I look forward to the new insights and revelations in my studies about God.

The world looks at the future so much differently than a Christian does. Success to a Christian is being in God’s will – it is the joy of waking up each day and saying, “God’s got this!” It is realizing that God’s will is so much better than our will.

The Lord’s prayer reminds us of this –

“…thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Free will is God’s will.

What Does A New Year Faith Journey look like to you?

But the new year gives us a blank slate and as we as Christians look at this we can begin to map to look forward to our life as a journey of faith. We can make changes for the better but in order to do this, we must have an examination of our life. Some people think they don’t need to make any changes. They are great! They are living a wonderful life. No changes to be made – nothing to see, move on.

I heard a wonderful sermon recently at Mass where our pastor said, “Sometimes we get comfortable in our sin and we don’t think it is bad – or that bad, in fact sometimes we don’t even recognize it as sin! We go along cloaked in sin, comfortably wrapped!”

Wow – food for thought but he went on.

There are consequences of sin! And know this we should change, right? We want to live a life that is free of guilt or misgivings. A life that is happy and successful in the belief that we are living a righteous life.

God has a perfect will for us but we often spurn God’s will to find our more “perfect will.” We want to do things our way. Our first parents who were created out of nothing by the hand of God and given the perfect place to live turned their backs on God and sinned. Decisions and choices have consequences and our rebellion causes this – not God, but for us. People often blame God for their problems but the real person is us. Sin causes a breakdown in a relationship and the breakdown is between us and our creator. But there is good news!

We can restore our relationship by asking for forgiveness – just as a good parent who punishes a child to ensure that this child does not continue to sin, God’s justice means punishment for sin. Jesus took on our sins on the cross to free us from sin and this is the beginning (asking forgiveness) of our restoration.

As we look at the new year it is like a new beginning~ we look at the answer Jesus gave the scribe when he asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus said (Matthew 22) – “You shall love the Lord your God with your heart and all your soul and all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And as second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

What hope! What joy! WE can go to the Lord and ask for forgiveness from all the ways we have turned away from Him, for rejecting Him and because of all the bad decisions we have made that caused us to sin and to harm ourselves. Even if we have done so without knowing! Secondly, we can move forward by depending on God’s love and His promises. To be with us always. We don’t have to do it alone. We have an arsenal of tools!

Faith Journey Tools

  1. We have God’s love. The Holy Spirit to guide us, ask Him into your heart (repentance first and a promise to change!)
  2. We have prayer – talking to God. (We do this at the end of each podcast.)
  3. We have quiet before the Lord – listening.
  4. We have the Word of God – in the Bible.
  5. We have the thanksgiving – praising God each day.

So what is it going to be? Will you trust God this year that He has the best in store for you? Will you trust that His will your faith journey be on that least traveled road that leads to heaven or that wide highway to that other place?

Let’s pray for a journey that is protected by Almighty God with an abundance of Grace.

Dear Lord, I thank you first for the gift of faith. Without this gift, I would be nothing. I have no worry about the future because I know that you are with me. I ask for the outpouring of your Holy Spirit and an abundance of grace to carry me through the day. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me this coming year as I grow closer to You, as you reveal your truth to me, as I see your hand in my life. Thank you, my God, for all of this and I ask for the following prayers: God I know you have my needs and my wants in Your precious hands and I thank you for this, and I pray all of this in your Name, Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

Holy Family Our Family

Holy Family Our Family | What a beautiful example the Holy Family is in our lives and in this episode we will explore the examples of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and how to live lives that are filled with hope! | #podcast #christianpodcastHoly Family Our Family – Episode 122

What a beautiful example the Holy Family is in our lives and in this episode we will explore the examples of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and how to live lives that are filled with hope!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child

At Christmas time we decorate our houses with scenes of the Nativity. These scenes are familiar and if you are like me, it brings me great joy to see them around my home. I have several that are in different rooms because for me the focus of the holiday surrounds the birth of Jesus. It causes me to consider the holy and the things I hold sacred in a way that is tangible in my life.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah: Isaiah 11:1-7

It hit me recently when we read this exact scripture with my family that there was a great parallel between the verses… Justice shall be a band around his waist and faithfulness a belt upon his hips with Ephesians

Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare – Ephesians 6:10-18

1It is at times like this that I wish I was a scripture scholar. I’m not. But what I can tell you is that the parallel really spoke to me – The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah and in the New Testament Christ is the fulfillment of the prophecy and the key to winning over souls out of the hands of the enemy.

The opening of the kingdom – the eternal kingdom and our salvation comes from Christ. And what an example the Holy Family is to us –

Do we consider ourselves in that situation? The Holy Family gives us an example of overcoming hardship for the greater good. Mary and Joseph were scorned in their own town. Why? Because Mary was “with child” before she lived with Joseph. She was betrothed but then went to visit Elizabeth. When she returned, they could see she was pregnant. She explained in her own words that an angel had appeared to her. Can you imagine what her parents thought? Can you imagine being Joseph?

Take time to think about this and apply it to your life. How do you face those hard decisions in your life? Do you do it with faith and help from the Lord or do you do it on your own without thought of God? Look at the lives of the Holy Family. I came up with five things I’ve learned from the life they lived.

What we learn from the Holy Family:

  1. Dying to self. They took upon themselves the hardships of what the yes to God would mean – a huge disruption in what they envisioned for their life.
  2. Ability to persevere – in the face of hardship they forged on having to travel to Bethlehem for the census (God knew this, right? Again it was a fulfillment of prophecy but how difficult for Mary and Joseph.)
  3. Understanding the truth. They believed. They may have questioned, who wouldn’t? But, they believed that God would provide for them, and He did. Even if it wasn’t easy.
  4. Responsibility – can you imagine being in charge of the upbringing of the second person of the Trinity, Jesus? Many of us can barely raise our own children and to have this mind-blowing responsibility put on our shoulders. Wow. Just wow. Friends, think about this!
  5. The faith that we read in the Scriptures that surpasses all understanding. That is the faith I want that I crave. I want to believe without a doubt, I want to follow God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in every single thing I do in my life.

Can you add to this list, is there something that speaks to your heart as you contemplate this most Holy of Families?

We know the end of the story and we celebrate this story every year. The prophecy was fulfilled with the yes from Mary in response to the request of the angel, archangel Gabriel – it comes again from the yes when Joseph, once he realized through a dream that Mary was telling the truth and indeed carried the Word of God soon to be made flesh that he had a responsibility to care for them both.

It also shows us that faith is a belief in that which is unseen and resonates truth in our hearts. Today we hear the media talk about “individual truth,” – for example, “she spoke the truth as she believes it.” But, truth is not subjective, it does not change, it always is. God gave us the intellect to believe in a truth higher than we could possibly imagine. Yet we think we know better. We twist the truth to meet our expectations of what we want it to say.

There is only one truth, friends. The truth that God came as a babe in humility for me, for you, for all. God is not exclusive. Do we hunger for truth and righteousness? That is truly what God is – He doesn’t lie, He doesn’t make unfulfilled promises. He came, He lived, He died and He rose.

The intelligent always think they know better. God sent his Son to live with a humble carpenter and his poor wife. Jesus wasn’t born to a king. He could have been, right? He is God, He could do whatever He wanted. We are shown that the Kings, the three Kings paid him homage. What an amazing proof that is—even to King Herod who sent out his men to kill all of the firstborn sons. But as we read in Ephesians evil will not triumph.

Friends, death is not the end. Think about this – those holy innocents, those poor souls who were murdered were vindicated once the gates of heaven were opened. They received their glory not on this earth but in the next. We look for our glory here – how many toys can we buy, how many events can we experience, we need this we need that. We do need to enjoy our life, God gave us this beautiful world in which we live, but not to the exclusiveness of all else.

God’s word is everlasting it is our rock. If we trust God and His Word we can be grounded in righteousness. We can use this rock to build our lives.

Even the gifts the Kings brought of gold, frankincense and myrrh are rich in meaning. Gold we are familiar with – it is a valuable commodity even today, frankincense as well is used by many of us as a potent and valuable essential oil – and incense, and a symbol of deity and myrrh was a symbol of death used as an embalming oil.

Again the Scriptures give us so much to think about to meditate on.

As we remember this precious gift, the birth of Christ and his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph let’s purpose to live our lives in a way that includes the Almighty and how much better off we will be!

Let’s Pray:

My God, there is so much to be thankful for even in times of hardship but we have faith the faith that you give us. Please God, during this very wonderful season, increase my faith, that is the gift I ask for to have more of You in my life to bless me with an abundance of Your grace to overflowing so that I can pour out this grace to others. All that is wonderful and righteous is in You my God, and I thank you for the gift of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Please, Lord, I ask for these special intentions for my family and friends:     I love you my God and I thank you for all the answered prayers and the miracles in my life that come from you and I thank you in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

True Meaning Of Christmas

True Meaning of Christmas | The commercial aspect of the holidays almost destroys the true meaning of Christmas. In this episode, I want to share an easy way to bring Jesus to the front and center where He belongs! | #podcast #christianpodcast #christmasTrue Meaning of Christmas Episode 121

The commercial aspect of the holidays almost destroys the true meaning of Christmas. In this episode, I want to share an easy way to bring Jesus to the front and center where He belongs!

Thanks to our sponsor to learn more and get today’s show notes to visit AFewMinuteswithGodPodcast.com. And, please share this episode with a friend, that is one of the ways that you can spread the word!

The beautiful decorations and lights are uplifting to our spirits and the idea of gift-giving is symbolic of the gift that God gave to us by the birth of His only Son. Yet when we get distracted by all the symbolism that is a time to recall the true meaning of Christmas.

Here are three very easy ways to keep our focus on Christ.

  1. Take time each day to read John 1
  2. Spend time with God. Just a few minutes each day.
  3. Close your eyes and listen.

If you have a journal take some time and write your thoughts. How do you feel? Are you excited or do you lean more toward depressed?

Christmas can be a time of anticipation and excitement but it also tends to be a time of disappointment and depression. Especially if we dwell on the past or on what could have been. Or if our expectations surround materialist things. We feel that we are not doing enough or perhaps can’t afford the things we want. But that shouldn’t be the focus.

Life happens each and every day and we can look at it as what we have or don’t have or we can look at each day as a blessing from God.

Recently two of my friend’s husbands died suddenly of heart attacks. Both were robust and active. Both full of life.

Only God knows the reason for taking them home. Only He knows the time and place when we too will be called home. I think it is especially difficult during the holidays to lose a loved one, but I also know that the Lord is not surprised by any of it. These families need prayer as well as all the families who are saddened or struggling during this time. It is hard to be joyous when we struggle with loss.

That is why the Scriptures are so inspiring. They speak to that part in us that longs for relationships and what better relationship than with God? I want to read part of John 1. This is one of my all-time favorite Scriptures and it is the one I always read at the beginning of Advent – the days leading up to Christmas.

John 1:

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made.

Just stop and think about these first sentences! The Word – which is Scripture is also God! And the Word was there at the beginning. Imagine! This really helps us to understand and put into perspective the mind-blowing aspect – and that is, God and Jesus are one … it is one of those verses that give us a glimpse of the deeper mysteries of faith. It is also one, that for me is so uplifting it gives me joy and it gives me a deep abiding hope.

And it goes on… In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

True Meaning of Christmas

Jesus is referred to as the light of the world – the fact that God became man was an act of humility! He came as an infant to save us – to give us eternal life by his life, death, and resurrection. We should rejoice because we know the end of the story – the Scripture tells us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – the darkness, the evil in this world is uncovered for what it is when you shine the true light – the goodness of God upon it, we find that we, who are called by name can not turn our backs upon what is right and good.

When we feel down when we feel depressed when we don’t feel we want to get out of bed and face the day we have only to look at the Word of God for our inspiration. Write out the words, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” What joy those words give us!

Our focus is not on the glitter or the gift-giving, or even the baking – which I love! The focus is on Almighty God who came as a babe to conquer sin and set us free. Friends, Christianity is a joy! It is not what those who don’t believe say, “Oh. My. Gosh. You Christians are so boring. You have to give up this and that.”

Friends Christianity is freeing because of the joy of knowing that I am living a life without regrets. I am not giving up anything. I am gaining so much.

Think of it this way. In fact, close your eyes for a minute. Imagine a gift that is so amazing – take a few minutes and really think about this gift. What would you do with it? How would you share it?

Now – consider this. God gave us a gift that is so much greater than anything you can imagine! It is 100 thousand times greater. How could I not want to go to church and thank him, and worship Him?

Isaiah 9:6 (read)

How can I not want to live a life that is pleasing to God? How could I not say thank-you Lord, each and every day for the gift of life – yes, but everlasting life? I will live my life on earth but will have full confidence that I will live a life eternally with Him!

This time of joyous celebration that comes around every December reminds me that the real meaning of Christmas is to give all the honor and the glory to Jesus – the Divine One.

Celebrate with your family with your friends but know that the opening of gifts is a small symbol of the greater joy in the gifts that God gave us. This joy of giving gifts to those who are important to us is a symbol of our love for them and their love for us! God gives us an abundance of love and it flows from God – to us to them! Allow the Lord into your life today!

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Let’s Pray:

Dear God the Father, thank-you so much for gifting us with the Son, and then leaving us with the Holy Spirit until the end of time. Thank you for helping me to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for allowing me to understand that the truth of the season comes in the love that is shared from you to me! Dear Lord Jesus, today I ask you in a deeper way to come into my life. I repent from the sins of the past and ask for your forgiveness. I choose you, my God. I choose you today, and tomorrow. I ask you, Lord, to bless me and cleanse me. I ask that you fill me to overflowing with joy and your love. Help me to sin no more. Help me to follow you in all of the ways that are pleasing to you, my God. Thank you, Lord, for this gift that is more precious than any gift I can imagine. Dear Lord, I ask you know for these specific prayers for those I pray for now…

Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers and for answering them and I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

 

God Loves You

God Loves You | I probably don’t need to tell you that God loves you – however if you suffer from stress or find yourself overwhelmed you need to hear it again and again. In this episode, we will discuss God’s love and how closely tied it is to who we are and our relationships. | #podcast #christianpodcastGod Loves You ~ Episode 120

I probably don’t need to tell you that God loves you – however if you suffer from stress or find yourself overwhelmed you need to hear it again and again. In this episode, we will discuss God’s love and how closely tied it is to who we are and our relationships.

Thanks to our sponsor – Overcomer Movie to learn more about the DVD.

When I think about God’s love the refrain from a popular Bible song resonates although the words are slightly different than, “God loves you,” the words go — “Jesus loves you this I know because the Bible tells me so…” Yet do we really believe this and if we do why do we live a life that isn’t trusting that God’s got this – whatever “this” is in your life.

We take God’s love for granted. How do we know that He loves us?

  1. You exist – so the very fact that you are here is because of the fact that you were created. Your parents had to meet!
  2. You are who you are because of the love of God – our relationships hinge on who we believe God is – think about it.
  3. God has a purpose for you – yes, you. He created you for a reason and some understand it better than others but our entire life is striving to grow closer to him.

I purposely left out the fact that God sent His only son – to become man, in order to be born, suffer and die for our sins, and ultimately resurrected into to heaven. That is the number one reason I know that God loves me – but for me to know this I must be a professed Christian. John 3:16 is a favorite Bible passage of so many. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

We know God loves us because He loves us unconditionally. We do not need to perform good works or deeds in order to have God love us. He just does. Of course, we should do good things, please don’t misunderstand that it isn’t needed – the point here is that it isn’t needed for God’s love. We try to understand God with a human mindset. We love those who love us – we love those who are kind who gift us things who are welcoming and generous. But we can’t understand the mind of God – because for us it makes no sense.

Can we love unconditionally? No – it is very difficult to do – but for God all things are possible.

In the Bible, we read again and again about the mercy of God through the actions of his son Jesus. We read about mercy. We read about the Pharisees who often criticized him. Yet in Matthew 9:12 it says, “It is not those who are well who have need of a physician but those who are sick.” We are sick as sinners – we have a sickness in our souls and it is that sickness that causes us to doubt, to stress to be overwhelmed by this thing we call life. We need mercy and we need a Savior and it is in this Savior that loves us just because.

Think about that. Someone who loves you just because you are. Just because you exist. Who knew you before you were born, who knows the number of hairs on your head, who held you in the palm of His hand. Wow. Psalm 84:8 reads – “Show us, O Lord, your mercy; and grant us your salvation.” This is repeated again and again in our Bible readings during the time of Advent the days leading up to Christmas. We are reminded of this time and time again.

To receive the mercy and compassion of God we must show others mercy and compassion. This is not to be confused with God’s love. God’s love is unconditional. But there is, for a Christian a recourse if you will for sin. God teaches us in the parable of the Good Samaritan that because of sin (a man who was a Jew was robbed and left for dead. We learn that two people walk on without helping him, one man – the Samaritan stopped and helped the Jew – and he did this without a repayment. The Bible uses this as a lesson because the Jews and the Samaritans were adversaries – you can read more in Luke 10:25-37

The point here goes further that God knows our hearts. He knows what drives us – we can lie to the world but God knows our motivations. It is important for us to have compassion for others and if we have the love of God in our hearts this should come naturally.

Friends, for those of us who are believers we should go around looking joyful and hopeful with a smile on our face. Who would want to be a Christian if they think that Christians are a bunch of judgmental and depressed people! We need to open our hearts to God’s love – He is waiting with outstretched arms and all we have to do is say yes, Lord. More of you Lord and less of me.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, first I thank you for your unconditional love – I thank you for allowing me to be created and for giving me the opportunities to share the love you have given me with others. Pour into me oh, my God – your love and your mercy. Help me to be compassionate to others to be in the right place at the right time to be used by you! Help me to show this love to others. Take away my stress, my anger my feelings of being overwhelmed and replace them with the peace that surpasses all understanding knowing that you are right beside me. I pray particularly for the following intentions:  Thank you ahead of time Lord for all the blessings and provisions you send and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.


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Gift Giving

Gift Giving | What is the greatest gift that we can give to others? Well there are plenty that come to mind but the greatest gift-giving comes from Almighty God and His Son, Jesus. | #ChristianPodcast #podcastGift Giving Episode 119

What is the greatest gift that we can give to others? Well, there are plenty that come to mind but the greatest gift-giving comes from Almighty God and His Son, Jesus. In this episode, we will discuss how gift-giving sometimes takes center stage when the focus should be on the Lord!

Thanks to our sponsor – The Star Movie – limited run December 7 and 8th 2019 – the DVD is still available for purchase.

Faith brings us together. Happy Anniversary to The Star, which debuted on this day in 2017! Celebrate the film by seeing its re-release in theaters this holiday season, December 7 and 8! Tickets here: http://www.thestarmovie-tickets.com

We celebrate Jesus at Christmas and Easter the two biggest seasons for Christians. And, when my kids were little I’d ask them what season was their favorite and would you believe it was Easter? Yes, there was definitely candy involved but the main reason was the fasting that came beforehand!

As a Catholic-Christian we celebrate the 40 days of Lent the time leading up to Easter Sunday and we “give up” something. Whether it is tangible like chocolate or candy to something like not being negative or perhaps setting aside a longer period of time to pray. In this giving up we are reminded each time we want to stray that we can not and this equates and is symbolic for giving up sin. So when Easter Sunday comes it is a time to put aside the fasting and to celebrate!

But, at Christmas time while Advent is similar to Lent in that we are counting down to the glorious day of our Savior’s birth (and yes – I realize it is not the exact date). It is much more difficult with full calendars, invitations from friends and families and a variety of to-do’s that center around baking – shopping or writing cards.

Christmas tends to be a time of giving – and while we give we often overlook that all some people need is our gift of compassion and to feel needed. When we are in the midst of our giving we overlook the real needs.

I once did a podcast on the things that kids want for presents (Presents Kids WantPresents Kids Can Make) and it was not what you might think. Sure that shiny object is fun for a short span of time but truthfully the gifts that you can give that last often can not be purchased from a store.

My kid’s favorite gifts consisted of time camping or time we spent together as a family reading in front of the fireplace. Once on a trip to Canada from Florida, my son asked if I brought along our storybook and if we could read in front of the fireplace in the lobby of the hotel! Friends, it was summer! What did this show me? That my son loved the time we spent together.

The gifts that keep on giving are the gifts we consider and think about. It is the gifts of baked goods, or the refrigerator magnets grandkids make, or just time spent doing something special.

My gifts to my grandkids consist of Zoo Family Membership and things they need. Most of all it will be time spent together baking and doing crafts – one of my favorite things and theirs as well. But the greatest gift you can give your family? The gift of Love and the gift of Faith.

Faith is the gift that keeps on giving. When my kids were little I created an Advent Calendar and each day I gave them a number, on the back was a Scripture Verse and a short note I wrote them. It was not only a count down to Christmas but a time of prayer and personal love notes written to them! The calendar is still up on two of my children’s rooms – all these years later! Another way we celebrated faith is with an Advent Wreath and we lit one calendar each week (and each evening we lit that same candle). We would pray a Scripture verse each night and then spent time in prayer for our family and each of us gave a “praise report,” what we were thankful for each day.

Remember this year that the best gifts are the ones that last!

Dear Lord Jesus thank you for giving me the gift of faith – and I ask, precious Lord that you give me the grace to pass on this gift with those I love and cherish! I know this is one of the greatest gifts are love and the gift of faith. Please fill me to overflowing with your love, the love that surpasses all understanding so that I may share this love with others. Please help me with my gift-giving this year to focus on the person and their needs. Please, Lord, hear the prayers I pray for the following people … help them Lord in their struggles and bring joy and victory in the Name of Jesus! And, I pray this in Your precious Name, My God. Amen!

 


Thank you to our Sponsor -The Star Movie

 

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Peace Within Families

Peaceful Families | Next to world peace, we want peace within families! I’ve heard horror stories of siblings not talking to each other for years and in this episode, we will pray for broken families and those who are lost to the hope of Jesus. | #ChristianPodcast #podcastPeace Within Families Episode 118

Next to world peace, we want peace within families! I’ve heard horror stories of siblings not talking to each other for years and in this episode, we will pray for broken families and those who are lost to the hope of Jesus.

Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels, Inc. and don’t forget to download our Prayer Journal free for subscribers on this website.

Peace on earth – peace be with you – peace within families it all goes hand-in-hand. I sometimes marvel that we want world peace but those who are born with the same parents, sometimes can’t get along! Of course, there are many psychological reasons that this happens, but truthfully the real reasons are not so complex if we really think about it.

I’ve created podcasts on the topic of forgiveness and sometimes it is the hurt and the forgiveness that keeps people apart. One of the biggest problems I see among families it the ability to communicate.

We get upset, our feelings get hurt, we can’t understand, we are floored and we are … well, fill in the blanks. We’ve all had arguments with those we love – and the more you love the harder it is at times to keep from getting hurt. We wear our hearts on our sleeves especially those of us who are parents, and we hope that our kids and our grandkids will see that we love them. But, seeing is often difficult when our actions may show something different.

How do we show we love – for different people it is in different ways – two quick examples for me it is doing something, baking you cookies, having you over for a meal, opening my home or well-doing. For my husband, it is time – and it is kindness. But peace is something that transcends doing!

John 16:33

Peace is the feeling of being protected, safe and most of all it happens when we feel people understand us. That is why within families without good communication it falls apart! With God we talk, He listens – very rarely do we hear the Lord … but when we do, whether it is through the Word, a friend or in prayer it may not be what we want to hear.

God is our safe haven. In God, we are guaranteed peace. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

But back to peace within families – how do we achieve this? Especially in the toxic climate in which we, as Americans live – and at the time of this recording! I’ve heard of family members who avoid getting together for the holidays because they do not want to get into heated discussions!

So friends, here are some things to pray about if we want peace!

  1. Pray for the Lord to shower those you love and are family members with love, and that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  2. Listen: when others talk listen and pray for discernment – and Proverbs 1:5 Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
  3. Pray to do God’s will – whether that is to comfort or love. We don’t have to agree but we can do what God would do – maybe not agree, but love

Only God can love unconditionally but I do believe that as family members we have a special grace from God to forgive if we allow ourselves to be humbled and realize we are not perfect! I know hard to do and easy to say –

SO, Let’s Pray for His Divine Grace.

Dear Jesus, I pray for peace within my family. I know You love me all the time with your unconditional love and I ask for the Divine grace to love those who have hurt me and ask that those I have hurt forgive me. Lord I don’t want to conform or be less than I am, I want to be a shining star that shows Your love to others. I want to reflect Your light, and I want to be the one who plants the seeds for You to reap. I ask my God that you bless those I pray for and specifically for their needs … thank-you Jesus for all you have done in my family and for the peace and joy that we will feel – and I pray this in Jesus, precious Name. Amen.

Thankful All The Time

Thankful All The Time | Don’t you wish we could be thankful all the time? Especially in this time of joy sometimes we can’t see because we are covered with the business of every day. In this episode, we will discuss ways to keep thankfulness at the forefront of each day. | #ChristianPodcast #podcast Thankful All The Time Episode 117

Don’t you wish we could be thankful all the time? Especially in this time of joy sometimes we can’t see because we are covered with the business of every day. In this episode, we will discuss ways to keep thankfulness at the forefront of each day.

Thanks to our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

Colossians 3:15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Can we be called to peace and thankfulness – of course, Scripture command it but without the love and providence of Almighty God we can’t do it alone. If only we have time, right? It is always about time. It is the one thing people say to me over and over again.

  1. I have not time to pray.
  2. I have no time to listen to podcasts.
  3. I have no time – no time – no time.

In fact, I bought into the no-time lie for so many years that I am not a time hoarder – I hate to waste time! I am serious about this – but God has shown me that HIS ways are so much greater than my ways.

I thought that someday when my kids were grown I’d have so much time. You know I use to worry that I would be lonely, and I would have nothing to do – whatever would I do if I wasn’t being a mom to five and helping my husband with his business as well as working on mine – in my spare time? Well, fast forward and I’m here! I’m in an almost-empty-nester home and have so many projects underway that I forget the main thing I want to focus on this time of the year and that is being thankful, not only each day but all the time.

Why? Because it reminds me that my heritage is not here on earth but above. I am reminded that when I am weak He is strong. I am nothing without God in my life. Nothing, not even chocolate makes me happy the way God does! I have a glass paperweight that says “We do not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds the future.”

Who holds your future? Is it your accomplishments? Is it the people you love in your life, your family? Your friends? The future is not only now and if we can think “be thankful all the time” even in the midst of hardship, but we do have a slice of heaven with us each day. How do we grow for the better? Usually, it is after overcoming a hardship in our life. We can have a wonderful testimony at the end and always point to God. In fact, have you ever looked back to a particularly difficult time in your life and seen the hand of God? I have and then I’m sad that I was not more thankful for the situation.

I’m reminded of this wonderful scripture – Hebrews 12:28  Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe

The song 10,000 Reasons, “Bless the Lord oh, my soul, worship His Holy Name.”

When we play praise and worship music it is easier to be reminded of the ways we should be thankful all the time.

Sometimes we just need to write the ways we are thankful.

  1. I am so thankful for you my, God.
  2. I am so thankful for the family you have gifted me with.
  3. I am so thankful for my Christian friends.
  4. I am so thankful for my non-Christian friends because you have put them in my life for your Divine purpose – not mine!
  5. I am so thankful for the air I breathe, for the day you’ve given me, for the way you love me, for the grace you’ve given me for continuing each and every day.
  6. Add your own ways to be thankful!

Funny story – I’ve always avoided exercise and I married a man who was not only a stellar and decorated athlete – but he was a Physical Education major and my children are almost all athletic. Why avoid exercise – oh, we don’t have enough time for me to share all the reasons. But, what am I most thankful for now – the fact that my husband purchased a treadmill for me! Yes, I am making the time for walking each and every day and I have used this time to pray – to listen to podcasts and to read, all while walking in my own home.

Who would have thought! Friends, the strangest things happen in life – and they are mostly wonderful! So, I praise God for the gift of time to walk each day.

Ephesians 5:20

2 Timothy 1:7

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I worship you and I love you – You have given me a spirit that is not timid – a spirt that give us power, love and self-discipline and I chose you Lord – 1000x a day I chose You! I come just as I am and you know all of my faults, I come to you with an open heart – I come asking for the spirit to be thankful all the time and joyous! I ask you, Lord, to bless those I pray for now … and I thank you, my God, for all the wonderful blessings ahead of time because you are an awesome and righteous God! I praise you and I thank you, Amen!

 

 


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Mercy and Thoughtfulness of Our God

Mercy and Thoughtfulness | This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both. | #christianpodcast #podcast #mercyMercy and Thoughtfulness Episode 116

This is a time of mercy and thoughtfulness because with both of these items there is hope. It is almost like a math equation. Mercy + Thoughtfulness = Hope, but more than that God has an abundance of both.

Thanks to our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

Show Notes: Mercy and Thoughtfulness

Who else but the creator of the universe considers the sinfulness of man yet gives us mercy to overcome thought His ever-present Spirit and His love for us in the small and simple things. When you think about the things that bring us joy on an ongoing daily basis it isn’t looking down on your fingers and a piece of jewelry you are wearing, or admiring a handbag – or if you are a guy, success in business, being a good provider or perhaps winning at a game or having a team win or something similar.

The things that give us joy are those things that are fleeting like family, friends, love, and those more everlasting like faith, and hope. God thought of everything. God is thoughtful!

God is merciful and God is truth – God is everything that is good. But do we realize this in our everyday life or do we allow our situations to get us down? If you look up the word thoughtfulness in the Bible you won’t find one entry – try it! But we do know by definition the Lord is thoughtful because He has provided for us in so many ways that we can never thank him enough or repay him!

Mercy and Thoughtfulness takes grace from God!

I love the Book of Proverbs because if you want to see morsels of truth you should read it end to end. I’m going to read you some wisdom from Proverbs 18 – just a few verses because I invite you to read it for yourself in your quiet time and meditate on the words…

Do we have the heart to discern – to acknowledge that God is the seat of mercy and thoughtfulness for our lives – that we want to seek out the wise and not the foolish. SO many times friends we are wiped out because of something we have no control over.

Think about it: Are there things in your life you are holding on to that you can not control? Are there people in your life that bring you down to your knees? For all of those things, we can not control that hold us bound – put them on paper and release them to the Lord. For all those people who upset or bother us – pray for them. In fact, I am taking my own advice and some people that I do not know personally but are upsetting to me are going to be the recipient of my prayers starting today!

The human spirit in Proverbs 14 talks about how we can overcome illness but our spirits become crushed by so many things in this world. Our spirits are our reasoning powers – they consist of the ability to make decisions, have insights and judgments, to reason and understand, to be aware and have feelings, emotions – and passions! But our souls – our souls will not die. Our bodies will die and our spirt might be crushed but our soul, if we are a believer will rest with God – and that my friends is the goal of my life to do everything I can each and every day to be held to account by a merciful God.

Do you praise God for His Mercy – for His thoughtfulness – for His creation? Remember this when we are down or “crushed” as Proverbs reminds us by the weight of the world.

God is the giver of all gifts – as I record this we are coming into the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas times that either bring you warmth and joy or make you sad. Why are we sad? Usually, it is for things we can not control, such as the death of a loved one or someone we are missing. And, yes – we remember as we should and keep those we love close to our hearts but not to the point that we can not move forward and be present for those who are here and need us.

Every single one of us is needed – do not let the enemy rob you of your joy and peace. We are needed as prayer warriors as those who help our families, those at church or our neighbors. Ask the Lord each day – how do you want to use me today, Lord?

Proverbs 18:16 says a gift opens the way – who is not receptive to gifts? But, maybe you are like me and like to give gifts rather than receive? Interesting side note here – the Lord taught me that it was okay to receive gifts. There was a time when money was tight and I could not give as I wanted and someone gifted me. Instead of being grateful I was horrified and wanted to refuse the gift! But, then a wise pastor reminded me that in time past when I gave the recipients were grateful. The gift was ultimately from God. God knows our hearts and He does provide – not always as we want but as He wishes.

If we are filled by God’s love we can’t help to be overflowing with love for others. Think about it. God’s love spills over on us and it gives us so much joy we can not help to share this joy with others.

Let’s Pray: God you gift us with so many things but your mercy and thoughtfulness for the little and big things in our lives often go unnoticed or overlooked by us. You are the author of life. You are the giver of every good thing. During this time of giving thanks, we ask you, Lord, to help us to remember those who are less fortunate, and to bring to mind people you want us to pray for on a daily basis. Dear Lord we pray for these people right now, and those near to our hearts … Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with your love, your joy, and your mercy. And I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

 


Thank you to our Sponsor – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Movie!

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbor.

Faithful Families

Faithful Families | As we approach the season of joy, we look at this through the eyes of faithful families. But does this always happen? What can we do when we have loved ones who have left their faith behind or loved ones that we want to encourage and pray for? | #christianpodcast #faithfulfamilies #UCPNFaithful Families Episode 115

As we approach the season of joy, we look at this through the eyes of faithful families. But does this always happen? What can we do when we have loved ones who have left their faith behind or loved ones that we want to encourage and pray for? Or loved ones who have let us down? In this episode, we will discuss faith from the standpoint of putting God first and all else second.

I want to thank our sponsor, Sony / Affirms Films and the movie A Beautiful Day Movie.

  1. We know the importance of faithful families but how can we accomplish this in a broken world?
    • Constantly sabotaged with the media, education systems that may not align with our thought, etc.
  2. God created perfection – after each day of creation he said, “it was good,” but after he created man on the sixth day he said, “it is very good.”
    • Man was created in the image and likeness – and it was very good.
  3. Only God will not let us down!

The Bible tells us that

1 Corinthians 13 [Full Chapter]

The Excellence of Love ] If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. …
Genesis 1:27-28
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over every living thing that [b]moves on the earth.
So 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we must have love – and if we don’t have love we are like a noisy gong — and if we have faith to move mountains but don’t have love were are like nothing – and we are told in Genesis 1:28 that we are to be fruitful and multiply. So, we have love and we have a family – husband – wife – kids – inlaws – brothers – sisters – parents – grandparents – extended family and friends, that is when life gets messy.
We mess up and many times we get upset because of what we believe the ideal is – what we see on television, or the movies, or novels, or our best friend’s marriage. We always think the other person has it together – knows what they are doing – is a better parent – a better person, a better everything.
Don’t believe it! It is a lie. I want to do an entire episode on the lies we tell ourselves but in a nutshell – we listen to these lies we tell ourselves but as the author, we can change the script! So change it, believe that God doesn’t create junk. God is amazing, all-powerful, wonderful and such a gentleman – he allows us free will. And since we have this free will we love our families even when there is a mess.

Importance of faithful families

  1. We as a family are a microcosm of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
  2. We are on a special mission as apostles, do we listen to what the Lord is telling us and apply it first to our lives (put on your own oxygen mask0 and then to others.
  3. We are laborers. We are the workers and it is up to the Lord to harvest.

Some people carry around guilt about their status as a family or having a faithful family or a family that loves the Lord. Yes, that is our ideal and we need to strive for this ideal. But, it is up to God to reap the seeds we plant. I know some of us came from broken homes or homes that lacked love or awful things that have happened in the past. But, all good things come from God and we need to pray for those who have hurt us and let go.

Pray and let go!

Faithful families require work – it takes time to pull out the Bible, read stories about Holy men and women of God, look for mentors, those who can lead you such as your church group and pastor. Pray. Pray. Pray. And remember God has this. No matter what this is. If we are faithful and keep our eyes on Jesus it is difficult to see the fault in others.

Faithful Families:

  1. Make God the Lord of your home.
  2. Prioritize prayer – morning and evening prayer.
  3. Pray at meals even when out.
  4. Discuss God and faith as a family.
  5. When all else fails pray and let go.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, we know all things are good, very good at your hands. You will for us is to allow us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to you, but we fail each other, we fail ourselves and most of all we fail you – but through all of this you are love and mercy. You, my God are grace and hope. You are the everlasting light that shines in the darkness. Please, Lord, I ask a blessing upon my family allow them to be faithful, allow them to hope in you to place you first and most of all Lord, allow me to release them into your hands. In the same way, you gave your spirit at your death on the cross to the heavenly Father – we release our hopes, our desires our wants and our dreams to you. Please hear my prayers for those I now pray … and I pray this in Jesus, precious and righteous Name. Amen.

 

Fasting

Fasting | Fasting has never been anything I’ve enjoyed and probably the experience is the same for you. However, it can be redemptive and help us to put into perspective God’s holy will for our lives. | #podcast #christianpodcast #fastingFasting – Episode 114

Fasting has never been anything I’ve enjoyed and probably the experience is the same for you. However, it can be redemptive and help us to put into perspective God’s holy will for our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

Does anyone even fast anymore? That is a question I wonder and ask. As a Catholic, I grew up fasting from meat every Friday. We ate other foods and often they were equally delicious. To this day during the season of Lent, we hold strictly to the no meat rule. For some it is easy and for others, it is not.

Fasting isn’t easy – it isn’t fun and most avoid it or have never fasted in their lives.

