Difficult Times

James 4.jpgThere are many times in the life of a Christian that we go through difficult times, and sometimes it seems that at every corner we are being attack spiritual, and it is when we know that we are the words of James comes to my mind. James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you, as well as Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the Lord says; Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths; and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Instead of us running from our Lord we need to run as fast as we can towards him, to rest our tired soul. When we are feeling sad, Jesus wants us to anticipate feeling joyful again. This takes the sting out of our sorrows, because we know it is only temporary what we are going thru. Sadness tends to duplicate itself along the timeline-convincing us that we will always be unhappy. But that is a lie! Jesus is telling us to turn away from the lies we are hearing and to turn to him and more important to trust him and all that he has promised us. The truth is, all of his children have infinite joy ahead of them, reserved in heaven, guaranteed through-out eternity. No one can take this away from us, which is wonderful to know. While we are journeying towards heaven, our earthly path has many ups and downs. Through your down times are uncomfortable, they are not worthless. Pain and struggle can be highly productive when we trust Jesus in the midst of our sufferings. Our anguish is comparable to a woman enduring labor pains. Her suffering is very real, and she wonder how much longer she can bear this pain, and this is the way we truly feel at times. However, all this agony produces a wonderful result-a newborn baby. The memories of her suffering retreat to the background of her mind as she begins to focus on her child. While we labor through earthly afflictions we need to keep our eyes on the promised reward in Jesus, and the wonderful joy we do have in knowing him no matter what we are going thru.

Grace and Peace to you My Friends

Send Someone Else

Exodus.jpgThe Lord said to him (Moses), ” Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, I will help you speak and teach you what to say.” But Moses said, ” Pardon your servant Lord, Please send someone else? I can honestly say that Moses sounds a lot like of us in the world today. Why you might say, when their is a job or some kind of task that we know that we should be doing, we also say Lord why don’t you send someone else and not me. These have also been my words to my Lord more than once in my own life and during my own journey. I have mention more than once here that I was brought up in a Christian home, where we always went to church each Sunday, I attend Sunday School, in a youth group, sang in the children choir, for me I would have love attending church five days a week, and regular school just once a week. When I became a young adult I began giving back by serving in the church where I attend, such as a Sunday School teacher, and other areas of the church. From time to time I would be ask when I would become a pastor, and my answer was God’s doesn’t want me there, I do better being around children and not being a pastor especially to adults. After the birth of my first child I began leading Vacation Bible School and I have done that for more than fifteen years and this week I will lead that program once again. However God was never going to allow me to run and hide especially knowing deep down within my soul where he was truly calling me. And no matter how many excuses I can come up with, or how many times I truly tried to hid, I simply could not shaken from my own spirit my true calling on my life. A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend classes thru the Methodist Church and the more I began to study the scriptures more and more,  and my soul was hungry for more, the more I learn something the more I had the desire to learn more. Two years ago I attended a long weekend retreat for Woman called The Walk to Emmaus, it was there on my knees and in tears I knew what God was telling me to do and the call on my life. I realize that I could no longer hide from my Savior, I just needed to follow. In Exodus Moses said to God, “Who am I should go to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt? And God said, “I will be with you.”     (Exodus 3:11-12) My words to God was whom am I to preach your words to your people, and God said to me, I will be with you! I have the willing heart to always serve my Lord and I continue to learn, study and grow with the Lord, and for the last few months I have been the interim pastor to a small congregation, and I am truly amazed what God has done thru me. It doesn’t matter what the message I have prepared for a Sunday, as long as I walk with my Lord continue to stay in prayer before that time God’s message will be spoken from my lips to the person (or persons) that needs to hear what God is telling them. When someone shared within the service or after with me, I have been praying and asking God to confirm what he is telling me and that person said Pastor (which is me) you just did that thru your message, I simply cry because I am allowing God to use me they way he has always plan to do in the first place. I will share this with you as long as we continue to stay humble walking with God, he will use us to bring glory to His Kingdom here on earth.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Why Am I Here

Esther.jpgI am not sure how many of my readers have read the book of Esther which is in the Old Testament. The story of Esther was set among the captive Jews in Susa, the capital city of Persia. A courageous and beautiful Jewish girl named Esther becomes queen. She risks her own life to expose a plan to exterminate her people. Jews then probably saw themselves as harmless, trying to live as the people of God while adjusting to the foreign conditions. Yet their unique ethnic and religious identity and their worship of God as the one and only God led to problems. In cultures that worshipped various gods, the Jews’ behavior was viewed as criminally negligent, a caused for elimination. The heroes of the story, Esther and Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) rise to honor and a privileged status in a foreign court as Jews. Little did Mordecai know that, through God’s providence, his good deed for a Gentile king would protect his own life. Neither did Esther know that her position would resent her with the “opportunity” to risk her life to save her people. The Jews’ people were going to be destroyed however Mordecai reach out to Queen Esther and how it would be very important for her to speak up in Esther:4- 14 He tells her, in fact, if you don’t speak up at this very important time’ relief and rescue will appear for the Jews from another place, but you and your family will die. But who knows? Maybe it was for this very moment like this that you came to be a part of the royal family. Over time and thru many prayers Queen Esther knew what God was calling her to do with her own life, how about you. Do you know the real reason that God has created you, how important that you are to God and what job that you and only “You” can do, and that God has already equip you to do.

