Category Archives: Holy Spirit

Love Gives Birth In A Stable

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I just finished reading, and teaching, in our adult Sunday school, at Atwater Community Church, from a book by Assembly of God Pastor Michael H. Clarensau, author of

A Spirit – Empowered Life: 

Discover The World-Changing Journey God Has Designed For You

(with foreword by Scott Wilson), Copyright 2015, Published by Vital Resources)

He says, “The goal of worship is to give ourselves fully to God and His purposes.  It’s called wholehearted LOVE.  Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength means prizing nothing but that relationship and yielding all else to His greater wisdom.  It’s a level of sacrifice we can’t explain.  It’s “Wholehearted Love.”

Loving with our whole heart, because that’s how God loves us!

It’s stepping up every day, fearlessly risking rejection to speak up and act on behalf of the One God, Savior, and Spirit that we love.  Taking a stand in whatever situation we find ourselves.  Because God loves us so deeply.  For the Spirit-Empowered, love comes from our heart.  Whether we’re singing a song, ministering, or serving, we praise God from our life because God lives with us every day.  In worship, everything comes together for the Spirit-Empowered.  We love God by loving others.  Serving them provides a way to serve our God.  It develops, reshapes, and changes our old selfish heart into one that displays the Heart of Christ.

Love is the Heart of Christ

Obedience marks our heart.  When God’s ways don’t comfortably mesh with our ways, when He asks us difficult things, & He does, and we must surrender all.  That’s wholehearted love at work.  That same love is demonstrated in sacrificial service by giving of our time, efforts, and resources beyond the point of comfort to bring comfort to others as Jesus would.  Unconcerned with comparing ourselves with what God asks others to do; we go the extra mile without reservation.  We know God gives His love to us and will continue to provide everything we need.  He can be trusted.  Always.

That love also runs through open doors, without dwelling on our inadequacy, because we know that the God who has equipped us before will equip us again, and will keep equipping us as we say, ‘Yes!’  And as we keep going and running through the open doors, we trust God completely.  Active faith means, we, ‘Go!’ and move forward.  It’s more than our own determination, or our own discipline.  It’s the Holy Spirit of God that helps us worship the Father and Son as we must, because without His help, we can’t do it on our own.

Worship is intimate relationship with God.  Love for God motivates true disciples, because this is what we can offer God.  Our LOVE, and that love expressed more and more in a wholehearted way, opens the way for God to pour His power through us.”

 Let’s listen to some of the lyrics to “Giants Fall” by Francesca Battistelli

 “Everyone’s telling you to let go of what you’re holding to…
It’s too late, too far  You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons  The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t  Know what you know That you’re not alone

So, don’t you be afraid  Of giants in your way  With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight  He’s right there by your side

The stones inside your hand might be small  But watch the giants fall

We could really live like this  Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave  With childlike faith
Miracles could happen  Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face

Ask & believe  You’re gonna see   The Hand of God in every little thing

Miracles can happen  Anything is possible Watch the giants fall.”

 The Hand of God.  Powerful. 

It may not be Christmastime right now, but I want to talk to you today about how even in small beginnings you can give birth in a stable, because LOVE gives birth even in a stable, to a new beginning.

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means, least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of My people Israel.” 

Matthew 2:6

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”

Isaiah 43:18-19

Young or old, new baby Christian, or long-time foot-stomping Pentecostal saint, God wants to work miracles in our lives.  Here’s a great promise from our God.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself RESTORE you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” 

I Peter 5:10

So, let’s just sop a moment and let that sink in.  Let’s change “you” to “ME & I” and read it again.

“And the God of all grace, who called ME to His eternal glory in Christ, after I have suffered a little while, will Himself RESTORE ME and make ME strong, firm, and steadfast.” 

I Peter 5:10

Oh, yes, that’s powerful.  Let’s remember, that part of the glorious Christmas Story involves living in a stable.  So, how do we go from “Living in a Stable” to “Sitting in the Heavenly Throne Room with Christ?”  How do we get from the hardship of the stable to the glory of the throne?  We trust and wait.

What do we do when there’s no room in the Inn?  We give birth in a stable.  Love gives birth right there in the stable, because our wholehearted love for Christ will sacrifice what needs to be sacrificed.

Here’s my definition of what a “Stable experience” is like:  A “Stable experience” is a place we find ourselves physically, emotionally, or spiritually, where we don’t want to be.  Do you have any of those experiences in your life?  I do.  I’m not talking about “stable” as in “steadfast,” like “this table is so stable, I could stand on it.”  No, I mean you’re in a dark, smelly, chaotic place in your life, because there’s nowhere else for you to go.

Mary & Joseph wanted to be back in their home in Nazareth in Galilee, or at least in the Inn in Bethlehem, especially when Mary was ready to give birth, but, they found themselves in the smelly stable.