Why fast? Well, even Jesus fasted before he began his public ministry and for forty-days. And during this time he was tempted by Satan. Interestingly, Satan used words from Scriptures to make his point and Matthew 4:1-11

Here are some points to consider:

  1. Health benefits
  2. Helps us to remind us to conform to God’s will (why this is important)
  3. To no longer live for himself but for him who loves him and gave himself to us
  4. Unity of the whole person body and should
  5. Helps us to avoid sin
  6. Grow in intimacy with the Lord
  7. Bible talks about fasting
    1. Ester: 4:3
    2. Psalm 35: 13
    3. Daniel 6:16-18
    4. Matthew 17:21 – “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
    5. Acts 13:20

By not eating or denying ourselves nourishment (not drinking coffee, fasting from meat, or having only water, or only bread and water) we allow our souls to be in a position where we are open to listening to Christ to be fed by his saving word. Through fasting in prayer, we become open – we have a hunger that goes beyond food or drink, a hunger to understand and know more about the Almighty. If we fast with the right mindset and heart then it can as the Bible tells us over and over again, be a benefit for us spiritually.

I invite you to try to fast. If you can’t fast from food all day, then fast from a specific thing or fast part of the day, but whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for today and for allowing me to recognize the importance of fasting to get closer to you and I pray for all those who are hurting, all those who cry out to you and need you today Lord. I intercede on their behalf. Teach me how to fast in a way that will help me to understand and love you more. I want to grow in my faith. Dear Lord, I ask specifically for these needs that I have today: and I thank you Lord for being here for me, for listening and for the gift of faith. And, I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

Abundant Harvest

Autumn Harvest | God’s beautiful abundant harvest makes me think that God saved us from death. In this episode, we will discuss God’s mercy and his endless forgiveness for our sins. #podcast #christianpodcastAutumn Harvest God Saved Us From Death  113

God’s beautiful abundant harvest makes me think that God saved us from death. In this episode, we will discuss God’s mercy and his endless forgiveness for our sins.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

When we think of the harvest we think of all the beauty of the leaves, the produce, the fruit. But the harvest means that the leaves have died. The fruit has matured and will not live but be eaten and really while it is beautiful and fulfilling to us – sometimes we don’t realize the sacrifice that happens for us the saving power of God.

God is rich in mercy, we hear this over and over again. By grace, we are saved (SCRIPTURE). In his ultimate mercy God died for us and raised from the dead to leave this world for His true home and ours. Heaven. Read Ephesians 2:8-10

For by grace we are saved through faith – and not from us but from the gift that God gave us – not from works so we might boast but by the handiwork created by God! Lord uses us to plant seeds – but He is the one who harvests.

What does abundant harvest mean to us?

Joy – love – excitement – gifts from God! How can we not shout from the windows of our cars as we are driving by in excitement? Friends we have been adopted into a family of God, during this time of abundant harvest we can look at a world that is in dire need of a Savior a world that is hurting, that is divided were just wearing a hat can set people on edge. Our world needs healing! God saved us from death!

Colossians in a letter to St. Paul – … Spiritual Fullness in Christ  — Colossians 6:-9

We do not need to fear – the battle is not ours to fight. This time of harvest reminds us of this that in death there is the resurrection.

When is the last time you read the Psalms? Listen to Psalm 145 – Read all of it and meditate on the words.

So during this time of harvest let’s keep our eyes upon the Lord and remember his compassion for us – that he is trustworthy in his promises and faithful and he will uphold us – all of us who fall. Let’s pray.

Lord, thank you for this time of harvest and for the beauty of the world you created. Thank you for looking upon me kindly even in the times when what I do is not pleasing to you. I pray for all those ordained that they follow your holy will for their lives and please bring any stray sheep back to the fold. Thank you for your compassion, your promises and for the splendor of your kingdom, I have so much to look forward to. As I continue to live my life allow me to see your kingdom, to see your compassion to see your promises and I ask Lord that you hear the prayers I pray now …And, I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Salvation History & You

Salvation History | Have we considered salvation history in the light of not only what Jesus did for humanity but what Jesus did directly for us? In this episode, we will learn how to apply this to our lives and others. | #podcast #christianpodcast #salvationhistorySalvation History and You Episode 112

Have we considered salvation history in the light of not only what Jesus did for humanity but what Jesus did directly for us? In this episode, we will learn how to apply this to our lives and others.

Thanks to our sponsor: Media Angels.com and Felice Gerwitz on Amazon

The Bible consists of the Old and the New Testament. The first book of the Bible begins in Genesis and ends in Revelations. It is the behind the scenes look at the new heaven and the new earth and at the apex or the center is Christ. This is a story of love – the greatest love of all, the love of God for a humanity that He created, that is fallen. It is the story of God’s promise before Jesus came and about Jesus fulfilling the promise by his life, his death, and His ultimate Resurrection.

Simply put, the salvation of history is the storyline of the beginning of time, the creation of man and the redemption by God. The Bible is this intricate puzzle with many books that seem to be unrelated yet overall paint this amazing picture of our history and God.
When we read the Bible we get a glimpse into the lives of the saints that lived before us, the tragedy and the triumph. It really happened. It isn’t an allegory, a theory or a fluff piece. It is real.

Before God created the world He existed. The Father. The Son. The Spirit. For us it is difficult to imagine an always was – always is and always will be because we are finite people.
And before

History is His – Story, the story of a God who was not made, not created, but who always was and will always be. This amazing creator God wanted to enjoy the universe he created with us. He began our story with our first parents, Adam and Eve.

Before the fall we read a wonderful, idyllic story of our ancestors that lived in this beautiful garden with everything they wanted or needed provided. This was how God planned it. No toil, no sin, no problems.

God created the angels before our first parents – and we learn about their sin in Revelations:

And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: and they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Apocalypse 12:7-9)

We know the story, our first parents sinned and were banned from the garden, from that idyllic place because they were tempted by the devil or Satan. The punishment from God to the enemy was swift yet he did not find mercy from God, but man did. Read 2 Peter 2:4

We do not know the mind of God – from paradise on earth, our parents were condemned. The need for a Savior was born.  Read Genesis 3:15. Then the trouble began and continued throughout history to this present moment and we still need a Savior!

God has not deserted us – God is active in our lives, each and every day. It is the mission of you, of me, of the CHurch to
The history of salvation leads us to be disciples, and bring others the gospel message.

We must understand the beginning to realize the end.

Salvation history forces us to look at the actions of those who went before us, the story of God’s people from God’s point of view. God’s word tells us all about the way he time and again saved the people who cried out to Him.  Do we cry out to God for saving? And if we do, how do we apply what we know not only to our lives but the lives of others? Are we a witness not by word, but by deed? If not we should be.

Let’s pray:

Dear God Almighty the Creator of Heaven and Earth, we thank you for sharing the story of how the world came to be and the history of your people through your point of view. I thank you, God, for giving us this world in which to live, for our family, for our friends, and for those who we will meet in the future. Let us be an example of your kindness, your love, your peace, and your joy. Let us learn from the holy men and women who went before us as well as those who turned their backs on you. Please keep us free from the temptations of the evil one and keep us in your holy mantle of protection. Dear God Almighty we pray for the following:  …  Please hear our prayers and grant them if they are in your Divine Will. I praise you for all you have done in my life and I thank you until I draw my last breath. And, I pray this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

 

 

Faith Journey

Faith Journey | Each of us comes from a different place in our walk with God, but our faith journey typically has some of the same factors. In this episode, we discuss ways to grow in faith. | #podcast #christianpodcast #faithFaith Journey Episode 111

Each of us comes from a different place in our walk with God, but our faith journey typically has some of the same factors. In this episode, we discuss ways to grow in faith.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, and the books and here on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite book? A favorite chair? A favorite television program? What about a favorite song? If you think about it, I’m sure you could answer every single question, but if I asked you the same thing five years ago, the answers might be different. Our solutions change as we change. And, so it is with our faith. Our faith can grow, especially at the beginning when we are excited to learn everything we can, we can’t wait to read the Bible and soak up the Word of God, we love to pray, and we find many of our prayers are answered. It is a time when everything seems glorious, and it is often called the honeymoon period, because similar to a young marriage, everything is bright, new, wonderful, and we are in love! We are in love with Jesus.

Has your relationship with the Lord gotten comfortable? Is it like a favorite recliner or chair? It molds and fits you, but it isn’t the same as when it was new? If we do not work on our relationship even with the Lord, it can stagnate and even in some cases, slide and go backward. We hear of people who lose their faith or their way, and some we might know that we’re on fire for the Lord. Maybe they were preachers or wrote books or even were pretty famous. What happened to them? What made them go from hot to cold?

Yes, life happens, but I believe the same way we nurture a relationship with people we love, we must nurture our relationship with the Lord. So, here are some questions I want you to ask yourself.

  1. Do you become excited when considering reading the Bible, or is it something you do to check off the daily list?
  2. Same question about prayer… excited or just a check in a box?
  3. Same question about quiet time before the Lord.
  4. Same question about attending church.
  5. Same question about your relationship with God.

How do you grow in the Lord without it looking like a to-do list that is done each day out of obligation? Ahh… here it is the real question. The real question is do you know Jesus? Do you know Him? Who is He? Who does He say that He is? If we know Jesus as He knows himself to be (as my pastor says) and love Jesus as He knows Himself to be, then we can’t help but grow in the Lord.

The reality is that life happens, and we get busy, sidetracked, and find that we are spinning our wheels when it comes to faith. Sure, maybe you are well-meaning — I know I am, but I have to admit that I do have a little bit of that “check-off-the-box” mentality. I’m super happy if I make it to Mass each day if I pray on the way and stay in church a little while after to pray some more if I think about God in the car on the way home or play some praise and worship music. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. God knows our hearts!

Today I was joyous. I mean giddy, exicted happy…joyous! And I asked God why. “Why Lord am I feeling so happy?” and I felt the answer was …”No reason, because I love you.”

Friends, we don’t do any of these things for God – we do them for ourselves to grow in our love for the Lord. If you are taking a step, even if it is a tiny step in the direction toward God, that is great! It is wonderful! It is the ideal for you today. Remember, guilt is not from the Lord. It is from the enemy that wants to keep us down.

Does this mean you don’t have to learn, spend time with God, read the Bible, listen to spiritual and uplifting music that praises God? No – of course, you can, but you don’t have to! Your faith journey is unique to you! Your faith journey is your relationship with God. Your faith journey is learning and growing and spending time with the Almighty, the King of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings the Lord of Lords! Who doesn’t want to know more about Him? Who doesn’t want to shout “Jesus Reigns” from the car as we drive by unsuspecting motorists? Yeah, okay – that may be a bit weird, but you get my point.

If you search for the word “faith journey” in any Bible app nothing is going to come up. It is not in Scripture. But, if you search for faith -it shows up 378 times and, the verse that speaks to me is Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:1-8 … Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…(use your Bibles to read more, or go here).

Friends, our journey toward God can be steady and slow, as long as we are moving forward. It is in those times when we pause or outright stop that the enemy can and does attack us. It is in those times that we feel despair and cry out to God, “Do you even hear me?” … yet, I assure you He does. He is here with arms open willing us to walk toward him.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank-you for the gift of faith for it truly is a gift. Please allow us to have the faith of Noah, who built an ark because you commanded it, and the faith of Moses who lead the chosen people out of Egypt, and the faith of all the holy men and women who have gone on before us. Dear Father, give us the faith of the thief on the cross who knew He was a sinner and unworthy of the kingdom, but asked anyway. Please help us in our faith journey to walk ever closer to you, be beside me, Lord for those times I falter and fall. Be beside me, Lord, for those times that I do not know what to say to those who hurt me. Be beside me, Lord and, help me to put one foot in front of the other and continue walking, praying, studying, and listening … please, Lord, hear the prayer I ask for this day… let me grow ever closer to you, and I pray this in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

God’s Timing

God's Timing | God's timing is perfect, this is something we hear about all the time but in reality, when we ask something in prayer we often expect immediate results. In this podcast, we discuss how our time is so different to God's time and ways to let go! | #podcast #christianpodcastGod’s Timing – Episode 110

God’s timing is perfect, this is something we hear about all the time but in reality, when we ask something in prayer we often expect immediate results. In this podcast, we discuss how our time is so different from God’s time and ways to let go!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

We are a society of immediate gratification. We don’t have to haul our water in from the well or farm our own food or any of the things that in the not so recent past our ancestors had to do. My own parents had a garden, and I grow herbs – okay, not quite the same thing, but I buy a plant and plant it – I don’t even use a seed!

So why does it surprise us that when we pray to God we want instant answers? God’s timing is not our timing and His timing is perfect! Yet we lack patience, faith, hope, and we become anxious! How does this happen?

There is a reason our prayers do not have an instant answer. What is it – I don’t know. I’m sure the reason is different for each one of us. Our job is to keep focused, continue to pray and to read your Bible! Stay grounded in God’s Word.

When we become anxious and stressed over God’s timing it is usually because we want the Lord to answer a prayer about a difficult situation or perhaps we are ill and want to be healed. Believe me, I get it!

Does God not know about your situation? Does he not understand. Of course, he does.

Psalm 18: 20 As for God, His way is blameless.

Psalm 31:14-15

We must surrender our needs to him, and we can learn through the waiting. Sometimes the lessons we learn are so much more effective in growing our faith!

Jesus Stills the Sea  —  Mark 4:35-41

Can you imagine what the apostles learned from the calming of the sea? I have a picture in my living room to the right of the TV that depicts this Scripture verse. It is a reminder to wait on Him – on His timing.

And, I want to leave you with a thought. As we are waiting for the perfect timing for the answer to our prayers, please let’s not forget to be thankful in all the prayers He has answered. Take out your praise and thanksgiving journal and write in it — go back and read it, see? He has answered prayers in His perfect time.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, Your timing is perfect. I know that you have everything in the palm of your hand. That you know the time and place of everything that we worry and stress about, and I ask that you help to let to go and let God into my life in a deeper way. Thank you for fulfilling all of my needs. Thank you for giving me my daily bread. Thank you for giving me the very things I need, just when I need them. You are the God of perfection and I ask you to allow me to rest in You. Thank you for providing for all I pray for today … I know you have the perfect time to answer all of these prayers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Christian Hope

Christian Hope | What is the difference between hope and Christian hope? Do we hope in what we want, or do we hope in God's will for our life? We explore this theme today. | #podcast #christianpodcastChristian Hope – Episode 109

What is the difference between hope and Christian hope? Do we hope in what we want, or do we hope in God’s will for our life? We explore this theme today.

Hope in Christ – it is already accomplished – God’s will has been done, it is finished. So we can go on with our lives and not worry about anything. Don’t you wish it were that easy?

Our hope is that our “will be done” that God answers our prayers the way we want our outcome to be. Just think about this – it is humbling. We “hope” things go our way.

The Garden of Gethsemane – Matthew 26:36-46

How do we hope in a seemingly hopeless world? How do we hope when we are depressed – lonely – or feel abandoned?

Some pastors teach that if we pray it – believe it – it will come. And if the prayers are not answered, we then lose hope and think the Lord has abandoned us!

Christian Hope – is different. While we hope for the Lord’s will in my life – yet not as I will, but as You will.”  We still hope for the best possible outcome.

As I record this it is 9-11 and it is a horrific time in American history when we had a terrorist attack on American soil. As I listened to reports of what was expected in the death toll from the Twin Towers, the estimates for 14-15K because of the number of people believed to be in the building.

One death is too many, but the numbers were way, way less than was predicted. We read so many miracle stories. We see the hand of God, we see that even those who went to rescue the fallen were never the same.

Yet we continue to believe. We continue to hope.

We read in Psalm 121. 

Romans 8:24-25

We don’t know the answers, but … we read in Isaiah 38:18 New International Version (NIV)

For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

Yet then we read in Lamentations 3:17-20 New International Version (NIV)

Romans 8:23-30

Christian hope is when we read about what God has promised within the pages of the Bible—within the knowledge that God is never changing, within the trust that God never lies—His word is inspired, true and without error.

1 Peter 1:13-16

Let’s Pray!

Lord thank you for Christian hope and the knowledge that when we trust in you our trust is secure, we are confident you hear our prayers and you will answer them according to Your will for our lives. We know we will mess up and only you are holy and worthy of every good thing, yet we love you Lord and we do hope in you. where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth and I am glad and praise Your Name for this promise. Dear Lord, please hear the prayers we ask now and those in our hearts… and I pray this in the hope that is in Christ. Amen.

OverStimulated Christians

Overstimulated Christians | Christian information is everywhere, on our phones, on television and the radio and we become overstimulated Christians! In this episode, we will look at our relationship with God | #podcast #christianpodcastOverstimulated Christians – Episode 108

Christian information is everywhere, on our phones, on television and the radio and we become overstimulated Christians! In this episode, we will look at our relationship with God, and how to in doing things to get closer we sometimes end up being further away.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

We get information everywhere, everyone has a blog, a book, a podcast. In addition each day:

  1. We have our devotions
  2. Our prayers
  3. Our prayer books
  4. We pray at church

Do we do the right things but do they feed our soul? Think about that? This thought hit me hard. Each morning I like to go to Mass if I can and on the way there, I will pray, then at church I pray, then after church on the way home I will pray. Sometimes I listen to praise and worship music, which really does bring me joy. And, by the time I get home around 8:30 I feel pretty good, but am I feeling good because I’ve spent time with God or because of what I did?

Many times we do things to check them off the list. Not consciously – I do them because I want to spend time with God, but at times I do think I’m heading at least on the right path. However, it is always good to look at our motives.

But the question is are you doing your “devotions” or are you “devoted to God?”

  1. Spend time in the Word but meditate on the words.
  2. God talks to us in The Bible
  3. God’s word is a two-edged sword

Hebrews 4:12 [Full Chapter]
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Psalm 149:6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,

We can do a quick check on our motivation for learning and filling our lives with good things, but maybe not the best things God has for us.

  1. How do you feel after praying? Are you elated or stressed because you’ve put other important things off. If you are elated – good, right path if you are stressed… look at your motivation.
  2. Do you pray because you want to spend time with God or because you feel you have to?
  3. Spend a few minutes analyzing your motivation.

This was a wake-up call to me – I tend to get over-committed and oversaturated in trying to learn all that I can, and sometimes the quiet, the time listening to God or being still in His presence is more than I can hope for! It is what fills me and brings me joy. Joy is a decision sometimes – it is a commitment to live out our lives praising the One who created us.

We can be overcommitted even by spending too much time with friends, having to fill our days with chatter and noise with things that are not important in the grand scheme of things! Our hearts should belong to the Lord. And our time is His as well.

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you that you open my eyes each and every day to the times I become overstimulated and overcommitted. I ask you to bring me the peace, the love and the joy that I crave. Dear Lord still my soul, allow me to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding today. Right now. This very second. Bring me the peace and the joy that I need … and allow it to permeate my life. I ask you Lord for the prayers that I now pray for those near to me or for my own special intentions … Dear Jesus thank you for clearing out the cobwebs of my mind and bringing the light that is You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Asking God

Ask God | Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way. | #podcast #christianpodcast #askGodAsking God – Episode 107

Thy will be done in heaven as on earth is a form of asking God in prayer to guide our life. But is it that simple? Welcome to A Few Minutes with God, where we delve into the scriptures in a practical way.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels and the books A Few Minutes with God and One More Child. You can find more information about both titles on Media Angels or Amazon.

So many times we begin the day with our to-do list running in our heads and frantic with all the things we need to do each day. I found myself in this mess in the not too distant past and I finally had to reevaluate my life as I found myself unintentionally clenching the insides of my mouth as I silently stressed over things I could not avoid and had no control over.

As a Christian, I carried on the guilt that I was not living up to the ideal. All Christians are happy they walk with inspiration from the Lord and have a ready smile for all they meet. Sure, that was me on occasion but more times than not I hid behind the discontent. I was frankly too busy.

Well fast-forward to today and I am still extremely busy but guess what, I’ve learned from my past mistakes the biggest one? I forgot to ask God.

  1. I forgot to ask God if I should take then next big project.
  2. I forgot to ask God if I should implement the “great idea” I had about work.
  3. I forgot to ask God about the little things as well as the bigger things.

Friends, you have often heard me say, “Pray about this, or pray about that…” and now I am reminding me and you that this is necessary!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned James 4:3 before, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Or James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

We all know talkers, and I am one of those, but if we don’t do what we recommend then we are as bad as those who do not believe. Many people want to say that faith is a one time commitment to the Lord and a one time decision, and to some extent it is, but if we do not walk in faith or do the good works that the Lord has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10 -For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.) then we are talking the walk and not walking the talk.

James 4:7-8 is another wonderful example of asking God.

Friends, study James there is so much wisdom in that book as well as all the books in Scripture – it is not only for teaching but for blessing us and bringing the Christian faith to us in a very real way.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, please remind us daily to ask you for our daily bread, our daily needs and to test all things first through you. Dear Lord, we humbly come before you and ask that you use each one of us as you have called us to be lovers of the word and to increase our faith each day. Pour out your blessings upon us and upon those who we now pray … I praise you Jesus for every great thing and I pray this in your blessed Name, Amen!

 

Food From Heaven

Food From Heaven | Are Christian's suffering from malnutrition? Food from heaven is the only food that sustains us in the spiritual sense, but how do we go from hearing the Word to doing what the Word says? In this episode, we will explore these concepts and more. | #podcast #christianpodcast #spiritualfoodFood From Heaven – Episode 106

Are Christian’s suffering from malnutrition? Food from heaven is the only food that sustains us in the spiritual sense, but how do we go from hearing the Word to doing what the Word says? In this episode, we will explore these concepts and more.

Thanks to our Sponsor A Few Minutes with God ~

Please check out my books and products – my other podcast Life

We are fed in many ways – our physical bodies with the food we eat, and how long could we go without food? Sometimes three times a day isn’t enough and we need or crave snacks. We feed our spiritual bodies with faith, the Word of God in the Bible, and listening or reading what others have to say, our pastors, voices out there who are Christian leaders.

But still, we are suffering from spiritual malnutrition we are missing that food from heaven. If I asked you to describe physical hunger you could do that, but what about spiritual hunger?

Ask yourselves these questions:

  1. Have I craved the Word of God?
  2. Do I feel lost without praying?
  3. Do I feel empty if I do not “do” my devotionals?
  4. Do I “do” my devotionals (prayer time, praying, listening to God, studying the Word, etc.) to feel better or because it feeds me?
  5. Do I sometimes feel lost like I am floundering?

These questions are meant to make you think. Not to feel guilty (repeat!)

Let’s listen to the bread of life discourse from the author, Jesus himself. Read John 6:25-59

We don’t lack food from heaven – we don’t lack hearing the Word of God – we hear many different interpretations from pastors, and from those who read the Word in private.

However, if you are a Catholic you believe the bread of life is in the Eucharist which is why it is available at every Mass, every day, and all over the world in every Catholic Church. It is the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and I can tell you that often even Catholics only believe it is symbolic. The manna the Israelites ate was a precursor – a bodily food that showed, it was evidence of food from heaven, basically a miracle to keep the people from starving. The food we receive now is miraculous as well but in a spiritual sense.

God is calling us – a call to change.

God is all around us. We see Him in creation, in every good thing, what we lack is doing something about what we hear, what we learn, and that is something we should take to heart.

Are we changed? The word of God is like a two-edged sword, are we changed and challenged after hearing it?

How can we improve upon ourselves and our lack of fulfillment? We are malnourished in the sense of always looking for the next best thing, people often fill their lives with meanless chatter, events, and possessions but we all know those things do not fulfill us. The happiness of things is fleeting.

We have the Word of God all around us – but what we lack is the implementation of truth in our lives and in our hearts. If we truly have this food from heaven we can never be hungry. God promises!

Believers have malnutrition, we have the word which feeds us spiritually but we must do what we need to move forward.

It is time to be in the Word and to walk by faith and not by sight! That is the topic of another podcast coming soon. Faith in the unseen, because if we could see it, would it be called faith?

We must seek God and continue to seek only Him!

As a reminder, this podcast seeks to encourage you toward a deeper relationship with God. I ask questions often, and while I share my thoughts, I want you to grow in your walk with the Lord in this episode I feel we are scratching the surface on a deeper issue and that is how everything else is more important to “feeding” us in a temporal sense – a here and now, rather than an everlasting sense.

Let’s Pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, you are the Bread of Life, the food from heaven. You are the one and only God, there is no other, and I praise You and only You and I worship You – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I ask you, Lord, to fill me with wisdom, understanding, and peace as I seek you in a deeper way. Let me put Your words in Holy Scripture in my heart and allow me to change as you would have me change for the better. I can not do this on my own Lord and I need your help. I ask you Lord for the prayers and petitions that I now ask for… I ask that you give us your love, your peace and your joy as we continue to pray and ask and seek you, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Christian Ministry

Christian Ministry | Have you considered volunteering in a Christian Ministry? In today’s episode, we discuss why ministry work is important and ways to pray to the Lord for help in leading you. | #podcast #christianpodcastChristian Ministry — Episode 105

Have you considered volunteering in a Christian Ministry? In today’s episode, we discuss why ministry work is important and ways to pray to the Lord for help in leading you.

Sponsor: MediaAngels.com

Recently on a trip, I met two very sweet nuns. It is often that you see nuns wearing a habit and so, they pretty much stand out. One, in particular, caught my eye and she seemed to have that peace of Christ. She had a smile on her face and looked so inviting that I fell into easy conversation with her. She told me she wasn’t always Catholic and actually had a late calling to become a nun. I was so taken by her story that I asked her if I could interview Sr. Cecilia at some point for the One More Child Podcast and she said yes! So, I hope to do that soon.

That started me thinking. Here is this lady who has given her life to Christ and is by worldly standards “giving up everything,” to serve in a life of ministry. One of our family friends’ oldest son is a Catholic priest and we knew him as a young boy. He was a good student, started out homeschooling and then into a private Catholic high school, went to college and then, God called him. He said that when he was twelve he told us he wanted to be a priest but no one took him seriously. He had a bright future and he too “gave up everything,” to serve the Lord.

Do we give up everything when we serve? I don’t believe we do because as I am sure you know, you can’t out give God. Try it!

Ministry in a way is framed in Scripture with hospitality. We read of times when the Lord appeared or showed himself to those such as Abraham.

Abraham greets three stranger and gives them a wonderful meal – A and S did not know this was the Lord until he predicted that Sarah would bear a son (well past her childbearing years)

Later we read that Martha and Mary open their home to the Lord and his disciples – Mary listens to Jesus and Martha does the work – yet each serves God in their own way.

Last week we spoke about desiring God in our lives – more of God and less of us – and the love of God changes our hearts! We read in the Bible about how God showed us this love in serving others.

Have you asked yourself how you can serve God? Is there a Christian ministry that needs your help? I’m part of a women’s ministry, Magnificat that hosts a prayer breakfast four times a year. At this breakfast, we open our hearts to the women who attend, we have music and we sing praises to God and then we pray, we listen to a speaker who tells us their testimony about what God has done in their lives. Not so they can boast but so that they can point to the Lord and say, see where I am now thanks be to God.

Every time I attend I feel a stronger pull and call to serve God. We see examples of today of ministries. There are Christian ministries serve in nursing homes, they take communion to the people there, they set up prayer times and visit with the people.

We see those who serve in ministry to help bring the word of God whether in testimonies – This is what God has done in my life – or teachings that will allow us to make life changes and want to also be open to hospitality.

There are people who write books, who give talks, who host podcasts. Of course, when we think of ministry we think of those who go into the “mission field” to bring Christ to people in foreign countries.

Christian ministry can be as simple as a smile to a stranger, a smile to someone at church or even baking a bit extra to give a neighbor or friend. If we love the Lord we will open our hearts to serve those around us in any way that we can.

Look at the time you have and also your gifts. What do you have to offer? Sometimes a smile and a love for the Lord is enough! I remember one time praying that God uses me to bring more people to him… kids little … at home… no time. Repair people, cleaning people, bug guy!

Take some time and open your journal and ask God:

  1. Do you want me to serve you in Christian Ministry?
  2. How do you want me to serve?
  3. Bring me opportunities
  4. Open the doors
  5. Show me which ones to walk in!

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord you have called each one of us by name. You have asked us to make disciples of all nations, and while I have little to offer I give you the little I have. Please God, use me in this time of confusion, in this time of hardship and heartbreak. We live in a hurting world Lord, please use us to bring love and peace in your precious Name. Lord I ask for the following: (pray here). Lord, I praise you among all Names, and I thank you for every good thing and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Desiring God

Desiring God | Above all things desiring God is the key to our happiness. Or do you look at cheap substitutions and find yourself feeling lacking? In this episode, we will discuss how our desire for God can make us whole and realize what we are missing in our lives. | #podcast #christianpodcastDesiring God – Episode 104

Above all things desiring God is the key to our happiness. Or do you look at cheap substitutions and find yourself feeling lacking? In this episode, we will discuss how our desire for God can make us whole and realize what we are missing in our lives.

Sponsor! Overcomer Movie

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In the episodes of AFMWG Podcast, we’ve talked about spending time with God in prayer, in the word, and in silence. In this way, we can grow in our relationship with Him. But we are busy, life has a way of throwing us curves and we find ourselves overwhelmed many times and ready to channel surf or mindlessly check social media accounts.

Talking To God In Prayer takes persistence ~ Desiring God Is A Choice

We talk to God, when we read the Bible, we try to listen to that still, small voice. We are not blessed to walk with God as Adam and Eve did, or talk to God as Abraham did, and the prophets who heard the Lord, clearly and distinctly.

When we think about persistence we think about Abraham asking God to spare Sodom and Gomora – over and over again reducing the number until it was down to 10. Unfortunately for the people only four survived, Lot his wife, and his two daughters (until his wife turned back to look after being warned not to – and the Bible says she turned into a pillar of salt) and then only three survived, Lot and his two daughters, because the people had hardened their hearts against God.

When God gives us a warning we must listen, and his justice –  We can never know the mind of God – we can read the Bible but sometimes what we read is puzzling which is why we need:

  1. Quiet and prayer first.
  2. Pray to the Holy Spirit ~ who will help us! Just ask
  3. Good pastor or spiritual counselor.

Why is this? Desiring God doesn’t necessarily mean we understand his ways. For example,  why didn’t God get angry when Abraham asked him over and over again to spare Sodom and Gomora? This evil was spreading and spreading to everyone who entered and set foot, yet God listened to Abraham’s prayer.

Jesus showed us how to talk to the Lord and how to pray – the Lord’s Prayer.

Jesus told us to call, God – “Father,” and no matter what your relationship is with your Father – God is a God of blessings.

Jesus illustrates the persistence

With a relationship, with a desire to know God, we understand that the source of all we need centers on God. If we fill our time with cheap substitutes we learn, rather quickly that it leaves us feeling lacking.

Many times our desire for God centers around our need to have prayers answered. If you pray and the Lord hasn’t answered you do you give up? We know God hears all of our prayers – even those we have in our hearts and are afraid to ask! If you give up then you are not serious in their request, and how can I say that? I don’t know you do I? I can say that because I know that God is all good, all-knowing and His generosity and mercy is immense. He has gifted us with the gifts through the Holy Spirit! I was able to interview an author of a book on the Holy Spirit who had some amazing insight, and I can’t wait to share that interview with you.

We desire God because we are commanded to love God.

Greatest Commandment is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as your self…

Knowing things in our hearts, memorizing Scripture, doing works of charity and mercy all bring us closer to God and it is the desire and faith that changes our hearts.

Moses realized when he spoke to the people about God’s commandments – Deuteronomy 30:14 – “It is something very near to you…in your hearts.”

What better way is there to know something than by heart – to commitment things to memory. Whether it is prayers, or whether it is memorizing the Scriptures. When we have things in our hearts, we open our hearts to the words and it becomes part of our life, it molds our life and changes it – hopefully for the better!

But can we apply these things to our own lives?

We all know the story of the Good Samaritan the story of someone who goes out of their way for someone that they don’t know. The story is of the man who helped the person left to die on the side of the street after being victimized, we see people walk by who are the very people who should help this man, but they do not. These people walk on the other side of the road to avoid the victim.

Yet this story is one of the most popular because we find that the person who should be the one the least likely to help turns out to be the person who helps.

There were many major religious difference between the Samaritans and the Jews, but the parable teaches a greater truth, and that is the focus of the law over love.

Caution here – we hate the sin but love the sinner. We are not the ones to condemn, we leave it up to God. I feel that people use situations in the Bible to fit their own preconceived notion of how things should be. That is an error.

The story has a great impact on our lives and makes us think – it stretches us – it is how we should feel when we read the Word of God – we should want to be changed for the better. Deut. 30:10 … Moses asks the people to return to God with all your heart. Can we do this, especially with prayer?

If God’s will is in your heart so that you can desire Him, then you will know what to do in difficult situations, in times when there is nowhere else to turn but to God for the answers, when things are out of our control. You cannot help but follow God when times are difficult because you’re the desire for God has increased your faith and He has changed your heart.

Desiring God can increase with:

  1. Pray – make time each day.
  2. Scripture
  3. Sing to the Lord
  4. Journal
  5. Listen

I know friends, nothing new, but if we do not practice these things we will become stagnant and empty and seek things that will not make us happy!

Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, you are the provider of every good thing, I ask God for a desire for you – I want more of you Father, more of you in my life. Increase my desire to know you, love you and do all things that bring you glory. Dear Lord thank you for today and all you have given me, even those things that are hard and I do not feel I can carry. I don’t need to worry because I know that you have me in the palm of your hand. Thank you, Father, and please hear the prayers I am asking for and I will continue to pray with the faith of Abraham who asked over and over again. I pray for the following…

And I pray this in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Jesus Amen.

Transforming Faith

Transforming Faith | Do you have a transforming faith? A faith that withstands persecution or a faith that would leave everything behind to follow God? We have many excuses for following God The disciples left everything, family, and home to follow Jesus. In this episode we will discuss following God will transform us. | #podcast #christianpodcastTransforming Faith – Episode 103

Do you have a transforming faith? A faith that withstands persecution or a faith that would leave everything behind to follow God? We have many excuses for following God The disciples left everything, family, and home to follow Jesus. In this episode we will discuss following God will transform us.

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Friends, let’s be real here – we are attached to the things of this world, our homes, our sense of security and of course comfort, and every technological toy that helps us in our daily lives. And, why shouldn’t we be attached? We are living in this present age, right? We should have the things we need to survive.

In Matthew 8:20, Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

Jesus left home to preach, teach and heal. He was sent by the Father. He called simple men to follow him, and they did. Once the men followed they changed, they learned, they became transformed.

Faith will transform us! We see it in the lives of the disciples, and that God equips those He calls. Did they get it right the first time? No, it was over and over again.

What hits home is when we read that not all those who were called followed. Why?

Some had good reasons – one had to bury his father, one wants to say goodbye to his family, and we know the point being made is that follow Jesus requires total commitment. Like Elisha Jesus’ disciples are called to leave everything behind – even home.

In Luke 9:60 we read – Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

We are asked to leave everything and follow him. The question is can we? The next question to ask is do we follow him in our daily lives?

Friends, when I think about what the disciples went through I am amazed and in awe, but then I remember, again that God equips those He calls.

Luke 10:3 – Jesus sends his disciples “like lambs among wolves.”  Jesus asked the disciples to depend on the kindness of strangers, as they travel without belongings or money. If people did not welcome them they were to dust off your feet their feet –

Luke 10:9-11

 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

So many people think that Christianity means, “what you give up.” No. This is an untruth. Christianity is all-inclusive, it is about redemption, but remember it is about the cross as well. Faith in the power of the cross, the redemptive power of Christ’s crucifixion for our sins – not the sins of our neighbor’s but our sins.

How can you thank someone who died for you? For the sins that you committed yesterday, today and tomorrow? We become new with our Christian faith and it is transforming faith.

The door is open and everyone is able to receive salvation – yet are we willing or do we have excuses. Yes, we can be laborers for the kingdom, this means to our neighbors to our friends to those who have hurt us the most. We forgive as we are forgiven. We are transformed.

Let’s pray. Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for today, for all the blessings and for those blessings that are yet to come. I thank you your provision, for keeping us safe, for protecting marriages Lord, for coming against the evil one who wants to harm us and to break up marriages. I thank you for all the things you have done that I do not know about…and Lord I ask that you give me transforming faith, the faith that allows me to leave behind the old creation and become a new creation in Christ. Dear Lord, I ask for the following prayers … please, Lord, I ask that you help those I pray for that you help me and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

WRAP Yourself in Scripture

Wrap Yourself In Scripture | What happens when you wrap yourself in Scripture? You will find yourself in a closer relationship with God! Why wait? Learn what the acronym WRAP means and some great resources to get you started. | #podcasat #christian podcast Wrap Yourself In Scripture Episode 102

What happens when you wrap yourself in Scripture? You will find yourself in a closer relationship with God! Why wait? Learn what the acronym WRAP means and some great resources to get you started.

Opening nationwide on August 23, OVERCOMER dares to leave you filled with hope, inspired to dream, and asks the question: what do you allow to define you?

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Great Resource!

Where to find the book ~ WRAP Yourself in Scripture by Karen Dwyer

There are many ways to pray and prayer is different for each person. Some people pray with words, others are with the Lord listening to his small, still, voice and others may sing or talk to the Lord as if they were talking to a friend. Prayer is two-way communication with the Lord. In this way, we are able to grow closer to God.