I am not sure how many of you have heard the name Bruce Wilkinson who is one of the most foremost Christian teacher and he is best know for many books, The Prayer of Jabez, The Dream Giver, The Purpose Driven Life and more ( I have read many of his books) The book in which I will share some of, is called “You were Born for This” is sits on my desk next to my computer and I have read this book more than one, as I continue to journey with Christ and always asking what in the world am I here for. From his first chapter ” What if I told you, I’m certain you missed a miracle yesterday? And not just any miracle but one that Heaven wanted to do through you to significantly change someone’s life for the better–maybe your own? I would understand if you were doubtful. But right alongside that doubt, most of us can identify a nearly universal experience. God uses one person to deliver something that met a big need for another person (could that  be you) and in a way that was clearly miraculous. God did not place you or me here on earth to just notice his handy work once in awhile, we can see God at work each and everyday. You see when we all have a walk with God not just once in awhile or when we feel like it, but everyday, we can see things happen. All of us are truly in ministry (even if you haven’t notice) Ministry without the Spirit of God is merely our best efforts. But Ministry with the Spirit of God is the stuff of miracles, because with God in the center of own lives, miracles can and does happen. I can not reach thru my computer to you and tell you why you were born, or what is God’s will for your life, only you are able to figure that one out for yourself. However  you begin to search and seek God with all of your heart in time God will reveal to you what His Will for your life is. You have nothing to fear but fear itself, and remember like I have shared with you in past writings in Luke 18:27 these are the words of Jesus, ” What is impossible with man is possible with God” In order for you and I to do the work that God has truly called us to do, he will equip us for the job, no worries are needed, just faith, the faith as tiny as a mustard seed.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Being Humble

Micah.jpgAS we read in the book of Micah he exposed corruption in Judah on every level of society. The rulers, prophets and priests were unjust; the people oppressed the poor and worshipped idols. Micah alternates between judgement and words of forgiveness and restoration.  Micah tells us in chapter 6:6-8 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with offerings with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand river of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you O mortals, what is good. And what does the Lord requires of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

As we read thru the Bible both Old and New testament the people of long ago sound a lot like us today. So many people feels that if they do enough good deeds they will get into heaven, or another saying is I am a good person. News flash everyone, we are all sinners in this world and our sins have separated us from our Creator, God Himself.  But because of his great love for us God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions, it is by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works so that no one can boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believers in him shall never perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  (John 3:16-17) Wow! what a gift that God has given to all of us. Could you do the same sacrifice your own child, but God did. After the news a few years ago from doctors that my oldest daughter has lupus I was so angry at God, I sat in my car and yelled at him (boy I thought I let him have it, so to speak) I kept asking why my child what did she ever do to deserve this and then when I become quite I hear the following then Eileen why my son in your place at Calvary (wow). From that point on I knew that God understands the pain a mom goes thru watching her child suffers from this disease and others. I can not explain why he is allowing this for her because I don’t see the full picture of her life, however God does. For me I grew up as a Christian but it has been thru all of the doctors, hospital visits, being admitted, testing and more I have grown closer to my Lord. I continue to study his words to go deeper in my faith journey and I am allowing him to use me to be able to minister to others. Before every time we see a doctor or my daughter has a test done we go to God in pray for him to guide the doctors. I have shared my faith journey with anyone who has a listening ear, and when I am ask how to I get thru my difficult times with my daughter I tell them these words from Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. My daughter Victoria’s faith has always been strong however now I am seeing how God is using her thru a page on face book called Chronically Hopeful and a blog as well as leading woman Bible study on line for other women (older than her) who suffers from something, like illness, depression and more. She even started a blog about what she goes thru as well as educating about other illness, and her page on face book Victoria has more than 13,700 followers, what an awesome way God is using her in spite of having lupus. God wants us to continue to walk with him, to continue to be humble and help one another. We are all his children wouldn’t it be nice if we all act like we are children of the most high King Jesus Christ, and to think of others before ourselves. I always love teaching children and doing vacation Bible school for more than 15yrs now and next week I am leading once again ( at my church I have been a member 20yrs now ) besides being the interim pastor of another church, and the one true reason I always love to is this, children hearts are pure, they already know God does exist, and for the ones who are not aware as of yet, the staff and myself are able to share God’s love and believe me it  is a beautiful thing to see it all unfold and to allow God to use you, and the only way to do this is to continue to stay humble.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

My Redeemer Lives

Zephaniah.jpgSing, Daughter Zion shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hand limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior saves. He will take great delight in you, in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:14-17

