Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Ear Toward Heaven

Isaiah 30:21
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

Today while traveling to Fort Myers, Florida to visit my dad and stepmom, I had the opportunity to hear from God through the sweetest elderly couple, Bill and Phyllis.  Once I was sitting down and reading Bill Hybel’s “The Power of a Whisper,” the older man asked me if I knew Bill, the Christian author. Apparently he knew a number of Christian authors and was a retired pastor for a Baptist church.

After talking for a short time, Bill (the older man sitting next to me) spoke some great Truths into my life that I feel are worth sharing. The first thing he said was, “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of changing the past.” He then continued to remind me of the famous quote that says, “Love like you have never been hurt.”  Bill went on to say that this is how the Lord loves us. No matter how many times we hurt Him or turn our backs and walk away from Him, He is always faithful and His love never changes.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 reminds us of this unconditional and sacrificial love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

I am still in awe of this God-orchestrated meeting!! It came at just the perfect time! God seems to do that – always putting the right people in our lives at the right time! :)  I had just been reading about shutting out the distractions in life so we can hear the Lord’s still small voice and then this couple came into my life!

“Live in every circumstance of life with one ear toward Heaven.” – Billy Hybels, The Power of a Whisper

As Bill Hybels writes in his book, God did not just speak during creation and throughout the course of biblical days, but He also speaks to us today. My experience of meeting Bill and Phyllis is evidence of this Truth. So this week I challenge us to open our hearts to the Lord and turn one ear toward Heaven. And once we hear from Him, I dare us to have the guts to respond.

God Bless!
<3 Shannon

“Take My Hand” – Shawn McDonald

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Believe

I believe in a God that is faithful and just. Whose presence I long to remain in. His love everlasting and grace that reaches the Heavens. He can't help but love and nurture His children. Like an earthly father, our Heavenly Father cares enough to discipline us when we need correction, guide us when we are lost, and protect us when we seek shelter. He is a tree that cannot wither and a voice that cannot be shaken. Our different types of laughs, personalities, and sense of humors all express our Lord's creative and diverse nature. When the storms come He remains strong, willing and able to rescue us when we seek Him. Let us praise God for He is good!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Role of The Church

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 18:10

The other day I listened to a great sermon on LifeChurch.tv. It was called, “Stop Acting Like a Christian and Be One.” The speaker made some great points about God’s intent for His Church.

“When The Church stops BEING The Church, and The Church just starts DOING Church on a Sunday…when we just start going through the motions of some boring, religious ritual or obligation…and stop being engaged in what Jesus is passionate about, then we’ve just become a dead, empty, monument – nothing more than just a ritualistic kind of building that someone goes to and just goes through the motions.”

She went on to say that we need to make sure our heart beats for the same thing that God’s heart beats for and that is for a lost and a broken world. Luke 18:10 (the Bible verse posted above) emphasizes this point. John 3:16 also shows us who God is passionate about. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Since God’s heart is for the lost and broken, we should also tune our hearts to the needs of the least of these.  In Matthew 25:40, God says, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.” May we humble ourselves before the Lord, start BEING The Church, and love the “whosoevers.”

