Integrity and Faith

Integrity and Faith ~ Episode 221

How can we pray in an effective manner? And where did integrity and faith go? So few people have both! Listen in to learn more about how we can pray for our family, our pastors, our church, and those in the world in a powerful way.

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What has happened to truth, justice, integrity, and faith? The core issue is that God is removed as much as possible from our lives beginning with our children. The long game by the evil one required the abolition of God from the schools. What better way to change a generation? Begin with the children. Even Christian schools that take government dollars find that they have a specific way they must teach and act, because – you know, you don’t want to offend the non-believers who attend Christian schools.

Why are children disrespectful to authority? It would take me an entire podcast to share my take on this as a past educator, with a degree in Elementary Ed and Early Childhood, but let me share that it is a multi-generational issue. For one thing, parents don’t follow through and teach children that obedience is required or there will be consequences, the second is that children don’t trust authority figures because they have been hurt. If we want to have respect it must be earned. It is not, “do as I say but not as I do.” And that is a major problem.

Christian children don’t know their faith, they are not taught the Bible and they do not know how to pray. If they pray it is often, “please God give me the following”, rather than beginning with praise and thanksgiving for what the Creator, the Almighty, has done for us.

Once we took God out, secular humanism crept in with all that entailed which was a skewed look at humanity with all its depravity. The job of faith was then left to the parents, where it should be. However, parents were overwhelmed with work, home, and raising kids. Many mothers were forced to go to work to help provide for their families.

Then this job of teaching the faith was left at the door of the church, which often was not attended by the very people who needed faith the most. And, let’s face it our pastors and hierarchy of the church have let us down. I was sharing with my son the other day that the evil we see unleashed on this world would not be happening if the clergy stood up in force and united against the push from evil men who want money and power. It use to be the Catholic church that stood up against evil in so many instances throughout history. And with the revision and rewriting of history, we see blame rather than praise where it was due. I don’t normally go on about the evil in this world, because I like to focus on the good and the graces that God gives, but I feel we are at a tipping point. I believe there is more good than evil in the world, but that saying about good people doing nothing rings true today due to fear tactics by the enemy. Think red background, need I say more?

As my son asked, “So what are we supposed to do, pray and do nothing?” My answer? “Absolutely not.” Sure, we could throw up our hands in defeat with the thought that there is nothing we can do but that is not true. Just as I shared in the last podcast on planting the seeds of faith, it is with prayer that we can be led forward and encouraged in what we should do.  What does that mean? It means the connection to our Lord and our prayer life is so important more than in days past.

If I could make a wish list of what I would like to see happen in Catholic, Christian, and other faith communities it would be the following:

  1. Band together in prayer for the end of this hostile takeover of the good in humanity.
  2. Prayer for those who are confused about their own worth in the eyes of God and fall into what the scriptures call Sodom and Gomorrah.
  3. Focus on our own sinfulness and not point figures toward others.
  4. The motto, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord,” throw out anything that is contrary to a strengthing of your soul toward good.
  5. Live a life of integrity and faith. Do not allow the love of money and it’s lure of evil. Money in and of itself is not evil, it is the love of money that is the root of evil.

By living an example each day for others even if it is for your own family, people at church, your neighbor, and the checkout person at the grocery store, you are doing your part. Some years ago a friend was visiting and asked me to bring her to the local variety store to get a few things she forgot. We decided to get coffee when we arrived at the coffee shop and since we only needed a few things, we decided not to get a cart. Well, a few things turned into more things and both of us had full hands by the end. So, she stuck a small container of deodorant in her pocket. Yes, that’s right, she forgot to remove it to pay until we got home. So, in the next day or so, we headed back to the store to pay for the deodorant, and it took forever. First, she had to explain to the returns that the receipt with her purchase did not include the deodorant (and yes this girl was shocked) then the girl had to call her supervisor – same story, same shock. Finally, it was all sorted out and my friend made the payment and we left. It was an ordeal but one that I believe blessed people’s lives, because yeah, that just does not happen. That is integrity that goes hand in hand with faith.

So, friends, this week let’s join together and pray for all humanity that the shining light of Christ is renewed in each person’s heart. We will do our part in our own corner of the world to make it a better place, to vote responsibly, and to be silent no more. May you be blessed by the love of God today and always.

God’s Word Revealed

God's Word Revealed | We often read the Bible and are left unmoved, but through the words of scripture, God's word is revealed. | #christianpodcast | #podcast | God's WordGod’s Word Revealed – Episode 220

We often read the Bible and are left unmoved, but through the words of scripture, God’s word is revealed. Why is that? What are the tools you need to get you into the right frame of mind before praying and delving into the scriptures? Stay tuned and find out.

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When was the last time you read the Bible or listened to the Bible read to you in church and found your mind wandering or the words had less of an impact than you hoped? God’s word teaches and instructs us and it can reveal truths to us that will help us in our daily lives and we are taught are good for our eternal soul. What is revealed in God’s word is more than can we usually unpack on our own and that is where the commentaries are helpful.

A quick guide to reading scripture.

  1. Pray to the Lord for the forgiveness of past sins.
  2. Ask the Holy Spirit for a blessing upon you to open your mind to the words the Lord wants you to hear.
  3. Close your eyes and pray thanksgiving for all the Lord has done for you.
  4. Put on the “mind of Christ,” and pray for understanding.
  5. Open your Bible and read!