Many times in life, we find ourselves in a “Stable experience or situation,” especially when giving birth to something from God.  Really?  Yes, especially when giving birth to something from God.

And, often a gradual process of circumstances got us there.  I know my All-Powerful God could have delivered Jesus, Mary, amd Joseph out of the stable, kept them in Nazareth in Galilee, and not sent them to Bethlehem in Judea.  But there was a purpose and a promise that Jesus had to fulfill.  Yes, God always has a purpose and a promise.

We just read that promise in Scripture, “To Restore us and make us strong, firm, and steadfast.”  So, in our stable experiences, let’s ask ourselves, “Is there a purpose and a promise from God for us and our family that needs to be fulfilled by God, because we’re in this “Stable experience” right now?”  Let’s stop right now and ask ourselves, “Are we like Jesus, headed for the throne room?  Yes, we are when we know Christ.

How did baby Jesus get from the stable to the throne?  Through suffering and trials until He went back to the Father.  This is true for us, too.  Life includes suffering and trials, because it’s not true when people of the world say, “God never gives us more than we can handle.”

People say that all the time, but that’s not Scriptural.  They’re misquoting 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

God gives us plenty we can’t handle “on our own,” but, with Him, there will always be a totally different outcome.  God’s given us “Life.”  More “Life” than we can handle without Him.  We all have many examples in our lives of more “Life” than we can handle on our own.

Let’s name some:  A spouse, a family, babies, toddlers, teens, school, jobs, ministries, our health, etc.  In the 2nd book I’m in the process of writing, called, Let God Build It, there’s a chapter called “Life…And More Abundantly,” and a chapter called, “There’s Always Something.”  That’s “Life.”  That’s the Life God gave us, but He didn’t plan for us to do it alone.  It’s important that we get this.  God wants us to trust Him, lean on Him, and not on our own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Even in our “Stable experiences.” Especially in our “Stable experiences.”

James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

 Yes, we all want that promise, for God to come near to us.  We also want that promise for our friends, our families, and for those we’re ministering to. The Bible tells us to come near to God and He will come near to us.  But, it’s important to know that we can’t lean on our own understanding and still come near to God. 

We must trust in the Lord with all our heart.  With our whole-hearted love and not lean on our own understanding, thinking we can, or should, do everything on our own.  It’s important to remember, also, that He helps us handle what He gives us with His power and strength, until we return to our Father in Heaven.

If it’s health issues, let’s remember, “By His stripes we are healed…”  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­If you have a splinter in your finger and you get it out, ­­­­­­­­you don’t need to pick at it and pick at it, like there’s still a splinter in it.  Believe it’s a done deal.  Let it heal.  Same with our healing.  Jesus closed that deal for us.  Don’t keep picking at the wound.  You are healed.  Believe, accept, receive.

So, let’s obey and bless our Father through our trials, through our sufferings, through our “Stable experiences,” and with our entire lives.

Jesus did.

Let’s take a moment to look more closely at our Savior’s actual “Stable experiences.”  How long did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph stay in the stable?  One day?  Two days?  They stayed awhile.  What were the conditions?  Stables are smelly.  Loud with animal sounds.  Uncomfortable.  Lacking the simplest comforts.  Lacking any family support, and it’s a lifestyle that is at the mercy of strangers.

Let’s think back for a moment. Have we ever found ourselves in a “Stable experience?”  Somewhere in life we never meant to be.  Stop and think a moment and recall the situation.  Was there stress?  Yes, lots.  How did we handle it?  Kicking and screaming?  Blaming everyone else?  Dumping our problems on others?  Giving up on God? 

Help us be truthful, Lord.  Because this is important.  Mary glorified God, even after submitting to a pregnancy she could never explain, with months of village criticism, and all God’s requirements for bearing the Son of God.

Let’s remember that our belief and our obedience are what magnifies God.  From my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “It is always the heaviness of the burden that teaches us the best song.”  Amen.

I want to sing the best song for the Lord.

Mary was faithful, which I define as:  “Always doing what God tells us to do exactly how and when He tells us to do it.”  Amen.  Is this always easy?  Not a bit.  But, let’s sing the new song God gave us.

In this season I’m going through right now, of deadlines and back and forth e-mails with my editor, publisher, graphic designer, illustrator, typesetter, and printer in order to “birth” the 3 books the Holy Spirit told me to write, I complained.

Yes, I have been known to complain, or to vent, as I like to call it, because it sounds much less horrible.  As I complained, the Holy Spirit recently said something so profound to me: 

“The aggravation is NOT the mission!” 

In other words, the difficult experience of being in the “Stable Experience of hardships, frustrations, sufferings, and trials, is not the mission.  It’s not the purpose.

Let’s listen to some of the lyrics for “Move (Keep Walking)” by tobymac

 Another heartbreak day    Feels like you’re miles away
Too many passin’ dreams  It’s hard to keep believin’  When they pass you by and by

I know your heart been broke again   I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left   Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin,’ soldier keep movin’ on, until the mornin’ comes, it ain’t over yet

You’re feelin’ like you can’t buy a break, I can hold your hand, but I can’t turn your eyes to freedom 

Hold on, the Lord ain’t finished yet   Hold on, He’ll get you through this

These are the promises I never will forget 

Let’s read the devotional for July 14th  on Pg. 205 in:

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

(Copyright 2004, Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

“Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you.  Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart.  I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but, that is not My way for you.  Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain.  The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak.  Someday you will dance lightfooted on the high peaks; but for now, your walk is often plodding and heavy.  All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction.  Though the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend.  Stay on the path I have selected for you.  It is truly the path of life.”

Psalm 37:23-24

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 16:11 NKJV

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The path may be difficult, but keep walking.

 I’m sure there was aggravation in that smelly stable in Bethlehem for Mary & Joseph, also.

We must focus on the mission.  God’s mission.  NOT our mission.  God’s mission for us, which is His mission, or, we can take a detour and focus on the aggravation and lose sight of the mission completely.

The world thinks the aggravation is not worth it at all.  So they quit, or they never start, and they never do anything for the Lord.  Listen to the Holy Spirit and keep going.  He will give you peace in the storm.  Keep focused on God’s Plan for you and He will give you power through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

I have had many moments like this in my life, maybe you have, too.  Also, from my Fruit Of The Spirit Bible, I read:  “Patience never argues with God, and it has a habit of praising God while it waits for miracles to take place.”

I’m waiting for miracles to take place in my life, perhaps, you are, too.  Who has time to argue with God?  Let’s pray to find out what God wants us to do and do it.  Let’s find His mission and make His mission our mission.

There’s never any reason to hurry God. This always amazes me, that Mary prayed, “May it be to me as God has said.”  Then she sang as she waited.  Praise God, can we do the same?

What was it like in that stable?  Was it a 5 Star hotel?  Were they given a seven-course banquet while there?  Why do we think that our lives are going to be any easier than Mary’s, the Mother of Jesus?  Who was there with them in the stable?  For sure, no friends or family to support them, but God knew where they were and He blessed Mary and Joseph with birth.  With the birth of their son, Jesus, The Savior of the World.

God blessed them with birth in a stable, right there in that smelly stable, and He will bless us, too.  Then, when God blessed them, worship and support came to the stable from everywhere.  Even shepherds need a Savior.

God knows where we are, too, even if we’re in a “Stable experience,” right now, He will bless us with birth, too.  Perhaps, with the birth of a healed body, the birth of a godly relationship, the birth of a child, the birth of a needed job, the birth of a home of our own, the birth of a long-held dream, the birth of a vision, the birth of a promise, and the birth of a purpose.

What was the result of Mary and Joseph’s stable experience?  Christmas!  Jesus’ birth in a stable, brought joy, brought faith, brought hope, brought vision, and brought a promise for us.  It got the attention of angels, Kings, Magi, and shepherds

When we find ourselves in our own “Stable experience” of course, we can’t discount the enemy at work, but let’s not give him any glory, either.  We know that satan is a liar.

It’s not easy being a spouse, a parent, a worker, a care-giver, a teacher, a student, a business owner, a leader, a pastor, or whatever…(fill-in-the-blank), but, we shouldn’t be asking, “Why are we here in this stable, Lord?”  We need to ask, “What are You trying to birth in us, Lord right here in this stable?”  We must be confident that God plans to take us from the stable to the throne, from Christmas to Easter, from Birth to Resurrection. 

We must have birth before we can experience resurrection just as God did for His Son, Jesus.  But, we’ve got to let Him birth something in us, and when we get to that “Stable experience,” are we going to give birth, or are we going to bail out?

Hope came down to us when Jesus came to earth.  We’re now children of the Most High God and He constantly reminds us of His Love.  God wants to show us that His purpose is to bring us out of the stable, through trials and suffering to His throne.  Let’s always want everything He wants for us.

We need to be faithful.  God’s favor and guidance is with us always even in the “Stable experiences” of small beginnings to get us to the glorious throne in eternity worshiping our Lord forever.  Even if we’re in a “Stable experience” right now, no matter who we are, we must accept the gift of Jesus, because even in the stable, God’s right there with us and knows where we are.  His Son was born there.  Once we’re out of our “Stable experience,” let’s not look back.  Let’s shut down immediately any voice from the enemy.  Let’s not even let satan speak at all.  Let’s not argue with him.  Let’s just look up to where God’s throne is and talk to Jesus. 

 Sometimes, to be obedient to the Voice of God for our miracle to happen, we may need to go through a “Stable experience,” like Mary and Joseph.  We may need to carry our “Cross,” like Jesus did, before we get to the glory of Heaven.  When we receive a vision or a promise from God, we need to hold onto it and be patient.  Stay strong in the Lord.  Our vision from God is not meant to be a one-man show.  God is talking to other people at the same time giving them a hunger to serve Him in many different ways to fulfill His Plan. 

 He brings all our gifts and talents together in perfect harmony to complete His vision.  When it’s His vision, it’s a beautiful thing, completely orchestrated by Him.  It’s no longer just your vision from Him, it’s His vision for all of us.  A vision for His Kingdom work.

Now, it can LIVE.  Dry bones come forth and it moves as He gives it breath, and as He puts His life into it.  The dry bones will have flesh and come together and walk, as He puts into motion something that was dead, and something lifeless, becomes ALIVE.  He creates something from nothing.  So, let Jesus live in you.  He’s the focus of our lives.

He changes chaos into focus.  He changes foolish people into wise people.  Remember both foolish and wise build, they both face the same storms, but the foolish build on sand and perish.  While the wise build on Jesus the ROCK and stand.

Stop foolishly trying to do it all by yourself and start trusting in the God who knows all.

So, I challenge you to:  Dream your vision.  Obey His command.  Ask for guidance.  Listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit.  Give it all back to Him.  Then, Praise Him, because He dwells in the Praises of His people.  Listen, Obey, Praise.

Let God’s vision for you fly where it will.  Let God take it to the heights where you couldn’t take it on your own. As it rises, trust God.  Let it soar and watch what God can do with it, with you, and with the team God has placed around you for His glory.

He’s given people to you to work with.  Help them catch God’s vision, too.  Encourage them.  Pray for them and let them soar, along with the vision of God.  By handing it all back to God, He’ll entrust it back to you.  Be His servant.  He’ll be your God.  Be His hands and feet in this world. 

Then, you are no longer a one-man show.  You’re reaching out with the power of the God of the Universe leading you and cheering you on.  Then, you can rest in His Plans.

Recently, I’ve also read these powerful words by T.D. Jakes in his book, which I highly recommend, called…

Instinct:  The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive

(Copyright 2014, by TDJ Enterprises, LLP)

 “God has moved on, and you can’t plan your future if you’re hanging around the tomb.”

Jesus is NOT in the stable any longer.  He is not in the tomb.  He’s on the throne.  We need to be focused there.  Pray about moving into different dimensions where you’ll grow.  Learn new things and be challenged again.  It’s time to move to the next level. 

“Your ceiling on this level becomes your floor on the next level.”

 A new beginning can be a little sprout of something God is birthing in your heart, a thought, a prayer, a vision, a passion, or a compassion for others that God has placed in you.  It’s a hope that grows inside you.  Pray.  Water that little bud.  If it has been planted in good soil, it will grow and spread into a full-grown ministry for God.  Listen to the direction from the Holy Spirit.  He will help you sow that seed properly.  Protect it and nurture that little sprout until it advances and grows into a beautiful flower to show others God’s love.

Turn that seed you’ve sown into something edible, delicious, and nourishing to feed someone what they need to hear from your testimony about the Word of God.  Ask the Holy Spirit questions, listen for His answers, and keep listening.  I challenge you today.

Let’s pray.  “Gracious Heavenly Father, please don’t allow us to get stuck in hard seasons, in trials, or in difficult ‘Stable experiences.’  Help us to focus on the Heart of Christ and on all our promises from You.  Help us to obey the voice of Your Holy Spirit in everything we do.  We know that whatever we need today is found in Jesus.  Thank you.  Amen.”

2015 Ring In The New Year!!

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Ring in the New Year!

A Word to me from the Lord for 2015…

#1 in my Sermon Series, called:  “Make Me More Like You, Jesus!”

This is what the Lord told me:

“Don’t say “ALL” when speaking of God’s children…Don’t lump them all together like herding cattle…I don’t do that!  I love each and every one of them with a great Love!  I made them all different, with unique talents and gifts!  I’ve even numbered every hair on their heads (Luke 12:7)…I know everything about them…I know their past and their future!  My Father sent Me to give My life for everyone in the world…so NONE would perish!!  NONE!  Everlasting Life!  I’m seeking, and I will find, each individual soul who believes in Me (John 3:16)!  With an Everlasting LOVE!!  (Jeremiah 31:3)

Don’t put your labels on them, any longer!!!  No longer say, “ALL Men, ALL Women, ALL Kids, ALL Teens, ALL Young People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Married People, ALL Single People, ALL Elderly People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Working People, ALL Retired People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Whites, ALL Blacks, ALL Hispanics, ALL Gays, ALL Straight, etc.’  No longer say, “ALL Americans, ALL Asians, ALL Europeans, ALL Indians, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Christians, ALL Jews, ALL Muslims, ALL Atheists, ALL Religions, ALL Congregations, ALL Churches, ALL Synagogues, ALL Mosques, etc.’  No longer say, ALL Working People, ALL Homeless People, etc.’  No longer say, ‘ALL Police Officers, ALL Teachers, ALL Doctors, ALL Lawyers, ALL Clergy, ALL Politicians, etc.’

ALL!  ALL! ALL!  No longer!!

I see each person in this world created by The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as an individual soul…you MUST see them that way, too!!  They’re people…My children…children of the Almighty God…the Creator of ALL!!  My LOVE embraces them ALL!

Media!  No longer can the world think and lump everyone together just to make a news story sell!  Treat people as individuals!

As children of God, be responsible for yourself to do right and expect individuals to do the same…this is a call for children of God to be more like Christ!

Act accordingly!!”  Amen!

God-Given Vision!!

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Recently, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me…

About the vision I received from God…

Concerning our “ALIVE! Worship service!

https://godssceneryandpromises.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/vision-from-go…-alive-worship/

He said to me,

“Your vision from God is not meant to be a one-man show!

God’s talking to other people at the same time…

Giving them a hunger to serve Him in other ways to fulfill His Plan…

Then He brings all aspects together in perfect harmony to complete His vision…

When it’s His vision…

It’s a beautiful thing…

Completely orchestrated by Him…

It’s no longer just your vision from Him…

It’s His vision for all of you…

A vision for His Kingdom!

Wow!

Now, it can LIVE…

And move as He gives it breath…

As He puts life into it!

Dry bones will come together and walk…

As He puts motion into nothing…

Something lifeless…

Comes ALIVE!

Let Jesus live in you!

Dream your vision…

‘Til it’s given back to Him…

He’ll create something from nothing!

Listen, Obey, Praise!

He dwells in the Praises of His people!

Let God’s vision go where it will go…

Let God take it to the heights…

You couldn’t take it on your own!

As it rises…

Let it soar…

And watch what God can do with it…

With you!

And the team God has placed around you for His glory!

He’s given these people to you to work with…

Help them catch God’s vision, too…

Encourage them…

Pray for them…

And let them soar…

Along with the vision of God!

Hand it all back to God…

He’ll entrust it back to you!!

Be His servant…

He’ll be your God!

Be His hands and feet in this world…

You are no longer a one-man show!

You’re reaching out…

With the power of the God of the Universe…

Leading you…

Cheering you on!

Rest in His Plans!!”

Amen!

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Recently, I’ve also read these powerful words by T.D. Jakes…

“God has moved on

You can’t plan your future…

If you’re hanging around the tomb!”

 

“Pray about moving into different dimensions…

Where you’ll grow…

Learn new things…

And be challenged again…

It’s time to move to the next level.”

 

“Your ceiling…

On this level…

Becomes your floor…

On the next level!!”

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I highly recommend his book…

Instinct:  The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive

by T.D. Jakes

Start A Fire In Me!!

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Cold?  Bitter?

Dead of winter?

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Waiting on something better?

You can’t hide forever!

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Over and over…

You hear His voice in your head..

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Let His light shine!

Let His light shine for all to see!

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Lord, start a fire in my soul…

Fan the flame and make it grow…

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No doubt…No denying…

Burning so brightly…

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So everyone can see…

It’s You…

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It’s You we need!

Start a fire in me…

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A spark starts a blaze…

With only a little faith…

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Here in this city…

We’ll never be the same…

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They need to know…

I need to go…

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Holy Spirit fall on my heart now… 

You are the fire!

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You are the flame!

The light on the darkest day…

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We have hope!

We bear Your Name!

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Carrying the news…

You’ve come to save!

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Only You can save!

John 17:3

“Now this is eternal life:

that they know You, 

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ,

whom You have sent.”

Matthew 3:11

“I baptize you with water for repentance. 

But after me comes One who is more powerful than I,

whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” 

Amen!!

Thank You, Lord!

You’ve Got Mail!! Let’s Read God’s Love Letters!!

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Most of the books of the New Testament are actually letters…

These Epistles contain general Christian teaching…

 And specific instructions for the congregation to which they were addressed…

Paul’s Letters to the Churches:  

 Mail…Florida Style!!

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Romans 1:1-7

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus,

called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 

the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures 

regarding His Son,

who as to His earthly life

was a descendant of David,

and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power

by His resurrection from the dead: 

Jesus Christ our Lord. 

 Through Him we received grace and apostleship

to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from

faith for His Name’s sake. 

And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be His holy people:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Galatians 1:1-5

“Paul, an apostle—

sent not from men nor by a man, 

but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, 

who raised Him from the dead…

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 

who gave Himself for our sins 

to rescue us from the present evil age, 

according to the will of our God and Father, 

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.”

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Colossians 1:3-6

“We always thank God, 

the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

when we pray for you,

because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus

and of the love you have for all God’s people—

the faith and love that spring from the Hope stored up for you in Heaven 

and about which you have already heard

in the true message of the Gospel that has come to you.

In the same way,

the Gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—

just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it

and truly understood God’s Grace.”

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1 Timothy 1:1-2

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus

by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our Hope,

To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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1 Corinthians 1:4-9

“I always thank my God for you 

because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. 

For in Him you have been enriched in every way—

with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 

God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift 

as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 

He will also keep you firm to the end,

so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

God is faithful, 

who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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Ephesians 1:3-10

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world 

to be holy and blameless in His sight.

In love He predestined us for adoption to Sonship

through Jesus Christ,

in accordance with His pleasure and will—

to the praise of His glorious grace, 

which He has freely given us in the One He loves. 

In Him we have redemption through His blood, 

the forgiveness of sins,

in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 

that He lavished on us.

With all wisdom and understanding, 

He made known to us the mystery of His will

according to His good pleasure,

which He purposed in Christ, 

to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—

to bring unity to all things in Heaven and on earth under Christ.”

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1 Thessalonians 1:2-6

“We always thank God for all of you 

and continually mention you in our prayers. 

We remember before our God and Father 

your work produced by faith, 

your labor prompted by love, 

and your endurance inspired by hope 

in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, 

that He has chosen you, 

because our Gospel came to you not simply with words

but also with power, 

with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

You know how we lived among you for your sake. 

You became imitators of us and of the Lord,

for you welcomed the message

in the midst of severe suffering 

with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”

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Philemon 1:4-7

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 

because I hear about your love for all His holy people 

and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 

I pray that your partnership with us in the faith

may be effective in deepening your understanding

of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, 

because you, brother,

have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”

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Philippians 1:3-6

“I thank my God every time I remember you. 

In all my prayers for all of you,

I always pray with joy 

because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day 

until now,

being confident of this,

that He who began a good work in you

will carry it on to completion 

until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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Titus 1:1-4

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ

to further the faith of God’s elect

and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 

in the hope of eternal life, 

which God,

who does not lie, 

promised before the beginning of time, 

and which now at His appointed season 

He has brought to light 

through the preaching entrusted to me 

by the command of God our Savior,

To Titus, my true son in our common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.”

Read your mail!!!

What Do We Believe???

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The Newsboys are spreading the Good News!!

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Believe in the One Foundation…  

Believe in the One Salvation…

Believe in God the Father

Believe in Jesus Christ…

Believe in the Holy Spirit…

Believe He’s given us New Life…

Believe in the Crucifixion…

Believe that He conquered Death…

Believe in the Resurrection

Believe He’s coming back again…

Believe the lost are found, the dead are raised!

When Love invades!

Believe the gates of hell will not prevail!

Believe the Power of God, has torn the veil! 

Believe His Love will never fail!

Believe!

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Mark 1:15

The time has come,” he said.

“The kingdom of God has come near.

Repent and believe the good news!”

Okay, A Dryer That Doesn’t Dry Is An Oxymoron!!!

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So is a believer who doesn’t believe…

A follower who doesn’t follow…

A Christian who doesn’t act like Christ…

A child of God who doesn’t obey God…

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My dryer stopped drying the day before we were leaving for vacation…

I washed a load of clothes…

And the dryer did it’s thing of sounding like it was a normal laundry day…

It flipped the clothes around and around and around…

But when I checked, the clothes were as cold as ice…

Problem!!!

It worked, but it didn’t heat up…

Duh, we need the heat to dry clothes…

Now it’s just a large, metal box with a door…

Taking up space in my laundry room…

Useless to me…

For the purpose it was intended!!

So my son had to cart our laundry basket over to a loving neighbor’s house…

So we wouldn’t need to leave the last load I washed…

Sopping wet over vacation! 

Mildew, Yuk!

It certainly held us up from leaving on time…

When one of our appliances wasn’t doing its job!

Thank God my neighbor’s dryer did have heat!!

And she was gracious enough to let us use some of it!

Well, when we got back from vacation…

The Sears repairman came…

Opened up the back of the dryer…

Saw immediately what was wrong…

Went to his truck outside to get a part…

And in about 5 minutes…

Inserted a brand new heating element…

In our 12 year-old dryer!!

Voilà!!

Don’t just take up space…

You were intended to advance the Kingdom of God…

So do what you’re called to do!

I’ve been reading Pastor Daniel Kolenda’s book…

As the successor to world renowned Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel is the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations; a ministry which has conducted some of the largest evangelistic events in history, has published over 190 million books in 104 languages and has offices in 10 nations around the world. He also hosts an internationally syndicated television program. – See more at: http://livebeforeyoudiebook.com/?geo=USA&vid=Xnn9yAgu3aI#sthash.Q7247EvA.dpuf
s the successor to world renowned Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, Daniel is the president and CEO of Christ for All Nations; a ministry which has conducted some of the largest evangelistic events in history, has published over 190 million books in 104 languages and has offices in 10 nations around the world. He also hosts an internationally syndicated television program. – See more at: http://livebeforeyoudiebook.com/?geo=USA&vid=Xnn9yAgu3aI#sthash.Q7247EvA.dpuf

Live Before You Die

http://livebeforeyoudiebook.com/?geo=USA&vid=Xnn9yAgu3aI

It’s important for you to find God’s will for your life!

If you’re a dryer…

  Dry!!

If you’re a Christian…

Love, follow, serve!!!

If you’re a teacher…

Teach!

Whatever God’s called you to do…

Do it!

Be useful in God’s Kingdom!

And don’t just be satisfied with working…

Heat Up!!

With love and compassion for people!

My dryer worked…

It looked good…

But, it wasn’t heating up…

So it wasn’t effective…

It couldn’t serve it’s purpose…

To dry our clothes!

Don’t just be a Christian that looks good and sounds good…

  But is ineffective!

James 2:26

“As the body without the spirit is dead,

so faith without deeds is dead.”

Be effective!

Be a Christian with power…

Not just a good picture of a Christian!

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Resolve!  Ha!

To “Be” more…

For Christ!

Nothing gets dried without the dryer’s heating element…

There’s no heat when a Christian is not led by the Spirit!

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,”

declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.”

Find God’s plan for your life…

The Holy Spirit is our heating element…

Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing…

Overflow!!!

Reveal the Holy Spirit to everyone!

Desire the best gifts from God!

And use them to further God’s Kingdom!

Don’t just sit there…

Heat up!!

 Be a fire!

Be on fire for God!

Filled with the Holy Spirit and fire!!

Acts 2:1-4

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven

and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues

as the Spirit enabled them.”

Each person is important…

Each church member…

Each disciple of Christ…

Must receive power…

To do God’s will!

A dryer…

Without the heating element…

Has no power to do the job…

A disciple without God’s Holy Spirit…

Has no power to do the job God wants us to do…

Advance His Kingdom!!

Amen!

Jesus, Bring The Rain…Or Whatever Brings You Glory!

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Be careful when you pray this prayer!!

Jesus takes it seriously!!

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Job 13:15

“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him;    

I will surely defend my ways to His face.”

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We must come to the place…

Where we will serve Him no matter what!

-Even if life seems to be going against us…

(True faith rises when it’s tested in the valley!)

-Even without encouragement from others…

(Sometimes you may need to stand alone…and say,

“As for me and my house we will  serve the Lord!)

-Even when we don’t understand everything He’s doing…

(Sometimes it’s when you don’t know His plan and purpose

that you build your greatest work for God!)

Do people ask how you can still praise the Lord…

With all that you’ve gone through???

Circumstances can’t possibly change…

Who you are forever in our Lord!

Since your life was changed

Long before the rainy days…

It’s now forever settled in your mind!

I’ll never turn my back on You…

Oh, Lord!

You’re my only shelter from the storms…

I’ll draw even closer through these times!

So I pray…

“Bring me joy, bring me peace…

Bring the chance to be free…

Bring me anything that brings You glory!”

Though there will be days when this life brings me pain…

If that’s what it takes to praise You…

Jesus Bring the Rain!

I am Yours regardless of the dark clouds that may loom above…

Because You are much greater than my pain!

You made a way for me by suffering Your destiny…

So tell me…

What’s a little rain???

You’re Holy, Holy, Holy! 

My Lord God Almighty!!

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This prayer means you take what God gives you…

And you use it for His glory!!

It doesn’t matter what you’re going through…

But that you KNOW He’s going through it with you!!

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John 4:23

“Yet a time is coming

and has now come

when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth,

for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

God is spirit,

and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

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John 6:66-68

 “From this time many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him.

 ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered Him,

‘Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.'”

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2 Corinthians 4:7-10

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay

to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

We are hard pressed on every side,

but not crushed;

perplexed, but not in despair;

persecuted, but not abandoned;

struck down, but not destroyed.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,

so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

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Matthew 5:44-45

“But I tell you,

love your enemies

and pray for those who persecute you, 

that you may be children of your Father in Heaven.

He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good,

and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

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Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,

for the Lord your God goes with you;

He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

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Amen!

Sweet Holy Spirit!

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Acts 2:1-4

“When the day of Pentecost came,

they were all together in one place.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from Heaven

and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire

that separated and came to rest on each of them.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit

and began to speak in other tongues

as the Spirit enabled them.”

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Romans 8:2-6

“…because through Christ Jesus

the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youfree

from the law of sin and death.

For what the law was powerless to do

because it was weakened by the flesh,

God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh

to be a sin offering.

And so He condemned sin in the flesh,

in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us,

who do not live according to the flesh

but according to the Spirit.”

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Romans 8:9

“You, however,

are not in the realm of the flesh

but are in the realm of the Spirit,

if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,

they do not belong to Christ.”

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Interview with Joel Parisen: Newworldson

What has God been teaching you lately?

Joel:  “How to not be a lip-service Christian. How to talk less and to let my life be my message, which is incredibly hard to do. How to not say one thing and be doing another. Some people struggle with surrender and trusting that God has a plan; that part’s been easy for me. My problem is knowing that in my partnership with Him, I have work to do too. It’s not all sit back and enjoy the ride.”

http://jesusfreakhideout.com/interviews/Newworldson2008.asp

Behind the Song:
We were coming to the end of a full day in the studio when I decided to sit down at the piano to unwind. I just started playing these chords when Mark came over and said, ‘We’re recording that tomorrow.’  And that was that. I wrote my lyrics and Josh wrote his right on the spot.

It’s a prayer.

They’re words we needed to hear.”

– Joel Parisien (Newworldson)

http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/lyrics/new/track.asp?track_id=9396

Pride weighing you down?

 

 

Choking your heart?

 

 

Chained up and bound?

 

 

Pride is your prison…

 

But Grace is your key!

 

Pray…

 

“Sweet Holy Spirit!

 

Come rescue me!

Spirit, Spirit, I submit to You now

Spirit, Spirit

I surrender

Spirit

Sweet Holy Spirit!”

Are you drowning?

Hopeless and lost at sea?

I was!

But, Lord You threw me a line…

Brought me back to Your shore…

Now, I can feel the light from Your lighthouse…

Shining down on me…

Yes, I can!

Worry???

Oh, what can I say?

I’ve worried so much…

I forget how to pray…

Well, I’m down on my knees…

And this is coming from my soul…

Sweet Holy Spirit…

Come make me whole!!

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Let this be your prayer, too!!

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Luke 11:13

“If you then,

though you are evil,

know how to give good gifts to your children,

how much more will your Father in Heaven

give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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Now That’s Sweet!!!!

Amen!

Where Does Jesus Live??? He Lives In Me!! Oh, Yeah!!!

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Who Is This Who Lives In Me???

Exodus 3:14

“God said to Moses,

I am who I am.

This is what you are to say to the Israelites:

I am has sent me to you.’”

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John 17:22-23

“I have given them the glory that You gave Me,

that they may be One as We are One—

I in them

and You in Me—

so that they may be brought to complete unity.

Then the world will know that You sent Me

and have loved them

even as You have loved Me.”

Amen!

I’ve been the one to shake with fear
And wonder if You’re even here
I’ve been the one to doubt Your love
I’ve told myself You’re not enough

I’ve been the one to try and say
I’ll overcome by my own strength
I’ve been the one to fall apart
And start to question who You are

You’re the One who conquers giants
You’re the One who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the One who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the One Messiah
You are I AM
You are I AM

I’ve been the one held down in chains
Beneath the weight of all my shame
I’ve been the one to believe
That where I am, You cannot reach

The veil is torn
And now I live
With the Spirit inside
The same One
The very same One
Who brought the Son back to life!
Hallelujah, He lives in me!

You are the One Messiah
You are I AM
Hallelujah, He lives in me!
You are I AM
Hallelujah, He lives in me!

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 Who Are We When He Lives In Us???

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We’re children of the very same One  who…

Conquers giants!

Calls out Kings!

Shuts the mouths of lions!

Tells the dead to breathe!

Walks through fire!

Takes the orphan’s hand!

Is the One Messiah!

Is the great…

I AM!!!

Romans 8:9

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh

but are in the realm of the Spirit,

if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,

they do not belong to Christ.”

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Galatians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ

and I no longer live,

but Christ lives in me.

The life I now live in the body,

I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me

and gave Himself for me.”

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Colossians 1:27

“To them God has chosen

to make known among the Gentiles

the glorious riches of this mystery,

which is Christ in you,

the hope of glory.”

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1 John 5:11-12

 “And this is the testimony:

God has given us eternal life,

and this life is in his Son.

Whoever has the Son has life;

whoever does not have the Son of God

does not have life.”

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1 John 4:4

“You, dear children,

are from God

and have overcome them,

because the One who is in you

is greater

than the one who is in the world.”

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Oh, Yeah!!!

That’s the One in me!!!

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