God bless,

“Your Love” – Brandon Heath

Saturday, November 20, 2010

God's Plan

I read through Jeremiah 1 and I was blown away! It really hit the spot if you ever feel your life is like living on a roller coaster.  Something very important that everyone needs to realize is that we serve the same God that Jeremiah served,  We are praying to the same God as Jeremiah, and most of all our God that walks with us each and every day is the same God that walked with Jeremiah.  In this message it talks about Jeremiah thinking he was too young to speak the word of God.  A lot of people think the very same thing.  Society does have it as the older are much wiser and have lived longer so why would they take advise from younger individuals.  Why? because thats the norm.  Its not written in any text that older individuals are always right and younger individuals are always wrong.  
The Holy Bible is Gods word.  It prophesies so many things long before we were even born.  Even way before Jeremiah was born.  In this message it talks about trusting our God completely with all of our heart, all of our mind, and all of our soul.  God’s word says that all throughout the Bible old/new testament and He promises He will be with you and protect you for He will fulfill his plan.  
  • We are Gods plan.  Let me repeat this.... We are God’s plan.  God knows everyone who he puts in and out of life.  He knows every struggle there has ever been.  He knows every move you are taking and will take in the future.  He knows your heart.  For it was in his plan for you to be alive right where you are at.  He knew he was going to send Jesus into the world for his plan was to have you alive right now, to spread the Good News of hope.  To Glorify His name.  To boast about the everlasting God.
  • One day you are going to give account for your life.  Are you going to tell God you were to young or not wise enough to talk to people about the One who put you into this world, or are you going to take the leap out of any comfort zone and know that God has a hold of you?
God Bless 
Bobby C.
Jeremiah 1-15
Jeremiah son of Hilkiah.
  • The Lord first gave messages to Jeremiah during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah.  The Lords messages continued throughout the reign of King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son.
  • The Lord gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in you mother’s womb.  Before you were born i set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nation.”
-”O Sovereign Lord,” I said,” I cant speak for you!  I’m too young.!”  
  • The Lord replied,”Don’t say i’m too young, for you must go wherever i send you and say whatever I tell you and don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you.  I, the Lord, have spoken!”  Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said,” Look,  I have put my words in your mouth!  Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms.  Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow.  Others you must build up and plant.
- Then the Lord said to me “ Look Jeremiah! what do you see? And I replied,”  I see a branch from an almond tree.”  and the Lord said,” that’s right, and it means that I am watching, and i will certainly carry out all my plans.  Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked,”What do you see now?  And i replied,” I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.”  “Yes,” the Lord said,”for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land. Listen!  I am calling the armies of the kingdom of the north to come to Jerusalem. I, the Lord have spoken.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Glory to God

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31).

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." (Psalm 19:1).

I wanted to include these verses today, because they reminded me to recognize that nothing we have is ours apart from the will of God. All our talents, abilities, even our possessions, are ours because God has allowed them into our lives. When we use these resources for HIS kingdom, then God receives all the glory… just as it should be.

In addition, when we glorify God, the glory of God will return to us! Isn’t it great how He’s always thinking of us and our benefit?!  :) For example, when we glorify the Lord, we will become more like Him and, therefore, we will experience the things God has for us such as joy, peace, and understanding.

So tonight I challenge us to ask us these questions: Are you glorifying God?  Are you glorifying God in your work and with your time?  Are you glorifying God in your conversations in what you say and what you choose not to say? Are you glorifying God in what you read and in what you watch?  Are you glorifying God in what you eat or what you wear?  Remember: " So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31).

I pray that today you are inspired to ask yourself these hard questions and when you know the answers, make necessary changes to glorify the Lord even more than you thought imaginable!  May you experience humility and love from the One who created all things.

In Christ,

“Glory to God Forever” – Fee

Warnings from Paul

Have you ever took the time to research all the different religions there are in the world? The number is growing everyday.  Reasons for this range from following in parent/relatives footsteps to even popularity.  On top of all the religions in the world there are many people that don’t even believe in a God and claim to rely on science itself.  I could go on and talk about all the different denominations and what they believe in, but that isn’t the point.  The point is that a lot of people lose sight of who God is.  Have you ever been in a conversation  with a person who thinks he/she has it all together and tells you how things run in the world?  I know I can relate to that personally.
Biblically speaking so did Paul as he warns the Churches of Galatia.
Galatians 1:6-10: I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ.  You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all.  You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.  Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.  I say again what we have said before: Of anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.  Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God.  If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Paul, an apostle was not appointed an apostle by any group of people or any human authority.  Paul was called by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.( Galatians1:1)
What was then is still today.  There are places you can go today where pleasing the people instead of God is the only reason why they stay open.  There are places that twist the Truth, not only twisting the Holy Bible around, but also their own religion around to fit their needs.  It is also true for many non-Christ followers that focus on science, yet it was early scientist such as:Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, and Galileo who thought their belief in God made it easier to do science.  All these different practices constantly change. Playing the favoritism card and changing their own beliefs day by day.  I agree that today is not the same as yesterday, but God’s word always stays the same.  He knows every situation you have been in and will be in the future. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.(Revelation 22:13)
No matter where you are in your life know that God is waiting on you to call upon him alone. No human can say or do what God has already done for you.
God Bless
Bobby C.