As I was preparing this podcast I thought about some of the highlights of which there are many but these were earth-shattering revelations about the sovereignty of God.

God revealed His name in Exodus to Moses in the burning bush – we learn that it was a miraculous event, the bush was not consumed in fire and by the power of God, he sustained it, and revealed Himself with the promise of liberating the oppressed people.

Exodus 3: 1-8 [Read on air] The bush was sustained by the power of God and in this passage, God revealed His name. I AM. What a miracle and one that we wish was happening today – a miracle to set His people free those of us who are believers who are crying out to the Lord for help. Not as I want my God but as you want for me. That too is takes a miracle of faith to trust in God and His insight and knowing what is best for us.

The Lord revealed His plan of a Savior through his prophetic word, and even through Mary. We may not consider the Mother of Christ sharing a prophetic word but she did and we know this because we read her prophetic word in what is known as the Magnificat, in some translations I read Mary’s song but I feel that falls short of the magnitude of her words: Luke 1:46-56 Please read those words and think about them, friends.  My goodness, when I read … my soul magnifies the Lord we should pray for that blessing and grace. To trust as Mary trusted what a gift! Sure, she was visited by an angel of God, but we all know that the punishment for an unwed woman in those days was death. I’m sure she was afraid but still, she went to tend to her cousin, Elizabeth and we further read the baby in Elizabeth’s womb lept for joy. That baby was the future John the Baptist.

I think that is why so many of us feel so strongly about abortion that we never know who the future child that will be born is, and all are gifts from God and created in God’s image. Again, we have to suspend our thoughts and put on the mind of Christ as the scriptures teach.

And another prophetic word by Zechariah – the father of John the Baptist. Because he did not believe the word he received from the Lord when he was in the temple offering the sacrifice of the people, he was struck mute. Yet once his wife Elizabeth argued about the name that should be given to their child, the Lord gave him his voice back. Luke 1:67-80 (this was soon after Mary’s words).  His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that his son would be a prophet called by God the Most High. The miracle next to that of Elizabeth being barren, and old and still giving birth to a healthy child.

Those prophetic words and the many that the Bible contains are not just for your neighbor, your friend, or the people down the street, no. These words are for you and for me! There are prophets of today some are sound and teach truth and others I believe want to sow fear in our hearts. We do not need to have a spirit of fear but we must be of sound mind and that comes from putting on the armor of Christ!

Your challenge this week is to pray to discern God’s Word in the scripture and to pray to only hear the truth and discern when it is not of the Lord. May you be blessed today and always.

 

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Plant Seeds of Faith

AFMW - Planting Seeds of FaithPlant Seeds of Faith ~ Episode 219

Do you plant seeds of faith or do you keep all those wonderful blessings for yourself? It is easier than you think and the good news is that not the Lord harvests and not us! In this podcast, Felice Gerwitz shares the joys of faith planting.

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When I became on fire for the Lord, Christian I was so good at sharing about the Lord, yet I also wanted to see the fruits. I had to learn early on we plant, God reaps! I’m not a very patient person and that was a hard lesson to learn, but learn I did. How many times are we are asked to pray and never hear the end of the story? But, that is okay for one reason it encourages us to remember the people and pray for their intentions.

We are called to pray for each other and to share the good news: Mark 16:15-20

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

The Lord gives us the gifts we need when we need them. Sometimes it is that friend who picks us up when we are down, other times it is the person we least expect, and other times it is the Lord who speaks to us through His word. I think that is why when you are filled with the graces that God gives you, you want to share the good news with the world. But what happens when you are rejected? What if you are so filled with the love of God that you want to share it with someone who is close to you and then learn that they don’t want any part of what you have to say? How does that make you feel? We can’t take this as a personal rejection although I am sure that is hard to do, it is not a rejection of us, it is a rejection of God.

The issue is that when we are excited we want others to be excited, but that too is a grace from God. It is freely given but some refuse to accept this gift and would rather rely on their own understanding and their own ability. Because let’s face it, to an unbeliever faith is considered a weakness. They may believe that a Christian can do anything by asking God for help or intercession. But little do they know that calling out to the Almighty is a recognition of that which is greater than us and in humility, we cry out to God in an act of thanksgiving, love, and hope. Faith by its very nature is hope.

When we think about the Lord and how he planted the seeds of faith, we recall Mark 4 – The Parable of the Sower. I will read a portion to you, Mark 4:3-8 and Jesus said:

“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

But when reading further we find that the apostles were puzzled.

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

And that, dear friends, is how we are as well. We as Christians can be so excited when things are working out for us, and other times we fall short because things are hard. Once we received the word with joy we hear, but the roots were too shallow. Maybe we have heard the prosperity gospel that teaches among other things that if you are a believer only good and blessings will come to you. Yet, we know that is a shallow root because what happens when bad things happen to “good” people? We blame God, we shake our fists and say things like, “God, I’ve always followed you and this is how you treat your servant?” I know this first hand because sadly I’ve said that more times than I care to admit. The good news? We can repent and start again, each day is a new day with God. God does not hold grudges, and God is in the present moment as are we, however, we think about the past and it still has a hold on us.

What about the seeds that fall upon the thorns? The Lord teaches that they fall on those whose lives are filled with the goal of wealth and the desires for other things that don’t allow that person to grow in faith, that “choke the word” and become “unfruitful”. Look up the word fruit on any Bible app and you will find many, many references. In Matthew 21:43 we read: “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.

The production of good fruit is through the grace of God, again freely given but not accepted by some. Lastly, we learn there are those seeds sown on good soil, and those who hear the word accept it and produce crops. The crops are as Matthew declares the fruit of faith. This fruit must be shared. But I want to caution you to wait upon the Lord.

As I shared earlier in this podcast, I was ready to share the good news with everyone and yet it was met with resistance. I think I was at fault in that I was doing this under my own power, my own idea of what the person should hear, and without the grace of God. Because we can plant seeds the best by the way we live our life. And where do you begin? With your family and then with a nudge from the Lord. We know when we should say something and we don’t. You have that feeling that you should say something and you let the moment slip away.

One of our pastors shared that when people would share jokes that were inappropriate, he would say he didn’t want to hear it or walk away. His example to others that as a man of God he was held to a higher standard, but he also shared that often it made a difference and the joke teller would apologize. How we stand up for our faith is a way that we plant seeds. A car weaving in and out of traffic or speeding with a Christian bumper sticker that says, “God Saves,” or “Christian on Board,” or something similar, needless to say, would not be a good example.

Pray about what the Lord wants you to do, and the best thing is to listen in the quiet without the distractions of the world. I know, my mind wanders too, start by reading the Bible, and allow the words to fill your heart. I challenge you this week to pray and seek the Lord and ask Him to bring you people so that you can share the Good News, as he leads you to share. May you be blessed this week and always.


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Word of God

AFMWG - Word of GodWord of God ~ God Speaking To Us – Episode 218

When we think about the Word of God we consider The Holy Bible as the source, as we should. But what about internal thoughts or feelings that God is with you? In this podcast, we will delve into the Word of God not only

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The Great Commission ~ Word of God

Does God talk to you? Think about this. He promised not to leave us orphans, He promised to be with us always until the end of time, and he asked his disciples in what is known as the great commission to make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:16-20

Many of us go to church weekly at the minimum, and some daily. We hear sermons and we listen to the Word of God read to us as well as reading the Scriptures in our own quiet time. Yet, how often do we stop and reflect on the words we are reading? Do we consider our life a journey? That we are just passing through. When we look at our life as Christians we are elevated to a place that is beyond this world. And having this perspective puts us in the frame of mind to believe.

What do you believe? I believe that God does talk to us. To begin with, we start with His Word and go from there. As we read the Bible and a specific passage, what are the words that resonate with you?

There are so many glimpses of God’s love for humanity, first with the creation of the world, then with the trials of humanity when in opposition to God. I read something that said quit trying to find out God’s will for you and just live your life as a godly Christian. That is a nice meme on social media, but God’s will for our life happens whether or not we are in tune with it, everything in our lives happens not only because of our free will but because God allows it. That is hard to take in, especially because of our own sinful nature and that is why we turn to faith in times of great need and turn our backs when all is going well.

In learning to obey the Word of God we are taking that first step, that action to do God’s will by learning and loving God as He loves us. We can never compare with the love of the Father, Son, or Spirit for us.

Jesus spoke to God the Father and we read about it in John 17:20-26. It is a moving passage and it gives us an example of how we should pray.

Jesus Prays for All Believers ~ Word of God

What resonates with you? Which of those words touches your heart? Write down those words in your own journal and underline phrases that have an impact on you. I love the words, “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

What more can we ask for in our life than to have the love of God within us?

Some Bibles have the words of Jesus highlighted or in red. He spoke so clearly in many places and in parables or stories in others. Write down the verses that touch your heart and meditate on them.  You will be filling pages and pages in your journal because you can not help but be touched and changed by His Word.

The Bible is filled with Salvation history but it is also filled with a call to action and to change for the better.

In the book of Hebrews verse 4:12, we read 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.”

God’s word changes us. It makes us strive to be the best we can be. When I read the Old Testament I am heartbroken by the choices that many of our ancestors made. Think about the Garden of Eden, think about Moses, think about the Israelites, and think about the call of Jeremiah for change. Now, fast forward to the New Testament and we see that evil man are in power and that the people are crying out to God for relief.

Now, look at today. Evil men still try to rule the world and still try to bend the will of the people. Yet, we know the outcome because of the difference between us and those who lived within the Old Testament time is we have a Savior and His name is Jesus Christ!

We must repent, believe and change for the better, but we must do it with a Christian foundation. We have all been chosen to serve and it is no accident that you are tuned in today. God is not going to leave us stranded and we have His Word. Let me leave you with this thought, Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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Transformed Family

AFMWG Family Transformed

Family Transformed – Episode 217

Are you ready for a transformation within your own family? How about a challenge for a transformed family? This is a follow-up to the last episode of Heart Transformed 

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Why is it we can see the faults in other people so much easier than we can see the faults in ourselves? Did you know when we focus on ourselves first (the opposite of what we have been taught), and get our own spiritual house in order, the rest of the family will see the change and want to be a part of what you have? If you didn’t catch the last episode, Heart Transformed  be sure to check it out.