Jesus is our Redeemer and I know that my Redeemer Lives. Before we knew him, we were a slave to sin. In order for Jesus to redeem us-to deliver us from bondage-he paid the full penalty for our sins. The price was astronomical, the sacrifice of Jesus’ own blood! So we belong to Christ, and we will live with him throughout eternity. Since we were brought at such an high price, we need to glorify Jesus in our bodies and in our spirits. We glorify Jesus in our bodies by taking care of ourselves and abstaining from immorality. Our lives is a precious gift from God, and he wants us to live fully in ways that brings him glory and give us healthy pleasure. We glorify Jesus in spirit by delighting in him above all else. This is a most joyful pursuit! The world contains much beauty and many sources of enjoyment, but Jesus outshine them all. As we orient our spirit towards him. He blesses us with the joy of his presence. The pleasure is independent of our circumstances, it flows from the fountain of his eternal love. Because Jesus is our Redeemer, and I know he lives, I will continue delight in my spirit with my singing because of what he has done for me.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Come to Jesus

Psalm 118 (5).jpgJesus tells us to come to him when we are hurting, and He will share our pain. Come to him when we are joyful and he will share our joy—multiplying it many times over. He invites you and me just as we are—no matter what shape or condition we are in. We don’t have to clean up our act first, since Jesus already knows the worst about us. When we are hurting you want to be with someone who understands you without condemning you. When you’re happy, you delight in being with someone who loves you enough to celebrate with you. He understands you compassionately and love us exuberantly, so bring more and more of yourself to him. Most people are selective about which parts of themselves they share with God. Some hesitate to bring him the traits they consider shameful. Others are so used to living with painful feelings–loneliness, fear, guilt that it never occurs to us to ask God for help in dealing with all of these things. Still others are so preoccupied with their struggles that they forget that he is always near. There are hurting parts of all of us that God desire to heal. However, some of them have been with us so long that we consider them a part of our own identity. We carry them wherever we go, little awareness. On occasions when you have brought some damaged portion of yourself to him, he will help us to walk with new found freedom. However we are so addicted to certain painful patters that  we cannot break free from them. Only repeatedly exposing them to God’s healing Presence will bring us all to long- term freedom. When that happens we will be released to   experience Joy in much fuller measure. Jesus will share with all of our Joys and multiply it many times over for you and me.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Will You Follow

mark 1As well read in the gospel of Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come follow me, ” Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little father, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus knows that we are all a work in progress, however even thro we are, he is calling all of us to follow him. Are you willing to give up all the earthly pleasure and to say yes to Christ to do what he has ask you to do. It will not be an easy choice my friends however I can say that it will be the best choice that anyone will ever make. Once you decided to follow him you will never regret the choice you have made, because it is the right one. The disciples truly didn’t have to think about what Jesus was telling them was to “Come and follow me.” As Christian we are the disciples of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ and we all are called to make disciples for his kingdom. How can you do it believe me it is not hard at all, first you need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you have not already, and if you did Praise His Name, begin seeking out a church so that you are able to grow and learn spiritually. Attend a Bible study and begin reading a Bible and if you don’t have one I know that the church you are attending will be more than willing to give a Bible to you. Begin spending time alone with your Heavenly Father he has so much to share with you and he has been waiting a long time for you to come to him with a willing heart (that is all it takes) This world is only our temporary home, however your home for all of eternally will be with our Lord Jesus Christ, however in the meantime you and I have much needed work that he has called us to do. Are you willing to follow, are you will to say yes Jesus I am willing to follow you for today and always.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Comfort

2 Corinthians 1.jpgPraise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.      2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Having someone or perhaps anyone comfort you when you are going thru difficulties or perhaps even pain is something we all want to have. Have you ever thought to bring those times of pain to God, he is the one who truly understands your pain. When those times come to you God always allow someone to come to you to comfort you, to perhaps say I am here for you, I too understand your pain, and just someone to say to you I will pray with you or just even someone to hold you in their arms without a single word spoken. When we see someone we know go thru the same pain we have gone thru it is our time to be able to comfort them.  When any of us have gone thru an illness of someone and death of someone we have loved the pain we experience can be horrible to go thru but if you and I look at the whole picture of what we just experience we can comfort another person when they too go thru those difficulties themselves. When life gets hard we say “Does anyone understand the pain I have right now” my answer is YES,  God does, this is why he sends someone to you saying my child I hear the pain you are telling me and I see the pain within your very own heart that you are going thru at this moment. I am saying trust God at all times. He knows your pain and sorrow you are feeling right now, and he wants you to pour out your heart in His Presence. You need to release all those emotions in a safe place. Demonstrate your trust in God by opening your heart right now in his presence and I promise he will comfort you, because Jesus is the “Great I Am”  This is one of the many reasons we need to always stay close to Christ by our prayer life as well as our scripture reading each day. When I am going thru times like this I turn to the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus is saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give your rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. These words by Jesus himself when he walk the earth many years ago comforts my soul. It tells me at least Jesus understands the very pain of my soul at this moment.  God has given us a book of instructions to get those times like this and all we need to do is simply open it and read his words.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends