Sunday Mornings (Guess Blogger)

I would like to welcome back Crystal Russell back as our guest blogger today.

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Sunday Mornings
On Sunday mornings we have a special time of prayer before everything gets started at church.

A group of women gather together to pray.

We pray over the Word that the pastors will bring, the Sunday school teachers, and everyone who will be attending that day.

“for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” – Matthew 18:20

Promise from Jesus
I often think of this verse when I think of our prayer time.

We can (and should) prayer on our own but I also think that is important to gather together for prayer as well.

We have this promise from Jesus.

Why would we not gather together. He tell us He will be with us in a special way when we do.

The prayers of the early church opened the doors of a prison for Peter (Acts 12:5-10).

It makes in difference in our lives today too.

One of the blessing of learning to pray with another is the rich friendships I have gained. My most trusted friendships are with friends that pray with me.

A Challenge
I challenge you to spend time in prayer
alone, with a friend, with a group.

Prayer is our most powerful weapon.

We need to use it.

My Prayer
Father, thank you for the privilege I have in prayer to come into Your Holy presence. I stand in awe of you as my God and Creator. If that weren’t enough, and it is, when I come before you I get to call you Father. You call me your beloved daughter. You hear every world I pray and when I have no words you know the cry of my heart. Thank you Jesus for your promise you gave us that where two or three are gathered you are with us. Prayer is powerful, may we (your church) be faithful to come before you and use it.
-Amen

The Path of A Disciple

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Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
Here we get to the heart and essence of the Christian religion. First there is Jesus’ amazing honesty. No one can say that they followed Jesus because of false promises he made. Jesus never tried to bribe people by offering them an easy path. He didn’t promise people, but glory. Telling someone to take up a cross is the same as telling them to die like a criminal.
Secondly, we find Jesus never demanded people to do what he wouldn’t do himself. This is the true character of a great leader of people. Thirdly, Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Simply and literally this means saying no to yourself and yes to Christ. You must say no to your own natural of love of comfort. You must say no to every path of self-love and selfish ambition. You must say no to all the instincts and desires that lure you to touch and taste forbidden things. You must answer Jesus’ voice and commands with an unmistakable yes. You must be able to say like Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) You don’t live to follow your own anymore, but to follow and obey Jesus’ will. One finds perfect freedom in this service.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Without Christ I Am Nothing!

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“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.                                                      John 15:5-8

As you and I read this words from the Gospel of John we come to understand how important it is for us to have a daily walk with Christ. Going through this life we all know of is hard enough alone, but we need to know we don’t have to when we decided to become disciples of Christ. Have you notice how easy it is to lose contact with people you knew earlier and whose friendship really means a lot to you? The years fly by and you don’t know each other’s addresses anymore. Relationship must be treasured and kept. Jesus encourage his disciples ineffective if they weren’t in contact with him at all times. The image of branches that stay attached to the vine was a good representation of what would be expected of them. As far as Jesus was concerned, it was a promise. Jesus was saying, “You make the connected to Me, and I will stay connected to you.” Only in this permanent unity would they find the spiritual ability to bear fruit for him in their work as his witness. You and I also need to stay connect with God. We must make up our minds to stay in Jesus as long as he can provide us with the sources that strengthen our spiritual abilities, and at the same time make us effective in our creative relationship with others. We cannot do it on our own. We must get our spiritual life from Jesus himself. For me as a disciple of Jesus Christ I too must remain in his words daily, as well as continue to be in pray with my heavenly Father. When I do these things then and only then I can serve Christ the best way possible.

Develop a passion for learning, it you do, you will never cease to grow.                        Anthony J. D’Angelo

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Rest

Exodus 33.jpgGod tells Moses in the book of Exodus 33:14, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. There are times when you are quiet weary, and all you can think about is finding rest. However when we do lay down to finally go to sleep our minds are somehow racing of the many things  that we need to take care of. As a result, our awareness of God’s presence grows dim. God assure us through that even when our attention falters, He remains steadfast. We need to rejoice that the God who always take care of us has an infinite attention span! Even the most devoted parents cannot be constantly attentive to our children. We need to be able to sleep sometime, as well as we do get distracted by other demands in our lives. Many deeply loved children have drowned when their devoted parents took their eyes off them so briefly. Only God has the capability of watching over His beloved children continually–without the least interruption. Instead of worrying about where and when you will find rest, remember that God has promise to provide it for us. Worrying wastes vast quantities of energy–the very thing we need most to help us to find a resting place. When you are diving your can with little gas in the tank and the nearest service station was far away, you would drive carefully and steadily so as to minimize gas consumption. Similarly, when you are low on energy you need to minimize consumption of this precious commodity. Go gently and steadily through your day, looking for God to help you. Rest in the knowledge that God watch care over you is perfect. Thus, you make the most of your limited energy. Whenever you are struggling with weariness, come to Jesus and he will give you much needed rest.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

NEW YEAR

new-yearsToday is New Year’s Eve more than eight hours away here in my hometown to the started to a brand New Year. This is a time in our lives in which we can reflect over the past year, or even the past few years in our lives. If you could, would you change anything in your past, I know I would. As we begin to celebrate a New Year, this as well as everyday brand new day is a gift from God. You see yesterday is gone forever we can not go back and change a thing even thro we wish we could, to do over the mistakes we made in our lives would be great, but we can not. Tomorrow well, this is not promise to any of us here on earth. However today which is call P-R-E-S-E-N-T is our gift from God, and as I ask myself what will I do with such a wonderful gift that was given to me just for this one day, you can also ask yourself. The present is a gift from God, and what we do with it will be our gift back to God.

Each day we have hope from God and hope as things unfold in our own lives. As I began to search the scriptures with words of hope I come across many different ones. The first comes from the Old Testament in the book of Lamentations 3:25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him. Another is in the New Testament the book of Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Also Hebrews 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before is, has entered on our behalf, He has become a high priest forever. God has promise you and me if we seek him with all of our hearts we will find him. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. These are words of courage and of hope for me in my own journey each and everyday with our Lord. The baby we celebrated last week in a manager grows up and gives hope to all of his people. Jesus knows all to well how hard it is to live here on earth and their are days too many days that all of us would like to throw the towel in and just to give up. But my friend Jesus doesn’t want any of us to simply to give up with our life, it is all to precious for all.  When your life or even mine gets to hard for us and you wondered to yourself why should I bother, I am telling you this bring all your worries and cares to God himself. He understand your pain, your loneliness, your broken heart, he understands what it is like to be poor ( he was born surrounded with animals in a stable). He knows every sin that you and I have ever committed in our lives and what we will do in the future, and Jesus says to you,  My precious child, I love YOU. I concord death, I have defeated the enemy himself (Satan) and you have hope in me.  Here are some words to a song you can find on YOU Tube by Aaron Shust

I meet with you and my soul sings out, as your word throws doubt far away,

I sing to you and my heart cries, Holy Hallelujah, father, you’re near

My hope is in you Lord, all the day long, I won’t be shaken,

A peace that passes understanding is my song, and I sing my hope is in you Lord.

For me when life seems so difficult and overwhelming songs of Praises to my Lord, my voice lifts up to sing, and then all my troubles seems so far away, as I turn my eyes towards Jesus and I once again have the hope that he has promise to me.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIENDS

GRACE AND PEACE

 

 

 

 

DO NOT BE AFRAID

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Do not be afraid, I am sure some of you maybe thinking, well that’s easy for me to say. But it is more than that, these words I speak of are taking from the Gospel of Luke in the second chapter. Read these words that are taken from Luke, Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will be to all people, For unto you this day in the city of David a savior has been born. This will be a sign to you, you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying. Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rest. (New International Bible) As I shared with you in a previous writing that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born in a stable among the animals. Of all the people in the world at that time that God sent his heavenly angels to the lowest of mankind, to the shepherds. Shepherds worked in their fields taking caring for their sheep’s, they didn’t smell to good, and they were poor men, but God felt it was important to send his angels to the shepherds, to announce the birth of his son, and not to any king who lived in a palace. What God was seeking back then and even today,on the day his son was born in Bethlehem was the hearts of all his people, and not something that can be brought. It was necessary for Jesus to be born because he would be the bridge between us and God. I could never imagine spending all of eternity away from God, because for me I can never be able to face each day with out God’s unconditional love for me, his child. When Jesus walk the earth many years ago he never promise to any of us that this life here on earth would be easy for us. If you look in the book of Hebrews chapter 13:5 NEVER WILL I LEAVE YOU, NEVER WILL I FORSAKE YOU. My friend God has never and I mean never broken a promise to his people, can any of us say the same, that we never broken any promise we made to God. Sometimes their are promises we make when we are in a jam, and when things get better we forget the promise that we did make to God in our difficult times, and yet he continues to love you and me. When things get hard for you or me instead of us running to our Lord and laying our problems at his feet, we run totally away from him, instead of towards him. The best friend that anyone could have is Jesus he will never disappoint you, his love will always be unconditional. On this Christmas Day I ask you won’t you open your hearts to the baby in the manager, as well as the child who grew up name Jesus, and once you accept Him as your own personnel Lord and Savior you will never regret it, because I never had.

Merry Christmas to one and all