St. Paul reminds us in Colossians 3:1-4 [ Read on air]

When our family is at peace, when we are serving the Lord as a group, we will all get along so much better. I taught my children that God put us together as a family on purpose. There are no mistakes in Lord’s plan for family life. Each person was selected to be together because of what they could learn from each other. It is a beautiful thing when it works the way God designed. If we focus on the things above we are so much happier.

The best teacher is the example we set If we want our family to read the Bible, we need to read the Bible. If we want our family to pray, we need to lead in prayer. Years ago I wanted my husband to be the spiritual leader of our home, and he is in so many ways, but not in the way I wanted him to be. I wanted him to lead the Bible studies and the prayer sessions we had as a family and while he contributed to these, he is not a leader. So we became co-leaders, I would initiate the studies and he and I would contribute to the discussion. We can become upset or bitter because things do not go our way rather than take on the leadership ourselves if that is what God leads us to do. Don’t box yourself in with your own ideas, but rather what works best for your family. Never, never compare your family to other families. That will surely set you up for failure. Many people put up a good front when everything is falling apart. So don’t judge by exteriors.

Here are some simple things to do, for yourself if you do not have a young family and with a family, if you do:

  1. Start each day by giving thanks. By doing this we are giving God all the glory (Colossians 4:4 – When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.”) That is enough for us to rejoice daily.
  2. Family prayer. Begin each meal with thanks to God. Keep it brief. Have a nighttime routine that includes prayer.
  3. Encourage each member of the family to have their own time to pray.
  4. Participate in helping. Whether it is each other or contributing to the family needs. Meals, cleaning up, helping when needed.
  5. Participate in ministry outside of the home. Volunteering, visiting the elderly (neighbor), etc.

Talk to your family members and add to this list. As the children grew and left home we had a big gap in our lives, and my husband and I found we were no longer praying together because our nightly routine was changed. Even when our children were younger, the two of us would pray each evening together. This habit changed as our lives became busier. For anyone who has children, you always think you will have so much time when the kids grow older, but soon find that our lives just change and often become even busier. We must make the time to pray together.

If you are alone in your home and have a good prayer life, that is wonderful, now invite a friend. I pray with my friends often. Sometimes it is in church, sometimes it is a friend in need. I am part of several email prayer groups that send out prayer requests. I set up a Facebook group – A Few Minutes with God years ago for prayer requests. It was used to help people who needed prayers and also to post their praise reports.

And that is really the crux of the transformed family, and that is you will have so many praise reports! A praise report is where we thank God for the blessings in our lives. My son was hit by a falling object that was large and metal off of a single-story roof. The injury could have been so bad, but it turned out that while it bled profusely, the damage was minimal and mostly a scrape. That was a miracle. No swelling, no concussion, no brain damage, or worse! So thank you Lord for your blessings. If you think about it each day you can come up with so many things to thank the Lord for and to praise His Name. But, it takes time to stop and think.

What do you do when you enter a church? Is it a time to be social, or is it a time to listen and pray? Can we pray and be social? Of course! But I feel that often church is used as a social outlet rather than a time of worship. Going to church for me is a time to get on my knees, for as long as I am able, and begin by thanking and praising God, asking His forgiveness for the ways I have offended Him, and petitioning Him in prayer. However, you serve to worship it is an individual choice.

This week I challenge you to work within your own family no matter how big or how small and make positive changes. Small to begin with and grow as your family grows and adapts to a time of prayer, worship, and growing closer to the Lord. I pray this is a blessing to you and your family.

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Heart Transformed

AFMWG - Heart TransformedHeart Transformed In The Lord ~ Episode 216

Is your heart transformed in Christ? In the past few episodes, we’ve looked at ways to grow closer to the Lord, with an at-home Christian retreat, looking at nature and seeing the hand of God, serving the Lord, and renewing our faith. But how do you have a heart transformation?

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The heart knows what the heart wants and sometimes that isn’t for our spiritual well-being. In the past months on this network, I noticed that many of the podcasts are focusing on renewal and getting closer to the Lord. I think we all feel that our hearts need to be focused on above and not within. Definitely by turning off the television and turning to your Bible and prayer.

Do you have a list of go-to Scriptures that are helpful when you want your heart transformed?

Psalm 109:26 Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love.

and Mark 9:23-25 – [ Read on air] Help me in my unbelief – this is the scripture about the Lord casting out the demon from a child.

Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd – that is a wonderful joyous scripture. This is one to have memorized. [ Read on air]

When we want a perspective of not sweating over the small stuff look no further than 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 – [ Read on air]

We are made for heaven, what a wonderful truth we can hold onto, and yet we hold on to the things of this world. Even when they like us will turn to dust!

What is it that you need? Do you need to be uplifted? Do you need to rely on the Lord for all things? Do you need to feel that you are not alone? Turn to the Bible. Our Bibles are the best resource we have to be filled with each and every day. In our lives, we often have things upside down. Man (in general, not you) strives for power and control, greatness and notoriety, and love of self above all others. And does that them happy? No. Money as we know can not buy happiness.

Think about a time when you were the happiest. For most of us, it is when we are surrounded by family and friends. Sure we can be happy when we have a sense of accomplishment in completing a goal or reaching a level that we thought we’d never reach. But it is not the same. One fills our hearts with love that is overflowing while the other is satisfying but different. Even the children’s stories got it right, think about the fictional character the Grinch. He stole Christmas and he realized that the people still sang and were happy. He realized the truth, that the real gift is not the tree and the gifts, it is faith, family, and friends. So, the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day. Of course, then he returned everything.

Oh for our hearts to grow to be transformed in Christ. We can be a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 – So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! Giving our lives to Christ one time is great, but giving our hearts to God daily is that transformation we all need. Anger can’t stay with us, disappointment can’t stay with us, and judging others can’t stay. Not if our hearts are aligned with God. Acts 8:10 – All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’ and Luke 9:48 – and said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.’

So, friends putting others first is wonderful but if our hearts are not filled to overflowing with the love of God we can’t serve others. If we are a dry well and there is nothing how can we give? I know there are tons of blogs and articles about self-care, and that has unfortunately created an entitled society. But where there is some truth in taking care of yourself in your walk with the Lord in order to serve others. For me going to church daily is the way I fill up.

Let’s face it, some of those God-called saw amazing things. Moses with the burning bush, Elisah, and Elisha with the chariots of fire being taken up to heaven, and the apostles after the death of Christ seeing Him walk among them in the flesh. And, while they were fearful they were not afraid of God. I think sometimes we fear what we don’t know. We are afraid to lean on the Lord because if we do we fear what He will ask of us. The fear of the Lord means awe and reverence for God’s power and might. So, when we are overwhelmed we can lean on the Almighty and hold on to the joy that comes from knowing, loving, and serving Him. We need to pray daily for the Lord to fill us up with fear and awe for Him!

This world needs more reverence for God. It needs more humility. And the wonderful news is we can begin with ourselves! This week fill yourself up with the words of God in the Bible and make your own go-to list of Scriptures that will encourage you in those times when you need it the most!

 

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Serving the Lord

AFMWG _ Serving the LordServing The Lord ~ Episode 215

Serving the Lord is something we are all called to do yet so few answer His call. Surprisingly most don’t realize it begins at home. Are you blessed with a servant’s heart? Are you ready to spend time in witness to others by God’s love for them? Join Felice Gerwitz as she explores this topic in today’s podcast.

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When I realized all that the Lord had done for me I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I was ready to hit the road and begin evangelizing to anyone who would listen. There was one major issue, and that was I was a mom with small kids. There was no way I could do this and not neglect my family. There is a season for every ministry and I realized (by God’s grace) that my first ministry was to begin at home.

How did my children view me? How did I show them godliness and how did I parent? These few things are important in regard to how my children see Christ represented in me. If we hope to have a family that follows the Lord we have to be the example and oh, how hard this is during different seasons of our lives. It was during such a time that I prayed for a family scripture one that I could hang on the wall and point to and look at for strength. The scripture I loved was found in the book of Joshua.

Joshua 25:15 is a verse many of us have memorized, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” This is one of my life verses and I even have a wooden plaque prominently displayed in my home with the verse. But, what does it mean? To me, it means that nothing entering my home is going to be against what the Bible teaches. And, one step further we will not pollute our minds with the filth that is passed off as television programming. Long ago my husband and I decided if our kids couldn’t watch it we couldn’t either. What we put into our minds can help or hinder our spiritual walk.

It also is a scripture that points to being service minded. How are we to serve others? Not all of us can go to soup kitchens to feed the poor but we can participate in food drives and donate to these causes. Our church has a bin right near the front doors where we can bring in canned and packaged foods to donate. There are poor boxes set up as well for our donations that go to a specific charity set up for the poor in our town. Our church is also known to help people from time to time with their bills, everything from utilities to mortgage payments and more.  We are blessed to have a large parish that is service minded, and best of all the message is solidly Biblical and faithful to the teachings. [More on audio]

The success of the removal of God from the schools was the first step to a pagan culture – the culture that you and I live in today. So, we are called to pick up our cross and follow Him. The road is narrow, it is treacherous and it is not for the fainthearted. How will we share the good news with the unbelievers? Well, let’s start by asking the Lord how He wants to use us.

Years ago I had all of these ideas on how I wanted to serve the Lord, and then I’d meet other people who were already serving the Lord in that capacity way better than I ever could! I would pray to the Lord and thank Him for having such capable people at the helm, but I would also lament, “Lord you don’t need me.” I soon fell into a pity party and felt unneeded by the Lord, until He reminded me that I was telling Him how I wanted to serve instead of asking Him. And here we are today, with a podcast network that spreads the good news, not only for this podcast but for others.

One of our pastors gave a teaching beginning with the words, “Can you imagine being called by God on your worse day?” He was referring to the book of Isaiah and in particular Isaiah 6 where the prophet sees a vision and realizes his sinfulness. 6:3 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” This is known as the “holiness, sinfulness, grace and service,” chapter. Only after we recognized the Kingship of God can we recognize our unworthiness and then in humility God can use us. God uses the humble of heart not those who think they know all the answers, and for me, this is a wonderful thought because there is hope for me! We see this with the apostles that Jesus called to follow him. Andrew, James, and John were given the experience of the multiplication of the loaves and fish. They realized their limitations and even around the Lord and witnessed miracles they still doubted.

Only after we have acknowledged our own sin, our own unworthiness, can we follow God’s call. We as Christians have a vocation, first to serve in our capacity in our job. Are you a mother, a father, are you a son or daughter, are you a single sister or brother? It is our duty to discern our vocation and to follow as we are led. Where is your gifting? Remember we all begin small and grow as the Lord asks us to grow. Your ministry can begin at home, at church, with a neighbor or friend, at a soup kitchen, or volunteering in some other capacity.

Maybe someday you will have your own podcast (Fill out a form to apply for a podcast here).

One thing I want to warn you about, the enemy always wants to remind us that we are not worthy and can not do it and that we are undeserving. Rebuke this and remember that we are all of those things without God’s calling and grace. If God calls us he will give us the strength the fortitude and the charge to continue on, and hopefully we will persevere. When I began this podcast I had a steady eight downloads, and I think at least half were one of my friends (thank you, Gerry!) But now some episodes are in the hundreds and thousands and thousands over the years. Can you imagine if I had stopped with one? Not too long ago, I was praying about the number of times to release new episodes, I had started with one a week and then dropped back to replays and two new ones a month. I started feeling less than, and why would anyone listen to this show, and I truly felt I was dried up there was nothing else to say. I prayed and prayed and within the span of a week or two I received two different emails that were so encouraging. I showed that yes, the Lord was touching people’s lives through the words He gave me.

Think of the Bible and we are in good company, we are in with the unworthy, the sinners, and those who were humbled by life. Yet we too are given this commission to make disciples of all nations, and in this day we are needed more than ever. You are never too young or too old to share the good news.

And I pray that you too want to serve the Lord in all that you do. And I ask that this week you pray for the Lord to lead you in some way. I pray that you are transformed by faith and do not be afraid! God is with us.

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Personal Journey – Holy Spirit

Personal Journey: The Holy SpiritPersonal Journey ~ Episode 210

I had a podcast I wanted to create on my personal journey closer to the Holy Spirit and deeper faith. Yet, it was scheduled to play a few months ago. But I postponed it. Truthfully, I was stuck. I didn’t know what I wanted to say. However, I prayed and felt that the time was right. So, I’ll share with you a bit about my journey.

Please check out my books, A Few Minutes with God and One More Child as well as the Truth Seekers Mystery Series (for tweens). Visit my website at MediaAngels.com

The Third Person of the Trinity  – Holy Spirit

My personal journey closer to the third person of the Trinity happened when I least expected it and during a very busy season of my life. I wasn’t looking for a closer relationship with God, but as always the Lord seeks us with open arms. When we talk about the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit we are referring to one God and three persons. Yeah, don’t ask me to explain it. That is one of the mysteries of the Christian faith. Nowhere does the word Trinity appear in the Bible, but it was a truth that was taught throughout the ages? Just like Jesus asked his disciples to go out and preach to the nations, he left us with a teaching body, the Church to explain those complicated truths.

The Holy Spirit Invites Us

My personal journey began at the library when I saw a friend of mine with a pile of books ready to check out. The children and I made frequent trips to the library and often ran into friends. However, my friend was alone without her children and she also was checking out books with religious titles. Puzzled, I asked her what she was doing and she explained she was prepping for an upcoming talk at church and invited me to come. It was a strange request and how could I say, “No thank you I don’t want to hear you speak at church.” So of course I politely agreed.

I went because I felt an obligation to support my friend, nothing else, so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived at what was called a “Life in the Spirit, Seminar.” I had no idea that this group of men and women were on fire with the love of God and the songs before the talk my friend gave was all spirit-filled and enthusiastically sang, complete with accompanying guitar, and tambourines.

For those of you listening who are Evangelical Christians, this is very common to your gathering, but for me, I was pretty much taken aback but was interested in learning more. My friend proceeded to speak and to this day I can’t tell you the content of the talk, but whatever it was pierced my heart with a hunger for more of God.

Hebrews 4:12 (read on air)

I was invited back the next day for an all-day session. … So once again I went solo and wow, was I blown away. The talks were anointed with the power of God, and I felt that many of the speakers were talking to me in such a clear manner. I wanted what they had, a love of the Lord and a willingness to put aside the ways of this world and join them on the road, that narrow path. Matthew 7:13-14 (read on air)

Before I left, two people prayed over me for an anointing of the Holy Spirit – they lead me through a prayer of asking the Lord for forgiveness, and an opening of my heart to whatever gifts the Lord had for me. We learned about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 – and some of the talks I’d heard that weekend spoke about these gifts. I wanted select gifts, for example, the gift of healing or prophesy, or the word of knowledge. Yet, I knew I should be open, and so I kept silent and just opened up myself for God’s power, and received my prayer language or the gift of tongues. Believe me when I tell you that was not the gift I wanted and it is considered one of the lesser gifts.

Some people gauge their spirituality on whether or not they have the gift of tongues (again you can read about it in 1 Corinthians 12), yet that is not a test to see if you have the Holy Spirit or not.  Obviously, that is not how the Almighty works and I can’t tell you why some people have the gift and others don’t. God is willing to give us the gift, but we must be open to receiving it. All I know is that I entered with expectant faith, and God gave me a wonderful anniversary present.

I couldn’t wait to tell my husband (more on air)

I was challenged through this infiling of God’s love to read the Bible every day and spend time with the Lord in prayer and quiet. You could say it was the preparation I needed. Many years later I would have a Christian ministry, I would begin to write books with a Biblical foundation and this podcast network is dedicated to spreading the good news, that Jesus Christ is Lord! I felt led by the Lord and this experience helped me to be open to what God had in store for me.

1 Peter 4:11 (read on air)

in a deeper way, ask the Lord and watch Him provide for you. To begin with, it may just be reading the Bible more often, journaling, and opening yourself up to the power of the Holy Spirit.  In retrospect, it should have come as no surprise to me that it was not that long before this “chance encounter” with my friend at the library that I had been told all I needed to do was kneel down beside my bed and ask God to give me the gift of tongues. I was talking to several friends who attended the Assembly of God church, and her suggestion surprised me. Really, I could just kneel down and ask God for this gift? Truthfully I was a little concerned that God wouldn’t give me this gift. I believed I was unworthy.
Friend, the Lord loves us where we are and I have no doubt now that He knew I needed an entire weekend seminar/retreat to be open to first learning more about the Holy Spirit, but also be surrounded by believers who were willing to pray for me.
I have a challenge for you and it may be something you work on for some time to come. The first is if you are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, ask the Lord in prayer to gift you with this infilling of His grace. The second is to write down your own story of your encounter with God, your testimony, or your growth in your faith. We each have stories and God continues to write our stories each day that we walk with Him. You never know when you might share your personal testimony with a friend or on a podcast someday! I pray a blessing on you and your faith journey.

Supernatural Faith

Supernatural Faith - What is supernatural faith? It is faith that surpasses all understanding. Join me as we delve into the topic of faith.Supernatural Faith ~ Episode 209

What is supernatural faith? It is faith that surpasses all understanding. Join me as we delve into the topic of faith especially when times get hard. We are called to live in the hope that is in Christ, but in our humanness, we often fail.

Please visit my website at MediaAngels.com for books and products for Christians as well as homeschooling.

Have you heard is a tragic story and then the person who lived through the trauma thanks God in some way? This should give us more faith but do you feel like you are not enough, or don’t believe enough? Do you doubt and think, “I am not sure I could have gone through the trauma and come out ahead with my faith intact?” What you may not realize or remember is that when God allows these things to happen in our lives, He equips us to handle them, especially if we pray.

Supernatural faith is following when the times get tough. In the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) we learn what it takes to be a follower of Christ. Once we commit there is no going back, and if we do turn back there are consequences. Think about what happened to the Israelites who were freed from slavery in Egypt. They saw miracles, for heaven’s sake the parting of the Red Sea should have been eye-opening, and then the ten commandments, and the manna in the desert. But many turned their backs on God and worshipped false gods. All the time that these people were in Egypt, they saw the worshipping of false gods and pharaohs treated as gods. Did they leave it behind when they left? No. And what happened to the people in the desert? Only their ancestors were able to go to the promised land. They all died beforehand.

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

We can not have one foot in both worlds because God’s world is a supernatural world. The gospels reveal the truth and the way of holiness. What is at stake? Only the entrance into the Kingdom of God…heaven. God is calling us, each and every one of us to give 100% and for any of us as Christians, we know that the other side is pulling for our demise.

It is seeing the hand of God in all of the places in our lives that need help and restoration, and it is in knowing that God wants redemption for our world and the hope that comes in that belief. We should not be surprised when we see the evil in the world. The Lord tells us He will save us from evil. The mercy of God is for everyone even those who have done evil if they will repent.

Friends the way ahead for us is very treacherous with the overturning of the law that finally, finally stated that abortion was not a constitutional right. Can killing your child ever be a right? The pagans long ago used child sacrifice to their gods and that was what abortion was, a child sacrifice on the altar of a mother’s right over their child’s right. Should we help those who struggle and are less fortunate? Of course, but the church already does so much for those in need. Sadly, many not connected to churches are the ones who struggle.

Whenever we struggle and look for that supernatural faith, think about the apostles on that boat with Jesus in the midst of a storm. I love that story of Jesus telling them not to be afraid, and he ordered the seas to be calm. This is a wonderful picture of what would we think about when are lives are unsettled, or there is turmoil in our life. We should remember to be calm. The faith we crave takes a connection to Christ. It is a personal encounter with Jesus that will help us in our time of need.

When we have this personal encounter we hope that our lives will be easier. But that is not the promise of a Christian. The promise is that there is hope in our salvation and everlasting life. But, this is not heaven. The last four things are death, judgment, heaven or hell.

Matthew 16:23-28

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

The reward my friends is worth it. The reward is life everlasting. When we look for that faith that surpasses all understanding we must remember that the words, “Be not afraid,” are in the Bible over 365 times. We can’t fear and have faith at the same time. We will be tempted and the evil one is really good at making us second guess and overthink.

So, here are a few tips for you to practice this week as we all work toward that supernatural faith that surpasses all understanding.

  1. Every day pray the words, “Jesus I trust in You.”
  2. When we are overwhelmed we thank the Lord for being there with us. (He will not leave us orphaned!)
  3. Take a few minutes daily to rest in God. This means closing our eyes, thinking about the Lord, and allowing our minds to focus on the beauty of God and the hope that is in Christ.
  4. Journal. If you are not keeping a daily journal consider doing one, if not daily then often. Start with what you are thankful for and end with a prayer request. Be sure to thank the Lord for answered prayer.
  5. Remember Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

May God be praised today and always!

Special Replay: Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

Overcoming Distractions

Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

Spend Time with God

Prayer time and overcoming distractions isn’t easy. Do you want to spend time with God and find yourself overcome by distractions? We all have and we can end our time frustrated and angry or take charge. In this podcast Felice suggests ways to turn that distraction into a praise report.

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Overcoming Prayer Time Overcoming Distractions

  1. Feel left behind
  2. Not enough time
  3. Speed of life is sometimes unmanageable
  4. How do you slow down enough so that you can focus on God?
  5. How do you combat distractions?

Categorize Distractions:

  1. Personal
    1. Something that has been bothering you
    2. Something you struggle with
    3. Something you feel guilt over
  2. Duty
    1. Kids or spouse
    2. Household
    3. Work
    4. Meeting or appt.

 

Set up your prayer time with a methodology – like any of these ways where you feel the most comfortable…

  1. Praise and worship
  2. Proclaiming and glorifying God in words
  3. Singing
  4. Prayer

 

Mini Retreat

A Mini Retreat To Refresh Your Soul with Felice GerwitzA Mini-Retreat To Refresh Your Soul with Felice Gerwitz

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Are you weary with the burdens of everyday life? A mini-retreat might be just what you need in order to become refreshed. In less than five minutes a day you can become renewed and ready to continue onward. In this episode, Felice shares how she breaks up an hour into a time of praise, prayer, Scripture and praying for others. In addition, she shares her unique way to set up a prayer journal, keeping in mind praise and thanksgiving before prayer petition.

 

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Check out the book – A Few Minutes With God

Show Notes: Mini-Retreat

  1. What is a retreat?
  2. What is the perfect retreat for you?
  3. What is one thing that is holding you back?
  4. The power of concentrated prayer.
  5. Listening is the key to finding the answer.
  6. Give it time.

Do you have an hour? This is how I divide one hour of prayer time into a mini-retreat with the Lord.

First fifteen minutes: spend time in praising God, whether it is in prayer or singing, rejoice in the Lord. He is worthy of all our prayers!

Second fifteen minutes: listen… journal your thoughts, jot down scriptures to look up–but not yet! Just be with the Lord… He will lead you.

Third fifteen minutes: Read Scripture. Look up the verses that came to mind during your quiet time. Slowly allow the words to sink in – close your eyes and think about what you read.

Last fifteen minutes: Prayers of petition. Are you praying for something specific? Is there a concentrated prayer request that you bring to the Lord daily? Focus on this prayer and seek the Lord’s wisdom.

End with praising God – praise is important to begin with and end with. In praising God we are thankful for all He has given us and we can begin our day (if our retreat is first thing) or continue our day with happy thoughts about His love and goodness…no matter what is happening in our lives.

Finding God Every Day

Finding God in the Every Day with Felice GerwitzFinding God in the Every Day with Felice Gerwitz

Do you have a daily schedule? It’s time to add finding God to your list. The Lord’s voice is something we seek, whether in quiet time or in prayer. What should we do? What does God want us to do? What is God’s will for us, today, tomorrow or next year? How do we find God? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz discusses how we should seek God every day.

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Show Notes:

Whether it is finding God in the rainbow, or the beautiful sunset – to finding God in the person sitting next to you in church, your life will become joyful if you look. In addition add journaling time to your day. When you journal you can see, more clearly the Lord’s work in your life. Study the following scriptures in finding God in the every day – 1 Kings 11-12 and Isaiah 41:10

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Thanks to our sponsor – Media Angels, Inc.

Check out the book – A Few Minutes With God

Show Notes: Finding God Every Day

  1. Seeking God – praying
  2. Look for blessings
  3. God incidence or coincidence
  4. Seeing God in the people around you
  5. Watching and listening
  6. Showing by example
  7. Ending your day with thanks

 

1 Kings 11-12

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

overcoming distractions

Prayer Time – Overcoming Distractions

Spend Time with God

Podcast #5

Prayer time and overcoming distractions isn’t easy. Do you want to spend time with God and find yourself overcome by distractions? We all have and we can end our time frustrated and angry or take charge. In this podcast Felice suggests ways to turn that distraction into a praise report.

Sponsor: Media Angels, Inc. Novels – Truth Seekers Mystery Series available on Amazon. Three novels for tweens!

Thanks to our sponsor, Media Angels, Inc. A Few Minutes with God, The Journey Begins

a few minutes with God

Show Notes: Overcoming Prayer Time Overcoming Distractions

  1. Feel left behind
  2. Not enough time
  3. Speed of life is sometimes unmanageable
  4. How do you slow down enough so that you can focus on God?
  5. How do you combat distractions?

Categorize Distractions:

  1. Personal
    1. Something that has been bothering you
    2. Something you struggle with
    3. Something you feel guilt over
  2. Duty
    1. Kids or spouse
    2. Household
    3. Work
    4. Meeting or appt.

 

Set up your prayer time with a methodology – like any of these ways where you feel the most comfortable…

  1. Praise and worship
  2. Proclaiming and glorifying God in words
  3. Singing
  4. Prayer