Recently I attended a conference and heard Karen Dwyer speak, and was really blessed. In one of the books she wrote, she explained a concept about called WRAP, wrap yourself in Scripture. I felt that this process helped me to not only read the scriptures but to allow the words to touch my heart in a deeper way. Reading the scriptures allows us to be in fellowship with God and brings us joy. We should want a deeper encounter with the Almighty God in daily prayer.

Wrap stands for:

  • W stands for Write
  • R stands for Reflect
  • A stands for Apply
  • P stands for Praise

According to Dwyer, the WRAP process takes the same skills we use when we worry and transfers to prayer. She goes into this in detail in her book. But this process really works!

I think what I found the most encouraging is that she said we should spend time after reading the scriptures to allow the Lord to love us! Just think of it! We know God loves us unconditionally. But when we pause after reading the scriptures and try to seek what the Lord is telling us from His word, we are allowing His love to flow upon us! What a blessing!

There is power in prayer, in praise and in reading scriptures. Our Lord Jesus quoted the scriptures many times. The scriptures were memorized and made part of their lives. Do we memorize the Word? Do we commit verses to mind so that we can recall them in times of darkness when we need the Lord the most?

In order to wrap ourselves in scripture, we need to make an effort, and as in past podcasts, I’ve discussed setting aside time, using a prayer journal, finding a good place that is quiet to read the Bible and to pray. These are simple directions in how to get the most out of your time with God.

Let’s pray.

Dear heavenly Father, we praise you and we thank you for every good thing in our life and in the lives of those around us. We thank you for all the people who never appreciate or thank you for what you have done in their lives.

Power of Praise

Power of Praise | The power of praise is amazing! It can uplift your spirits in a way that nothing else can. Want to feel like you are touching heaven? Praise God. In this episode, Felice shares the amazing power of praise and ways you can use this in your own life. | #podcast #christianpodcastPower of Praise Episode 101

The power of praise is amazing! It can uplift your spirits in a way that nothing else can. Want to feel like you are touching heaven? Praise God. In this episode, Felice shares the amazing power of praise and ways you can use this in your own life.

Thanks to our sponsor – Overcomer the Movie! In theatres at the end of August 2019 but guess what? The video is available afterward as well. This is one of the must-see movies for families (who love sports) of the year.

I just came back from a Christian conference and it was amazing. Yes, the talks were great, the setting was wonderful. It was a split between time to have quiet and pray, worship, listen to amazing speakers, pray as a group, visiting wonderful churches and sampling the local cuisine. I even rode in my first non-taxi! But even with all the wonderful things that happened was praising God in a large group. This group was an International Ministry with leaders from around the world and we were all singing praises to Jesus! Our Lord and Our God.

One of the greatest books I read on the power of praise was written by Merlin R. Carothers, Power in Praise. It is a life changer if you have never read it. I purchased this book in bunches of five to ten. While Mr. Carothers is no longer alive he was such a powerhouse. I was on his mailing list and even received an email from him after he died!

When we praise God we are keeping the first of the Ten Commandments. “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.”
It puts our eyes back where it belongs, on God. We forget our problems.
It makes the enemy flee! The devil hates our praise, evil can not stand when we praise and thank God. Feeling depressed? Praise God. Try it. Praise reminds that we need God. God will bless us

Psalms 100:4 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

Here is an example of a litany of praise.

  • Praise you, Jesus.
  • I thank you, Lord Jesus.
  • You are the King of Kings.
  • You are the Lord of Lord.
  • You are the Bright Shining Star.
  • You are the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.

You can add to this and it will, I promise to change your life.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I thank you for all that you do. Please help us to worship you in praise, there is power in praise and it lifts us to the gates of heaven and beyond. I love you, Lord. I worship you, Lord. You are the Creator of the Universe and all that is in it – and you are the Almighty God. Dear Lord, in humility I come before you and lay out all of my petitions to you… I place them in your most competent and loving hands. Please Lord, if it is for my eternal good and those that I pray for, please answer my prayers… Thank you God for giving me the ultimate gift, the gift of faith, salvation and I pray, someday eternal life with you.

 

Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual Discernment ~ Episode 100

Spiritual Discernment | The gift of spiritual discernment is one we all need! It allows us to see the truth to avoid darkness and to be ready for what is in store for those who love the Lord. | #podcast #christianpodcast #spiritualgifts #UCPNThe gift of spiritual discernment is one we all need! It allows us to see the truth to avoid darkness and to be ready for what is in store for those who love the Lord!

Welcome to AFMWG – this is a milestone episode for me – 100! When I began this podcast I had a handful of listeners and I believed the Lord wanted me to continue, even if I could fit all of you in my living room! However, as this show has grown in the number of listeners I am blessed by the power of God and some of you have given me feedback on what this show means to you – thank-you. If the Lord has helped me to help one person then this show has been worth it.

How do you connect to me? Via social media – we have a FB group for this network, look for the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network. You can also comment on our website at AFewMinutesWithGodPodcast.com – each show has it’s own post where we are open for comments.

And, please share this podcast with a friend to keep us growing and give me a star rating on your favorite podcast app. Thank you again for being a listener.

Thanks to our sponsor OvercomerMovie.com

I was chatting with some moms that were talking about seeing a miraculous manifestation. Some thought it looked evil, others thought it was a miracle, a sign from God. Friends, in this case, we need discernment. Why did God perform miracles? He did this to increase the faith of those who saw Him do this, it is to increase our own personal faith. The importance of the gift of discernment could take up the next ten episodes of A Few Minutes With God Podcast! The gift of discernment keeps us from evil. Discernment allows us to see right and wrong, it allows us to recognize a sign that is not from God.

Back when I was learning about the gifts of the Holy Spirit the one gift I didn’t want was anything that had to do with discerning evil. I was young in my missionary walk with the Lord, in other words, I believed I loved the Lord and followed Him, but it was a personal journey – I would never consider doing a podcast or ever talking about anything religious in any sense of the word! Why didn’t I want the gift? Because I was afraid of evil. When we are strong in the Lord there is no need to fear. My mother use to say the devil was the size of an ant and the Lord the size of the entire world, and she is right! Jesus has already won the battle, and he has been victorious so what do we need to fear?

Holy Spirit Podcast here

There was an instance in my life when I met a person and I could sense evil. Don’t ask me how, I could, and it made me shudder. I warned one of my son’s about this person because he had to work closely with her on a ranch and he was very kind and could easily be swayed. Some things happened that caused him to feel the intuition I had was right and he came to me to talk about it, it turned out leaving a job was the best way to deal with the situation.

This “feeling” or “intuition” or gift has happened to me time and time again. It is something you can pray for and ask the Lord to give us and you will find it is one of the biggest blessings!

Starting with 1 Kings 3:11 when God said to Solomon that he didn’t ask for riches, or for the life of his enemies but for discernment to know what is right all the way to 1 Corinthians 12:10 discernment has been sought after by followers.

Proverbs 16:21 – The wise of heart is esteemed for discernment, and pleasing speech gains a reputation for learning.

1 John 5:20 – We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

In 1 Corinthians the gifts of the Holy Spirit are layed out and especially in 10 we read, “…to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.”

To grow in the gifts of discernment we need to pray for the help of the Holy Spirit, ask for the spiritual gifts of knowledge and understanding, and continue to read and study the Scriptures. Get connected to a church, and be sure to keep your eyes on Christ.

Friends, these gifts strengthen us in our walk with the Lord!

Let’s Pray For the Gift of Spiritual Discernment

Dear Father, I ask for an infilling of Your Holy Spirit, please give me the gift of discernment, please help me on my spiritual journey and I ask for the following prayer intentions… Father if it is in your will please answer my prayers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Holy Spirit | The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and free and available to all. At Pentecost, the disciples were able to speak in different languages and those who heard them understood. | #podcast #christianpodcast #holyspiritGifts of the Holy Spirit Episode 99

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and free and available to all. At Pentecost, the disciples were able to speak in different languages and those who heard them understood. The disciples were taught by the Holy Spirit in other ways as well, by reminding them what Jesus had taught them. Remember, they learned from the Lord but often did not understand what he meant. (John 14:26) We even read passages where Mary buried things in her heart. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Luke 2:19

The Holy Spirit allowed them to remember and bring God’s word with them wherever they went and any time they wanted it, it was available to them to use as they became missionaries for the Lord. I once read an analogy of how the information we have today available to us at a push of a button via our cell phones is similar to what the apostles must have felt when they had access to the gifts of the spirit.

Starting with 1 Kings 3:11 when God said to Solomon that he didn’t ask for riches, or for the life of his enemies but for discernment to know what is right all the way to 1 Corinthians 12:10 discernment has been sought after by followers.

Proverbs 16:21 – The wise of heart is esteemed for discernment, and pleasing speech gains a reputation for learning.

1 John 5:20 – We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

What is impactful is the following verse in 1 Corinthians 1:10 – “…to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. ”

Holy Spirit Podcast here

Please read all of 1 Corinthians 12 –

The overall purpose was to teach the believers that when they were pagans they were attracted to the way of the idols and that it was difficult to resist sin. god sent us the Holy Spirit so that we could use these gifts, which are many to be steadfast, to have wisdom and discernment.

1 Corinthians 12, verse four talks about the different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel
Fortitude
Knowledge
Piety
Fear of the Lord

Wisdom is considered the first and the greatest of the gifts.

Understanding helps us to realize the importance of God as the Almighty, opens our eyes to the spiritual and allows us to read and understand Scripture

Fortitude has to do with courage, and also endurance

Knowledge: The gift of knowledge allows one, as far as is humanly possible, to see things from God’s perspective. It “allows us to perceive the greatness of God and his love for his creatures” through creation.[24]

Piety is the awe of God and the understanding of our own weaknesses – this virtue can be overused in the sense of condemning others and become judgemental.

Fear of the Lord is an understanding of the awesomeness of Almighty God.

 

Promises To Abraham

Promises To Abraham | When we read Genesis we learn, soon after the fall that all is not lost. We have hope in the promises to Abraham, from God. All is not lost and we know that through Abraham came the lineage to David and through David the lineage to Joseph and in essence to Jesus. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastPromises To Abraham – Episode 98

When we read Genesis we learn, soon after the fall that all is not lost. We have hope in the promises to Abraham, from God. All is not lost and we know that through Abraham came the lineage to David and through David the lineage to Joseph and in essence to Jesus.

We learn so many things, yet one fact remains, Abraham (Abram) doubted. It resonates with me and it should resonate with all of us that we as a fallen people can not possibly understand the mind of God. God entrusts man to carry on His will and man in turns often fails. Even those who are considered by scripture to be righteous.

Promises to Abraham:

  1. Fear not (echoes what the angel Gabriel told Mary – “Fear not…”)
  2. The Word of God came to Abram
  3. A servant would not be his heir but his own flesh and blood.
  4. “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5)
  5. Genesis 15:18 “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates.”
  6. God’s promise and blessings were to be upon Isaac who would be blessed with a huge lineage as well. (Isaac’s name would be changed to Israel and the Twelve Tribes of Israel was his heritage.)

God’s Promises To Abraham

God’s promises to Abraham still come even though Abram did not wait! While it is difficult for us to understand this since our ways are so different now, it was acceptable back then to take on other “wives.” Sarai his wife told him to sleep with her slave, Hagar and Abram agreed.
God protected Hagar because she carried the son of Abraham. The angel appeared to her in the desert and told her she would name her son Ishmael.

This is one of the hardest things for me to read, that Abram who heard directly from God did not wait upon the Lord. Friends, how often do we do this? Not wait even though we know we should? This is something to meditate upon and journal. The entire section of the Bible that deals with Abraham and his life is filled with mishap, sometimes lies and always forgiveness from God.

The promises to Abraham include Abraham’s request, God agreed to bless Ishmael He would be the father of twelve rulers and he agreed to make him into a great nation.
But God’s covenant was for Abraham and the blessings would ultimately fall upon Isaac (Israel).

We learn about God’s ways as He “cleans” house by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah.

God’s judgment is always rooted in truth and righteousness.

The key in these scriptures for me is to wait upon the Lord. Remembering that His time is not our time.

Mary Mother of Jesus

Mary Mother of Jesus | Mary, Mother of Jesus is known throughout humanity, nations and time. We can learn so much from her! Most Christians know her name and read about her in the Bible. | #podcast #christianpodcast #MadonnaMary Mother of Jesus – Episode 97

Mary, Mother of Jesus is known throughout humanity, nations and time. We can learn so much from her! Most Christians know her name and read about her in the Bible. She receives a staring role in the New Testament that begins with humble roots, becomes elevated by her, “Yes,” to the Angel, Gabrielle – the spokesperson for Almighty God and culminates in the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thanks to our sponsor, Bridgestone Academy.  Learn more information at HomeschoolAcademy.com

Why are we discussing Mary – as I record this it isn’t anywhere near Christmas when people consider Mary’s part in redemption history as they set out a Nativity scene perhaps to commemorate the birth of Christ. Yet, I believe that Mary is more than that and we need to take a closer look. She is a kindred spirit. She suffered as we suffer, she felt compassion, loved, trusted God and she is our example.

Mary is known by many names, she is known as Mary Mother of Jesus, she is known as the Virgin Mary, as Theotokos in Greek  -Mary Mother of Jesus or in Easter Christianity and the Latin translation is Mother of God or God’bearer

Yet, while the Bible talks so little of Mary. We know her by her attributes:

  • She was a willing servant
  • She trusted God
  • Mary Obeyed God’s call
  • Mary had great suffering in her life

Can you imagine being a poor girl and learning that you were chosen by God for a great task? As a young Jewish girl, Mary must have learned as all the children did that they were awaiting a Messiah, a Savior to free them from Roman rule. She learned the Old Testament and she must have known about Isaiah and the prediction that a young virgin would bear a son, and he would be named Emmanuel which means God with us. Read all of Isiah 7 but the verse I will read to you is at follows and begins in verse 10-15

Emmanuel – God is With Us: Isiah 7: 10-15

When Mary was approached by the angel she didn’t say – “I’m sorry you’ve got the wrong person, didn’t you take a wrong turn at a castle somewhere?” No – she said, “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” She said yes.

How often do we feel like God asks us to do something and we are conflicted. As I’ve shared with you its happened to me often. Yet, Mary was from a poor and humble family. Luke 1:38

The Infancy Narrative is in the Scriptures and you can read the entire verses in Luke 1:1-50 read this in your Bible and think about the words and what they mean. How can you apply this to your life? Luke 1:26-45 especially announces the birth of Jesus to Mary by the angel Gabriel. He was sent by God, and Mary humble servant said, “Yes.” She then visited her cousin Elizabeth. She was unselfish. And the visit turned out to be a blessing when Elizabeth greeted Mary. “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” (Luke 1:42)

Mary Filled with the Holy Spirit: Responded with, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” Luke 1:46-47  Mary needed a Savior, and her son was the Savior.

For many of us these verses are so familiar and if they are not for you – go back and revisit them, take your time, journal about them. While they are often read around Christmastime, it is so important we take time now to study them now.

God sent His Son for us – and God picked a humble lady. Now, Joseph’s lineage we read is from the house of David with a direct lineage to Abraham, this is very important and not the topic of today’s podcast. However, know that because of prophecy and the fulfillment of prophecy

First known miracle -wedding feast of Cana – do what he tells you.
Mary reminds us that Jesus serves our needs – but we must be obedient to Him.

She was present in the days before Pentecost and she was there at the foot of the cross

A woman of great courage and self-giving – went to visit Elizabeth to help her!

Isaiah 7:14 speaks of the Virgin Mother of Emmanuel
“Virgin-Mother of Emmanuel”: “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.”

Emmanuel means God with us

The child – Jesus, would be a

Luke 1:46-49 – My soul magnifies the Lord …

Greatest of all saints – chosen by God, prepared by God to be the mother of his son – His divinity at the Council of Nicea was determined by defining his mother. Was Jesus half man and half God – God his human form from May and his Divinity from God or was he fully man and God – all as one?
Mary was called Mother of God –

Mary was immaculate by an act of God at the time she was conceived so that she would be sinless and therefore a worthy vessel

God gave Mary so many wonderful attributes of Grace
She is the symbol of hope, obedience, and pointing us constantly to her son – do what he tells you. Her life is a witness to the Glory of Jesus

Is Mary Mother of Jesus a Kindred Spirit?

Image Attribution:
Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato – http://www.bridgemanartondemand.com/art/104827/The_Madonna_in_Sorrow

Model Christian

Model Christian | Being a model Christian requires responsibility, but what does a model Christian look like? Is it someone who talks the talk or walks the walk. As a Christian, you can no longer act like a heathen and there is a standard to uphold – or is there? | #podcast #christianpodcast Model Christian Episode 97

Being a model Christian requires responsibility, but what does a model Christian look like? Is it someone who talks the talk or walks the walk. As a Christian, you can no longer act like a heathen and there is a standard to uphold – or is there?

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

Some believe that becoming a Christian requires a statement of faith – and acceptance of the Lord in a prayer, a declaration, perhaps an altar call they believe it is a one-time thing that is forever and there is never anything you can do after that that alters that commitment if it is done willingly and with an open heart. Others believe that the model Christian is someone who honors the church teachings, receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation. Of frequent confessions and attending church on Sunday. Some think it is a combination of the two and others may think just being good is the way to be a model Christian.

So many people who have been held in high esteem – those who are pastors or tele-evangelists have fallen in horrible ways – those who believed they had the answers were left shocked and hurting. Friends, we can never place our hope in man – no matter how eloquently he/or she speaks, We read about failings each and every day,  whether it is about financial sin or sexual sin – it is a betrayal not only in their own life but in those whom they serve.

Our hope is only in God. The model Christian examples are given so beautifully in the story of the first person to die for his faith.

We learn in the scriptures that being a model Christian has a price, we can no longer be the same. Being a disciple means living a life that models Christ, that is selfless, generous, charitable to our neighbors, some have even suffered for their faith and were put to death. There are places even today where those who are Christians are killed in the same way as in the time of the apostles. The first martyr we read about is Stephen. He was sharing the truth – what it meant to be a model Christian – but his words infuriated the Sanhedrin –just like when Jesus shared the truth and the teaching was too hard for them to believe.

Read and study all of Acts 7:29-70.

As he was dying he echoed the words of Christ – he cried, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,”

Jesus said in Luke 23:46  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

He also said “Lord do not hold this sin against them” an echo of the Lord who said,

(Acts 7:60) and in Luke 23:34  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Stephen paid the price of being a model Christian – he did not back down and say, “Oh, sorry, didn’t mean to offend you, just forget everything I said and have a nice day.”

Instead, Stephen is a true model of anyone who wants to follow Christ, who wants to be one with the Lord – who wants to know that we pay a price by being a Christian. Just think of what it is like today if you believe as I do that life begins at conception – you will be shouted down for being pro-life. You will be called all kinds of vile names, you will be accused of being narrow-minded and a stupid. What price do we pay to do what is right?

Christians are still the majority but we have been silenced and until recently have not stood up for ourselves but this is no longer true. We have been shut out and shunned but we are now called in a greater way in a world of darkness to stand up for our faith, our beliefs and for our Christ. Revelations 22:12 states, Whatever the price we pay, we are assured in the end to receive recompense according to our deeds. Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.

We pray –

Dear Lord Jesus, come, please come. We are at a time when evil is considered good and good evil and I know it is much the same as in your day the time you walked the earth. We as Christians need model Christians as examples to us – we need saints of today that will encourage us to be all that we can be and to be fearless to stand up for our beliefs and call evil – evil and good – good. Lord fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can have the grace to do what is right. Dear Lord, we ask for the following prayer requests… please hear our prayers and answer them if it is in your perfect will and we pray this in your precious Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Presence of God

Presence of God | For a Christian the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling we have faith that God is with us always. How we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode. | #podcast #christianpodcast #christianPresence of God – Episode 96

For a Christian, the presence of God is an amazing feeling and even without that feeling, we have faith that God is with us always. How do we understand God’s presence? We will look at the Scriptures for clarification during this episode.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. check out the latest book One More Child on Amazon, to receive a free chapter check out MediaAngels.com for more information.

The ascension of our Lord is talked about in the Scriptures and often we don’t give it more than a passing thought. Yes, Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead, yes Jesus ascended into heaven after forty days – yet this was the first time after the birth of Jesus that the presence of our Lord was no longer physically present. His apostles felt what we feel today – we can’t just turn around and say, “Lord, what do we do?”

We have spent our entire life in this way. Each one of us has a different story about how we came to learn about God. Maybe you chanced on listening to this podcast and you don’t really know God or believe if He even exists. Maybe you learned about God from your parents and are not sure He is real enough to you – maybe you believe but still, have many questions.

Each of us didn’t know God at one time of our lives – we all began one day at a time, one Bible story or Scripture verse or someone sharing the God news about God that really loved Him and wanted to share what God had done in their life. Faith is a gift if you have faith never discount it or consider it unimportant – you have faith because God has called you by name. You grow in your faith because you take the time to pray, spend time with God in quiet, read the Bible, go to church, surround yourself with Christian readings, or podcasts. You grow your faith by believing but also by doing something about your belief.

Think about this – our lives even those who are not Christians surround two major Biblical events. Christmas (the birth of Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Christ). Even if the world has tried to secularize these holidays (Winter Break, Spring Break, etc.) we Christians really understand the meaning and significance. Our lives have been impacted by these events and especially the ascension of Christ into heaven.

I’d love for you to Read Acts 1 yourself – especially Acts 1: 1:12

The power of the Holy Spirit was poured on the apostles in order for them to be given the strength to be witnesses at a time that being a Christian was a death sentence – but I love this part when the Angels – two men in white garments questioned the apostles and said, “Why are you looking at the sky?” – in other words, get going you have work to do!

They carried on their mission. Do we carry on our missions in the same way – do we make haste as those in the scriptures do to share the words of everlasting life? They were like us – men and women living their lives, eating, sleeping trying to make the best of things. They had the one advantage over us – they had witnessed Christ in their midst!

Yet, we are just like them in many ways. We have our doubts, our trials, our problems that bog us down daily. But we also have hope and without hope, the human condition is doomed. We have hope for a better tomorrow, hope that everything will work out fine, hope that God is with us today – He is here in this present grace-filled moment to give us encouragement and the blessings to face even our harshest challenges. We are called in our baptism to be the witnesses of Christ’s love and providence. We are in a time that shuns all that is holy – a time where evil is called good and good evil. Now, friends, it is our time to be that light for a hurting world.

Call To Action:

  1. Spend time in prayer and quiet with the Lord.
  2. Seek the Word of God – fill yourself up with the wonderful words of the Bible each and every day.
  3. Ask the Lord how He wants to use you each day. Is there someone lonely that needs a smile or a helping hand? All little things are mighty if they are done with a spirit of love and humility for God.

Some people just look at things as in the “what is in it for me,” and never try to look at how they can bless others. Maybe your burdens are too heavy right now to care for others – but if that is the case, that my friends is how the Lord is using you – to minister to your needs or those of your family. Selfishness is never a right but it can be changed and it happens slowly and with purpose.

Sometimes we get complacent, God doesn’t need me He has so many others so much more capable (friends, this is what goes through my head when I get ready to sit down and podcast). Why am I doing this – I am no one – why me Lord, why me? And, the answer I get is that He asked and I said yes.

What are you saying yes to? Have you prayed and said, Lord how can I help, or are you standing around looking up into the sky and wondering where are you, Lord?

He is here. He is now. This my dear friends is a grace-filled moment… understand it and believe.

Dear Lord, I thank you for all that you did during your time on earth so that your actions, your words, your miracles, and even your death and resurrection could be read about so many years later. I thank you for the gift of faith, for ascending into heaven so that through not only Baptism of water but also of the Holy Spirit we can be filled with the grace to share the good news with others. Dear Lord, I ask you today how you would use me, please Lord help me to understand your will for me and the ways I can let others know more about your goodness and mercy. Dear Lord, I pray for the following intentions … please hear my prayers and help me in the answers, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit | The Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts from God! All we have to do is look at the Gospels and rejoice that God did not leave us alone, He sent His Spirit to be with us always. | #christianpodcast #podcast #faithinGodThe Holy Spirit – A Gift From God – Episode 95

The Holy Spirit is one of the greatest gifts from God! All we have to do is look at the Gospels and rejoice that God did not leave us alone, He sent His Spirit to be with us always.

Jesus promises the apostles that the Holy Spirit will not only guide them but teach them everything they need to know about what they should do. (John 14:26) 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.

There were so many questions the new Christians had at the time. Some of them were life-altering. It is the same with us as Christians. What is acceptible for us to do, and what appears to be a gray area? This is an age-old question and one that even the most committed Christians will argue about. Is it okay to drink if it is socially? Should you go to church – or can you just pray at home? Do you need to go to confession or can you just pray and ask the Lord to forgive you? Some of these answers are specifically found in the Bible and we are blessed that we have this available to us. It is after all thousands of years since our Lord died and rose from the dead to give us everlasting life.

Jesus gave the disciples strict instructions, to preach the Good news to all nations. He did not explain how the Gentiles should live their lives. At the time that these questions came up it was about 50AD and it had been about twenty years since the Lord’s resurrection when he sent them the Holy Spirit to guide them. Yet they were meeting to decide what to do and make the right decisions. They decided the Gentiles needed to follow limited Jewish laws.

The Holy Spirit guides our church today – when men fail – those in leadership it is because they have forgotten the Gospel message. They have failed to take it to their hearts and ask the Lord in every circumstance, big and small. Recently a megachurch suffered a scandal due to mismanagement of funds among other accusations. It is always newsworthy and always disheartening when these things happen. Often there are coverups – those who bring accusations are falsely punished, excommunicated and worse. Their reputations are ruined and they face legal consequences. All of this could be avoided by following the simple instruction from the Lord in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Why do we forget about the Holy Spirit? Because we are distracted by our schedules, by the things of this world, by those who do not mean nearly as much to our eternal life as the Lord. How can we make disciples of all nations when we can’t even manage our own household? Friends, we must rely on the infilling of the Holy Spirit and ask Him to come into our lives today. To live within us and to guide us!

What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit? They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

True story – how the Lord lead me to the Charismatic renewal within the Catholic Church. You can pray for an infilling today!

Dear Lord, we praise you for this time together to think about you and to worship you – we thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity. Come Holy Spirit Come and fill the hearts of the faithful! Dear Lord, I ask you to allow those listening today to understand the power of the Holy Spirit and how it can help them in their life. Give them the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Dear Lord help us to realize that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us and to help us in our daily walk with you. If we have a need or a worry allow the Holy Spirit to fill our heart and guide us. Allow us to test all spirits that they are holy and righteous and do not allow us to be deceived by the evil one. Dear Jesus, thank you for listening and please hear and answer the following prayer requests:

We pray this in Jesus precious Name, Amen.

Overcoming Religious Persecution

Religious Persecution | Who would have thought that religious persecution would come to the shores of America? We know about persecution happening to all faiths in foreign lands, but on our soil? | #podcast #christianpodcastOvercoming Religious Persecution – Episode 94

Who would have thought that religious persecution would come to the shores of America? We know about persecution happening to all faiths in foreign lands, but on our soil? In this episode, we take a brief look at the persecution of the church in the first century and how our hope rests in Christ. He has Risen!

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

When we read the scriptures after the death of Jesus we learn that the Jews who believed in Christ and ultimately were called, “Christians” were persecuted in ways we can’t even imagine. Religious persecution came in the form of abuse, verbal and physical. It came in the shunning of people, in crowds shouting, and so much more. Yet every time we read about the religious persecution we are given a sign of hope and reassurance that only comes from the Holy Spirit. While the church thrived in these early years it was in the midst of adversity.

When Christianity broke away from Judaism the religious and state authorities targeted these believers on both sides. Paul and Barnabas were expelled from Antioch in Pisidia and this was a form of religious persecution. You can read the full version in Acts 12:25-13:52.

Barnabas and Saul Are Sent Off On A Mission For God:

  1. Barnabas and Saul finished their mission and returned to Jerusalem
  2. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.
  3. After they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

Religious Persecution In Antioch:

  • On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and read from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.” 
  • Standing up, Paul read the Scriptures and then rebuked them.

As we know the people asked for a King and he gave them Saul from the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled for 40 years – and as we know the scriptures talk about how Saul and his failures and that of his sons – then David became King, and verse 22 states:

And it continues – Jesus brought us the message of salvation and the people of Jerusalem and their rules condemned him which was a fulfillment of the prophets – they had no crime to try him with – yet they crucified Him anyway.

The Answer to Religious Persecution: 

The answer to religious persecution is the example Paul and Barnabas gave us – they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. They were not angry or resentful, they did not fear and despair. Why? Because God was with them and in them.

We know that true joy – the kind that surpasses all understanding comes from the one true God!

The Romans did not offer their citizens religious liberties and Christians would be killed for rejecting the pagan faith of the Romans. And this is happening on our own shores today. If you want to stand up for your faith you will be persecuted. It has become more difficult to take a religious exemption for your beliefs.

Religious Persecution Today:

The liberties of Christians have been attacked worldwide, but now on our own shores. Turn on the news and you can hear this on a daily basis 24/7. If you are a conservative you are narrow-minded, bigoted or worse. Many Christian speakers have been run off of college campuses, they are not allowed to present an opposing view in a place where we should be able to express our differences. Political parties are at each other’s throats. Our rights to claim religious exemptions are being thwarted. Did you know that it is extremely difficult to get a religious exemption – but you can get a medical exemption?

But friends – we have hope! We should not worry or fear. Just like Paul and Barnabas whose lives were on the line, they trusted in the providence of God. John 10:28 – I give them eternal life and they shall never perish! That is what I pray for us.

Dear Lord – you gave us a wonderful example with the holy men and women who preached the good news. You promised not to abandon us, you promised to provide, you promised to give us eternal life. I am grateful Lord for your providence, for your protection and for your Word that remains with us in the Holy Scriptures. Thank you that we have The Bible to read, to learn from and to enjoy. I ask you, Lord, to protect our religious freedoms and our human rights – of the born and unborn. I ask you to watch over us – our families – and our friends. I ask you, Lord, to hear the prayers we pray today … please Lord provide for all we pray for, and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Worthy of Blessings

Worthy of Praise | Are you worthy of blessings? Blessings come to us in different ways and in this episode we will look at the blessings we receive as well as the cost. | #podcast #christianpodcastWorthy of Blessings? Episode 93

Are you worthy of blessings? Blessings come to us in different ways and in this episode we will look at the blessings we receive as well as the cost.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

In the book of Revelations 5:12 we read the phrase many of us are familiar with, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessings.” I don’t think any of us would argue that Christ is worthy of these blessings. He suffered and died to bring us salvation and this sacrifice has withstood the test of time, The Holy Bible is the most read book in the world.

Who do we consider worthy of blessings in today’s world? Is it someone who has accumulated wealth, someone who is famous or someone we admire for something great they have accomplished? Worthiness is in the eye of those who consider it important. Yet in the time after the Resurrection, we learn that worthiness meant something totally different.

Peter had denied Jesus three times! He was a man that walked with the Lord for many years, who watched him teach, perform miracles and at at the table with him. Yet, this was also a man who did something dishonorable, and he was even warned about it by our Lord – then became a changed man. This change came when he was forgiven.

We read that after the resurrection, the apostles went back to their old way of life and while fishing they noticed a man on the shore — the man asked them if they had caught any fish and they said no. SO he instructed them to throw down their nets yet again (similar to when he first called them to be his apostles). They had fished all night and when morning came they were asked …

Worthy of Blessings

John 21: 1-7

Peter became a new man – he was forgiven! We have hope friends! But with this hope comes the fear and we feel it today. Unborn babies are in even more danger than before with new laws being enacted. Believers who stand up for the rights of the unborn are ridiculed and condemned. Recently a lawmaker did a live stream video of him harassing a lady praying at the sidewalk of an abortion clinic. She was praying for the unborn baby who was about to lose their life – and this man was calling her horrible names and telling her how evil she was.

If you stand for the truth – for the Lord you will be worthy of blessings but also at a price.

When the apostles began to do as Jesus asked they were harassed.

It meant that if you preached in the name of the Lord, you would be condemned by the Sanhedrin – as Jesus was and it was considered an honor.

Read all of Acts from about Acts 5:20-41 -this is where the apostles were captured for preaching and put in jail – when the guards went to get them they found the jail still locked and the men preaching to the crowds.

They rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name!

Are we worthy of blessings? Yes, if we are willing to pay the price.

Let’s pray!

Dear Lord God, you are worthy of all praise, all glory, and all honor. I thank you, Lord, for what you have done for me in my life. I love you Lord and I ask that you help me in my faith journey, show me the ways you want me to feed your lambs and tend your sheep. Help me in my process of worthiness and I ask that you walk alongside me each and every day. Make my path straight and righteous Lord! I ask Lord that you hear my prayers for the following people and needs … I praise you, my God, that you hear all of my prayers and answer them as I need them to be answered and I pray this in your Name – Amen.

 

Blind Faith vs. Real Faith

Blind Faith vs. Real Faith | Blind faith is not what is required of us. We should question and wonder in our walk with the Lord, but truthfully while we believe without seeing, it is far from blind faith.  #podcast #christianpodcastBlind Faith vs. Real Faith: Episode 92

Blind faith is not what is required of us. We should question and wonder in our walk with the Lord, but truthfully while we believe without seeing, it is far from blind faith. In this episode, we will think back to the time of the Ressurection of Our Lord and what we can learn from the scriptures that can be applied to our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels and the book, One More Child – download a free chapter at MediaAngels.com

Jesus did not call us to blind faith – because he has opened our eyes!

Luke 21-24:

When I think about those who doubted I think about doubting Thomas. I wonder, would I have been any better? I hope the answer is YES!

In John 20:24-29 we read about the way that Jesus appeared to Thomas.

Are we the blessed who have not seen and yet believe? This is something to think about to journal about and to really consider when we look at our lives. In this podcast, I ask a lot of you! And, I’m so happy for all of you who listen, because this is a lesson for us all!

There were many signs and miracles that happened after Jesus rose – and we learn more and more as the story unfolds.

Because of the witness of the faith of the twelve so many people were converted into believers.

In Acts 5: 1-14 we read a tragic story of those who followed but on their terms. They followed half-heartedly and allowed greed to get in the way of blind faith. They wanted to believe, but on their terms, like many of us!

Our faith should grow every day, if we are not going forward we are not just stagnating we are regressing. We see the works of the Lord all around us if we look – even though Jesus rose over two thousand years ago we see the witness of this faith. We see it in the men, women, and children that go to church each week. We see it in those who honor the Lord in their dress and their speech. Who proclaim Jesus and give him all the glory and the honor on the sports field.

We are the people who witness now. How can we do this?

  1. Smile – that goes a long way in letting strangers know we have something special.
  2. Praise God in conversation. Give God the glory. (I share a story about my husband here.)
  3. Tell others what God has done for you, in your life.
  4. Ask others to share their story – I’d love to hear yours!
  5. Tell people the good news – if you see someone is depressed who seems to be without hope ask them about their faith, invite them to church.

Remember to be able to witness we must first, fill up! Are you filled to overflowing with the love of Christ? We are the witnesses as believers. As we gather in prayer, as we gather as a faith community, as we share what the Lord has done for us.

Be sure to spend time this week in prayer and with your journal in recording how your faith has sustained you.

Let’s pray:

We will pray in the Trinity – in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, we thank you for giving us faith – the faith that believes without seeing. Oh, how I would have loved to be with you and talk to you when you lived upon the earth, but Lord, I know that you are more present now, through the Holy Spirit and the graces your death and resurrection have purchased for us sinners. I am so blessed Lord that you opened my eyes to the Christian faith and that you are so ready to deepen my faith if I just ask! Please help me to be a Christian witness to others for your glory, Lord! And, Father God thank you for your love in sending your Son and the Spirit – please hear our prayers … I praise you my God for all you have done and for all you will do in my life, and I pray this in the name of the Almighty God. Amen!

 

The Resurrection

Resurrection | The ressurction is life changing. We know that as Christians our life changed the minute Jesus rose from the dead. This was such a surprise to his apostles! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastThe Resurrection Life Changing For Christians Episode 91

The resurrection is life changing. We know that as Christians our life changed the minute Jesus rose from the dead. This was such a surprise to his apostles! They didn’t really understand what that meant, but do we? In this episode, we will explore the meaning of the resurrection and how it impacts our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the book One More Child available for a limited time with bonuses. You can purchase it on Kindle or Print form on Amazon.

We are currently living in a time when I dread turning on the news. When I listen I feel like this entire world has gone off the deep end. It is so depressing and often the truth is that people have lost their faith. Maybe they never had faith, to begin with! As a Christian, we can be assured that the real story for us doesn’t take place until our life here ends and that friends is the joyous news! The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ changes everything – the resurrection is life changing!

Resurrection is Life Changing!

John 20: 1-10 explained finding the tomb empty.

Can you imagine being in their shoes! Where was He? Where did He go?

Recently I did a series of podcasts on prayer – the prayers that appear to go unanswered and the prayers Jesus always answers. But at times we feel the way the apostles did – we feel lost without our Shephard. Our Shepard is with us always and this proof of the empty tomb that was guarded by the way by the Roman guards! The guards ran away, they knew they were in trouble.

Jesus defeated death.

Jesus lives today.

Paul tells the Colossians in verse 3:1 to seek what is above. Paul tells the Corinthians to throw out the old yeast and bake a fresh batch of dough. Jesus is the new yeast and we are the dough! We are reborn in Christ – through our commitment and through our Baptism of water and the spirit. This is our hope. We can use this message and allow it to bless us and to change our lives. How can our lives change?

  1. Seek what is above. Colossians 3:1 Mystical Death and Resurrection. If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We are so worn down with what is happening today – when I began this episode I talked about that – we worry about politics, about money, about our kids – we worry without any provocation! Yet we know that Jesus opened the gates of heaven and this life is temporary – we are to look at the things above and if we do and keep our eyes focused we will be so much happier! I promise.
  2. What about 1 Corinthians 5:7 – Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ has been sacrificed. We are to grow in Christ. If we have old yeast the bread will not rise, it will not grow and change it will never be nourishing to our bodies and our souls. Jesus Christ died so that we could have life – we hear that in church often. We must allow the Lord to work in us – and like the bread the kind the raises anyway, you have to punch it down a time or two so that it rises light and fluffy – and sometimes we too are knocked down so that we can rise again.

Do not lose hope! Jesus Christ is risen and we celebrate this each and every day!

Dear Lord Jesus, we thank you for being our paschal lamb, for your sacrifice which opened for us the gates of heaven where we hope to be joyful with you at the end of time. I ask you, Lord, to send your Holy Spirit upon us to open our eyes so that we can look upward, and not dwell on the things that get us down. I thank you, Lord, for the new yeast that will allow us to grow and change and become a new creation in You! I ask a blessing on all those who are listening to this broadcast, for their families, their friends, that you infill them with the joy that surpasses all understanding. We praise you, Lord! And please Lord, hear our prayers as we ask for these specific things:  … we thank you for all you provide for us and pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Prayers God Answers

Prayers God Answered | We know God can do anything, and he can answer each and every prayer that we ask. In this podcast, we discuss the prayers God answers and will answer all the time! | #podcast #christianpodcast #GodanswersprayersPrayers God Answers ~ Episode 90

We know God can do anything, and he can answer each and every prayer that we ask. In this podcast, we discuss the prayers God answers and will answer all the time!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the books available:

One More Child  — and A Few Minutes with God 

Like any good father, God has our best interests in mind. When we pray many times it is self-serving, and minor such as; God, help me find a close parking space or Lord help me eat healthily. Our prayers can be urgent, God, help my friend who has cancer, and help those who are lost and don’t know you. These are all good prayers. The first, while self-serving show trust in the Lord to ask Him for everything because we know that every good thing comes from God. It also is important to keep God in our thoughts and what better way than prayer.

The problem comes — not in the praying but in unanswered prayers when we feel that God does not hear us and He will not answer. When we look at the grand scheme of things, God has answered the most important prayers and that is in giving us life, a world to live in and loved ones that make our life complete.

There are important prayers we pray but there are some prayers that are always answered. And, I’m not being presumptuous. God answers them because it is for our own good.

Here are the prayers He answers:

Faith:

If we pray for faith, or for more faith God will give it to us. Faith is what completes our lives, makes it full and makes it worth living. Faith gives us hope, it gives us joy and it gives us an outlook that there is more than what we can see, hear and touch. Faith gives us the belief that God is the Creator and we are the created. God has an everlasting place for us that will never end and we prepare for this place while each and every day. Faith lets us know there is more.

Salvation:

If we pray for salvation it will be a prayer that is answered. First, we pray for faith, because without faith, we can not have salvation. Jesus came, sent by the Father to live, die and rise from the dead to break the bond of sin and open the gates of heaven so that we can have everlasting life. Salvation is what Jesus gives us and we can accept this for free.

Forgiveness:

God will give us the grace of forgiveness if we pray to Him for this specific grace. He will give us the grace to forgive others who have hurt us. Just as we forgive He too will forgive. The Lord’s prayer states: “Forgive us as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.”

More of You Lord:

If we pray to the Lord for Him to give us more of Him – to reveal Himself to us more fully He will answer this prayer. We long for communion with God to know Him better, but we can not even imagine how much more the Lord wants this for us. If we ask God to let us learn more about Him, to learn to love Him more, to spend more time with Him–He will answer this prayer.

Prayer for Guidance:

If we pray to the Lord to help us and guide us He will!

Psalm 25:4-5 –  James 1:5 – John 16:13

Prayer for Perseverance:

Pray to the Lord for the prayer to persevere, to continue on to keep going when we can’t do it any longer. We pray this prayer when we are at the end of our rope–when we really need help. I’ve prayed this prayer and each time God comes through. I was leaving for a trip and had so much to do. I had my book launch another podcast to prepare that was brand new.

Prayer to Share The Good News With Others:

Pray to the Lord to help you share the Gospel and salvation, through Christ with others. The Lord will give you the opportunities and the words you should use. This is a prayer the Lord will answer. God commissioned the apostles to go forth and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:18-20

These prayers as you can see are all other serving – not self-serving. They are things that will increase our relationship with the Lord and with our relationship, we can serve Him better.

Friends pray for these specific things, for faith, salvation, forgiveness, relationship with the Lord, guidance, perseverance, and sharing the Gospel – and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Unanswered Prayers

Unanswered Prayer | What happens when we pray and we feel our prayers have been unanswered. In this episode, we tackle the topic of unanswered prayers and what we can do as Christians to hope! | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastUnanswered Prayers – Episode 89

What happens when we pray and we feel our prayers have been unanswered. In this episode, we tackle the topic of unanswered prayers and what we can do as Christians to hope!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the books available:

One More Child  — and A Few Minutes with God 

How many times have you prayed for something and feel like God doesn’t answer your prayers? Recently I’ve been praying and praying and I’ve been surrendering to the Lord, but my mind just won’t stop. Like a spoiled child, I keep asking, “Why?” I feel that there must be something blocking this prayer request.

I’ve come to learn some things that I will reveal to you and this is one of those hard self-teaching moments. Truthfully, many times when I share a podcast about a particular topic I feel that I am talking to myself.

The first thing is we can not do anything to make God greater than He is — we try in our limited words to say things like, “I give you all the glory and the honor.” But nothing we give God changes Him – it changes us.

God gives and we receive. It is a pure gift. My next podcast is on all the prayers that God will answer! However, we need to understand specific truths first.

Truth #1 – God can do anything.

If God wanted to answer our prayers immediately he could. He is God! God created the world, he parted the Red Sea, Jesus healed the blind, he brought the dead back to life – he can answer our measly prayers.

Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

Matthew 7:7 – Prayer and Ask, and it will be given to you; [b]seek, and you will find; [c]knock, and it will be opened to you.

Jesus promised, “The Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16, 16:23)

So, what’s the deal? Keep listening and you will learn what I did as well as working on a better way to pray – not that it means God will answer but that you can rest assured that your unanswered prayers are being heard!

Truth #2 – God doesn’t need to do what I say.

This hit me hard. What? God does hear my prayers – I know He does, and He is a loving God, and He can answer them if He wants to, but He doesn’t have to do it my way. I felt like a little kid as if I was stopping my feet and demanding that He hear and answer – and then when there was no answer I wanted to know why. Sound familiar? If you have a child you know exactly what I mean.

SO what do I do next?

Truth # 3 – Motives

We should look at our motivation in prayer. Was I asking for something that was selfish? Was it self serving? For example, Lord let me win the lottery, or Lord let me do pass a test that I didn’t study for. We ask for something that could be missing for our prayers. We need to pray for things that are a priority. What is it that you really need and look at your motives for this prayer. Without faith we are lost and when we change how we pray it is amazing.  Read Hebrews 11:6 – Jesus leads a man with a child who is possessed to prioritize his prayers for faith overhealing.

“Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22 – faith. That is so important in all of our lives.

Lord, allow me to have more faith even if I have unanswered prayers. We should pray with a clear conscience and Deuteronomy 1:43-45 explains this well. If our conscience is guilty we should confess and get this taken care of, and I don’t need to explain why. We may need spiritual healing and we should ask our pastors for help!

Acts 28:27. and read Jer. 15:18-19

Truth #4 – Forgiveness.

What is your heart telling you? Are you holding grudges against other people, are you forgiving others from our heart? Before praying we should ask the Lord if there is anyone we need to forgive. Matthew 11:5 – “Whenever you stand praying, forgive if you have anything against anyone so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”

When we pray are we holding anything against anyone if so we must forgive them. I’ve done several podcasts on forgiveness.

Forgiveness — and Asking for Forgiveness

Yes – we should ask ourselves if we are in sin, a great sin we need to know that these need to be taken care of before we can expect God to answer our prayers.

Truth #5 – We should pray without ceasing and always hope.

Do I keep asking God for my unanswered prayer? Why not – if our motivation is good and if we in good standing with the Lord, we pray and we should not stop praying. Especially if you’ve asked yourself the questions about motivation and forgiveness.

 Please let me caution you, there is no magic formula. There isn’t any guarantee however, we have faith, we must have faith, we must pray for faith. We must ask the Lord for the words to use in prayer. The Lord will help us! We must have hope friends, without hopes we cannot be live.

Let’s pray.
Dear Lord we ask for additional help for our unanswered prayers – we know you hear us – we know you can answer all of our prayers, we know you want what is best for us – but, Lord we are still hurting and still in need of your answers. Lord, please give me the words to pray, not only now for those who are listening but also in the future for when I ask for a particular answer to prayer. Lord help me, help me to look at my motives, I want purity of motives Lord – I want to honestly ask in my prayer. God if my motives are not pure, please show me and allow me to see this, please bring to mind people I need to forgive. I want what you want Lord, and I don’t know what that is but you know. Please give me hope to know that you will hear and answer! Dear Lord, I pray for the following: ……….. and I ask that if it is in your perfect will that you answer my prayers but either way Lord, I want to be obedient to your will. I thank you, Lord, for my unanswered prayers because I will thank you and praise you in all things. I also ask Lord that you give me faith, that you fill me to overflowing with your hope and the peace that surpasses all understanding and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen!

 

Easter Blessings

Easter Blessings | The peace of the Lord is always with us, especially for those who believe but what about Easter blessings, why is that a special time? | #christianpodcast Easter Blessings Episode 88

The peace of the Lord is always with us, especially for those who believe but what about Easter blessings, why is that a special time?

On Easter, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior! He is risen is the cry – and we are so blessed at the thought that Jesus Christ who was sent by the Father, lived, died for our sins and rose from the dead to break the bond of sin for us all.
His was the ultimate sacrifice and on this day, Easter we celebrate it in a fuller way.
Reflection

“On entering the tomb, they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement. But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him. But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter. He is going before you to Galilee it is there you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Mark 16: 5–8

And Luke 24 – 1-12  – The Resurrection of Jesus

 

Total Surrender

Total Surrender | Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful to let go and let God. | #podcast #christianpodcastTotal Surrender – Episode 87

Total surrender is easy, right? Well, as a Christian, it should be easier, in theory at least. In this podcast, we will discuss a way that is helpful to let go and let God.

Thanks to our sponsor – MediaAngels.com

How can we give God a total surrender of our concerns, worries, and problems if we do not trust? This is a question I’ve had time to reflect upon lately and I am not happy to say that after thinking about it, I’ve come been helped by certain realizations I’ll share with you. One is that we sometimes use God only in the sense of need – when we need him we pull him off that figurative shelf.

While this sounds sacrilegious we have all done it from time to time. Think about it – when all is going well do we cry out to God. No, because there is no need, but when we need him, we “cry out,” and wonder why He does not appear to answer. So we resort to that very human element in our lives worry.

Surrender it is not weakness it is a necessity. It is the only way we can survive in a world that wants to bring us down. Sometimes we just can not change our life circumstances – they are what they are. We have to pray – Lord, you take care of it for me, because I can not. I recently prayed, “Lord I pray a blessing on this person because you love them and I can not love them right now.”

Believe me, it helps!

I asked myself these questions and invite you to do so as well:

  1. Is there something that will change if you worry?
  2. Is there something you can do about the situation you worry about?
  3. By insisting in prayer to God that he changes the outcome to the one you want, are you convinced He will hear and answer your prayer the way you want Him to?

Truthfully that last one is what hit me. I wanted to know why God was not answering my prayer and it was for someone else. I found out that I could not control the situation (I’m sure you’ve already figured that one out) and while I could pray — and I am positive the prayer was heard, the outcome was not what I hoped for. The good news, it was not a life and death situation.

Sometimes what we love the most is what is taken away from us in order that we turn to Him. I’m talking about a career, an achievement, or something that is more on the superficial human level here. My husband always said, “God gets my attention when I don’t have much work.” He is self-employed and our work is steady only by the grace of God – to Him we give all the glory.

Is God getting your attention, and instead of total trust we worry?

Giving Up Worry – Total Trust

I decided this year for Lent (the season of 40 days before Easter) to fast from worry. For the most part, it has worked. Whenever I began to feel worried I gave it to the Lord, I realized very quickly that I could have a life that was calmer and focused on what matters and that is God’s will over mine. I’m sure you’ve all memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 and if not you should commit it to memory:

Proverbs 3:5-6

Total surrender takes:

  1. A decision – I will totally surrender to you, Lord.
  2. A recommitment daily if not minute-by-minute to total surrender.
  3. A realization and acceptance of a different outcome than what we hope for.
  4. A peace – knowledge that God IS always there for us.
  5. The belief that God will give us the grace we need to do this!

Let’s pray with expectant hearts!

Dear Lord, total surrender to you is an absolutely freeing idea and I pray that you give me the grace to surrender all of my problems, my concerns for those in my family, for myself, for those who are struggling. I place all of the issues I have into your very capable hands. You Lord know all things and I know you have my best interests at heart. You care is for my salvation Lord, and I pray a total trust in you. Jesus, I trust in You! Dear Lord, help me especially to surrender the following prayer intentions: (family, friends, work, home, etc.) Lord, I know that you hear me and I especially pray for the grace that comes from the Holy Spirit to shower upon me and bring me that peace that surpasses all understanding. And, I pray this in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Take Jesus With You

Take Jesus With You | Is Jesus with you each and every day? Learn how to notice God in your life | #podcast #christianpodcast Take Jesus With You – Episode 86

Many times people feel alone and forgotten but you can take Jesus with you each and every day. In this episode, we are reminded that God is always with us until the end of time. We are not alone!

So, how do you take Jesus with you and why is this a strange concept to so many? We learned as children that Jesus is always with us – we are told in the Scriptures after Jesus resurrected that the disciples were asked to go to the mountain in Galilee where they found the Lord – and he instructed them before he went to heaven. This is known as the “great commission.”

Matthew 28:16-20

  1. The eleven went to find Jesus
  2. Some doubted
  3. The great commission – make disciples of all nations
  4. The Trinity: Baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
  5. Teach them to obey
  6. …I am with you always, to the very end of the age

Jesus is with us … always … to the very end of the age…

We should be shouting and rejoicing in the streets – hallelujah the Lord is with us – He is here – He is always beside us. OR… if we are not sure of our relationship with God it may be a little bit intimidating.

Each of us has a different relationship with the Lord. We worship in our own way. Some in private, other’s in the community, some lifting their hands and worshipping in song and others on their knees in the privacy of a church chapel or home. Yet we should work on our communication with the Lord.

Is Jesus with you each and every day? Is he right

Dear Jesus, thank you for always being with me, until the end of time – thank you for giving me the grace to believe you are here – that you are with me. I repent of any way I have not allowed you to work in my life, anything I have done that is not pleasing. I ask you, Lord, to come into my life in a renewed way – to see your hand in the little things in my life, to honor my prayers and to go with me, wherever I go. I praise you and I thank you, Lord! Thank you for answering the prayers that I ask of you now…

You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and I give you all the honor and praise as the one true God and I pray this in Jesus Name – Amen!

Power of Family Prayer

Power of Prayer | I recently attended a prayer breakfast where I heard an amazing testimony to the power of family prayers. The prayers of a family or friends for a particular person are so powerful. In this episode, I want to share with you some of what I learned and the power of prayers for your family. | #podcast #christianpodcastThe Power of Family Prayers – Episode 85

I recently attended a prayer breakfast where I heard an amazing testimony to the power of family prayers. The prayers of a family or friends for a particular person are so powerful. In this episode, I want to share with you some of what I learned and the power of prayers for your family.

Family prayer is so important – we don’t realize the impact. We can unite as a community to pray for someone, we pray in the gap for those who may be struggling with their faith OR for those who need our prayer:

Jesus Prays for His Disciples – The Power of Family Prayer

John 6:26

  • I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours ((John 6:9).
  • All I have is yours and all you have is mine (John 6:10).
  • While I was with them I protected them (John 6:12).
  • I kept them safe by that name you gave me. (John 6:12). (The name? Jesus Christ.)

God knows what we need and He is what we need! Think about that. We are worried, concerned and we allow these feelings to overcome us to the point that we can’t function. I understand, life is a struggle and guess what – we hold this inside and don’t want anyone else to know. We continue on as if everything is okay.

And, to make matters worse? The enemy uses this to torment us and keep us bound to a place where can’t escape on our own. Friends, the only person who can set you free is the Lord. He is the one who knows all of our needs – all of our wants and keeps everything in perspective for us.

When we rely on Him for everything we will be victorious. One of the ways to get out of our own problems is to pray for others. Not in a way that has us tied up in knots with worry but in a way that releases the situation to God.

I keep learning and growing along with all of you on my journey of faith. I decided that the time before Lent I would give up worry. It was eating me inside and I was so concerned about things I could do nothing about – yes, I prayed and I stood in the gap, but instead of releasing things to God for Him, in His wisdom and mercy to take care of… I was concerned He wouldn’t answer, or that He would answer but not how I wanted Him to answer.

Instead every time I was tempted (do you hear that word, “tempted” it is true – we are tempted) so, when I was tempted to worry I said, “into your hands Lord I place this situation.” And left it there! Is it easy? No way, but I have faith.

In Exodus 3:1-15 we read about Moses and the burning bush – one verse really stood out for me. The Lord God told Moses he was … “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” And, He went on —The Lord said, “I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry of complaint against their slave drivers, so I know well what they are suffering.”

God knows what we are suffering and what our friends and family are suffering. I spoke to a friend who is praying for her friends who are suicidal or have children who are suicidal. Another friend’s daughter was given a dire diagnosis of no hope after cancer treatment. We can stand in the gap, we can pray. One friend was so moved about another friend’s situation she took a calendar and started a prayer chain with each of us taking one day to pray for this person.

God hears the prayers of the family. The family can be blood-related but the family of God is interrelated. We, those of us listening to this podcast – we are family, we are the family of God. No matter what your faith journey if you are starting out or you are a committed Christian we all have people to pray for. I received a text as I was preparing this talk for a friend’s daughter who is having her first baby – she is on the way to the hospital so we pray!

Are you connected to others who pray? For those of you on Facebook we have a large group of prayer warriors – you can join us there, or email me at Felice (at) MediaAngels.com and I will add your prayer request https://www.facebook.com/AFewMinutesWithGod/

 

Remember – God knows our needs – he took the Israelites out of Egypt, and that was a miracle and He had not sent His Son, Jesus Christ at that point! Now the Lord has lived, died and is resurrected! He is here for us and we need to trust.

Jesus, I trust in you and I pray for those listening to this episode. You hear their prayers just like you heard the prayers of the people in Egypt who were under slavery. Lord we are under the slavery of sins such as anger, a feeling of injustice, pride, hate, impatience and all those little sins we think are minor and not important. I ask your forgiveness of these sins and I say right now, that I am sorry for the way I have sinned against you in Word, in thought, and in deed. I ask you, Lord, to fill me with Your Holy Spirit, to wash away those feelings I have and to allow me to focus on what is good and right. Dear Lord, you know my needs – and I know you are what I need. I ask you, Lord, to hear my prayers especially for myself and those I now pray for ….

I praise You Jesus for this time to give you all the glory and all the honor that you deserve, and I thank you for the hope you give me each day, and I pray all this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Judgmental Christians

Judgmental Christians | In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcastJudgmental Christians

In a world that has gone astray the last thing we need is judgmental Christians getting in the way of the goodness that is truly God. In this episode we are going to take a hard look at ourselves and ways we can improve upon our nature to forgive and repent for pointing the finger at others when the finger should be directed at ourselves.

In the last few podcasts, we’ve listened as the Lord taught us first in the Beatitudes about how we should live and then in the verse about turning the other cheek and going above and beyond what is expected of us by normal situations. Today we are going to look at ourselves and the tendency we have of blaming others and not taking the blame that most squarely falls on our own shoulders.

Friends I am talking to myself here and don’t want you to see this episode of pointing fingers at you!

Luke 6:43-45 New International Version we read about A Tree and Its Fruit

What we produce depends upon what is in our heart – and that is unfortunately typically hidden from the world until something sets us off. I have to admit that I am not happy with my younger self. I was quick to follow Jesus in all things but then believed I had to correct all those around me. I was involved in a Bible Study focused on the Book of Corinthians and I was so excited with what I was learning. At a meeting with my CPA who had been Baptist but now was not practicing I was attempting to find out how to get her back to her faith.

I realized that not everyone was going to lead a life that was pleasing to me. When another friends’ marriage was ruined by infidelity on her husband’s part she went off what I would consider the “deep end” and began to live a life of promiscuity herself. It was retaliation on the hurt she felt by betrayal and the way she reacted was just the same. I thought it was my job to point out these issues and became self-righteous. After all, I told myself I was concerned for their souls. What if they died in a state of sin?

I looked at these friends and thought I am not doing anything remotely wrong in comparison, but judging them was wrong. “Every tree is known by its own fruit.” And my fruit was tainted. We think we are being compassionate but we are not.

In our family, we fall into this same trap. Whether it is an extended family member or someone in your immediate family. Yes, we want to help our children but at some point it is time to release them to God and allow the Lord to work in their lives.

Just for clarification – Being judgmental is putting someone else down to elevate ourselves – to make ourselves feel like we are holier and better than they in a spiritual sense. That is why it is sinful. Being helpful, loving guiding is not the same. As much as it pains me to admit I was judgmental in the bad sense of the word. And, I want to praise God that I finally “grew” out of it – and it was a spiritual immaturity that leads me down that path.

Can we pray for those that we feel are going down the wrong path? Absolutely… we can storm heaven for them. However, always reprimanding, nagging and chiding them for incorrect behavior is going to push them further away.

Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

How are we doing? What does our life look like to those around us? Are we showing good fruit while we are harboring unforgiveness and condemnation toward others inside?

A splinter or a branch or maybe an entire plank can be blocking all the goodness in our lives and the ability for the Lord to work within us.

I know that when I prayed blessings on those who hurt me (I have podcasts on forgiveness and if you haven’t listened go to AfewminuteswithGodPodcast.com to find them), I was set free.

When someone who bothers you or you have judged comes to mind, pray a blessing upon them. Ask the Lord to bless them beyond measure and leave it at that. Do you think you love these friends or relatives more than the Lord does? No, not at all.

Now, what if someone asks you for help or asks your opinion on a matter that might be sinful? That is different, then it is advisable to pray to the Holy Spirit first for an infilling of His wisdom and help and then pray with the person first and then listen.

I want to warn you about being too scrupulous. Sometimes we are so focused on the outer trappings that we forget what is inside. That does not mean we need to lower our principles.

Recently dress has become more and more suggestive on television. My husband and I love to watch some of the cooking shows. We had to change the channel recently because the show host had a very low cut dress on – totally unnecessary. We will see more and more of this I am sure and it is time for us to take control and turn the channel and perhaps turn off the television.

I’m not suggesting you lower your own morals but in this episode, I pray it has given you food for thought. I’d like you to journal about the following questions or take them to prayer.

  1. Have I been judgmental of someone recently?
  2. Did I do it out of compassion or to show I knew more and was superior in my faith?
  3. Did I share my beliefs with this person in a harsh way?
  4. Did I condemn their actions?
  5. Did I pray with them?

Looking at ourselves:

  1. How am I living my life according to the gospels?
  2. Are there places that I need to improve?
  3. How can I forgive those that hurt me?
  4. What is in my life that is a flaw and fault that I need to change?
  5. How do I plan on making amends to those I have hurt?

Take some time and go through these questions, pray, ask God to forgive you and pray a blessing on those you have hurt! And watch the miracles happen.

Let’s pray:

Dear Jesus I thank you for the hard life lessons we must learn to be new creations. If we do not grow and change for the better, we cannot develop into the people you want us to be. Please help me to show good fruit that is from the heart, increase my heart with love especially for those who have hurt me. Help me to pray an abundance of blessings upon those who have hurt me. Help me to stop condemning or judging others and allow me to focus on myself and my family and allow me to be the best example of your love to them. Dear Lord, I pray specifically for the following intentions … I ask a blessing upon those I pray for and I ask you to hear and answer my prayers. Come Holy Spirit, infill me with your love and goodness and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Challenges For Christians

Challenges for Christians | I don’t need to tell you that as a Christian we are in peril. There are many challenges for Christians to overcome each day. | #podcast #christianpodcast Challenges For Christians Episode 83

I don’t need to tell you that as a Christian we are in peril. There are many challenges for Christians to overcome each day. We are a persecuted people worldwide but currently, in our own world, the things we held dear are slowly being eroded.

In the scriptures, Jesus challenges us again and again that following Him is not an easy road but it is one that is eternal. In the last episode, we read the Sermon on the Mount and how the Lord challenged us in the beatitudes. Today we are going to read about a further challenge that seems so applicable to our world today.

In the Scriptures, Jesus challenges us that it is not enough to be his disciples and to be blessed when we are persecuted but then we must turn the other cheek. I want to read the Scripture and have you process this and what it means for our lives because I feel the Lord has revealed something special in this passage and I will use it in my life. If you believe He wants you to use it in your lives as well then I invite you to think and pray.

Challenges For Christians

Matthew 5:38-40 New International Version (NIV) — Eye for Eye

This lesson from our Lord and Savior was to show us that the Kingdom of God does not operate as our world operates. Jesus characterized unfailing truth, mercy, forgiveness of sinners, and finally sacrificial love by his dying on the cross.

We are told to go above and beyond what is expected – but this verse does not mean we sit there and be abused. Not at all – we do not put ourselves in danger by allowing someone to hurt us. That would be against all that is good and holy. This verse shows us that in a world of mediocracy, of doing the least amount, of caring only about ourselves to the detriment of others we are to be a light in a hurting world. Recently on the news, I saw a story of a man who walked five or ten miles to work and had to get up super early to get there and was always on time. Someone saw this and purchased him a car so that he could drive instead. This is an example of what the Lord is showing us. The news received national attention and the donor was hailed as a “good Samaritan,” synonymous with the Scriptures intent.

Jesus is the one who challenges – and there will always be challenges for Christians

What Jesus says to us in the Scripture is that we should not retaliate – we should forgive, we should in essence “turn the other cheek.” The world expects us to retaliate, in fact, it is instinctive. We want to get back to insult, to hate. All of these things make the enemy rejoice while good suffers. So many people are held in bondage of guilt and unforgiveness and it will eat away at your health and eventually your soul if you let it.

Jesus is the perfect example of silence before his accuser when he was sentenced to death on the cross. We all know he could summon the angels of heaven or freed Himself with just one word but he did not. As I share this message we approach the Lenten season. It is a time of reflection, the 40 days before Easter. Friends, even if you are not Catholic, spend this time in prayer before the Lord daily and pray. Think about how the Lord did not avenge His death, instead He used it to set us free and what a heavy price. Something we should be grateful for and rejoice!

In the Old Testament, we see a similar example of acting counter culture with the sparing of Saul’s life by David. Even though Saul wanted to kill David, David showed that God was in charge of his life. And, Saul had been chosen by God.

We are told to be merciful as God is merciful. Jesus isn’t only teaching He is showing us a glimpse of himself and His mission. Where there was hatred Jesus came to bring us love. We are called to imitate Christ. Can we do that in our daily lives? Can we be a gateway of love and joy to those in our families, to those we encounter every day, to the random person on the street?

As Christians, we can show that when we are slandered and persecuted that we will pray for them. I once ended a conversation with someone that was pro-abortion that I would pray for them. They were taken aback. We should not say it in a way that is condescending but in a way that is heartfelt!

God does not call everyone but those He calls He equips. He has given us all the tools we need by the power of the Holy Spirit, by the grace from on high, by His words in Scripture. We have everything we need and yet we fall short. We must pray to be the light and to bring the light of Jesus to others and that should be our goal as we approach the 40 days of Lent.

Let’s Pray!

Lord, I want to imitate You, your goodness, your mercy, and your forgiveness but I fall short. I cannot do this on my own. I need the Father. I need You, Jesus. I need the Holy Spirit. I need help! Please, Lord, hear my prayers and help me in this time of persecution to place you first. If I put you first I know that everything else will work out. I put all of my trust in you, Jesus. Help me to be a light for a hurting world. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to let go of the things that I have carried for many days, weeks or even years. I give all of my needs to you and I am free in the precious Name of Jesus. You died so that our sins could be forgiven and I praise Your Name!

Thank you for hearing my prayers for answering my prayers and for being ever faithful. Thank-you for this time to dwell on your words, to place them in my heart and to learn from your lessons even though it is many years later it still makes sense. Dear Lord, please listen as I pray for the following intentions… thank-you for hearing and answering my prayers. Dear Jesus I ask a special blessing on all of the listeners of this podcast, I ask that you bless them 100-fold for their faithfulness in listening and studying your Word in Holy Scripture and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Calls

Jesus Calls Us To Transformation | In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! | #podcast #christianpodcastJesus Calls Us To Change — Transformation In Christ ~ Episode 82

In Christ not only are we transformed and made into a “new creation” but the entire world is transformed! I’ve done another podcast on Christian Transformation, and the link for that is here. However, in this podcast, I want to think about the charge, the call to action in the Beatitudes. In the different books of the Bible, the author had a specific inspired message by the Holy Spirit directed to the children of God. As Christians with access to the entire text, we see that there is a difference between Luke’s version of the Beatitudes and Matthew’s version. In Luke’s, it is not the poor in spirit who inherit the kingdom of God, but the actual poor. It is not those who hunger for righteousness who will be satisfied but those who are actually hungry. And it goes on to the rich. Not only is there an admonishment to the rich but the words, “Woe to you who are rich…woe to you who are filled now.” (Luke 6:24-25)

Jesus Calls Us To Change

I want to read both versions, the Beatitudes in Luke and in Matthew. Here you will hear how Jesus calls us to change. Allow the words to touch you and focus on what the Lord wants you to do about it. Let me just say that as a young and immature Christian I looked at the Beatitudes and said – okay, well there is no chance for me to even get into heaven because there were verses like Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven… I didn’t feel that I was poor in spirit, I didn’t understand what this meant. Friends,  pray to the Holy Spirit – like I will before I read these to you that you will be blessed to understand what the Lord wants you to understand.

Dear Lord, I praise you and thank you and I ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit that you can help us to discern your calling and your will in our lives.

Matthew 5:1-11

Luke’s version 6: 17-49

The requirements of the kingdom of God is different than those that we look at in our current world, our society, even our homes. It is a call to change. To become a new creation. In Baptism we are made new, our sins are washed away by the cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit, but we also die with Christ. In the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, we receive the promises…the promise of eternal life for those who believe.

Jeremiah 17:8

We can be assured that we are transformed in Christ by the power of His being – we are believers and as believers in the Word of God that is infallible, we know without a doubt that we are on the path that leads to heaven because we believe.

Believing has its own set of requirements and not to get denominational here – but know that just believing is not enough. No, you can’t earn your way to heaven but we are called to disciple others to share the good news. If we as believers keep our thoughts to ourselves we will continue to have a world that is sharply divided where good is called evil and evil is called good.

Let’s look at the right of an infant to get help after birth if it was due to a failed abortion – that was ruled against recently by our government. We the people need to stand up and take note of every person who voted against affirming the right to live. Friends this is satanic worship – it is worshiping the god of death and destruction. This is a sacrifice a human sacrifice to evil. Please pray for our world, pray for yourselves and pray that you are transformed by Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit to minister to a hurting world.

Jesus Calls Us

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord Jesus we live in a time that breaks my heart, a time when good is not revered when life, as we know it, has changed for the worse. Please Lord, help us, fill us with your Holy Spirit – help us to do what is right and live a life that gives glory to you every single day. We do not want to do anything Lord but we need your help and direction. Thank you for all you have given us, thank you once again for the gift of faith. I ask for the gift of discernment and I ask that you fill me with the ability to share the good news of the gospel with others. Bring me people that I can minister to, Lord. I pray specifically for the following intentions…

Thank you, Jesus, for hearing my prayers and for answering them, and I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen!

 

Chosen People

Chosen People | The Israelites were God's chosen people. Why would he pick Israel? | #podcast #christianpodcastChosen People Episode 81

The Israelites were God’s chosen people. Why would he pick Israel? The Scripture explains this well beginning in Abraham when he was promised that his descendants would be as many as the stars in the sky and sand on the seashore.

Genesis 22:16-17

By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will multiply your descendants like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies.

These descendants are the Israelites. But God has called many people throughout the years and they have been what we would consider less than stellar. Why would God choose Isaiah a man who admits to being unclean? Why would God select Peter, who was stubborn, sinful and fishermen of all things! He also inevitably denied Jesus three times. Yet God chose these people among so many others to play very important roles in our salvation history. Look at Paul. He persecuted the Christians as “Saul” until the Lord called him out of darkness to serve Him.

God uses miracles when he calls these men. Peter’s empty nets are filled with fish and though I’m sure he felt unworthy yet he accepts the call. The same with Saul, he is blinded and hears a voice that says, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Here is the Scripture in Acts 9:-1-7

Paul recognizes that it was not due to his own virtue that he was called but by the grace of God that made him worthy. Only God’s grace can cause these men to say, “here I am Lord,” and they left all they had and followed Him.

We must recognize God’s call for us today. How is God calling you? I’ve asked you this many times in past podcasts. I’ve challenged you to spend time in quiet with God to listen to his small voice.

In the quiet, we hear the Lord and he calls each of us today as His chosen people.

Dear Lord thank you for calling me, I am here Lord and I come to do your will. Please help me to understand your will for me today. Please help me to chose you each and every time over all of the other things I could be doing. Please help me to focus on the work you have for me and please give me the grace to do this work because I can do nothing alone. Personally, I thank you for the ability to create this podcast and for all of the people who listen to this show. Please bless them Lord and give them the desires of their hearts. Dear Lord, we pause now to ask you for the following needs:

Thank you, Lord for hearing our prayers and answering them and I pray this in Jesus Precious Name, Amen.

Faith Under Pressure

Faith Under Pressure | In today's world, our faith is under pressure. There are so many things pulling on our time. | #podcast #ChristianPodcastFaith Under Pressure ~ Episode 80

In today’s world, our faith is under pressure. There are so many things pulling on our time. We are bombarded with the news, the things happening in our day to day work, the pressure of home and family. Everywhere we look we just can’t catch our breath until the next onslaught of issues comes barreling into us. It doesn’t have to be this way, and in this episode, we take a look at our faith and the pressure of the world, and the good news? God is victorious!

In the Scriptures, we read about the fate of the prophets. The prophets by definition are rejected. Whenever the Lord asked a prophet to give the people a warning most of the warnings fell on deaf ears. The people thought they didn’t need to change, they thought they were doing fine. Jeremiah told the people of Judah that they must repent on their infidelity or God would destroy their temple. They responded by threatening to put Jeremiah in jail.

In the Gospels, Jesus also faces similar opposition. He was not what the hometown people expected. They knew him and his family. They possibly watched him grow up. They rejected his teaching and drove him out of town. Jesus was able to bear all of this – and I can’t imagine how it felt to him to be rejected by those He loves. Saint Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things –It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Because of God’s love, he served the people and continues to serve us each day. What do we give him back? Our faith and when we are under pressure whether it is from family, pain, illness or from things we can not help, our faith can be tested. We are able to bare all things only by the grace of God only by the help we get in every day of prayer and time with God. We need to be shored up to be infilled and to be created more in His image than our own. Our faith survives when we die to self, putting others first. When we look at things as black and white that is when the filters of this world tend to come crashing in and threatened to overwhelm us.

Put on the armor of Christ daily, rely on God and even the hardest day can be victorious because as we all know – God has already won the battle.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you for all you have done for me in my life. I thank you ahead of time for listening to my pleas and calls in prayer. Dear Lord, I ask that you help me when my faith is under pressure and ask that you fill me with your Holy Spirit to overflowing so that I can withstand all the evil that happens daily.  I need your help Lord each and every day. I ask that you listen to my prayers for the following needs:

Thank-you Lord for all of your blessings, thank you for all of your answered prayers to come and those of you have already answered and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

God Given Gifts

God Given Gifts| God is amazing and he has given you a present. Your God given gifts are something you can discover. #podcast #christianpodcastGod Given Gifts Episode 79

God is amazing and he has given you a present. Your God given gifts are something you can discover. In today’s episode, I share a personal story about how God used my son, who the world would consider a struggling learner. He did me a favor this week that just blew me away and I give all the glory to God!

Thanks to our sponsor, BrightIdeasPress.

Today I share a heartfelt story about the amazing God we serve. I’ve been sick, fever, flu for about a week and yesterday I realized the neatly packaged boxes, fixed with goodies for my two college, out-of-state students sat waiting for the homebaked goodies I never made! I couldn’t make them too early and then last week I planned to mail it on Friday for a sure delivery by Thursday. Since I was so upset about this failure, I asked my oldest son, Neal, if he’d go shopping for two Valentine’s cards for me. I wanted one that was to a daughter and one to a son. I’ve asked Neal in the past under emergencies to shop for me because he has this gift!

Well, he purchased them and today I finally had the energy to quickly whip up some baked good. As they were baking I took the cards out and almost started to cry! They were perfect. Both were delicately wrapped in plastic, were not ridiculously expensive as we all know cards can be, and had amazing words! I share what each said on the air.

If I had sent my husband the results would be far from similar. These cards were heartfelt and described how I felt about my children. I asked him how long it took him to select the cards and he said fifteen minutes! God has given him a gift. God gives each of us special gifts. And we tell our son this over and over again.

  • Do you know what your gifts are?
  • Do you use the gifts that God has given you?
  • Do you help others identify their gifts?

If we work under the gifts of the Holy Spirit it is amazing how God will bless these efforts. All grace, all power, all glory goes to God. This is the son we were so concerned about for so many years. I am thanking God once again for His mercy, His grace and His providence for my family. I pray this story inspires you. If felt it was a story God wanted you to hear.

Dear Lord, we praise you and we thank you. I want to shout from the rooftop for the entire world to hear that you are the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, The Bright Morning Star, The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You are worthy my God of all praise. I know you hear all our prayers even those in the depth of our heart. You can answer them anytime so we ask you once again for our own personal intentions. Thank you, God, that your words and promises are true and I pray this in Jesus Precious Name. Amen.

 

 

Abortion And Sacrifice

Abortion | Abortion has taken on a new meaning. What happened to love? In our world, it seems that love is no longer a factor in so many people's life.  #podcast #christianpodcastAbortion and Sacrifice Episode 78

Abortion has taken on a new meaning. What happened to love? In our world, it seems that love is no longer a factor in so many people’s life. The recent news has shown the sin of abortion toward the unborn. We as Christians need to wake up and take a stand and I see the root cause of this is an issue of sin, yes–but a lack of love.

Thanks to our sponsor The Christian Standard Bible. You can find more information at CSBible.com. Our sponsors help us tremendously by providing the needed funding to bring you this show as well as others on the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network for free. Again, check out CSBible.com for more information.

Recently I heard a riveting talk by a Jewish convert to Catholicism, Roy Schoeman, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. He had an amazing conversion experience which he details in his book, “Salvation is from the Jews.” The topic of his talk wasn’t about conversion it was about the occult and some religions outside of Christianity and Catholicism. The details were remarkable, and I urge you to check out his website.

In his talk, he covered many things but what struck me are what he termed the sins the cry out to heaven for vengeance, or “the sins that cry out to heaven.”

Sins That Cry Out To Heaven

  1. Murder of a child by the parent, (or the killing among families)
  2. The sin of the “sodomites.”
  3. Slavery and marginalization of people
  4. Taking advantage of people and defrauding

 

What struck me the most was the first one, the murder of a child by the parent. He gave an example in scripture about the war between Israel and the Moab. 2 Kings 3. The Israelites were winning the battle, and . as they were in retreat, the King of Moab realized they were loosing. Listen as I read this passage:

King of Moab Sacrifices His Son to satan (god of Moab) ~ 2Kings 2: 26-27

When the king of Moab realized that he was losing the battle, he took seven hundred swordsmen with him and tried to force his way through the enemy lines and escape to the king of Syria,[c] but he failed. 27 So he took his oldest son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him on the city wall as a sacrifice to the god of Moab. The Israelites were terrified[d] and so they drew back from the city and returned to their own country.

The king offered up his son to the god of Moab. Who is this god of Moab? It is the devil. He offered his son to satan. Why is this important? Because love is a powerful thing. If he loved his son, and I am sure that he did, giving up his son was a huge sacrifice. However, love was not enough. The power of evil was stronger because of the sacrifice of the son to the god. The decision of this king was for himself. He was selfish. He wanted to win. He wanted something he desired more than he wanted his son to live. So he sacrificed his son to a god. A god that we think, “well this god does not exist,” but the entity he sacrificed his son to was satan.

King kills his son and wins.

The connection between the king slaughtering his son and abortion hit me. We all know about abortion, and if you are listening to this podcast, my educated guess is that you agree abortion on demand is evil. However, I never thought of abortion in terms of the fact that a mother is killing her child in the same way as the sacrifice of the king of Moab. Think about it. If abortion is evil – and it results in death, the death of an innocent child, therefore the sacrifice of a child for the selfish reasons of the mother, whatever that might be is, in essence, a sacrifice to satan.

Our speaker explained that evil has power. And we can see that in the sacrifice by the King of Moab which turned around the war. There have been so many abortions, and that has fueled the hate in the hearts of those at the top of government the governor just signed a law reaffirming that a woman can have an abortion all the way up to birth. Another governor from Virginia in a radio interview explained they were hoping to pass a similar bill. The evil side has power. The speaker further explained that satan does not want people to think he exists. You can see that as well.

Where is Love?

Love of the human race is ultimately replaced by love of self. I won’t go into all the terminology used to spin abortion in a good light – we know it is false. It has nothing to do with women’s reproductive rights and everything to do with satanic sacrifice and worship. I can see that clearly. As a mother of five and two miscarriages, I know the power of love. The love of a mother, the love a mother has for her child.

The love of a mother should be sacrificial. If our children are hurting, we will do anything and everything we can for that child. We would lay down our lives for our children. But that is not what I see today. I see women who are hurting and confused pushed into abortions by those they think love them. If they are truly loved would they consider harming their own child?

Abortion is Murder of a Child

Abortion is murder, but now it has another face, it is a ritualistic sacrifice to the evil one. Friends, we can no longer sit back and allow the politicians and the court of the public to make decisions for us. We must pray as we’ve never prayed before and plead to heaven as a reminder that this is the number one sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.

I keep thinking this is a nightmare and that I will wake up and find out it is a horrible dream, but day after day I hear the relentless chatter on the news that everyone is up in arms because 80% of the population is against late-term abortions. What about 80% against all abortions? How can any abortion be okay? I know how I felt when I lost a child in a miscarriage. What is the mental cost of a woman who has an abortion and later realizes she has killed her child? There are recovery groups of those who have had an abortion. One group Silent No More link helps women and men who are suffering from the effects of their decision.

Another point made by the pastor, Father Cooney after the talk is that these human sacrifices do have strength in making evil stronger. And, the church, Christians as a whole are lacking in faith. Our churches are full, but the faith of the average person sitting in the pew is in need of a revival. Maybe, friends, this is our revival. It is time we do something in the form first of prayer, and second in fasting. Fasting and prayer is a secret weapon of Christians that is not utilized. I have a special friend who I know has amazing results when she prays and fasts. It works!

Pray ~ Pray ~ Pray

We need to pray not only for an end of abortion but for the Lord to infill mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters with love. The love that comes from God. The love that will change hearts. If our world was filled with love if we could get along with each other, if we were focused on the task of following the Lord’s will for our lives we would not have this nightmare in our time.

So, friends, we have a job ahead of us, we have to pray as we’ve never prayed before. I am asking you to join me in asking the Lord for a miracle.

Dear Lord, I praise you like never before. You are the Almighty One, The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. My God I worship you as the true God, the Alpha, and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Lord, I thank you for life, I thank you for each of the children you have given me and I lift them up to you by name. I thank you for my family, my extended family and all those loving people you have put in my life. I ask you, Lord, to hear our prayers. I know you are victorious and the battle over evil has been won, and I claim that in the precious Name of Jesus. I ask that you protect our country and our world and please stop this insidious call for abortion on demand. I ask you, Lord, to fill us with your love, fill us to overflowing because true loves cast out all fear and we should not be fearful but put on the armor of Christ to defeat the evil one. We can do nothing without you, Lord, this I know. So I ask that you empower those with real power to combat this on the local, state and national level. That you infill us, your prayer warriors with direction and instruction to join the Army of Christ. And, I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

to join the Army of Christ. And, I pray this in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.

Second Chances

Second Chance | Is there a time for second chances? Of course, there is and we see that again and again in the Scriptures. #podcast #christianpodcastSecond Chances Episode 77

Is there a time for second chances? Of course, there is and we see that again and again in the Scriptures. We find the opportunities in our own lives to try for a second time. We are close to the New Year as I record this episode and one of the traditions is making a New Year’s Resolution. For years, I’m not afraid to admit I would not do it because I was afraid of failure. If you don’t make a resolution, a plan, and attempt to change then guess what? There is no failure. Or is there?

Well, just the simple act of not doing anything in truth is failure. We must strive to make gains each day, to grow in our faith, in our relationships and be present for those around us. When we make a plan or a resolution to change our behavior or bad habits we are trying to become a better person not just for ourselves but for those who surround us.

The Bible is a wonderful example to use for ourselves to see the way that we were redeemed throughout Scriptures. Much importance is put on Moses and freeing the Israelites from oppression, and we know the story, the Israelites at first could not leave behind the idols and we learn that not only did Moses go up to the mountain of Mt.Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments from God, but he went up twice! How often have you said, well if I were the people of Israel I would have been so happy to leave Egypt that I would want to change.

Habits. We get into bad habits and we have the hardest time letting them go. So, the people of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years until they were shown the promised land. This was definitely a trial by fire. Yet, they were God’s chosen people.

Did you ever wonder what happened once they were in the promised land? You can read about it in Nehemiah Chapter 7 and then 8 – in this passage it tells us that Ezra the scribe was asked to bring out the book of the law of Moses “which the Lord had given to Israel,” and he read it from the town square in the presence of men and women, some who were specifically named in the Scriptures. Read Ezra 8:5-6

The people were so overwhelmed by the Word that they prostrated themselves on the ground. This was an opportunity for the people of Jerusalem to change their ways.

How different of a reception to the 10 Commandments to the people who had wandered and their descendants! Radically different. When we suffer we learn don’t we. We don’t want to make the same mistakes. The people of Israel had just returned after generations in exile so living according to the law would be something they were interested in that they bowed and worshiped the Lord with their faces on the ground. It was now an opportunity to change their lives and those of their descendants for the better.

In Isaiah 61:1 we also hear a call for freedom from captivity.

What captivity? What is darkness for prisoners? What are you captive to? What is the darkness that makes you feels as if you are a prisoner? It can be something simple from a bad habit, biting your nails, or eating the wrong foods that cause sickness or even telling lies, bad jokes, or gossip. Or it can be serious, and addiction that needs help.

God is a healer. He has brought us the good news to the oppressed and to bind the brokenhearted.

We often face rejection. From those nearest to us, those we love, our friends, neighbors – but Jesus too was rejected in his own home town as he was reading from Isaiah.

Luke 4:16-20 (read)

It was the beginning of his ministry – Jesus gave them a new opportunity, a new beginning a new life in essence. While many in his town rejected it we have a choice.

It is a free will choice. Will you be set free by the power of Jesus Christ? Will you let go of past hurts, of those you can’t forgive of all the ways you keep thinking about the way people have hurt you. Friends, we need to let it go. Life is not fair and we only get one life to live so how do you chose to live your life?

Let’s pray. Jesus, I chose you – I choose you every single time. I am thankful Lord and I give you all the praise. Thank you for coming for us, thank you for setting us free from oppression and from slavery. I chose yes Lord. I chose to follow your ways, to follow the ten commandments to being a new year, and a year acceptable to the Lord, or in the Lord’s favor. I ask Lord for the following need that is pressing on my heart and mind… Thank you Lord for your miracles and I know you can work miracles in my life as well. I thank you no matter what the outcome and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Christian Marriage and God

Christian Marriage | Every Christian marriage has its ups and downs and when you think about marriage as a Christian it is important to look at the scriptures! #podcast #christianpodcastMarriage and God Episode 76

Every Christian marriage has its ups and downs and when you think about marriage as a Christian it is important to look at the scriptures! In this episode, we will explore the Bible and look at the example of the marriage at Cana as well as all the places where God shows up in every day in our lives.

Thanks to our sponsor CSBible.com

Christian Standard Bible #csbible

In changing water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana we look at it so many years later as the first time we see the Lord, Jesus performs a miracle. But in the gospel of John, he does not refer to it as a miracle, he calls it a sign. It was a sign that was performed in order to reveal God’s presence in human history. What does this sign reveal? It reveals so many things personally to me. First, Jesus performed the miracle because his mother, Mary asked. I often wonder, did Mary realize this was a first in human history? Did she realize that in asking her Son to bless the water and in turn create wine that was the best the guests had tasted that it was the beginning of His public ministry? Did Jesus previously perform miracles at home with just Joseph and Mary as a witness? There are so many questions that are left unanswered.

I believe that Mary was given Divine grace, first in her ability to say yes to the angel, Gabrielle so many years ago. Then, in the way to raise Jesus. The only glimpse we are given into his childhood is when He is lost for three days and Mary and Joseph had to return to the temple and when they did, they found him among the elders teaching. Was this a time that Mary and Joseph had an argument? The men and women did not travel together so they both possibly thought the other had Jesus and then somehow learned he was not among them.

How did this family deal with adversity with the Savior of the world in their care?

This leads us to our own families and the conflicts that often arise. There is no one marriage manual that explains the differences between men and women so well that we understand our spouse completely. There is no manual to read before entering into a marriage that will solve all of your marriage issues because marriage is fluid. It changes. I am definitely not the same person I was when I said, “I do,” many, many years ago. That person was used to getting her own way and compromise consisted of my husband saying he was sorry and next time he’d do it my way! Okay, I wasn’t that horrible but you get the picture.

Marriage changes us and if we focus on God as a couple it will help us get through all of the tough times to come. Thankfully, we committed on our wedding day before God and our friends and family to put God first. If you have not committed your marriage to God consider doing that today! If you are not married remember the importance of this covenant with each other. We read about covenants in Scripture.

  1. Isaiah uses wedding imagery (Isaiah 62:4-5) … “as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride,” and the metaphor of marriage, “makes your land his spouse,” which describes God’s relationship with the land, no… with us, with humanity. God is united with humanity as we are united with a spouse in marriage. Scriptures often use words that we understand to describe that which we can not possibly understand.
  2. A covenant and a bond is created various times throughout scripture. In Cana, Jesus transforms the water into wine. The water was used for ceremonial washings and the wine was used by the guests to celebrate the wedding. Again, common day symbols for an understanding at that time.
  3. Wine is again used at the Last Supper, where it becomes His blood on the cross. Jesus drinks from the cup at the Last Supper, but on the cross, He says, “Father if it is possible let this cup pass me by.” It was not possible and Jesus embraced the cross and His death. The cup of our salvation. Jesus is the bridegroom sent by God to humanity, which is His bride.

Just as Jesus lived life with challenges as God and as man, we too are called to live our lives as men and women.

We expect nations to get along and often cannot get along in our own families. These Scriptures show us the price paid for our salvation. We join in marriage as a covenant and a symbol to God and to the outward world of a promise. How does that promise get so messed up in our daily lives? Well, one is that we face so many pressures the minute we wake up!

Ask yourself and journal about the following:

  1. What is the covenant you’ve made with your spouse? (If you are not married what is the covenant with God?)
  2. How are you living a life that is pleasing to God?
  3. If you live a life that is pleasing to God how will that help you in your marriage?
  4. Thanking God each day for the gifts of life and all of the things that happen in your life is the first step to a long and happy marriage. Can you begin this today?
  5. God is love, does that translate into your married life?
  6. Looking at the word sacrifice is there any way you can sacrifice in your life or in your marriage more than God sacrificed for you?
  7. Can you begin to put God first in your life?
  8. Can you put your spouse and their needs above yours and after God?
  9. What does dying to self mean to you?
  10. Name one thing you can change beginning today?

Love is a sacrifice. The two cannot be taken apart. We believe that love conquers all things and it does to a certain extent but until I learned to die to self, which is one of those very hard life lessons, things did not get better. We serve a selfish God. He wants all of us, not the leftover self we give him for two seconds before we fall asleep at night.

If we want a wonderful marriage we must have a wonderful covenant with God. Begin today.

Dear Lord, I praise you for all things even those things I’d rather not be happy about in my life. I know that all things are known by You, still Lord I want to ask you specifically for ___________. Lord allow me to pray for those nearest to me daily. Let me be a prayer warrior for them, please call to mind instances when I should pray for them. Dear Lord, I praise You and I thank-you. You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and I am honored to serve such a mighty God. I thank you ahead of time for all the answered prayers and I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Christian Transformation

Christian Transformation | Have you had a Christian transformation in your life? God sent His only Son so that we might live an abundant life and in this podcast, we will explore Christian transformation and look at the ways that we can apply this to our life. #podcasat #christianpodcastChristian Transformation – Episode 75

Have you had a Christian transformation in your life? God sent His only Son so that we might live an abundant life and in this podcast, we will explore Christian transformation and look at the ways that we can apply this to our life.

We witness the power of God’s love in the Bible. If you have not made it a habit to read Scripture every day be sure to add it to your list!

You can listen to my last podcast Prayer and Routines here.

We all have some type of life transformation but it might not be in the spiritual sense. It might be weight loss or gain. It might be an addition or loss in your family. Transformation can cause us heartache but when we are transformed by the power of God’s word it can be life-altering.

When we read about the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River we are astounded once again by God’s love. Jesus is an example of becoming poor to make us rich. John himself said he was not worthy to even tie his sandal, yet Jesus asked to be baptized.

God’s love is transforming, read: Isaiah 40:1-10 … We read, “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lordmake straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

This is a foreshadowing – a prophecy about the coming of John, the voice calling in the wilderness, and it was written when the Israelites were living in exile. 

At times we can relate to the Israelites. In this time we live of divisive politics where right is wrong and wrong is right. We are dismayed if we watch the news for any length of time and find ourselves frustrated no matter what side you are on. We hold on to this promise to the Israelites that the God of Isaiah is also our God and He knows what we struggle with on a daily basis.

In Acts, Peter speaks in the house of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert. He says, “God shows no partiality.” Now we learn that the God of the Israelites is the God of all and the Christian community is being formed among believers. (Acts 10:34)

Paul also writes to Titus that through Baptism and the Holy Spirit, we can become heirs in hope of eternal life (Titus 3:..-10) and I’d love for you to pull out your Bibles and read this directly, it is as if God is speaking to us today.

Isn’t that amazing? We lived in malice and envy being hated and hating one another … but with the KINDNESS and love of God our Savior appeared. And, friends that is what we must live for, we have Christian transformation when we focus on the fact that he saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

This is true transformation. Trusting in God. Knowing that we are justified by grace and we have the hope of eternal life. Who else gives us this hope? Our family. No. The people we work with. No. The friends we surround ourselves with. No. The only person who gives us eternal hope is the same one who died on the cross, for our sins, so that we can have this promise.

John promises that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This baptism after the life, death and resurrection of Christ set into the motion the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the disciplines and in a sense to us, and this baptism of fire is what is transforming in our lives.

The Holy Spirit was sent to transform us. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. One God, three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This God we serve is an amazing God and ready to help us in our daily trials. If we have been baptized we have transformative power of the Holy Spirit within us and for that we should shout, Halleluiah and praise the Lord! God is within us and we only need to ask for His saving grace in our life.

Do we realize that we as believers and followers of Christ can pray for a deeper infilling of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Do you want to see true transformation, then try this tonight at the foot of your bed, or anytime you want the true restorative help of God in your life…

Dear Lord, I come to you sinful and sorrowful and I ask first that you forgive me of the sins I have committed today … I ask that you bless me with your restorative love and infill me with the Holy Spirit. Bring me to a deeper union with you, my God. Help me to see you in everything. Help me to be thankful each day no matter what the circumstance. I thank you for your promise of everlasting life and a true transformation that only comes with belief in Christ. I praise you and I thank you, my God. Thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit, thank-you for deepening my love for you, thank-you for infilling me to overflowing with the grace to do Your will each day, and I praise you in Jesus Name, Amen.

Routines and Prayer

routines and prayers | When life throws you a curve falling back on routines and prayer are helpful for a Christian. #podcast #christianpodcastRoutines and Prayer For Christians

When life throws you a curve falling back on routines and prayer are helpful for a Christian. In this episode, we will focus on making the most of your daily routines to include prayer.

With the holidays ending there is still so much on my to-do list it seems to be never-ending. In fact, I’ve stopped making the lists because I felt like I spent half of my time just adding most of it to the next day. During this time I realized one thing that helped me tremendously and that was my daily prayer routines, and that is what I’d like to encourage you to do as I believe it will be helpful.

What is the difference between routines and habits? I believe they are both similar. A routine is actually the “doing” of a habit. There are many lists out there for good Christians to follow and I find most of them overwhelming. Keeping your routines simple give the opportunity for growth, which is my goal. My husband often says if you are not growing in your relationship with the Lord then you are not stagnant, you are actually going backward. While you may not agree with this philosophy for me it gives me pause to think.

Some people overanalyze and I am one of those people. When things go right, I tend to go with the flow but when they don’t then I’m ready to figure out the why behind it. During the busy holiday season and even afterward, I felt further and further behind with my prayer time and Bible time until I realized that it really wasn’t true and with some of the routines I had in place, I was actually on autopilot which allowed me to make the most of my time with the Lord as well as time with my family.

What are your goals as a Christian?

  1. Time for prayer
  2. Time for reading the Bible
  3. Time to grow in my relationship with the Lord
  4. Time to look at my life and make changes
  5. Time to share my faith
  6. Time for family and friends

Your goals can be different than mine but look at how you are spending your time growing in your faith and the things you’d like to change. As always start small and add to the list, and give yourself a break. When things don’t go as planned don’t get down! What are the constants in your life and are there ways to improve upon them, if not go to the next item on your list.

My goals have changed as I have grown in the Lord and as I’ve shared in previous podcasts for me the quiet time and just listening was and to a certain extent now the hardest obstacles in my life. The only place I come the closest to listening to the Lord is at church. There is something about church that gives me time to focus on the Lord and just close my eyes and listen.

Please know that I have felt a closeness to the Lord in different degrees all of my life thus far, and like the waves on the beach that closeness at times has ebbed and flowed. There are times I’d pray and only hear silence. I believe it is in those times of silence that the Lord teaches us to be disciples and allows us that quiet to do an inner reflection. It also takes discipline to be quiet before the Lord and for many of us–myself included that discipline is needed. It takes all our strength to persevere, but please, please do not give up!

It may mean we have to repent before the Lord. Ask the Lord if there is something we need to ask forgiveness for. For me often it was stress and not relying on or trusting in Him. I’ve had to ask the Lord’s forgiveness for my lack of trust. Do I know, intellectually that the Lord is in charge of everything and that He has it all under control? Of course! Yet it is difficult for us to trust without holding back.

Do you have a place to pray? Where is your place? Do you have a prayer chair? A prayer corner?

Talk about the lady who prayed and even asked God about what plants she should plant…

So, the focus today is on routine, habits and growing in your faith. Pick one thing today to focus on and begin now.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for giving me a sense and a heart for loving You and wanting to be in Your presence. Thank you for giving me the gift of faith and for allowing it to grow each day. I ask that You help me with the daily routines, and allow me the time to follow them in order to spend time with You not only in prayer and petition but time in silence. It is in the silence that I learn discipline and to be a disciple. In the silence, I learn what it is about myself that needs to be changed. Lord, is there something that I need to repent and ask forgiveness for? Is there something I am lacking? It is in the asking that we are freed and I ask this Lord in Your precious name. Dear Lord please help me in my prayer routines and to create good habits in me. I also ask for the following intentions …  thank-you my God for always being here for me. And, I pray this in Jesus, Precious Name. Amen.

New Year And Faith

New Year and Faith | Try these things to jump start the new year. #podcast #christianpodcastNew Year and Faith

Beginning the new year with joy and a plan of focusing on increasing our walk with the Lord in the best way possible is the topic of today’s podcast. A simplified approach is the best for busy people, and here are some pointers to help you.

  1. Rejoice in the Lord always – Phillipains 4:4
  2. Gratitude – 1 Thessalonians 5 — Be thankful for the small things and the big things be grateful for the faith
  3. Focus – on one thing — what is the one thing you can do to increase your faith? Your prayer life?
  4. Begin anew. Something you were doing but stopped? Journaling? Reading the Bible? Praising God each day?
  5. Attitude recheck. Are you upset or depressed? Give it to the Lord  — Philippians 4:6-7
A prayer to help you in the new year:

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much and I thank you for the simple message today to refocus and renew my love for you, for all things that are good and holy and let the rest drop away. I ask that you infill me with your Holy Spirit, that you give me the wisdom for the things I should do as well as those things I should not do. I ask that you bless those who I pray for now ….

Dear Lord thank you for the gift of faith and the opportunity to praise and rejoice in your goodness. I ask you to bless us as we prepare for a brand new year and give us the fortitude to do your will. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Home and Promise

Hope and Promise |The joy of the Lord is almost among us and we wait in hope and promise! In this episode, we celebrate the coming of Jesus in a new way. |#podcast #christianpodcast #christianHope and Promise Episode 72

The joy of the Lord is almost among us and we wait in hope and promise! In this episode, we celebrate the coming of Jesus in a new way.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

The hope and promise that Jesus gives us in the here and now – and it happens each and every day. We could not have hope without a cross and resurrection, something my pastor reminded me of the other night when he came for dinner.

He made an interesting comment. He said, there is talk of joy and thanksgiving but people forget the heavy price that came for that joy and thanksgiving to take place. That price was the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That price is also the fact that our Lord became man.

We pay the price each day. In those little and big dramas in our life. In our frustrations. In our inability to cope or to get along with others. In dealing with members of our family or in suffering the loss of loved ones.

That price comes at a heavy cost in our lives as well. Yet, there is hope.

We miss these little gems if we are not careful to see them. As we seek the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas, the death and Resurrection at Easter and the waiting for the second coming of our Lord we can have joyful anticipation. The promise is real.

We sing, “Oh Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and I love that name! It means, “God with us.” It makes my heart sing because I know that God is already here. He is with me each and every day.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV  — “The Lord your God is with you…”

Zephaniah 3:17 New American Bible states, “The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, Who will sing joyfully because of you.”

The Lord God is in our midst and a might savior – is among you.

Isaiah 12:6 – “Shout with exultation, City of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel!”

The Lord is near Philippians 4:5)

As Baptized Christians we have already received the Holy Spirit – God is already with us, so we should witness to God’s presence and how can we do this?

  1. SMILE – that costs you nothing
  2. Find time to spend with the Lord! If we are filled up with the love of God it will spill out to others.
  3. Treat others with kindness
  4. Treat others fairly
  5. Be content with what we have!

Friends we live in a hurting world and as my pastor says, without the cross we can have no resurrection but I find that so many people are focused on themselves and their situations that it is almost impossible for them to pick up their heads and look at others.

Giving of yourself costs nothing. It costs a smile, a hug, patience at the store or while driving. It is a small cost for what the Lord has done for us.

How can we bring the joy of Christmas to others? By having the Lord in our hearts. That is the absolute best gift you can give anyone, the gift of faith.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord today we pray for all that you offer in the promise of Christmas – all of the blessings, all of the joy that comes from your love for all of us. I ask that you translate this joy into our hearts, into the hearts of our loved ones and especially for those who struggle at this time of the year. True joy. Everlasting joy. Eternal joy. Only comes from you. As the Lord and Savior, as Emmanuel, God with us you can infuse in our hearts this joy that surpasses all understanding. I ask for an infilling of your most Holy Spirit to overflow in my life. I ask that you hear the prayers and petitions I set before you … I praise you my God and I am humbled and awed that you ask me to be your servant. That you chose me – each one of US that is listening today. You have called us by name and you are here in our midst. Thank you Lord for the greatest gift of all – the gift of faith and salvation. I praise you and ask a blessing on all those listening and all those we pray for … thank-you, my God. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Christian Preparation

Christian Preparation | Prepare the way of the Lord, that is the cry for Christian preparation. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #podcastChristian Preparation Episode 71

Prepare the way of the Lord, that is the cry for Christian preparation. The early Jews and Gentiles did not understand nor did they have the wonderful ability to read about God in the Bible. We do! In this episode, we will study what it means to prepare and to await the coming of our Lord.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

If you listen to my podcasts in order then you learned in the last one about the beginning of the Christmas season with the start of Advent. Today we talk about waiting in preparation but also understanding that the ministry of God was not an easy one. John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus after his time in the desert. We are in a time of freedom from sin and a time of forgiveness through repentance. In Isaiah, we read, “A voice of one calling; In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord…” The voice of John the Baptist in the desert asks us to prepare the way for the Lord – we are to make our paths straight in the desert a highway of God.

Friends, what is cluttering your life? What is standing in the way of God? What is the roadblock or the bump in the road that is difficult for you to navigate around? Is there one? Give yourself some time to reflect. If you are keeping a daily journal think about this, and be honest with yourself. Whatever that obstacle, whatever that problem, nothing is too big or our GOD. Our God is there for us and as Christians we must prepare.

You know I love the idea of accepting God as my personal Savior but that is just the beginning. It is not the end. Christian preparation is an everyday thing.

Reflect upon these points:

  1. What are your last thoughts before you go to bed at night?
  2. What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?
  3. Do you think about God during the day?
  4. Do you thank God during the day?
  5. Do you feel joy in your heart when you think about God?

Reflections are not to make us feel bad or inadequate, they are to give us an idea of where we are going or what needs work. As I shared these points with you I know there are two areas where I need major work.

Christian preparation means praying before we go to sleep and trusting in the goodness and providence of God for our needs. Notice I said needs and not necessarily wants, although the Lord hears these as well.

I for one want to answer the calling of John in the desert to prepare the way of the Lord.

I do this by listening to Christian music – I did a podcast and I’ll put the link in the show notes about Christian music I love that is uplifting. At Christmas time I love to listen to Michael W. Smith’s classic albums of Christmas. What better way to prepare than to sing in glory to God.

Praising God in song will bring you joy. Another way to have joy is to forgive. Who is it that you need to forgive. If you say no one that means you have not given yourself time to think! I promise you we all have to forgive someone and often the person you need to forgive the most is yourself!

Dear Jesus … give us a servants heart and allow us to embrace all that you have in store for us this Christmas season. I want to know you – to love you and to serve you all the days of my life. Starting this very moment Lord, I want to be known as a follower of Christ. I will not compromise truth which you have laid out in the Holy Bible, which you have passed on in the word to generations of faithful men and women and which you showed by example when you lived on this earth. Dear Lord let me keep my eyes focused on you — not on the fleeting things of this world that get me off track. I want to praise you Lord in joy and in song. Thank you for coming as a tiny baby to a poor family – thank you for living a life that was an example of kindness, love, and compassion, thank you for dying on the cross and rising – to give us new life. Dear Lord, I bring you my prayers and needs and lay them before your feet… and I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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Advent

Advent | When we celebrate Advent, we are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Advent means coming in Latin. | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #homeschoolAdvent Episode 70

Do you realize we are always waiting? When we celebrate Advent, we are waiting for the coming of the Lord. Advent means coming in Latin. In this episode, we will explore the hope we find at Christmas time and how this hope can translate our lives for the better.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. You can find books and products on MediaAngels.com as well as on Amazon. I highly recommend getting a copy of One More Child when the book releases as well as A Few Minutes with God or the Truth Seekers Mystery Series for your children.

We are always waiting for something! If things are difficult in your life you wait for them to get better. We wait for a new opportunity, a new job, a new house or car. We wait and wait and often we find that our happiness hinges on this waiting and what the waiting will bring. The things of this world are fleeting. And while we realize that with head knowledge our hearts beg to differ.

During the time before Christmas we have many distractions but essentially they can be distilled down to two points.

  1. We get caught up in the materialist theme of Christmas… decorations, presents, and food
  2. Or we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas — That Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe gave us His only begotten son, allowed His Son to live among a humble man and woman, Joseph and Mary… living the life of a poor carpenter, so that we could have Salvation.

In the weeks before Christmas, we can be in hopeful waiting and anticipation for the coming of Jesus into the world. The four Sundays and weeks of Advent allow us to prepare and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

My family celebrates with prayer every evening. We light the four candles of the Advent wreath, one each week to symbolize the days of anticipation. The wreath has three purple candles and one pink, for the third week. The wreath is a circle of evergreen branches laid flat to symbolize eternal life. On Christmas day a fifth white candle is lit, representing Christ.

Each evening we pray, by reading different Scriptures and lifting up people in prayer and petition to the Lord. At the end, we celebrate the day by thanking God for one or more things that happened.

Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation. But we don’t have to throw out all of the traditional celebrations. I know of people who are good and committed Christians who decided that Christmas is essentially a pagan holiday and refuse to put up a tree or exchange gifts. I respect each person and how they wish to celebrate, however, for us it is the melding of two worlds without compromising our faith in God.

God comes first – Christmas is the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus but it also reminds us of the second coming. When we celebrate the past, the birth of Jesus we look forward to the future, the coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead. We must be vigilant and not allow the anxieties of daily life to distract us.

In Luke 21:34 we read:

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

This also relates to Christmas time – we can celebrate the season without becoming all consumed in the celebration and preparation that we forget all about God.

This also reminds us to keep anxiety at a minimum, remember the podcast a few episodes ago where I relayed the important information about where to find God. We find Him today – we focus on today. We don’t worry about the past and allow it to cause us anxiety or grief and we don’t worry about the future where things may or may not turn out the way we fear! Fear and anxiety are not what the Lord wants for our life!

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13  – In verse 12 it says, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”

If the Lord increases our love for others as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, we cannot help but rejoice. This love of God will flow out to others and they will say, “What is different about you.”

This waiting and expecting can be a time of great joy no matter what is happening in your life. By taking out eyes off of ourselves and placing them on the joy of the Lord, we can only grow in strength and wisdom to fight the good fight.

I pray as we begin our prayers for this Advent season that it becomes the best one ever!

Dear Lord Jesus, I love you very much and I thank you for coming into this world to save us! I thank you for giving us these days of preparation to place you deeper and deeper into our hearts so that we can reflect the love you have for us and bring others joy as a result. Lord help us to overcome our anxieties and worry and I place all my needs, especially this specific need for which I pray into your most capable hands ……. Thank-you Lord for hearing my prayers and petitions and for granting me the desires of my heart. Thank you, Lord, thank you for all you do in my life and for all the graces you give me each day to combat the evil one! I pray for the joy that surpasses all understanding today and always, Amen!

Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men | What does it mean to be fishers of men? It means first hearing the Word of the Lord and placing it in our hearts. Only in that way can we follow.| #podcast #christianpodcast #fishersofmenFishers of Men

We want to be fishers of men because, for me, the ideal is to be used for the Lord’s work. In this episode, we will discuss how we can hear the Lord’s calling in the words of the Scriptures and how He can lead us to share the good news!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc., and the book – A Few Minutes with God and Truth Seekers Mystery Series.

What does it mean to be fishers of men? It means first hearing the Word of the Lord and placing it in our hearts. Only in that way can we follow.

In the Book of Romans, we read that while we can confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord — we must also believe in our hearts. Let’s read Romans 10: 9-18 together.

This is such great news because we hear many things:

  1. We must believe.
  2. No one who believes will be put to shame
  3. The Lord is Lord of all
  4. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

But, just as important for all of us is what we have been learning and practicing in this series of podcasts and that is listening. The Scripture further goes on to say, “…And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” Without spending time with the Lord we can’t come to know him. “…But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us.”

How can we share the good news without instilling it in our hearts and living our lives as if we believe? This is totally by the grace of God but a grace He can most definitely give to us. If we have heard the good news and the love the Lord has placed in our hearts for Him, we will not be able to contain the joy.

As I record this podcast we are approaching the Christmas season and it is definitely a time of great joy and great sorrow. Sorrow for those we have lost, for those we are estranged from and for all the regrets that seem to plague us. It is also a time of great joy not for what we will find under the tree on Christmas day but we are a joyful people because of the good news… we have heard the Lord and we are following Him. God’s words give us life. god’s words are true, enduring they last forever. God’s words are more precious than gold.

In Matthew 4:18-22 we read about Jesus as he meets his disciples.

In this Gospel we are delighted as we learn that the men, simple by the world’s standards are drawn to Jesus and leave all that they know, their livelihood, their family to follow him. How likely are we to drop everything and follow Jesus as these men did.

Sometimes I think that the simple in worldly ways are truthfully the people of God. They do not need to think, they act. And, I’m sure that the Lord provided His grace but they out of a simple act of obedience said yes. It was not the most traveled road. Conversely, it was a hard road to travel because we know the ending. One died at his own hands (Judas), one lived to an old age in exile, (John) and the remainder were martyred for their faith.

While our lives may not be easy we can learn so much from these men. Friends, as we approach each day, let’s pray that the Lord chooses us to be fishers of men.

Dear Lord, I praise you that your Word is true, blessed and refreshing to our souls. I thank you for allowing us to join you, to come alongside you to share Your good news with others. I want to be a fisher of men, I want to proclaim the good news to all who will listen, to the ends of the earth, but you Lord have the perfect plan for my life. As I sit here and pray along with those listening, I ask that you hear our petitions for all of those that we pray for… Dear Lord hear our prayers and grant us the grace we need to go on each day. I thank-you today Lord for all the blessings you have provided for my life and those I love. And, I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Something Out of Nothing

Something Out of Nothing | Only God can create something out of nothing – He did this in the Creation of the World and he does this all the time when He blesses. | #podcast #christian podcast #miraclesSomething out of Nothing — AFMWG – 67

Only God can create something out of nothing – He did this in the Creation of the World and he does this all the time when He blesses. In this episode, we will discuss how God rightly deserves our Thanksgiving!

Our sponsor — Heirloom Audios. Lasting value and spiritual benefits — Christian history – audio adventures. Movies for the Minds CD Sets  GiveTheAdventure.com

How many times do you give thanks each day? Blessings are something out of nothing. We can see the blessings in our lives but where do they come from? How do they come to be? It is from the Lord – but we don’t visibly see him.

I describe the effects of the Lord in our lives to the wind – and I’m sure I’ve used this analogy before. We feel the effects of the wind but we don’t see it. In the following examples, we will see how the Lord blesses His people and how those who are the ones he is blessing realize this and give him all the glory! This is a wonderful example for us.

King Solomon dedicates the Lord’s temple which was one of his greatest accomplishments. This temple was vast and greater than anything the people at the time have ever seen. But, Solomon’s dedication was thanksgiving to the Lord with prayers to God to bless the people. He thanked God for keeping all the promises God had made to the chosen people through Moses.

I Kings 8:22-23

Saint Paul also thanks God for the grace upon the people of Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:3-6 — Thanksgiving for the Corinthians.

Paul realizes that in Christ the Corinthians are “enriched in every way.” And one of the most beautiful praises to God is from Mary – in Luke 1:46-50 It is called the Magnificat.

How wonderful that even the Mother of our Lord realized when she said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. — Praise be the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus – thank you for reminding us that truly something does come from nothing if you are the one behind all of the goodness in our lives. In the midst of wonderful things Lord let us remember that you are the one who is the ultimate source of all that is good, that is wonderful that is deserving of our thanksgiving. Lord help us to be thankful not only during seasons such as Thanksgiving or Christmas but also all the times in between. We praise you Lord and ask you to grant us the following: ——————- Thanks so much Lord for every good thing and I ask you to bless my family, to keep us in your loving care and for answering our prayers. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith & Generosity

Faith and Generosity | Can you give as the widow gave her last mite? | #podcast #christianpodcast #christian teaching

Faith and Generosity Episode 67

In our world, we have an abundance and sometimes we become complacent, in today’s episode we will discuss our attitude toward all things including the meaning of true generosity that comes from the heart.

Our sponsor — Heirloom Audios. Lasting value and spiritual benefits — Christian history – audio adventures CD Sets  GiveTheAdventure.com

In our world of overflow, there are times when an abundance makes us complacent. Many of us know where our next meal will come from. We don’t have to worry that there will not be enough food, praise God. Some years back there was an economic setback that made us evaluate our purchasing and I had to eliminate all the extras like bottled water, paper plates, and we used paper towels very sparingly. The clothes went out on a line and we only used the dryer in emergencies or rainy days. These hard times caused us to think and be frugal and 4 out of my 5 children are very frugal because of it.

In Scripture, we read about the widow and her son who had no money. 1 Kings 17:12

Can you imagine? Someone asks you to share your food and you have to say “When we have eaten it, we shall die” – yet she shares the last of her food with the prophet and God blesses her generosity. Can you imagine being in her situation? What would you do?

There are many who need our help and I am blessed to be in a church that does a good job of collecting money for what they call the St. Vincent DePaul society that gives to the poor. One Sunday at Mass the VP came and asked not for money but for volunteers! I am praying to join them at some point to help.

Sometimes you can’t give money but you can give your time.

We read of a similar situation but this time in the Widow’s mite – in Mark 12:44 we read — They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”  The widow gives her whole livelihood at the temple of the Lord. She gives not just the extra that she had, but everything she had. In this way, it is an example to us to give our first fruits or our best to the Lord. Again, if not in money then in time.

The ultimate of giving and generosity is Jesus. He is faithful to the Father – on the cross He says, Father, Your will not mine.  He gives his life to save humankind – but just not everyone else – US – he died to save us. You and me. In Hebrews 9:26 we read, “therwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

— “Once for all he has taken away sin by His sacrifice.

We must be a beacon a light for others we must show our faith and generosity not because we believe or are kind but because we allow the light of the Lord to shine through us and how can he? If we are not spending time with him we will have a harder time.

Remember – to spend time with God daily – every day. Spend time talking to Him, writing in your journal make it the first thing you do not the last when you are exhausted and can’t give him your best.

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise you and I thank you – I appreciate all you have done for me, all the ways you have shown me that you care all the ways you have provided for me and my family. Dear Lord, I ask you to help us to give out of our abundance whether it is our gifts or talents. I love you Lord and I ask that you bless each one of us – and that you hear the prayers that are the most pressing on our hearts …………………………….. Lord, I know that you hear our prayers and I ask that you answer them, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Thanking God

Thanking God When Things Happen Not Matter What Happens- Episode 66

Thanking God is difficult when things don’t work out the way we want. And this goes against everything in our human nature. I believe in God, but even science shows us that we are built for self-protection. It is what psychologists call the fight or flight mechanism. When we feel something hot we immediately pull our hand away, when we feel threatened we instinctively back up—so in this podcast we are going to discuss Thanking God in all things – which even means when things go wrong, when bad things happen and when we can’t do one more thing because there is a crushing weight upon us!

I recently heard an amazing speaker and she was full of energy, God’s love flowed out of her and she was truly anointed as she spoke – and she gave us that exact challenge. This lady is no stranger to adversity. Her son who recently came home from the service after many tours of duty in dangerous countries died in a one-car auto accident close to their home. He was her only son. Then not too long afterward her husband died after being diagnosed with an incurable illness and then he was gone. She speaks internationally, has her own television show, radio show, and many, many books and Bible studies. She travels the world proclaiming God’s love and joy. And yet she is no stranger to tragedy, not once but twice in her immediate family.

This lady told us that we had to thank God for everything. Thank God for cancer. Thank God for illness. Thank God for whatever it is that you don’t want to be thankful about!

Think about this. How can we be thankful when we do not feel thankful?

Similar to the podcast I did some time back on Forgiveness (link here) when we do thank God for everything – even the bad things what we ARE doing is an act of obedience.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Will you serve the Lord? If so at what cost? To some, the cost is to high.

Here is how I look at it – You can NOT outgive the Lord. In otherwords, if you help a stranger or if you do something nice for someone else, whatever that is… as little as letting someone in ahead of you in traffic or allowing the person with one item to go ahead in the grocery store, holding the door for someone else, all these are acts of kindness – then watch what happens in your life – the unexpected…(say something about motivation)

Maybe you are thinking – but I don’t do anything for anyone else, I don’t go out much I don’t see others – how can I give?

God does not look at what you do – he looks at your heart, and your motivation. IF you are only doing acts of kindness for something back, it is for yourself that you do these things. If you give freely without restraint or strings you are giving to the Lord.

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess. Deuteronomy 5:33

Thanking God even in the midst of hardship and adversity FOR THAT PROBLEM is an act of obedience.

So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 21:19

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

How can we outgive the Lord – you can’t … I remember one time thinking that I wished the Lord would use me for evangelization. But I was a stay at home, homeschool mom. How was I going to do this? I couldn’t!

So, you know what happened? God sent people to me. Literally. The guy who sprayed for bugs. The plumber. The door-to-door salesperson. The lady at the grocery store.

We listen to people, ask how they are doing – how did you get into this job? How long have you lived here (I live in Florida so people here typically moved from somewhere else.) and it was amazing, I’d get their life stories. Some even said no one even asked how they were doing and treated them as if they were invisible!

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, we thank you for everything that is happening in our lives. We thank you for ____________ each of us has a special need Lord and you know our hearts. But you also know everything that happens in our lives – you are aware of it Lord and in your permissive will it is allowed to happen. Lord, I ask you for the spirit of obedience that you take away any obstacles in our lives that are holding us back. That you increase our love for you, that you fill us with every good thing so that we can be used by You to minister to others. By our obedience in the good and the bad make us an example of your love. We praise you and we give you all the glory, all the honor and all that is worthy of your praise. And, I thank you Lord! In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

Jesus Calling

Jesus Calling | Is Jesus calling you? | #podcast #christianpodcast #jesus #faithJesus Calling Episode 65

Is Jesus calling you? We all know the answer but maybe you are not aware of the ways He calls to you each day. In this episode, Felice shares how she missed all the times that Jesus was calling her and some tips that might be helpful for you in your daily life.

A Few Minutes with God – available on Amazon.

Friends, we live in a very heated political climate right now. There is no longer a right or wrong there is an only “my way or the highway,” approach to discussions. We just can’t avoid it and at best the allure to be conformational and prove our point sometimes gets ahead of us. Yet, is this how Jesus is calling you to respond.

We don’t understand God ways and even discussing him on this podcast makes me feel so inadequate. We face a daily challenge of living our lives and living them with Christian virtue. How will others see Christ if they can not see Him in us, especially if they know we are Christians.

I have a son who loves to wear Christian t-shirts. He also tends to be a hot-head and he is easily provoked by his siblings. I’ve often reminded him when we are heading out to an event or dinner that he is responsible for the words on his shirt. People will judge him in a harsher light if they see that he is over-reacting to a sibling instead of showing Christ’s compassion to them. (Especially if he is wearing a t-shirt that says, “Jesus saves,” or “God is love.”

If you need a devotional I recommend a wonderful little book by the title Jesus Calling and I highly recommend this as a gift for a loved one and a perfect gift for a high school student, or one leaving for college life. This book is filled with short thought-provoking readings taking less than five minutes to read with some wonderful Scripture references.

When you read the Bible or a devotional, listen. Look. Watch. Each day.

How does the Lord call to us each day? Is it to help a child? To prepare a meal? To smile at an elderly person in church or the grocery store? Is it to let someone ahead of you in line, or to help someone to unload their grocery cart?

How does the Lord call us each day? Is it in that still small voice? It is in a way that speaks comfort to our soul that could be in turmoil? If we spend time with the Lord, in His word, in prayer, in a quiet church we can soak up the comfort that only comes from God. We can offload our burdens to Him and His capable and loving heart. We can feel His arms around us and place our head on His shoulder like a child.

Do we have faith like a child? Do we really believe? Is God who He says He is there for us each and every day in the now, the right now? If He is and we believe then we should follow His call. Jesus does not ask much. We should offer Him our love and our obedience not because He needs either – God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit need nothing from us. Nothing. However, because of His love, we should want to be the best Christian follower we can be.

He calls us each and every day. He calls us in the good times. He calls us in the bad times. He calls us in the sunshine. He calls us in the rain. He calls us all of the time.

This verse in 1 Kings shows us the power of the Lord:

1 Kings 19 – 9-13 —  the Lord speaking to Elijah

We may not be blessed to hear the voice of the Lord our God as Elijah did – but we can hear His small still voice. Remember, a few minutes with God each and every day. Close your eyes and be present to Him.

Even if you do not feel anything or hear anything interiorly you know without a shadow of a doubt that HE IS HERE. The Lord is with you all the time. We learned as children that God is everywhere if He is everywhere and you are somewhere He is with you!

Dear Friends let’s pray.

Lord I, want to follow you, and I want to hear your call for me. Jesus I, know you call me each day and I miss those little signs. Please open my eyes to your calling each day. Open my eyes to the ways I should be present for my family, relatives and those in my life – those people you have surrounded me with. Nothing is an accident with You Lord you know every thing that happens in our lives. Nothing is a surprise. I ask Lord that you give me the grace to know You better, to hear your small still voice, to be present when I should be and to know the difference between busy work and work for the Kingdom of God. Help me to align my priorities to keep my focus on You and to do every good thing for the glory of God! And, I pray this in Jesus precious Name. Amen.

God in the Present Moment

God in the Present Moment | Where can you find God? | #podcast #christianpodcastPresent Moment Episode 64

God is in the Present Moment is an amazing concept and one I absolutely love. If you have listened to the other podcasters on this network you will see this is a topic many like to speak about. I’ve included some links to the other podcasts for you to enjoy on the topic of God in the present moment.

Recently, I was blessed recently to hear a wonderful Christian speaker, and she shared this very important insight in a unique way that I absolutely loved because it made so much sense to me.

I want to share this with you as well – but first I’d like to thank my sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. Please check out the books A Few Minutes with God and the soon to be released, One More Child. These will be available on Amazon and make great Christmas gifts.

Is God in the present moment?

God was there before all things began. God was not made he always was. He is beyond all that we can comprehend and using out words to describe him falls short.

God is everywhere – he is the light of the world and he knows all.

God will always be – even if the world or universe no longer exists, God will always be.

So, yes. God is in the present moment.

Which brings me to the important insight. And it centers around worry. I think sometimes we just can’t help it. We are concerned, we worry, we think.

We worry about the past. The things that we did. The problems we have. The tormenting ideas that just won’t go away. These are the could of, would of, should of …

We worry about the future. The what if’s – the tormenting ideas of problems that are not even happening yet. These ideas keep us up at night.

But we must remember in

Isaiah 43: 18-19

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

God doesn’t want us to dwell in the past, so many times there is nothing we can do and all the thoughts that we think about makes us sad or angry. We must rely on God in this present moment.

The insight explained the truth that God is not in the past – nor the future – he is in the here and now. God protects us, He is our refuge, He is our rock. In the present, He is here for us–because the present is our reality, the here and the now.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.”

We are a new creation in Christ. He has washed us clean. We must rely on and trust in Him. In the now.

If we really think about this friends it is freeing. The worry in the past or the future is giving into the weakness we have of concern that is not something that God can protect us from as they haven’t happened yet and more than likely if we are honest, won’t happen.

When my struggling learners were little and I was homeschooling I worried all the time that they wouldn’t be self-sufficient or they could not go to college or … whatever, fill in the blank. If it was a dire thought – I thought it~ I use to think, “If I can just get my son to 18 things will be so much easier.” I was wishing for the future instead of enjoying the now. I can tell you in hindsight everything worked out so much better than I hoped!

The same thing now with my two youngest in college in different states. They are far away. I have to trust the now – that God has them under His special mantle of protection. And, I pray that things turn out so much better than I can imagine!

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord, I pray for the here and now – where You are in this Present Moment. This is so important and it is difficult for me, I am fallible and I am weak. Please help me, Lord, to rely on You for all things. To carry me when I am weak, to watch out for me, for my loved ones and those in need of Your strong presence. Thank you, Lord, for directing me, for keeping me in your care. Dear Lord help me keep you in my focus and for the all the mercy and blessings you can give me. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Mother Theresa’s Quotes

quotes from mother TheresaMother Theresa Quotes Episode 63

Have you read quotes from Mother Theresa? When my children were little we read about Mother Theresa’s life because she was, in essence, a living Saint. She went to Calcutta in India and helped the poor. But what made her remarkable among other things is that she didn’t just look at helping the poor, but the dying. One of the first people she rescued was a man lying in the gutter with maggots and in flit. She said that the Lord gave her the courage to pick him up – and she felt if she had not felt that urging and followed through she would not be able to continue her mission of helping others and eventually starting her own order of nuns.

We all carry our own burdens in life as did Mother Theresa, but we found out after she died that she felt she wasn’t hearing from God as she continued her journey like she did at the beginning.

As Mother Theresa didn’t stop her mission, her faith – even if she did not feel it the way she had as a younger nun did continue or she would have stopped her work!  Faith is a gift from God. We are all called but many do not hear.

In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said…

“…and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Just because we don’t hear the Lord or feel God’s presence, that does not mean you don’t have faith.

I thought I would share with you some of Mother Theresa’s quotes. If you can write them in your journal and think about the ones that speak to you!

Peace begins with a smile.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

 Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.

The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

And the last two I want to leave you with…

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Dear Lord, please help me to be the best I can be in this life. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I can be filled with your Love. I love you Lord, Jesus and I want to follow you each day and serve those in need—even if it is just my family. Please help me to take that first step and guide the rest and I pray for my intentions and those listening …. Please Lord grant us the prayers of our heart, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

Relationships Key To Happiness

relationships Key To Happy Relationships Episode–62

The key to happiness? It features your relationships. I didn’t make this up or even read about it online but I did happen upon this thought over a conversation with our pastor at dinner a few weeks ago. We are blessed to have an amazing associate pastor and he is full of Irish humor and wisdom. He is also one of the most widely read men I know. He has a firm grasp of what is happening today as well as historically and of course theologically.

Father Toner recently discussed many topics and one surrounded relationships. It was one of those tangents that came up that blew me away and I asked him to explain. One of the things he talks about is how limited we are in our vocabulary to describe and understand God. One of his gems is that we should pray, “God I love You as You know yourself to Be.”

Think about that!

He also discussed how our Relationships are directly related to our relationship with God. Here are the three keys.

  1. Relationship with God
  2. Relationship with self
  3. Relationship with others

First, our relationship with God must be solid. You must do what… if you said, Spend a Few Minutes with God – the name of this podcast I say, wonderful! Yes! You must spend time with God to have a relationship. Pray, Sing and then wait. Listen. Be still.

Even as a Catholic I have accepted God as my personal savior. The prayer which you can search of online, and I am sure I have spoken about it in earlier podcasts. The scripture sited the most is John 3 where Nicodemus Visits Jesus and they discuss what it means to be born of water and the spirit. Read John 3 it is wonderful.

Basically, you are saying to the Lord,

  1. Acknowledge sinfulness
  2. Acknowledge the need for forgiveness
  3. A belief that Jesus lived and died for our sins
  4. Agreement to turn away from sin and accept Jesus as our Savior
  5. Promise the Lord to commit to him and ask for an infilling of the Holy Spirit
  6. To help me be the kind of person He wants me to be
  7. And thanking the Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.

A one-time prayer is not the key, the key is a relationship with God and understanding the importance of His saving grace in our lives. The Lord wants us joyous and spirit filled with His love. How can we love others if we do not first love God the source of all love?

Corinthians – The Gift of Love

The second key is the love of self.

Yes, I know this sounds narcissistic – but bear with me. So many people are unhappy and do not understand where their unhappiness comes from. One key indicator is how they think about themselves.

  1. Do we acknowledge we are a sinner?
  2. Do we forgive ourselves for past sins?
  3. Do we realize that if we have asked for forgiveness – for us Catholics that means confessions – that we are, by the grace of God we are forgiven.
  4. Do we realize that God made us in His image – and that has importance?
  5. Do we realize God knows the numbers of hairs on your head and held you in his palm before you were born?

We are special friends – God does not make junk. We, if we are Christians and believe are redeemed by the power of the Lamb of God who laid down his life – once and for all for our sins. Not multi times – once. That is all it took.

Just as an aside for those who are listening and are not Catholic – we believe at the Mass we are reliving that one event – the one time that Jesus died at Calvary. We are doing what the Scripture says – “Do this in Memory of Me.” When we receive communion.

We realize friends that we must love the Lord and have a relationship – before we can move on and love ourselves.

And last – love others. This love is an outgrowth of the love flowing through us from the Father, being at peace with ourselves and understanding the having a servants heart an doing for others is a gift.

What about those we can’t love? Pray to God to love them. I have this situation in my own life and the Lord created an amazing healing.

Friends relationships are not easy – we live in a broken world. However, I pray that this helps you to begin to study about ways we can love God and have a relationship with Him, ways we must love and forgive ourselves and ways to love others as God leads us.

I pray that the Lord touches your heart and encourages you by faith and His grace to seek Him in a relationship, to have a relationship with ourselves where we are comfortable with who we are and help us to pour into others in a relationship built upon love, grace, and compassion. And, Lord I pray for those listening that you bless them and hear their prayers …. And I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen

 

The Armor of God

The Armor of God Episode 61

Putting on the armor of God we can fight anything because the battle is not ours. We keep thinking that the battle we are facing is of this world – it is not. We are not in heaven  — I know that is not a news flash, but it is true and we need to remind ourselves … when things go wrong we get upset. Especially those things we cannot control.

We are helping to promote this film to combat teen suicide. It is free along with the resources. Unseen Film –  UnseenFilm.org

The Bible tells us we are fighting a daily battle and it goes on to say, it is not against flesh and blood. Flesh and blood signifies humans. So if not human, then what? The power of darkness leads us to believe it is the fallen angels, those who turned their backs to God at the beginning of time. These enemies get the best of us from time to time.

Want to know how?

  1. Hopelessness
  2. Loneliness
  3. Sadness
  4. Depression
  5. Anger

But God has given us the tools in Scripture and his Church. We have pastors who we can go to for help if needed.

Anyone who plays sports and especially football can attest to the saying that the best defense is a good offense. The same with our spiritual lives. Do you give God time to fill you up? Do you have your few minutes with God.? Are you totally concentrating on Him or does your mind wander? It is human nature to have a mind that wanders but if your mind wanders in those things that upset you it is time for that good offense.

Read Ephesians 6:10-18 – The Armor of God

 The questions is …Whose plan are you going to follow??

Armor of God

  1. The armor – this is a garment that clothes us and keeps us from attack – like God’s Word
  2. Belt of Truth — where does truth lie? In our mind, in what we perceive to be right but unless you are grounded in Christ – who is pure holiness, love and truth we can be deceived, we must strive to honor truth. Psalm 86:11 – Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
  3. Breastplate of Righteousness – The breastplate covers our heart – without love we are nothing. If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
  4. Shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace from the good news — we put on our shoes to go out, and in this case to be ready for battle and walk toward the place where the Lord leads us!
  5. Shield of Fath – to quench the darts of the wicked one – our shield defends us and our armor, and it moves no matter where we are being attacked. Fire makes me think of hell – and with the lord giving us the power to defend, we should rejoice.
  6. Helmet of Salvation – is a shield against temptation and a downward spiral – it is a fact that we must put our hope in Christ – we know that Salvation is through Jesus Christ and we belong to Him as Christians! 1 Thessalonians 5:8 -But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
  7. Sword of the Spirit –the sword is the word of God – we are told in Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Our defense against any hopelessness, loneliness, sadness, depression, anger is God’s Word. Read the Bible, listen to praise and worship music! Trust that the Lord will be there for you.
  8. Prayer – our best defense – Pray in the spirit at all times stay alert…

Let’s pray…

Dear Father God, you have given us all the weapons we need to combat the evil one and to protect us and we have them in the Armor of God that you gave us. You gave us the tools we need to live a life that is pleasing to you, that brings us out of sorrow and into joy. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are there for us – your Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. You have given us the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes fitted with the Gospel of Peace and good news, the shield of faith the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit! And we thank you for the gift of prayer and we thank you for all you do, we lift up our prayers and petitions to you Lord, please grant us the desires of our heart. I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Is Self Blame Harmful

Self Blame | Self blame is harmful and may be damaging for the soul. #christianpodcast #podcast #self-blameBlame Harmful for Our Soul Episode 60

Is blame harmful to our soul? I believe it is; recently reconnected with a friend who has basically had her life fall apart due to things beyond her control. However, she is stuck in the pattern of blaming herself. She has fallen into depression and has a host of medical issues, and now her faith is hanging in jeopardy.

We are promoting the film during suicide prevention week – the movie Unseen. It is free with information to help.

Blame Harmful For Our Soul

We all have stories – things happen in our life that are beyond our control or if they are within our control we cannot deal with or cope in a way to figure out a solution that is workable. We are all sinners but by the grace of God we can continue onward – and the point of this podcast is the fact that self-blame is actually studied in modern day psychology.

Wikipedia has a definition of self-blame that I will read, and you can find more on their website.

So – if psychology has identified it is really a behavior that has important ramifications!

People turn to faith and the blame – and that often is on the enemy –

Is the devil to blame for our sin and suffering?

We have an example of Adam and Eve in the garden Genesis 3 – The Fall

So Adam blamed the woman and Eve blamed the serpent – but no one admitted to their own guilt. People often blame the devil in order to remove their own crushing guilt, justify their actions, or responsibility. What we forget it that we can learn so much through our suffering —  and the things God wants to teach us.

Listen – satan is a liar and a deceiver — Satan instigated the temptation, but Eve responded with negative volition, unbelief, and disobedience, and Adam failed to stay true to his responsibility as the leader in his family.

But this brings me back to the issue of blame – can we truly blame ourselves for not stepping in to change events or facts – to make things right or better? Sure – and it is natural to put blame on ourselves and take responsibility for it – but it is often time to move on! Regardless of the source of a temptation ,it is up to our own free will to make a decision that is right or wrong. The Lord allows it.

However – God gave us the tools to defeat the enemy – the subject of my next podcast!

Yes – the enemy causes havoc in or world but St. Paul gives warns us – the battle is not with flesh and blood

Ephesians 6: 12: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Evil is a direct result of our fallen world and the enemy – we know the source of all evil – however so much of our suffering is due to our own self-induced blame.

Friends – we must break the cyle of self blame!

  1. Identify the source. Yes, it may be yourself.
  2. Blame is not healthy and can lead to so many problems – emotionally and medically
  3. Identify the issue and move on. We need to memorize the Bible as a help – when the thoughts of blame surface in our minds we must “resist the devil and he will flee from us”… how? By putting on the armor of God. God’s word can combat any evil – even that of self blame.

But be aware.

  1. Not every evil is a direct result of the enemy.
  2. Not all suffering is a product of our own sin – think Job here.
  3. We cannot carry the burden alone.
  4. Examine your conscience – go to your pastor, if you are Catholic go to a good priest – is there a spiritual lesson you are missing?

I’m not one to typically freak out by something I read online but this came across my search and if you want to see lies – listen to this lie about how wonderful the devil is.

No! I rebuke that! God is victorious – Christianity is the answer against anguish and sin. You must realize that if you can not overcome the cycle of self-blame you may need help.

How much power do we really think we have? God is God and victorious in all things.

Blame is a tool to keep us down and we can be victorious through Jesus Christ – and how do we know this? Because Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, was buried and ROSE on the 3rd day – He opened the gates of heaven for you and for me, and we can be victorious by living a life praising God!

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for those who are hurting today – for those who do not have hope – for those who feel like the awful things that happen in their lives are their fault – they have incredible self-blame, Lord and can’t see a way past this. Dear Lord I ask that you help them to overcome the blame to look at You and Only You for the help they need to let go of this – to confess this blame and place it at the foot of Your precious cross – you died for us Lord but best of all You rose from the dead so we could have a NEW life with you in eternity – I pray a a healing on those who have been hurt by the sins of others especially those close to them in life. Those they should have trusted but who betrayed them. I pray for a healing and for closure and for the blame to go away in Your Precious Name, Jesus. Amen.

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Unseen

 

After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


 

Book of Proverbs 1:1-7

Book of Proverbs 1:1-7 | Read the book of Proverbs 1:1-7 and listen to today’s broadcast for some tips on reading, studying and listening to God’s word, and applying it to your life and helping others. #podcast #christianpodcast #proverbsBook of Proverbs 1:1-7  Episode 59

Read the book of Proverbs 1:1-7 and listen to today’s broadcast for some tips on reading, studying and listening to God’s word, and applying it to your life and helping others.

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When we study God’s word remember:

  1. Bible time is between me and God. The Lord wrote the Bible just for me!
  2. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to reveal to you what He wants you to get out of this study.
  3. If the Bible is only a benefit to you-you can’t share it with others.
  4. Therefore, we must live by example. Character is caught not taught – and we can work toward a common goal, whether it is as an individual, or within a family or study group.
  5. We can share the good news with others! We can bring the Gospel message to others!
  6. The Lord answers prayers. Believe it!

The Book of Proverbs is a wonderful example of how to live our lives. 
Read Proverbs 1:1-7

After you read and re-read Proverbs 1:1-7 ask yourself these questions. If you have a journal you may want to write the answers in your journal and think before answering.

  1. What do you think about the book of Proverbs? Is there a passage that stood out for you? Why?
  2. How can I live the message in the book of Proverbs? How can I make this impact my life for the better?
  3. Ask the Lord what He wants you to learn. Listen as you read the passage. Close your eyes and listen.
  4. Can God speak to you? Yes! He speaks to us in the Word, in prayer, in thoughts on things that happen in our lives. How is He speaking to you?
  5. Ask God how you can serve Him. It might not be right now – we may need some infilling of the Holy Spirit in order to go out and serve, but be listening, learning and ready. He will provide.
  6. Do you spend time with God? If not –make a plan to do this.
  7. What does impacting someone else’s life mean to you? How can you do this with love and grace?
  8. How can we read and share the Bible with others?
  9. Making an impact means leaving anger, disappointment and past hurts behind. Only in love can we share.
  10. In order to receive what you crave you have to show it first. If you want to show compassion you must be compassionate. Respect? You must be respectful. What do you want __________ and how can you show it to others, first?

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After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

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Spiritual Blindness

spiritual blindness | spiritual blindness is something we must be aware of and avoid. #spiritualblindness #podcast #christianpodcastSpiritual Blindness

Spiritual blindness is mentioned in the Bible. In this episode, we discuss the ways we all suffer from spiritual blindness at times, we miss the little things and worse, sometimes we don’t see the obvious.

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Scripture of the blind man – he was born blind and was at the gates of the Synagogue for so many years begging. Jesus took pity upon him and healed his eyes. This caused many problems among the Pharisees. They had to admit that Jesus was indeed the prophet and the Son of God – who He proclaimed to be, but instead, they found excuses.

Do we struggle to see the obvious because that may mean we must change? For those of us who follow Christ, we have an obligation. We must follow Him with all our hearts and not pick and choose.

t wasn’t enough that this man born blind, with no eyes – new eyes were created out of paste made by Jesus and yet the focus on the Pharisees was only that it was done on the Sabbath. The doctor’s of the law should have been so impressed that a man born blind could see – what a miracle!

Do we do this in our lives? Do we miss the miracle because of something that takes our focus away?

We have more fear of men and society than we have of God. We are afraid to stand up for what we believe, we stand still and listen to people who slander the Lord in profanity or sick jokes. How often I’ve had to change the television station because of inappropriate commercials – even while watching sports.

It not real – it’s okay – no, it isn’t okay.

When we fear God it shouldn’t be because we fear what He will do to us – God doesn’t condemn anyone to hell – the soul does it … when a soul is so against God it will not repent, it will not say to God I’m sorry – refuses to do that, even at death, they turn away from God when they see him after life. They can’t accept it or stand it. They turn away from all eternity.

The Pharisees were of the verge of doing this. They were so adamant that Jesus was not the Son of God – they had no knowledge of Jesus. They believed the Messiah would be a military leader who would deliver them from Rome and give them, thPharisee’ses power.

Even faced with the fact of a blind man who now could see they Pharisees did not want to see anyone who was healed because it would require them to change their opinion. The blind man stood up to them, and challenged them. “God does listen to men who are devout and does His will.”

This blind man knew more than the Pharisees—he experienced God’s love in a personal way through the healing power of Jesus. He was blind for so many years and he was never healed. He didn’t know who Jesus was before this encounter but he knelt down and believed.

Jesus came into the world so that those without sight may seen – and those with sight were blind to Him. People today are the same we are either for Him or against Him. We either believe that Jesus came as God/Man – suffered, died and rose from the dead on His own – we either believe it or it is mocked.

We either believe Jesus is in our midst – He will always be with us or we despair. We must believe and hold tight. We must ask ourselves are we like the Pharisees who are afraid to stand up for Jesus. There are many who half believe and that makes for confusion and people who are lukewarm in their faith.

This is a time with so many horrible things happening in our world that we must rely upon the Lord to sustain us with the power of His love.

We can lose our faith by asking the wrong people the right questions. They don’t know the answer but we believe them instead of going to the Scriptures and a spiritual counsel such as a pastor.

How do your eyes come to be open? You know what is right and stick to what is right. Righteousness will bring you peace, love and joy. We are called for holiness. We are called to follow the Lord to go to church.

This miracle shows us how much the Lord loves us in a personal way. He took a direct interest in this man, so much so that He gave him a wonderful gift of his eyesight. He was blind but now could see, and we should pray that He allows us to see the love He has for us!

We should pray that the Lord can give us a deep realization of His love for us – to instill His love into your heart! God thought of us before time began, He knew you and loved you and He knew when you would come to be. Understanding this truth—we can sustain all things. If we know that one truth everything else can fall into place. If you are loved by Jesus, what else matters? Everything in life will come to an end… power of man will end … only the love of God sustains all time.

 


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After finding his grandson Owen preparing to end his own life, Alexander takes him along on an errand. As the day unfolds, Owen learns new information about his grandfather’s past and unlocks the secret to facing his own future.

Click Here to Download the Film for Free and get Resources for Your Family


Light of the Lord

Light of the Lord | The light of the Lord is my strength and my hope. If we keep our eyes on the Lord only then can we know that there is more to life than what we see here on earth! #christianpodcast #podcast Light of the Lord Episode 57

The light of the Lord is my strength and my hope. If we keep our eyes on the Lord only then can we know that there is more to life than what we see here on earth!

As I share this I think about the song, “This Little Light of Mine.” It is a song that causes us to first smile, and then sing it loudly and of course clap. It is a child’s song and while some may think it is silly I think it is joyous and causes you and others to have joy as they sing the verses.

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – Try the book A Few Minutes with GodA Few Minutes with God | #ChristianBook #faith

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna make it shine.

The verses go on to say don’t let Satan take it away and don’t hide it under a bushel. God’s light is made to give us hope and we should share it with others, right? But how can we share what we don’t have?

Light of the Lord … light is God calling us out of darkness.

Matthew 5:16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Our light comes from God. The goodness that we show others, the things we do for others, for our family for our friends, for those less fortunate than ourselves. These are the things that happen to those who love the Lord and wait for Him to lead.

Have you heard the saying the “frozen chosen?” It basically means those of us that are given the good news and don’t act upon it. No one could distinguish us from anyone else on the street.

This doesn’t mean you need to go to everyone on the street and proclaim the good news but it does mean we handle our crosses with grace. We can judge by the fruit. Are we demonstrating good fruit in our day to day walk with the Lord or bad fruit? I love the analogy of the fruit tree because the fruit comes from a tree that is healthy, that has the right nutrients and a good and sound foundation – the roots. The fruit takes time to grow, it happens after all the conditions are right and on its own, it cannot reach full maturation or ripeness.

The Father is our foundation, our rock our root. Our words – our fruit – our actions reveal our character.

Matthew12: 33-37 – read on the podcast.

Our faith comes from our relationship with God. We cannot remain the same, similar to the frozen chosen condition. We are chosen by the very nature of being a Christian. It was a calling from God to become a Christian and our free will allows us to make a decision to say yes – to say yes to our faith.

If we are not moving forward in our walk with the Lord – if we are not allowing the light of God to shine through, we are preventing the work that the Lord has for us to go forward.

Matthew 5:13-15

“…You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

Letting your light shine means you are being counter-culture. In a world that is a go with the flow mentality we are to stand up for what is right and God – not to ourselves but to God. Being pro-life and anti-abortion is an example of this.

Letting your light shine means being a light to the people around you and allowing your love for God to show.

Letting your light shine means to give all the glory to God who is the source of goodness.

Letting your light shine means clearing it out from time to time of the gunk that builds up over time, and dulls that light. If there are ways we are sinful or knowingly are allowing ourselves to be tempted. Ask the Lord for forgiveness and allow Him to clear out the gunk and return the full light.

Let’s pray —

Dear Lord, I ask that you allow me to be open so that You may shine through me. Let me be your hands, your mouth, your feet — allow me to touch those that need you the most, bringing them the good news that Jesus lives, Alleluiah! I am nothing without you Lord – and I seek to be all you have for me. I do not know what will happen in the future, tomorrow, or even today – this minute but I surrender it all into your very capable hands. Dear Lord allow me to be less of me and more of you. I know I will be happier if I can listen and learn. I ask that you bless those who are listening today with every good thing – I pray for the intentions of those who are suffering and I pray the joy that surpasses all understanding and the light of the Lord that only comes from You into everyone’s heart. I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture Reflections

Scripture Reflections | Scripture reflections should be a normal part of our study of the Bible. When we read the Bible it is more than just a book, it is the inspired and infallible word of Almighty God. How can you get the most out of reading your Bible, and do you have a personal agenda when you read? #christianpodcast #readingbible #podcastScripture Reflections 56

Scripture reflections should be a normal part of our study of the Bible. When we read the Bible it is more than just a book, it is the inspired and infallible word of Almighty God. How can you get the most out of reading your Bible, and do you have a personal agenda when you read? Do you go back to those tired and true Scriptures, reading and re-reading the same ones? Do you play Bible roulette where you “test” the Lord and pray for a particular thing and then open the Bible to see if God has answered you in His Word? Or are you willing to listen, to be drawn to the Bible and read through a particular book of the Bible stopping and reflecting?

There are many Scripture reflections already completed for you – these can be short Bible verse that has an accompanying story either a true account or a fictionalized account that gives you an understanding of the main points of the verse. These are great especially if you want a daily reading that is short for each day. I really like these for the children. Some of our favorite books were geared to specific things the children liked for example sports. My son’s favorite was one that had a sports theme. My daughter liked the shorter books that really pointed to the main emphasis of the Scripture in a heartfelt manner, Jesus Calling.

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Scripture reflections should be part of what we do each and every time we read the Word. Scripture is one way to get to know God better, to interact with the Holy Spirit because we should pray to the Holy Spirit to open our minds, our hearts, our eyes and our ears to what the Lord is teaching us during our reading.

When reading the Bible here are my top ten points.

  1. Pray first. Ask the Lord into your heart. Pray for forgiveness for anyone who has hurt you or you have a hard time forgiving and focus on repentance.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom to understand the Bible verses you read or at the very least to teach you something you can apply to your life.
  3. Try for consistency – each and every day plan to read.
  4. Use a highlighter – or underline the verses that jump out at you. There are special highlighter pencils you can use on your Bible that won’t bleed through.
  5. Write in your Bible – there isn’t much room, but sometimes a special note will help you in the future when you read this passage again.
  6. Write a Scripture verse that moves you – or you feel is important.
  7. Close your eyes and listen … is God speaking to you? Write what you feel.
  8. Don’t jump around if you can help it. Try to read through a book of the Bible – you can begin in Genesis, in Proverbs. Or the book of Luke.
  9. Keep track. Keep a list of the books you are reading.
  10. Share with others. It helps me to remember and often gives me more insights when I share what I’ve read with my family or a friend.

Let’s pray –

Dear Lord, I ask you for an understanding of Your Word as I read the Holy Bible. I pray for direction on where to start, and for the ability to be impacted so that I want to change my life for the better as I read and learn more about You. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit, give me wisdom, understanding and the fortitude to read the Bible each and every day. I ask for inspiration as I journal about what I read and the ability to clearly express what I learn with others. I pray that the Bible becomes my resource and guide to learning more and growing in my faith and love of you, and I pray this in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Seeing God Every Day

seeing God everyday | There is more than seeing with our eyes, it is in seeing God every day in our hearts. #christianpodcast #podcast #ChristianfaithSeeing God Every Day Episode 55

There is more than seeing with our eyes, it is in seeing God every day in our hearts. I believe you can in the wonderful world He created as well as those “God-incidences” instead of co-incidents that happen in our lives.

There are so many concepts about our Creator that it would take a lifetime of discussion to scratch the surface of the awe that He has created all around us. If we really believe in God, we know that He is always with us. Seeing God is more so with our hearts and our desires to know Him in a closer and deeper way, rather than physically seeing Him!

You may also enjoy this podcast here.

 

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Seeing God Every Day in the Scriptures:

1 John 4:12-16– No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He has given us of His Spirit. We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. …

Thanks to our sponsor Media Angels, Inc. – Try the book A Few Minutes with GodA Few Minutes with God | #ChristianBook #faith

No one has seen God the Father – and in Exodus 3, we read that as well. This is the passage about God appearing and the effect it had on Moses. God appeared to Moses in the burning bush.

Have you thought about the ways we fear looking for God – similar to the way Moses feared actually “seeing” God.?Friends, our day will be so much richer if we have a relationship with God. So many days we walk around with the burdens of the world on our shoulders. We are stressed, we are worried and there seems no way good out of a current situation.

Instead, try this:

  1. Make a habit of talking to God all day long. Maybe not aloud, but privately. We can make it a prayer, or talk to the Lord about the things that bother you. Some people do this in a journal. If you do journal this way, be sure to thank God. If you are only journaling your problems without any solutions this won’t help you if you are sad or disappointed.
  2. What are your deepest wants and desires? Pray about this, yet remember when you do pray that the Lord knows every thought, word, and deed. You don’t need to list out all the things if you’ve asked for them in prayer. Surprisingly the Lord will bless one or more of your requests, keep your eyes open so you don’t miss it!
  3. Be mindful of His answers. We are often our own worst enemies. Some situations are just out of our control, for example, a bad decision someone you love has made. These situations can bog us down with the coulda, shoulda, woulda and we may blame ourselves. God hears our prayers, just know His answer may be different than the one you pray for and seek.
  4. God’s perfect will –or providence. Are we open to God’s will in our lives? I’ve done podcasts on this topic before and I still struggle with this in my own life. Are we obedient children or willful and obstinate? Take a look at your life, can you see God’s hand?
  5. Kisses from the Lord come in all shapes and sizes. We can see God in the beauty of our loved ones, old an young… in the grandeur of the sunsets and the cloud formations, or in a field of beautiful flowers, or the love of a puppy. The greatest things in life cannot be purchased. Have you ever considered that? You can’t buy a sunset, or the ocean, or the clouds, or the sun in the sky. These amazing gifts are all around us and each day God shows His grandeur and glory in the rising of the sun in the morning and the setting of the sun in the evening.

 

Let’s pray for eyes that see

 

Dear Lord I praise you for all the beauty you’ve provided us in this world. All the grandeur of your mountains, oceans and sky. The planet you’ve given us to cherish as well as all those things that money can’t buy. I ask you to open my eyes to see you in all the little things, to hear you and your will in my life. Lord don’t let me be closed by depression or the things I have no control of in my life. Lord I give you my life each and every day and ask you to make it pleasing to you. I ask you to hear the prayers, the ones most close to our hearts and I pray this is Jesus Name. Amen.

Surrender God’s Gift

Surrender | Is surrender God's gift to us or some type of hoax for those who are weak? For those of us that want answers in prayer, it seems that surrendering to God’s will is not something we can do easily. #christianpodcast #podcast Surrender God’s Gift Episode 54

Is surrender God’s gift to us or some type of hoax for those who are weak? For those of us that want answers in prayer, it seems that surrendering to God’s will is not something we can do easily. This is something that takes more than a passing faith. People are in different stages of their faith journey and surrender takes maturity.

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You may also like these podcasts:

Daily Spiritual Growth – here

Path to Spiritual Freedom – here

Surrender means trust and it means our faith is at that next level of complete and unapologetic understanding that God knows best. I remember a faithful nun who had built a television network of religious broadcasts all while she was a cloistered nun. She received special permission to enter the world outside of her convent while she did the Lord’s will. The most amazing aspect of this situation other than the very successful network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) was the fact that this nun was crippled in her walk.

Surrender is God’s gift! 

The Lord had healed her as a young lady of a crippling disease, only later in life for her to have another ailment. When people questioned her faith or the fact that if she had “more faith” she could ask God to heal her, she said and believed that this was God’s will for her at this time. She had indeed surrendered her life to God. Later on, in her old age, the Lord did heal her completely and it was for another undertaking, that of building a much larger church for which she traveled home and abroad to find the perfect pieces for this church which was totally financed by the donations of five wealthy families.

She, Mother Angelica was a perfect example of what it meant to surrender and she did it with humor on her weekly telecasts. Friends this is grace that is given to each one of us by God. This is the grace to surrender to our circumstances and situations which is such an example to believers and unbelievers at the same time!

The reason surrender is a gift to us is because allowing ourselves to give the giver means we can never outgive. Think about it. God gives us everything. Our very breath, our lives, our essence. And by giving God your free will – in essence, the gift you cherish the most, you are gifting God a beautiful part of who you are!

1 Chronicles 29:5

When we are weak He is strong

This should be a huge sign that resides on the wall of each and every home!

Why is surrender God’s gift to us?

God loves you.

He will always be with you.

Yet it is difficult to surrender. We must surrender more than just our mind – it is a total surrender of heart body and soul! We can be reconciled to God by the saving grace of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We can’t surrender just one part of us – we must surrender all that we have. This happens over time by studying the Bible, spending time in prayer with God, journaling and listening to the Lord. Living in this world we are separated from God. We will not be fully united until we die in a state that allows, by the grace of God for us to enter heaven and be in a full union with Him the epitome of total surrender.

In this world we are limited and yet we can accomplish much through Christ that strengthens us.

1 Corinthians 13:2-3

If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Surrender is a gift from God – it is the ultimate gift we can give to God as well.

Can you say yes to the Lord, I surrender to you Lord no matter what your situation in life?

  1. Surrender your insecurities
  2. Surrender your sadness
  3. Surrender your loneliness
  4. Surrender your understanding
  5. Surrender all the things you can not surrender

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord only by spending time with you in prayer, in the study of Your Word in the Holy Scriptures, in the ability to understand your wisdom for our lives – only then can we learn to surrender. Lord, I give you my heart, my body and my soul, Lord I give you all of me not just part. I pray that you open my heart to understanding more of the Word as I read it, allow me to hear your small still voice in the Holy Scriptures, send me people who love you and will affirm and encourage me to dig deeper and learn more and give more of myself to you. I praise you and I thank you for all you have done for me and my life – and I pray for those in need of prayer … and I ask that you comfort them, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Christian Music – Praising God

Christian Music | Christian music praising God can bring us so much comfort and peace. #Christianmusic #podcast #praisingGodChristian Music Praising God – Episode 53

Christian music praising God can bring us so much comfort and peace. But, What is it about Christian music and worship that go hand in hand? Music raises us up out of our grief, or melancholy and allows us to enjoy a closer relationship with God. In this podcast, we discuss how music can help us in our daily struggles and bring joy into our hearts.

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Sometimes I feel that I am stating the obvious, I don’t think any of you will find it surprising that music can be uplifting or put you in a better mood, or take you out of depressing thoughts, however, it is always a good reminder to myself and to you that we should surround out thoughts with those that praise the Lord.

Praising God in words and in song is only a benefit to ourselves. There is nothing we can do to make God any greater than He already is – our God is amazing and strong and mighty and powerful. Our God is everlasting and never changing. When we pray or we worship God in song we are the ones who benefit and this is a wonderful thing!

The Scriptures are filled with song and praising using music. King David is the one who comes to mind and is the most associated with song, singing that was pleasing to God.

2 Chronicles 7:6

The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His lovingkindness is everlasting”—whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing.

So many people are struggling daily and music has a way of lightening our spirits. I love to listen to music when I’m driving and I have a playlist on my phone of a mix of uplifting and worship music. Musical tastes vary which is why I won’t share my playlist with you in particular but there are several songs that make me smile and sing along, loudly! I can’t imagine what people think especially if I am parked at a red light singing about God’s goodness forever, or The River by Jordan Feliz –  “I know a place where we can go to lay the troubles down eating your soul, I know a place where mercy flows – take the stains make you whiter than snow…”

These lyrics speak to me and when I am down there is no way I can stay down. I have hope that is in Christ that no matter what today brings he is walking alongside me.

There are so many ways to incorporate music into your day, and it depends on your preference of course, but I look for music that is:

  1. Uplifting
  2. Heartfelt
  3. Speaks to my situation
  4. Praises God’s Name – highest prayer
  5. All-encompassing – getting lost in the hope that is available to all of us

Remember along with prayer and reading the Bible music can add a wonderful element of encouragement to us in our daily lives.

Songs that are very close to the Scriptures can help us

Here are a few of my Favorite songs please go the AFMWG podcast and look for Christian Music praising God podcast and leave me your favorite songs if they are not on this list.5Asa

  • The River: Jordan Feliz
  • The Proof of Your Love – for King & Country
  • Who You Say I Am – Hillsong Worship
  • Shoulders – for King & Country
  • Thrive – Casting Crowns
  • Impossible – Building 429
  • Life is Beautiful – The Afters
  • Greater — Mercy Me
  • How Sweet the Sound – Citizen’s Way
  • Because He Lives – Matt Maher
  • Born Again – NewsBoys
  • God’s Not Dead – NewsBoys
  • Resurrection Power – Chris Tomlin

Scripture songs with allow us to praise God using the words from the Holy Bible are so encouraging and help us to not only learn the Bible verses but make them part of our hearts. There is hope and victory in Jesus and He answers us sometimes through song, to remind us constantly that His word is true and fair! He has redeemed us by his death and resurrection and we can rejoice by singing praises to Him in thanksgiving which allows us to put our cares aside as we shout to the Lord.

Remember, God is there He is with us and we can pray and rejoice and sometimes in song! Don’t forget to listen to music that lifts us up to the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the opportunity to praise you in thought, word, prayer and deed – and also in praise in music. Thank you for giving us all the resources to combat the enemy of depression and keep our minds on you, Oh, Lord. In you, we give you the praise and the honor that you deserve. In praising you allow it to dispel the darkness that plagues us the worry and give us the compassion we need as we struggle. Thank you Lord for giving us the help we need just when we need it, and I pray for all of the intentions of those listening today – and I thank you for answered prayer. Amen

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Overcome Daily Struggles

Overcome Daily Struggles | Does it seem that there is always a new daily struggle to overcome? Do you need help to overcome daily struggles? #christian #podcast #overcomestrugglesOvercome Daily Struggles Episode 52

Is it time to overcome daily struggles? Does it seem that there is always a new daily struggle to overcome? Sometimes the pile gets overwhelming and then we fall under the strain. In this episode of A Few Minutes With God Podcast, we’ll discuss scripture verses that will help as well as the hope that is in store for those who believe.

When I think about ways to overcome daily struggles I remember a book I read years ago I read a book to the kids Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. It was published in 1972 and even won a series of literary prizes for children’s literature. The reason? It resounded with the old and young alike. We always have to deal with everyday life and some days are harder than others. Each day we struggle. Each day we fall, each day we do things we are not proud of doing. How do we stand up under the crushing weight that is on our shoulders? It is not easy.

Overcome Daily Struggles

I thought that this was the week that would do me in! There was no way I could overcome my daily struggles. This week has been one of the hardest weeks. Actually the last two weeks. I’ve had ups and downs in my life in dealing with situations out of my control. And I truly think those are the hardest. Those are the ones where we have to throw up our hands and ask the Lord to help us. Recently one of my children was waiting for room assignments in a college dorm and instead of the private room she requested she’ll be sharing one big room with two other girls. She also had a hard time signing up for classes as a transfer upperclassman. Things happen, they are stressful but we make do. My other son twisted his ankle while training, and he is playing a college sport on scholarship – so the stress is that he would heal in time to keep training. Then two days later another son fell off a ladder at work and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. One daily struggle then another, then another. We sometimes wonder when it will stop?

The enemy likes nothing better than to kick us when we are down. To remind us of all the bad things happening in our lives while glossing over all the good that comes out of our struggles. Realize that when we struggle we can suffer real pain. It can come first in the sense of worry, anxiety, stress, tears, anger and then translate into physical ailments such as a stomach ache, headaches, or restlessness and insomnia. Anxiety can lead to depression and yet there is hope.

Scriptures Show Us How To Overcome Daily Struggles

Things will get better. One reason? Because we are promised this in scripture. We have to look no further than the book of Job.

Job 14: 14 “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes.

A change will come. It can come in the form of others praying with us, understanding our needs and standing up for us in times when we need help. It can come in the form of relief — a change in the situation and a need that comes from the struggle. Sometimes we become so self-sufficient, we are our own worse enemies. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want anyone to know what we are going through. Just ask. Friends are there for you in so many different ways!

Trials and struggles can help us to grow stronger. We know that if the Lord denied the cross there would be no resurrection. James 1:2 states -Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…

That is a hard verse to read if you are in the midst of struggling. Joy in the midst of trials? Only with God’s grace and only with the help of Almighty God.

What does Ephesians say about ways to overcome daily struggles?

Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Our struggles and our daily walk is not done alone. Remember, you are not invincible and you don’t have to carry the burden yourself. If you are on social media on Facebook I have a page for prayers – you can post them here and I will get a notification to pray. You don’t have to be specific – just saying, “I need prayers,” is good enough. A community of believers can be helpful in times when your struggle.

Recently when my son had to go to the hospital after a fall at work I messaged and posted on several private groups asking people to pray. The prayers came pouring in. He was released from the hospital and all was fine – but of course, before we knew if everything was going to be alright it was filed under the classification of “Oh no!” and the stress level was high!

Psalm 34:18 states The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Thank-you Lord for being close to us when we are broken-hearted. For making crooked lines straight. For helping us in knowing that You hear our prayers.

Psalm 23:4 — Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

No matter what you are going through, no matter how horrible or how sad, the “valley of the shadow of death” in our lives we are told to fear no evil because God is with us and He will comfort us. That my friends is the real key. Understanding that we don’t walk alone.

Let’s Pray for help for help to Overcome Daily Struggles:

Jesus, we trust in you – we trust in your providence for us each and every day. We ask you to bless and keep us safe, for our loved ones to be surrounded by your love and your protection. We ask that you help us daily to know that you are there and that you hear our prayers. Please Lord hear us as we pray for these intentions… and thank you Lord ahead of time for hearing us! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Christian Discipleship

Christian DiscipleshipWhat is Christian Discipleship? Podcast 51

Christian discipleship comes in all stages. Is discipleship what you are or what you do? What does it mean to go out and proclaim to all nations that God does exist? How can we be disciples while still leading a life as a single man or woman, as a married couple, as a mom, dad, grandparent? In this podcast, we will look at the practical application of being a disciple and ways to make it happen, even if only in our own homes.

Thanks to our sponsor – the Well Planned Gal and the Bible Planner!

What is a true disciple? The answer to that question may be different for each one of us. A disciple is someone who follows the Lord’s path for their life, who brings others to Christ and whose mission is to live a life that is holy. However, how do I make this work in my life?

When I think of the disciples I think of the original twelve and immediately I am in awe as I contemplate what it would mean to walk with Jesus — can you imagine? Walking with the Lord and learning from Him as he teaches can happen today, and the way we do this is by reading the Bible, and one verse we will discuss today is the book of Matthew.

The meaning of discipleship can be found in Matthew 10:24-33

There is so much information is contained in these words. I wonder how many of the disciples asked Jesus question after question after he spoke. One of my favorite verses is this, Matthew 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are numbered.” Can you imagine that the Lord knows the numbers of hair on our heads? This is not a God that is far away, or uninvolved in our lives. No! This is a God who is very much aware of us on a personal level. How can we not want to serve a God such as this? One who realizes that we struggle against those who hurt us, one who says that even if our body is harmed, our soul will remain unharmed because we belong to Him.

Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Do you belong to the Almighty God, the Father? The Son? And the Holy Spirit? Do you offer your day to God? Do you ask Him how you can best serve?

As disciples of Christ in our own home, we can lead by example, preach without words. How much better for us to show by reading the Bible to our children or reading our Bible in front of our children instead of telling them to do something they don’t see us doing.

We are not all lead to be missionaries, to preach in foreign lands — but some are definitely called. They may decide to become a clergy, a priest, a nun, a pastor of a Protestant denomination or to go on the mission field. For others, we may be lead to donate money toward this cause through our church or a group or organization.

Being a disciple is so much more than believing it is showing through actions. Think about how you can serve the Lord the best. Ask Him into your life if you have not already and ask Him how you can best serve.

Only One Life

only one lifeOnly One Life Podcast #50

Either you are happy you only get one life or you are ready for a “Do-Over!” In this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast we explore the fact that people tend to wish their current life away for something other than what they have. Are you happy in the moment or does your happiness tend to focus on what is just out of your reach?

Living life in the present moment sounds like something out of a soap opera or novel. In stories, things seem to turn out happy or at least have a satisfying ending. In the commercial sense, if a story fails to deliver whether it is entertainment, special effects, or a memorable main character, it is considered a flop. Only one life is all we have — it is the content of songs, it is the name of books by various authors, and I am by far not the only person who has contemplated this subject.

But we only have one life.

I’ve met so many people who are unhappy or dissatisfied with life, and truthfully I’ve had periods of time in my life where I wanted to spend it in bed, hoping the day would just end.

Yet, I’ve realized, this is it — this is the only life I will ever have, so the way I live my life, the decisions I make, the day-to-day interactions I have all can be impactful. Not only for my own life but for those I meet. This realization is something we should consider when our feet hit the ground each day. Are you ready to take the world on or are you cowering under the sheets and want the day to end?

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you ready to embrace the day no matter what happens?
  2. Do you greet those you see with a smile?
  3. Are you aware of your surroundings?
  4. Do you see those around you in need?
  5. Do you hope to be remembered for who you are or what you do?

How do you change if the answer to any of those questions is something you don’t want to face or acknowledge? The first step is to be prayerful, grounded in the Scriptures and a love of God.

Recently I spoke to a friend who shared that the reason people embrace 100% of a what a self-help or how-to book teaches is that they are not grounded in what God teaches. — think, “how to parent,” or “how to have a wonderful marriage.” Sometimes these books or trends take the world by storm and everyone is chatting about the latest-greatest. They try these methods or techniques and find it failing dismally! Why? Because it is not one size fits all — or even most.

As we live our lives, I hope that we glorify Almighty God and give Him the praise He deserves. We only have this one chance to get it right and that is not something we can do well or consistently or well on our own. We can only keep our eyes focused on what is most important and pray that the rest works itself out!

When I hear about the issues and problems in other people’s lives I’m often amazed at the ways that they cope. Either they completely turn their backs to God, they become indifferent, or they turn to God for their strength. In a nutshell that is how I want to live my life, to rely upon the Lord for my strength to combat each issue that happens day-to-day.

And I fail. Miserably.

In those times when I feel that I’ve failed, there is only one thing to do. To pray. To ask for forgiveness. To read the Scriptures.

1 Thessalonians 3:2 … and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith. 

Psalm 81:1 — Sing for joy to God our strength; Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will extol Him.

The Lord is truly my strength. I could not continue a day without prayer, without asking the Lord to help me, without asking for the intercession necessary to do what needs to be done each day! It is important that we feel the hope that is in Christ that no matter what we are up against, we can pray to the Lord and He will hear us. Our prayers do not go on deaf ears. We must continue to persevere and continue onward.

Obstacles will happen every day – as the saying goes, we can count on two things, death and taxes. Well, we can also count on the things that will go wrong each day. But again – the idea of only having one life to live is having a great impact on me and I hope with you as well.

We only have one life to live how do you want to live it?

  1. What is your legacy?
  2. What do you want to be remembered for? What you did? Or who you loved?
  3. Where do you want to go when you die? (Yes, we have a choice.)

I want to encourage you to become equipped — to be ready for those times when all you can do is shout, “Dear Lord, help me!” And the way to become equipped is to draw from your faith–if you don’t have faith, ask the Lord for an infilling of His Holy Spirit upon you, and we will pray specifically for this in just a few minutes. We each have, all of us, the opportunity each day to encourage those around us, to smile at those we meet, to share the good news with each other. We need to stop and think, is this something that I should do or is this something that God would be proud of me for doing? The idea here is to go to the Lord in prayer for things we want to do or think we should do.

Additionally planning your day is important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt let down by the day I’ve spent. We need to focus forward. Focus on the

 

Next Level Faith

next level faithNext Level Faith — Episode 49

Next level faith takes work. Next level faith takes time. Taking your walk with the Lord to the next level will be the best time you’ve ever invested in your life — I promise!

Sponsors – Thanks so much – Well Planned Day Prayer Planner

Taking Your Faith To A New Level Show Notes:

Many people are unhappy but not willing to do anything to change their lives for the better. Change takes hard work and a willingness to do the hard things. Whether it is taking more time for prayer or more time to read the Bible or time to go to church.

Are you ready to dig deeper into your faith? Are you ready to take it to a new level?  I pray you are because today we are talking about this very thing.

First of all, faith is a gift that is given to us — yet we have to nurture our faith in a way that allows it to grow. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I happy where I am in my journey with Christ?
  2. Do I feel that I am at peace?
  3. Can I minister to others as God leads?
  4. Do I spend time with God each day?

Why dig deeper into our faith? Faith gives us hope.

2 Corinthians 5:6-7

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight:

Hebrews 11:1 —  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Digging deeper and going to the next level faith grants us the ability to love more deeply.

1 Corinthians 13: 2

If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Often we are not happy in our circumstances due to things we can not change. Right now give those things over to the Lord — take them off of your shoulders and give them to God. Life throws us curves and at times we walk around in circles.

In previous podcasts, we’ve discussed expectant faith, here   and Faith as a gift here but have do you believe that is meant for you. I many times, and I’m guilty of this as well, I think that the Bible refers to others and it is not for me. But that is not true.

Why do you think there are so many self-help websites and books? Because we are a hurting people and unfortunately many people follow the wrong advice and get off the path toward God into a self-focused enlightenment that is not at all in line with Christianity.

Delving into our faith does take self-awareness to leave behind those things that keep us from a deeper walk and a next level of faith. It does not mean we are to be so self-focused that we concentrate on making ourselves mini-gods. There is only one God and He is the Almighty. His message is not for all because it isn’t the path most traveled, it is the path least traveled yet the only path that leads us to true happiness.

Digging into the next level faith means we will spend more time in prayer, spend more time reading the scriptures and if we do, we won’t be able to watch things that are not appropriate. It always astounds me when I hear of Christian women who read filthy novels. I could not stomach to read that type of thing – not because I think I am more holy –not at all, but because my conscience won’t allow it!

My goal today is not to teach you how to go to the next level of your faith but to invite you to pray about going deeper. These prayers, my friends are the ones that seem to get answered. The scriptures are filled with God’s love and His desire for us to live a life that is deeper and holy. Does that mean we are giving up many things to follow Christ? Some would answer yes, but I’d say, “No!” I think we are getting the better deal.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I praise you for the ability to pray and thank you for giving us the Holy Bible that is filled with words about faith, As it reads in 2 Corinthians — “… For we walk by faith, not by sight” I pray that you give me the desire to dig deeper in my faith walk, to desire a next level faith in You. That all I do and say gives You glory and honor. You have given me the gift of life and I thank You for this gift. Not everything in my life is perfect — far from it, but I do hold on to the promises You’ve made to those who love you. Thank you, Lord for every good thing in my life and I pray a special blessing on all those listening that you increase their faith, today and always. Amen.

Faith Crisis

faith crisisFaith Crisis  –Episode 48

Why is there such a faith crisis these days? Have all of the believers left or have they decided that fighting for their faith and their beliefs is just too hard? In this podcast, we explore the importance of handing down our faith to our children and those we mentor as well as the crisis that plagues the church today.

Thanks to our sponsor the Well Planned Gal – Prayer Journal

I’m astounded when I hear story after story from teary parents whose children have left the faith of their youth behind. These children know right from wrong, they understand what it means to be brought up with the truth and yet, as young adults they decide that they would rather do it their way. Their way includes calling into question all that things they previously believed.

Early on in my parenting journey, I heard a wise pastor say, “It is important that the faith – your faith parents that you pass on to your children becomes their faith at some point.”

Is our faith just that. Ours? Have we failed to pass down the truth of Christ to our kids or have they been weakened by the “ways of the world” and decided that what we said, what we preached, what we shared is just not so.

Either God is real or He is not. There is no in-between.

I think there is a disconnect. Many church teachings have become watered down and a permissive attitude prevails. God is loving. God is kind. God is forgiving.

Yes. Yes and Yes. God is all of these things. But, God is also just judge.

Friends, I’ve seen miracles. I have been blessed to witness people being healed. It is not something I asked for or even desired. It is something the Lord allowed in my life. I have asked the Lord for years to use me to evangelize, but I didn’t become a theologian or scholar. This desire, I believe was placed in me through my years of praying, witnessing and studying God’s word.

Anyone who spends time with God … and I don’t just mean in church… will realize He is there for us. How do we know that God’s word is real? That Jesus was born, lived, died and resurrected from the dead? How do we know that there is really sin and that God came to give us the keys to His kingdom? How do we know that God is the same yesterday, today and in the future?

The only way to know is for God to reveal this to us – in a personal way.

Luke 16:20-31 New American Standard Bible

Sadly, no matter what you tell your children, your friends, your acquaintances if they are not open to God’s message they won’t hear it.

How do you know if someone is having a faith crisis?

  1. They start questioning everything.
  2. They say, “There must be more to life than this.”
  3. You begin to question life after death. The end becomes real.
  4. Black and white becomes grey and yellow – what was clear previously no longer seems clear.

A faith crisis can be overcome.

  1. You have to realize you have a crisis.
  2. You have to be willing to take the time in prayer and study.
  3. You have to look at the options.

John 6:67-70 Peter’s Confession of Faith

So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”  Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?”

Peter realized that God was the answer – the truth and that all that is good comes from Him, including eternal life. However one of the 12 – Judas who as Jesus said, he chose himself would reject Him.

God has given us free choice. We have the ability to decide for or against Him. There is no in-between – however we are on a journey.

I pray that this journey is one that you are prepared for and that you can bring as many people as you can alongside you to the heavenly reward that has been promised for those who love and serve the Lord.

Let us pray.

Dear Lord, there are many who have hearts that are full of sorrow, from loss or from hurt. I pray that you fill their hearts overflowing with you love and your goodness. That you help them to seek you, you are the truth, the way and the life, Lord. Please open the eyes and the hearts of those who are in a state of sin and do not realize it, let them be anointed with the ability to see – please send yoru Holy Spirit to open their eye to the truth and I ask through our prayers and intercession that you not only hear our prayers but you help us in ways that we can minister to others. I pray a blessing on those listening today that you give them an abundance of grace to combat the wicked one and to do battle for you. I pray this in Jesus, precious Name. Amen.

Christian Hospitality

Christian hospitalityChristian Hospitality

Episode # 47

How are your Christian hospitality skills? Is this something that needs practice or do you have an open door policy and invite people into your inner circle, often? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz discusses how hospitality is a gift but a skill that can improve and grow.  Who knows, you may be entertaining angels!

Thanks to our sponsor the Rebecca Farris the designer of some amazing planners, like the Well Planned Gal Prayer Planner. Check out this wonderful journal at wellplannedgal.com.

Hebrews 13:22 is a warning from St. Paul who says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I know we are all busy and the idea of one more thing often tips us over the edge. Yet, Christian hospitality really begins at home. I know many churches are equipped with various ministries and they all have a very important place. In fact, those ministries are a way for people to connect and grow in faith. In the past, I volunteered to teach many classes at church and for over ten years was very involved. As the seasons of my life changed, I began working on Christian hospitality and ministry in other ways. This podcast reflects one of those ways.

The Bible gives us much food for thought. Jesus was an example when he went to a tax collector’s home, someone who was considered a crook by many because they often charged more than they should in order to keep some of the money. Read Matthews 5:46-48 — here Jesus challenges us to extend our Christian hospitality even to our enemies and one line always gets me, “So be perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect.”

How can we be perfect? The Father, our heavenly Father perfects us – -we can’t do it alone. We are such a mess most of the time, one friend calls it being a “hot mess.” How can we minister to others when we can’t even minister to ourselves? Well, with the help of our heavenly Father!

Here is some suggestions.

  1. Pray. Is there someone at church who catches your eye and perhaps someone you should invite out for coffee?
  2. Ask the Lord for guidance. Is there a particular ministry He wants you involved with or something you should join?
  3. Introduce people you think might get along and see if you can connect others.
  4. If you are Catholic and are able, go to daily Mass. Or, no matter what your denomination, take time to sit in quiet and listen to the Lord.
  5. Pray about ways you can be used by the Lord in Christian hospitality.
  6. If you are in a group setting, speak to those you don’t know.
  7. Invite someone you don’t know into your own group.
  8. Invite someone to listen to this podcast — it is a form of Christian ministry and hospitality. Better yet, listen with a friend!

The simple gesture of kindness and hospitality toward a stranger can be turned into something wonderful by the Lord. Take the time to talk to those you don’t know. If you are in prayer about this, the Lord will provide those wonderful “God-incidents” to connect you with those in need.

Remember to fill up! Go to church, pray, read the Bible and be still before the Lord. You can’t give to others if you are spiritually empty yourself.

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I thank you for the gifts you’ve given me and to those who are listening to this broadcast. I know that nothing is impossible for you and if you call us to service, you will provide not only for us but for those who we minister to, in Your Name, Jesus. We ask you to send us out in service for You, as your hands and feet. Point us to those who need You the most and let us help in any way that we can. Thank you Lord for giving us the gift of hospitality and bring good for the kingdom of God from our efforts. I pray this in Jesus, Name. Amen.

Life Goals in Prayer

life goals in prayerLife Goals in Prayer Episode #46

Do you have life goals in prayer? Are you a planner? Do you keep lists so you can check off your accomplishments? Do you make plans or set goals each day? These are all wonderful things, but do you have a goal for your prayer life? In this podcast, we will discuss setting goals daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly for your prayer life and ways to improve each day.

Thanks to our sponsor the Well Planned Gal special planners – and the Prayer Planner is brand new! Visit this website for more information.

Life Goals In Prayer

Planning your day or your goals for work is wonderful but it is also important to plan time for prayer. In these podcasts, the focus has always been time for uninterrupted prayer. When life gets busy it seems that prayer is the first thing to go.

It starts slowly. First, we begin strong. We set aside time to pray each day, we make that prayer time a priority and we look forward to it and then we realize the fruits and blessings that come from our prayer time. Slowly we find we are busier than we expected to be, our well planned day starts taking a downward turn and we learn to make our prayer time shorter, or rush through our prayers, or divide our prayer time in half just to fit it into our already busy and overflowing schedule. Soon we find that prayer time does not take place every day. Instead of moving forward two steps we move backward three…in our prayer time.

Goal setting gives us a target to reach. It encourages us. It gives us something to shoot for and a sense of accomplishment when we do. The goal of making prayer a priority in our lives is one example of a goal

Making prayer a priority is easier said than done. It isn’t just our daily schedule that is the issue it is the enemy that robs our peace or the seemingly endless distractions that happen during our prayer time. Whether the phone rings, someone comes to the door, an unplanned emergency or the kids needing your time. Either way, your prayer time begins to shrink.

Habits are formed through repetition and one of the best bits of advice that I can give you is to make your prayer time a habit. Planning your prayer time similar to planning life goals is important. No one goes to a job without knowing what they are expected to accomplish each day and getting the work done. If we are not good at our jobs we will soon find ourselves without work.

The same without your goals for your prayer time. Let’s take a look at some goals you can implement for your prayer time. Use this as a starting place for setting up your own personalized goals.

Life Goals In Prayer

  1. A specific time to pray each day.
  2. A specific place to pray and read the Bible or a spiritual book
  3. A specific amount of time you will listen for God’s small still voice. If you don’t hear anything don’t worry! Sometimes it is a thought or an idea that comes from the Lord.
  4. Setting up goals for specific activities, for example memorizing Scripture, or reading the book of Proverbs in a month, etc. What would you like to accomplish? When you figure this out, you can set aside time each day to get it done.
  5. Goals for learning. What are you learning? Write down your accomplishments and rejoice! You are moving toward growing stronger in your faith!

Recently I had the opportunity to review the Prayer Journal by the Well Planned Gal, Rebecca Farris. Rebecca by her own admission is a planner and this journal is no different. It maps out an easy way to keep prayer the center of your day. This planner is perfect to schedule your life goals in prayer!

We will discuss five points in this planner:

  1. The planner becomes a keepsake: I love this! I once had a planner that I could look back and see all the answered prayer! This planner allows you to add memories and photos of your family throughout the year. No worries about a crashing computer and lost pictures!
  2. Year at a glance: Upcoming events such as the holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, vacations – it is so nice to plan ahead.
  3. Important Information: Important emails or phone numbers, emergency contacts as well as some favorite websites.
  4. Household, Home Management, Chore charts and Family Routine: Have you ever had a sick day, could someone come in and run your home for you? This planner could be helpful as well as a way to teach your children to handle some of these to-dos! These are double-sided and I love that you can tear the sheets out to be laminated and placed on a bulletin board or on the wall. You can use dry erase markers or use them to teach the children.
  5. Prayer Charts: These are double-sided as well. You can place these in a convenient place to access, or in your Bible.

Rebecca is the queen of organization! Her title is the “Well Planned Gal” – she has great advice like the 15-minute purge. I’ve been doing an abbreviated version of this for years. Mine is five minutes! Whatever I can clean up in five minutes while on the phone, or before I leave the house. These timely and concentrated times can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. In her planner, she suggests: making the beds, tidying the bedrooms, starting laundry, switching it out, folding, putting it away, floors, tiding the kitchen in the morning, afternoon, night time, taking out the trash, prepping dinner, etc. So much more!

Praying the scriptures, as well as the virtues, are listed with scripture references. What’s nice is a lesson in journaling basics, or Journaling 101. This is well worth the price of this journal!

You can write down your Scripture study verses for the week, which is accompanied by a “Going Deeper” page.

One thing I do love is the self-care ideas page. For many years I didn’t think I needed to take care of myself and when I got sick complained that there was not “time” to get sick! This could be avoided if I had put myself on the same level as my kids! I require them to eat right, get their rest –yet didn’t expect the same for myself.

This journal is chock full of tidbits and surprises like the page on helping your children hear from God – a subject near and dear to my heart as I authored the book, “A Few Minutes with God,” specifically for that purpose to help my children learn to spend time in a relationship with the Lord.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Lord, please encourage each of us to free our calendars and make time with you a priority in our life. Thank you, Jesus, for all that you have done for us, I praise you and I thank you for looking kindly upon me! Continue to bless us as we seek a closer relationship with you. Thank you for the ability to plan to spend time with you – for giving us the ability to do this and for helping us to teach our children, especially by example to put you first. I praise you and I thank you for all you have done in my life. I pray specifically for those in need, especially for….

Thank you, Lord for answered prayers and for those we are still waiting to have answered. I pray this in Your precious Name, Amen.

 

Expectant Faith

expectant faithExpectant Faith

Episode 45

Do we really believe that God is listening? Do we have expectant faith when we pray? Do we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord answers our prayers even if the answer is yes, no or not right now? In this podcast, we will examine the idea of expectant faith and the scriptures that show us that God is indeed listening.

I’d like to welcome you today and encourage you to subscribe and share this episode with a friend. If everytime you listen to this podcast you share the show with a friend, you can help me to reach more people and encourage others that God is indeed real – today – right now in our lives. Subscribing is easy, either subscribe on your smart phone or online at AFewMinuteswithGodPodcast.com – if you are on the website you can use any of the share buttons to email a friend about the show.

Every Christian wants a deeper relationship with God – Matthew 7:8-9 states “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.

It seems like such a simplistic request, knock and the door will be opened, but if any of you have seen the picture of Christ on one side of the door, and look closely – you will see the knob to open the door is on our side. The Lord – God, is always waiting there for us –we are the ones that won’t turn the knob to allow Him into our lives.

Are we fair weather Christians? Do we rejoice and praise God only when things go well in our lives? Or do we realize that God is there for us especially when we need Him the most?

We are the ones that are too busy –

Look at your life and examine the times you have been too busy for God? Where are the areas you can improve upon?

When my children we little I could barely get through the day let alone time for prayer, and other than daily Mass it was pretty touch and go, and yes, I was struggling. I wish we had things like podcasts back then!

As my children got older, I was able to spend time with God, my journal or pad of paper and the Bible. I would take the time to pray and they realized early on that if they left Mom they would be so much happier because Mommy was happy. Time with the Lord allowed me to put things in perspective and I felt that when I prayed, the Lord answered me, not always as I wanted yet I felt He heard me.

Do you feel the Lord listens to you in prayer?
Why or why not?

Be honest.

I want to assure you that the Lord does hear you and sometimes the answer isn’t what we want. It is yes – no – or not right now. Currently, I’m praying about a particular need and so far the response is “not right now.”

1 John 3: 1

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

And Matthew 7:11

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

We are called children of God – we know this from 1 John 3:1 – and we know in Matthew 7:11 that God gives good gifts to His children – so shouldn’t this tell us that God hears us?

Expectant faith means on a simplistic level to pray to God expecting an answer, we expect the best. Yes, at times it is not the answer we want. Recently when I prayed for an event that was for my daughter the answer was not at all what I expected, yet it turned out to be the answer that God wanted – and in the end, what I realized was best.

More importantly, does God forgive us? When we sin we want to be forgiven. Does God forgive us? Do we have the faith to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are forgiven?

Acts 26:17-18

“I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

Hebrews 4: 15-16

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[a] as we are, yet without sin.  Let us, therefore, approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

God has the power to do all He has promised and then some – the doubters? Those who don’t believe what God said and promised.

Do you have a simple faith – God said it so I believe it? Or a faith that continues to question, are you really there Lord? Can you really answer my prayers, do you really forgive me of my sins?

God has given us example after example in the Bible – in the passage of Lot and his family leaving Sodom and Gommorah – God warned Lot through the angels who came into town that if they did not leave the city would be destroyed. This is in Genesis 19 – The angels also warned them not to look behind and not to stay in the valley –but to escape to the mountains.

However, as they were leaving his wife looked behind and became a pillar of salt. Did she die because she couldn’t leave her old life behind and it was a punishment for wishing for what could not be or because she did not obey – we will never know. These examples in scripture show us:

  1. Place God above all things
  2. Know that God’s Word will come to pass
  3. Punishment for disobedience is death
  4. To have expectant faith – to believe in God’s Word

We tend to mistrust God’s word and yet, God so loved us that He gave us His only son so that we would live eternally with Him.

God is waiting for us behind the closed door – will we open the handle and let Him in?

Is the Lord helping you to realize today how much you need Him?

Think about the following:

  1. How have you failed to open the door allowing God into your life?
  2. Do you accept the fact that the Lord loves you and wants what is best for your life?
  3. Do you heed warnings in your life and trust in God above all else?
  4. Do you accept that God wants to bless you?
  5. Do you realize that God answers prayers?
  6. Do you have expectant faith? The faith that God forgives your sins and answers your prayers?

Let’s pray – Dear Lord, please continue to prepare my heart for You in everything I do each day, thank you for giving me faith – the faith to expect miracles in my daily life, thank you for being at the door and I allow you to come into my life –Lord I chose you today, tomorrow and everyday from now on. Thank you, Lord, for your promises for your love for me and for granting me the desires of my heart and especially for those I now pray…. I love you – and Jesus I trust in You today and always.

Hunger For God

hunger for GodDoes your soul hunger for God? Do you feel that something is missing in your life? Are you unsettled? In this episode of A Few Minutes with God Podcast, we discover what it means to hunger for God and how you can feel your soul!

Hunger For God

Episode 44

Thanks to the sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. and the novel – “A Few Minutes with God,” available here.

The choices we make each day are something we don’t think much about, we just do them. We are creatures of habit, I wake up each morning and expect to drink a cup of coffee, and sit for a few minutes as I wake up. We do things out of habit more so than actually thinking about it — and habits are formed with routine.

We do the things that don’t affect our salvation either way — whether I drink a cup of coffee or not has nothing to do with how I feel about my relationship with God. But, if we take the time to think and contemplate life, often we feel that something is missing. That could be one of the reasons we keep our lives so busy–so we don’t have to think. Because if we do, we may find we are unsatisfied with an element of our lives.

Why?

Man was created to know, love, and serve God, but how do we love someone we do not know? Unless we spend time with God each day and allow Him to be the Lord of our lives, we will always feel unsettled… that there has to be more, and seek after pleasure in places that will leave us empty!

When we think about hunger for God we think of food and drink.

John 6:35
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

If we come to Him… it is an invitation, and we know it is more than food and drink that our Lord offers up but the offer of everlasting life… we will never thirst. It is a call of eternity with God!

John 7:37-38

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

Jesus is the living water, he came not only to feed the hungry as he did with the miracle of the loaves and fishes but to feed more than our bodies, to feed our souls. Our hunger for God goes beyond the physical which is why we seem unsettled when we are out of sorts with God.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I spent time today with God in prayer?
  2. Have I listened to God today in quiet?
  3. Have I read from the Holy Bible?
  4. Have I journaled anything that comes to mind?
  5. Am I open to God’s leading in my life?

Our soul thirsts for God in the everyday matters in our life, in our decisions in our feelings of despair and dismay.

Psalm 42:2 “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?”

Our soul thirsts for God whether we realize it or not, and we seek after something we can’t attain unless we understand this very fact — our love of God is sustained in prayer and when we feel out of sorts we should pray.

Psalm 63:1  “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

This journey is similar to when people talk about a “desert” experience. Being in the desert paints a picture of being lost and without water and something that would be harsh, yet this is similar to the state of our souls when we yearn for God and find ourselves lost in the desert of our own making due to our free will – those choices may seem right at the time but they leave us feeling empty.

Self Reflection:

  1. How do I spend the majority of my time?
  2. What do I do daily that brings me joy?
  3. Is this joy short lived?
  4. Is there a purpose to my day?
  5. Do I feel happy when I head to bed at night?

What are some things you can do differently each day to focus more on the end result – life everlasting with God than the here and now?

There are always life circumstances that are important, work, family getting food on the table, what appears to be the simple and mundane can be done with joy if you have God in your life. Each day, each breath we take we can praise and give thanks to the Lord we serve.

Hungering for God means filling our souls with every good thing, in the things we watch on TV, the internet, read, or listen to… are we putting things into our body that will help us grow toward love of God or things that will hinder our progress? When we seek after God all the things that previously seemed so important seem so little in comparison.

It’s like the lady who loved her hair, it was her best asset — yet, when she found out she had cancer and would lose her hair, she happily shaved it off in an effort to combat the horrible feeling of losing it in pieces. Her battle with cancer was successful and when her hair grew back, more beautiful than before she didn’t even care that much. Why? Because she realized the preciousness of life and what appeared so important before was now a minor.

If we change our priorities in life and put God first we can satiate the hunger! We will then grow closer to God and strive to live a life that is pleasing to Him.  The things that were a priority become a footnote – many things still need to be accomplished daily but with God at the head, it all seems to work out for the better.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

By hungering for God we also hunger for righteousness and happily, that is so much more satisfying!

Let’s pray!

I praise you and thank you Lord that any effort we place into seeking a deeper relationship with You is always rewarded so much more than we can imagine. I thank you for putting that hunger for God into my soul — for inviting me to seek you in a greater way! I ask you to help me make you a number one priority in my life, to help me to wake up early enough to pray each day, to help me to think of you last before I go to sleep at night, to help me to see all the ways you help me and are there for me each day. Help me to know you and love you more each day! Lord I ask you for the following intention in my life ….   I thank you ahead of time for answered prayer, and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

10 Commandments Conscience Check

10 Commandments Conscience CheckCan you use the 10 Commandments for a Conscience Check

Episode #43

In this podcast, we’ll examine if the 10 Commandments can help you check your conscience. How do we know if we are on the right path? Are we doing great? Of course! We don’t sin! That is until you take a look at the list below. I’ve listed each of the 10 Commandments and questions to ask yourself.

First, begin with prayer, ask the Lord to allow us to see what is in our lives that need to be forgiven and perhaps if it is an area where you struggle.

Sin causes us to put off doing what is right and what we should do, and it allows us to make excuses for all the times we are not doing what is right. Are the Ten Commandments just suggestions or are they something we should look at when we examine our conscience? I know that we all struggle because we think, “Well, I’m not an ax murderer so therefore I am a good person,” however, that line of thinking is truthfully not accurate.

Thankfully we do not commit murder but there are other things to look at under the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment.

Using the 10 Commandments helps us form a good conscience. 

The commandments are not suggestions, they are serious. The commandments are so serious that after Moses came down from the mountain and saw the sin happening to the people he had left behind, he broke them. God then gave him the Commandments again!

The first three commandments all deal with the way we consider God. Do we put him first, do we blaspheme His name? Do we keep holy the Sabbath?

Here is a look at the Ten Commandments and ways to consider how you have sinned against God…

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
    1. Have I denied God in any way?
    2. Have I taken part in non-Christian ceremony or service?
    3. I have agreed with heretical or blasphemous anti-Christian literature?
    4. Have I been faithful in my prayer life?
    5. Have I made fun of God or His teachings?
    6. Have I presumed upon God’s mercy or doubted it?
    7. Have I placed more importance on any person or creature before God?
    8. Have I cared about material goods over God?
    9. Have I been guilty of irreverence – jokes or other conversations that are anti-God.

 

  1. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    1. Have I sworn against God?
    2. Have I complained against God?
    3. Have I broken a vow made to God?
    4. Have I angered others so that it makes them swear against God?
    5. Have I blasphemed?

 

  1. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
    1. Have I missed Mass or church?
    2. Have I been distracted during church?
    3. Have I been late to church or left early (not due to an emergency).
    4. Have I made others miss church?
    5. Have I done unnecessary work on Sunday?
    6. Have I bought or sold things not of necessity on Sunday?

 

  1. Honor thy father and thy mother.
    1. Have I been disrespectful or disobedient to my parents?
    2. Have I been irreverent to others in positions of authority?
    3. Have mistreated my spouse or children?
    4. Have I mistreated the elderly, the infirmed or the handicapped?
    5. Have I been disobedient or disrespectful of a loved one, a family member?
    6. Have I been disrespectful or irreverent toward the clergy or someone in authority to God.

 

  1. Thou shalt not kill
    1. Have I desired or hastened the death of someone, or caused bodily injury to another person?
    2. Have I oppressed or did I seek revenge on another person?
    3. Did I cause others to fight?
    4. Have I argued with another(s)?
    5. Did I injure anyone else?
    6. Have I been jealous, envious, entertained evil thoughts or hatred against another?
    7. Have I entertained thoughts of suicide, etc.
    8. Do I abuse my body in any way?
    9. Have I harmed my soul by intentional exposure to temptations?

 

  1. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    1. Have I abused my role in my marriage, (marital rights, practicing birth control, or other contraception such as sterilization?)
    2. Have I committed sins against purity?
    3. Have watched indecent movies or internet photos, etc.?
    4. As a single person have I had sex outside of marriage.
    5. Have I worn suggestive clothing, or had thoughts that were impure.
    6. Have I used indecent language, told indecent jokes.
    7. Have I prayed at once to banish bad thoughts or intentions?

 

  1. Thou shalt not steal
    1. Have I stolen anything?
    2. Have I damaged or been negligent with someone else’s property?
    3. Have I refused to repay debt?
    4. Have I cheated my employer or employees?
    5. Have I cheated or defrauded anyone?
    6. Have I gambled to the point that it is an obsession?
    7. Have I refused to pay a bill

 

  1. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    1. Have I lied against anyone, causing them harm, spiritually or materially, or ruined their name?
    2. Have I judged others without evidence?
    3. Have I gossiped about other people even if it is true?
    4. Have I been uncharitable in my talk or actions against another?

 

  1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
    1. Have I wanted someone who is otherwise committed?
    2. Have I had unpure thoughts about someone else?
    3. Have I remained alone in another’s company unnecessarily of the opposite sex that is a temptation to me?
    4. Have I been in lewd company and listened to indecent jokes or stories?
    5. Have I boasted or taken delight in past sins?
    6. Have I caused others to sin?

 

  1. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
    1. Have I wanted something belonging to someone else?
    2. Have I acquired something I know is stolen?
    3. Have I failed to return something I borrowed?
    4. Have I neglected to help someone in need?
    5. Have I failed to make restitution for something I’ve taken?

These sins all boil down to sins of pride, vanity, envy, lust, anger, covetousness, envy, laziness or apathy, gluttony… they lead to boasting, duplicity, ambition over others, contempt for others, anger, and resentment and revenge, stubbornness and obstinacy.

Yes, I feel convicted in researching this and sharing this podcast with all of you to change my own life for the better.

Let’s Pray!

Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you sinful and sorrowful and I ask that You help me through an infilling of the Holy Spirit to stay on the path that leads to You. I know Lord this path is difficult but with Your Divine help I know You will be with me every step of the way. Dear Jesus help keep me from pride, envy, lust, anger, covetousness, envy, laziness, apathy or gluttony. Please help me to do what is right and to hunger for righteousness. I thank you for all the ways You have intervened in my life and I give you permission to be a greater part of my life. Thank you and praise You Jesus! And, I pray this in Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Reexamine Your Conscience

reexamine your conscienceReexamine Your Conscience 

Podcast #42

Is it time to reexamine your conscience? In the last podcast, we discussed why examining your conscience is important to your spiritual well-being, and how to work at forming a good conscience by exercising it—praying, reading the Scriptures, attending church, and being around people who challenge you to seek God. We will discuss how to do an examination of conscience, the points you should consider, and ways to live a virtuous life.

Reexamine Your Conscience – Part Two

When we rely on our conscience to make difficult moral decisions, and our conscience is not well formed – it is a recipe for trouble. Our conscience is trustworthy only when it is guided by God and Biblical principals.  However, our conscience cannot be contrary to God’s teachings.

Romans 13:5 “Therefore it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience”

And, Paul states in Romans 14:23—“For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

Our conscience can be suppressed by sin, and we can make excuses for our behavior through a misinterpretation of what the Bible commands and forbids. If we want to act in a positive manner we must practice being positive. This takes practice until it becomes automatic. The same with our conscience. When we sin we reject God and His authority and rules over us – in time we begin to reject God. Commandments soon become “suggestions,” and we can begin to doubt God … prayers to the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and keep us on the right path–this is so important.

Timothy 4:2 “ Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”

When I was homeschooling my children, at the beginning of each year my husband and I would have a dinner date and we would discuss the different things we wanted our children to learn. We would also discuss each of our children, their strengths and what we felt were their weaknesses. We would pray and ask God to bless our children and help them improve in an area we wanted to specifically work on.  Often we would pick out a virtue, such as charity, humility, love, diligence. And, each year we worked toward that goal stopping mid-year to check, to see how we progressed and then again at the end of the year. Our children didn’t know we were working on that “character” in their life—but eventually, we began to see the fruits.

As an adult, our Heavenly Father has mapped this out for us in the Ten Commandments, in the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and by giving us prayer partners and your pastor to hear your struggles and give you advice on how to overcome.

Sometimes we look at our lives and compare it to others and think, “Well, I really don’t do anything wrong.”

1 Corinthians 8:13 “When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

The older we get, the more the Lord reveals our sinfulness. Knowing something is wrong and consenting – by our will, to do it constitutes a sin.

I once read that mortal sins – bring death; venial or “minor sins” … lying, willful disobedience, etc. are like a disease, while they don’t bring death they still wound us, and sins of omission

We will look at sins in two parts, sins of omission and the sins of willful practice. Omission is like leaving good on the table—it is the ability to do good, but not doing it. The parable of the barren fig tree is a case in point. The tree was alive, the root was strong, the branches covered with leaves, but year after year there was no fruit.

Our lives must bear fruit. Matthew 22:37, 39 – Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”   39–“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We were made to know, love, serve and worship God. If we do not do this, we are as the parable states in Luke 13:7 – “So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

God knows we will sin and it is just a matter of time before we do each day, but it is those sins of omission – it can start off innocently enough. It is putting off prayer because we are busy, or praying quickly to fit it in because we have more important things to do, or praying—just to check it off the list.

For many of us, our sins are minor yet wanting to live a virtuous life we should look at all sins as a way of leading us further down a dark path.

For example look at the virtues and their opposites.

Virtue Opposite
Diligence Laziness
Humility Pride/ Vanity
Giving Coveting
Chastity Lust
Temperance Gluttony
Meekness Anger/ Wrath
Love Envy

Let’s look at one of these issues, pride, and ways we can sin through this:

  1. Looking down upon others as not as good as ourselves, do we judge others?
  2. Hated others
  3. Refused to think anyone has anything to teach us or our ideas are always better
  4. An abuse of power
  5. Thinking we are always right
  6. Stubbornness
  7. Ambition above all else, no matter who we hurt
  8. Boasting, self-love above others

False humility can also be an area we need to work on.

  1. Failing to use the talents God has given me –thinking I’m not good enough
  2. Avoiding difficult situations because I am not confrontational – even if it is for my own good.
  3. Failure to witness to others

Laziness

  1. Don’t follow 10 commandments because it is too hard
  2. Failing to go to church or pray
  3. Neglecting duties
  4. Using foul language
  5. Being late and causing others to be late
  6. Wasting time my own and others
  7. Watching too much TV, on my ph

Have we fallen into a serious sin that we have difficulty removing ourselves from? Or are we looking for excuses?

People don’t realize that by seeking the occult whether it is in games or the advice of a medium we are opening a door to the dark side.

How can we see the person as hypocritical if our conscience is not well-formed?

Acts 23:1 “… My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience this day.”

Acts 24:16 “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before man and God.”

Let’s Pray – Dear Lord we thank you for giving us the virtues to study and emulate, for giving us good pastors, the church, the Bible and allowing us to surround ourselves with things that are good and worthy of your love. I ask that you watch over and protect us and help us to continue to please you in all that we do. Help us to have a well-formed conscience to know not only what is good or bad but to immediately sense danger if it is the wrong thing –for the sake our souls. Dear Lord continue to bless us and I thank you for this opportunity to praise You and Thank You for all You do in my life daily. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus! In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Examination of Conscience

examination of conscience Examination of Conscience

Episode #41

In this podcast, we examine why you should do an examination of conscience and the surprising truth behind why most people avoid thinking about sin! Examination of Conscience is important to our spiritual lives. The truth can set you free.

1 Corinthians 4:4 is a wake-up call for all of us: “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.”

If our conscience is the go-to-auto-pilot mechanism that is used in our decision making each day, shouldn’t we think about ways we have strayed and look at ways to get back onto a righteous path? Some believe that you can do nothing to earn your salvation, and this is true. Only Jesus by His life, death, and resurrection can open the gates of heaven, I don’t believe we can accept Jesus and then live our lives in sin.

So for this one reason, to be sure we are on the right path we should look at our conscience – but exactly what does this mean?  Why did God give us the 10 Commandments if we were not supposed to use them to live our lives? Why the beatitudes? Why virtues?

Because we need a guideline for right living.

1 Corinthians 8:7 states: “But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.”

1 Corinthians 8:10 continues on, “For if someone with a weak conscience sees you with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols.”

SO in other words – we must live our lives by example because if you are a professed Christian people will be looking at you and watching – to see if you mess up, and if you do, such as the Scripture above they will take that to mean they too can do what is wrong.

It is a big responsibility for all of us but often we avoid thinking about sin… have you wondered about that?

Why do people avoid thinking about sin? Because if they think about it, they might find that they are annoyed of have a “little check” in their spirit… it is as if like those cartoons of old with the good and bad angel sitting on your shoulder and temptation is in front—the person wanting to do bad, flicked off the good angels.

It was a cartoon of old, but today it is as if we’ve parked our conscience at the door and have decided that all the slogans are good – “If it feels good do it, If it tastes good eat it, If it is fun to watch, watch it. Do what makes you happy, etc.”

These are all in the Bible and they are there to be a guide for living our lives. The following points will help you understand the importance of forming a good conscience so that we can examine it, regularly.

  1. Forming a good conscience is the first step. Do we understand the difference between right from wrong? Is it important to us to do the right thing, or do we think most of life is a gray area? Reading good spiritual books – nothing that is new Age but is grounded in Scripture. Listening to good CDs or radio programs such as this one and the others on the Ultimate Christian Podcast Network.
  2. Our society has lost the senses of sin. If we don’t have a good relationship with God, and His laws (Commandments) it is difficult for us to find true happiness in our life. Our happiness will also be conditional on external things – a peaceful family, money, a job, a home, etc. If we are to find peace, we must have a relationship with the Creator of the universe—and that is God.
  3. What does it mean to examine our conscience? We think about the past, our thoughts, words and deeds –or actions to see if these things that we do are aligned to God’s plan, or the “moral law.” Examining our past will help us learn if we have done or said things that have allowed us to fall into sin. God is waiting to forgive us, and as a Catholic, I can go to confession for grave sins (John 20:21-23 “As the Father has sent me, I also send you… receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”
  4. Look at the temptation in your life and try (with God’s grace) to avoid it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 – tells us that God is faithful and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength – but the key is a relationship with God. If we turn our backs against God we are not giving God permission to enter into our life.
  5. For our own good. Examine and forming a good conscience is the same as teaching children not to touch things that can burn them, or cross the road full of speeding cars. We want our children protected from harm and our Heavenly Father wants to protect us from the harm of eternal damnation. If we are allow ourselves to be open to temptation on the Internet, in movies, and on television—that, by the way, is so full of the occult now it is very difficult to avoid, we allow a door to the “other world” to be open. And this we must avoid at all costs.

Let’s pray.

Dear Lord you have promised to keep us safe, to not let us be tempted beyond our strength, but with temptation provide us with a way to escape so that we can endure – we ask you, Lord, to be our protector. We give you permission to enter into our lives every day, to show us ways we are harming ourselves to allow us to have formed consciences that call evil – evil and good – good. To avoid all those places where temptation abounds, online, movies, books, and television—allow us the grace to pull the plug, to change the channel or walk away. Lord gives us the grace we need each and every day to follow You and Your ways, and will for our lives. And, I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

Following Christ

Following ChristFollowing Christ

Episode 40

Third episode in the series on Christian Living

A life following Christ may not be what you think. In the last two podcasts, a Christian Life, and Christian Life Restrictions we explored first, what it means to be a Christian and second why it is a myth that a Christian life means you in a world of do’s and don’ts instead of true freedom. In this podcast, we explore some of those rules and look at how living a life that follows Christ is indeed a life of freedom.

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A Life Following Christ and we will explore the freedom, happiness, and joy that a Christian truly has—not just believers!

We strive to live a life following Christ but what exactly does that mean in the everyday? I know that I fail so many times and with this failure, guilt starts to crop up …

As a Christian, I strive for peace yet many times find myself in turmoil due to things I cannot help or prevent. I know in my heart that all that is good comes from God but often we have trials.

Doesn’t living a Christian life mean living a life free from trials, turmoil and living a life that is truly happy?

First, this isn’t heaven. I know that when I looked at a Christian college friend and saw that her life was one big mess – everything that could possibly go wrong in her life went wrong. And I thought at the time, as a believer but NOT as much as her, she told me her entire life was devoted to God… I thought, “If this is how God treats her I’m not sure I want any part!”

I am using my “college self” as an example of lukewarm faith – faith that is not mature and is not tested by fire.

Christians who do walk around glumly are certainly not encouraging those who are borderline or lukewarm Christians. However, that is not what my friend showed me. She showed me that she was going to praise God in all things.

What about all those rules that the Bible gives us on how we should live our lives. Let’s look at some of the Scripture verses beginning in Ephesians 5 do read all of it I’m going to highlight parts of it:

What is Christian Living?

This verse tells us to be imitators of God.

Be Imitators of God

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

 How do we do that? How can we walk as an imitator of a Divine being? Only with the grace of God and His Holy Spirit. Friends, are we really open to God’s will in our lives? Truthfully? I struggle with this daily especially if I am praying – as I am right now for a solution to two problems that have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my family. There is nothing I can do, it is out of my hands, but I do know and believe that GOD is victorious in all things and for Him, the problem is very minor.

All I can do as a Christian is try to imitate God, with the help of the Holy Spirit… be obedient no matter what the outcome and continue to walk in love (not because I want to but because I will myself to – out of love.)

Ephesians 6-11

“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them…” 

I surely do not want to walk in darkness – and I love the thought that we are children of Light which is goodness and righteousness and truth! That makes me so happy – and that is what it means to walk as a Christian.

In Ephesians 20-21, the verse mentions something I talk about often because I have seen the impact in my life when agreeing to do this…

“…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

Thanking God when things are going wrong is something that is a good habit to get into. Each night we try very hard as a family to sit down, pray and thank God for the day. Even if one of my sons says, “I’m thankful that today is over.” He is at the very least still thanking God.

Galatians 5 explains the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

And Luke 6:43 

“…For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.”

Who doesn’t want to have love, joy peace, patience kindness, gentleness, and self-control in their lives? If this is a life following Christ, then sign me up! In addition, the verse in Luke explains that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. So many times we hear, you will be able to identify other Christian’s by their good fruit. Is this something they can do on their own? No—it is by the grace of God and through the Holy Spirit. So, what about people who are not Christians but “good people?” I’ve always wondered what that meant. How can you be good without God?

The Lord once showed me through a very personal example that we cannot put Him in a box. There are people who do not yet know God but seem to have God in their heart. Are they truly saved? That is a question for the Almighty. A person that I knew, who I would call “a good person,” embraced Christianity at some point in his life and it was through the example of someone he loved. This is a happy ending and many times these endings remain unfinished.

I recently spoke to someone who was making excuses for a spouse who is an unbeliever. He explained the same thing as above, that being a good person was important and it was not up to him to judge. And, I agree, that judging is the job of God. Yet, today in another conversation he explained how his spouse loved a show that centered on a medium – and I explained that mediums typically get their information from the “dark side.” He didn’t believe this and explained that while he didn’t agree with Ouija boards and that could open a dark portal this was different. I directed him to speak to our pastor—this is something that he needs spiritual guidance on, and I am not in the position to give it to him.

Yes, we should love our neighbor as yourself and show others the love of God, but friends do not compromise your faith, even for a loved one.

Colossians 3 explains in detail how to live a life following Christ

Colossians 3:1-4 urges us to put on our new self –our Christian self, one that is focused on a life that is waiting for the time we will be reunited with Christ.

Put On the New Self

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

We are urged to put aside all of the sinful and “evil practices” as believers…

Colossians 3: 8-11

“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—“

Colossians 3: 12

Continues with the verse that explains we’ve been chosen by God. In the last episode of A Few Minutes With God I discussed the belief that many have that as Christians we are restricted because of all the rules, but I explained that it is, in essence, a gift – that faith is a gift that we receive if we are open to receiving, because again—a reminder, we have free will.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful…”

Look at the verse above and rejoice! Please take the time to look at the words and see which ones speak to you – if you can add the verses I shared today to your journal – write them out, study them and let them penetrate your heart. The Bible spells out the way to live a life as a follower of Christ – and it is so wonderful. It is truly a blueprint for living life to the fullest!

Let’s pray—

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift and the joy of being called by You to a life following Christ –as a Christian I pray you allow me to have a Holy boldness to proclaim Your Name to others and to allow me to walk, each day on the path of righteousness. I ask that you hear all of the needs deep within our hearts, especially for those we now pray…  I ask that you answer our prayers, Lord and you bless those for whom we pray. Please help us to forgive, help us to have all the fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and more – we want every good thing you have for us! Thank you for giving us the time today to spend a few minutes with You and I praise you in everything. I pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

 

Christian Life Restrictions

Christian Life RestrictionsChristian Life Restrictions
Episode 39

Christian life restrictions are the norm, right? Christians have no fun, Christians have so many restrictions placed on their shoulders, people think it is a list of do’s and don’ts. Christianity is much more than that, and living a Christian life can bring us true freedom. In this episode, we will explore these restrictions and see if there is any truth in the accusations that Christian life is full of rules.

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Show Notes: Christian Life Restrictions

Those of us who consider ourselves Christians do live by a right and a wrong. We believe, through our formed conscience that things are either one way or another. You will find many who consider that to be a form of restriction.

Why be a Christian? What’s in it for us? I don’t want to follow a list of do’s and don’ts – being a Christian is no fun.

Is this true? Let me share with you the truth, that being a Christian and living a Christian life is indeed freeing.

It always amazes me when I hear people who say there is no God because there is no right and wrong and everything goes – well, actually when you get right down to it, that isn’t true. If you ask this same person who believes there is no right or wrong (a moral relativist) if someone broke into their house and stole their computer, money and jewelry if they would be okay with that, they would say, “No! That isn’t fair. They broke the law.”,

How can you have laws, what is considered a law of the land, and not have a moral law? What is the difference? A movie worth watching is God’s Not Dead. In this film, the main character is a college student, a Christian, who takes a class on philosophy with a professor who is an atheist. The first thing he does is require each of the students to fill out a sheet of paper with the words, “God is Dead,” sign it and turn it in because he does not want to deal with the arguments that follow along the line of Christianity in his classroom.

One student refuses to sign this paper and is challenged by the professor to take the end of the class period, in the subsequent weeks and “prove’ that God is truly alive. These arguments come up, and one of them is that rules serve us all and protect us. They are not restrictive to those who are morally right. They only restrict those who want to do what is wrong.

Christian Life Restrictions–No! It is a gift.

Ephesians 2:8:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Through God, we are saved and this is an amazing gift – I’m not sure how you can say a gift is a burden.

  1. A Gift
  2. A Choice
  3. A Blessing
  4. Allows for Freedom From Sin
  5. Opens the gates of heaven

What makes me realize that while God gave us a choice and allows us to make up our minds, many are so biased in their belief.

If Christianity is restrictive in that we cannot do certain things, I would say that everyone is under restrictions in some way or another.

For example, just because you want to run a red light you can’t do it – unless you want to harm yourself or someone else. If you want freedom of speech you can’t just go out and make a racist remark or defame someone else (well these days people are doing this but you should not!) Our society has norms and the evil one is disrupting those norms by causing dissension.

Just because I don’t agree with you—it does not make me wrong. There is a set of boundaries in our world. We can’t travel without a visa or passport, we can’t travel without paying for a ticket, we can’t use a credit card without paying for our bill. Our world, our lives, in essence, are bound by rules and regulations, so why shouldn’t faith also have some guidelines?

When God handed down the 10-Commandments he asked Moses to spread the Word. These are the guidelines we use to lead our lives. These guidelines set us free – they bring us peace, joy and happiness.

Just like any good parent, our God watches over us – it is amazing the same people who accuse Christians as having their freedom restrictive are themselves, restrictive parents. Would any parent allow their child to play in traffic, to play with matches or to stick their fingers or worse in an electrical outlet? No. And why is that? Because of imminent death. Does that mean the person is too restrictive, not the person is loving?

The same way for a Christian we have a God who cares about us and wants us to have everlasting life.

We can never understand the mind of God or anything about God other than reading the Bible, our interpretation and allowing the Holy Spirit to enter our lives in a deeper way. The Bible does talk about how we should live, and we will discuss that in the next podcast.

CS Lewis recounts in his book, Mere Christianity, which I recommend every Christian read, that when he was an atheist he rationalized his belief about why Christians were wrong based upon a set of notions that he later found were false. And, one of them was moral relativism, that there is no right or wrong. That is the crux of this is free will – we have the intellect to decide for ourselves.

Those who believe Christianity is too restrictive are the same people who want to defy all that is good and holy. Or they say that Jesus was a good man but not the Messiah. How can you be good and a liar? Jesus said He was the Son of God – either He is who He said or He is not.

Freedom of regulations does not bring us joy in and of itself. Giving children limitations and rules allows them to flourish. Those who break the rules often find themselves in trouble doing things they should not to the harm of their bodies or their souls or both.

True freedom is knowing we are loved and loving others. The rules help us to live lives that are God-honoring and honoring to each other. What is wrong with Thou shalt not kill? Thou shall not commit adultery? Honor thy Mother and Thy Father? Honor Thy Neighbor? I think we would all agree there is nothing wrong with wanting to live the best lives we can.

Further, the commandments begin with, “I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-6; Deuteronomy 5:6-10), 2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. (Exodus 20:7; Deut 5:11)
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

God is love and while again, we are so limited in our own understanding and human usage of words for a Divine being, we know that he saved us from eternal damnation by sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to set us free and the Holy Spirit to reign with us always.

Eternal life can only be found in the true God. Let’s pray.

Dear Lord, I pray in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit…I thank You for the gift of freedom, the gift of free will, the gift of faith, the gift of opening the gates of heaven by Your death and resurrection. Thank you for setting us free, for giving us a renewed gift of faith—for allowing us to believe in Your Divine Providence for our lives and those of our families. I am blessed that You have called me to live a life that is honoring to You but I can only do this by Your grace in my life, so I pray for an outpouring of Your love and grace to fill me. Please Lord, hear my petitions which I now pray__________________________, I ask that as a community of believers, all those who are listening to this broadcast, that we join together in prayer for each other and for our personal needs. I thank You for all that is good and Holy and I praise You with every breath I take, In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Christian Life

Christian lifeWhat does it mean to live the Christian life? What does the Christian life look like? If you walk along a busy city street Christians are not easily identified. They look just like everyone else. Or do they? In this podcast, we explore what it means to be a Christian, what we have to “give up” to become a Christian and how the blessings overwhelming triumph any perceived restrictions.

In this three-part series we will discuss:

  1. What does this mean
  2. What does this do for us
  3. What does this mean for the rest of our life?

Thanks to our sponsors, Like Arrows – a wonderful movie on family life.

For a Christian life has meaning, it has a purpose and all that happens in life is not wasted. The first step is often some type of profession of faith in God. As I’ve discussed many times we can’t have faith, or love a God we don’t know. God is amazing and He reveals Himself to us. We can’t possibly know anything about God unless He shows us!

Think about that.

John 15:16

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Somewhere along the line, whether it was a faith passed down by our parents (for me I say thank-you mom and dad it is because of your faith, and love of God that I had a hunger in me at a very young age to know more about God.) For others who grew up without faith, it was a profession of faith, perhaps accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a church or with a friend. I did what I considered a re-acceptance of God with a college friend and prayed a salvation prayer with her. In essence I recanted past sins and asked the Lord into my heart in a deeper way, pledging fidelity to Him, and Him alone. Some people call it being “born again.” A personal relationship with God.

John 3:1-21

I believe that God calls us and we have the ability to answer the call with a yes – or a no. And that is in essence what we are called to do – as my pastor says, “Make the fundamental option.” It is fundamental in our walk with God it is fundamental in how we live our lives it is fundamental in everything we do.

We can do nothing without God. Just try it. We long for peace in our hearts and we long for a happy life but a life devoid of God even if you have all the material things of this world do not bring you happiness. We often look at what we don’t have instead of looking at what we do have. (Think about this, pray about this!)

God said we can do nothing without Him (John 15:16)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

This passage talks about bearing good fruit that will last – we can not do this apart from him.

John 15:5

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.

It doesn’t say – you can not do much, it says you can do nothing apart from me. Is this restrictive? Truly for those who believe it is very freeing – which I will discuss more in the next session on what Christianity DOES for us…

Friends, each day is new – each day lived as a Christian is an experience of walking not alone but with God alongside us—He will never leave us.

As a Christian spend time with Him each day, allow God to reveal Himself. We will never fully understand as we are limited with human intellect but we can and should allow the Lord to fill us each day with every good thing relying on Him and asking His help daily.

As my pastor often teaches us to pray – Lord, I love You as You Know Yourself to Be— not as I understand but as he reveal…

Let’s pray:

Dear Lord, I do pray to love you as You Know Yourself to Be – it is difficult to comprehend all that it means to be a Christian, and in my brokenness I am limited but I do not want to limit your providence and will in my life. Lord I profess you as Lord and Savior as the great, I AM – I ask that you come into my life in a deeper way, each day. I give you permission to reside in my heart, in my will, in my life. I thank you for calling me, and allowing me to bear good fruit that will last, and doing this with You. I never want to be apart from you Lord—please Be a part of my life. I pray for those in my life who are apart from you, those who have wounded me, and those I still need to forgive. I ask for the grace to be healed of any injustices or illness and I pray this in Jesus Name. Amen.