Selasa, 09 Februari 2016

Your Strength is in Me


Your Strength is in Me

My child, when you look at the task ahead of you, sometimes it seems that it is such a huge and overwhelming thing that I have called you to do. This is very true. I have called you to do something for my kingdom that is impossible in your own strength, but is only possible with mine.
If the task I have given you is possible for you to accomplish in your own strength, would anyone not be able to do the same thing in theirs? I have called you to do the impossible, so that my strength through you will be a shining light to those living in darkness. So do not be afraid of your own weakness, and your own places of lack, for I have strength and power enough to fill you to overflowing for what you need, for any and every task.
So come child, come to Me with your hands empty and weak, and I will give you the tools and the wisdom you need for the task ahead of you. Let us accomplish many things, together!

INFINITE SUPPLY

INFINITE SUPPLY
Today's Message from Chip Brogden

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word” (Acts 10:44).

We know the Early Believers were fruitful, powerful, and “on fire” for the Lord. But the secret of their “success” was not in how they “did church” or even in having the presence of powerful apostles like Peter, James, John, or Paul. Nor can we simply attribute their power to the Holy Spirit.

This text gives us the whole story. Two different Greek words are used here for “words” and “word”: rhema and logos. While Peter was still speaking these words (rhema), the Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard the word (logos). The Rhema is the revealed, spoken, Holy-Spirit inspired word of God that points people to Christ. The Logos is the living word, either Christ Himself or the Scriptures that testify of Him. These do not cancel each other out, but they complement and build one upon another. Peter preached Jesus (rhema) and the people met Jesus (logos) in what he shared!

Notice that the Holy Spirit did not fall upon them until they heard the Word, and for them to hear it, someone had to proclaim it. Study the Book of Acts and you’ll see a consistent balance between the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. God does not pour out His Spirit on people who do not honor His Word, whether written, spoken or living. If you reject the Word then the Holy Spirit rejects you. The early believers were focused on Jesus, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they received the Word of God with joy! This three-fold cord is the secret to spiritual strength and power.


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I am your brother,


Chip Brogden
http://ChipBrogden.com

Senin, 08 Februari 2016

Keep Getting Up


Keep Getting Up

My child, when you have fallen and feel like you have make mistakes that are beyond repair, know that my arms are always open to you. Know that my grace is greater than any mistake that you can make, that I knew you were going to fall, and I have already made a way. However, also know that I have made you an overcomer and a warrior. I did not make you to be someone who would fall and not get up again.
For each time that you choose to get back up, I will give you the strength and wisdom to continue your journey and overcome. Yes, you will not succeed in every endeavour. But do not be discouraged, because in your failure, you will recognize the strength and tenacity that I have given you to not let any of the enemyƕs ploys get in the way of what I have called you to do.
So stand boldly, and if you fail or fall, get back up knowing that I have given you every resource and weapon to defeat the enemy, and to overcome every obstacle and circumstance you encounter, no matter how many times you have to get back up to do so!

Loving Concern or "Spiritual Molestation?"


Loving Concern or "Spiritual Molestation?"

By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (Jeremyreynalds@gmail.com )
Jeremys story pictureALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS-FEB 6) Joshua Stout, manager of a Chick-fil-A in Murfreesboro, Tennessee was willing to buy a homeless man, Justin Burkeen, a full meal.
There was just one requirement-that Burkeen allow Stout to pray with him.
The interaction was observed by area resident Joey Mustain taking his daughter out for supper, and chronicled on Facebook. The post went viral.
Mustain said in that post, “All I could pick up on of the conversation was the manager saying that he'd love to give him a full, warm meal--not just scraps or extras-- and the only thing he required was that the man let him pray with him.”
Mustain did not immediately respond to a request from me asking for additional comment.
In addition to a meal, that Chick-fil-A interaction resulted in the creation of agofundme page.
Interestingly, as the page states, Burkeen wants to “travel around the country feeding those who are much like (him) and to spread a little more hope where hope itself seems hopeless. He wants to pay it forward and has always had a passion to do so but never had the means to.”
The page notes that Burkeen “has lived a rough life that eventually led to him being homeless just over 10 years ago. Even in moments of despair he has found hope in a higher power that he hasn't let go of.”
While praised by many, one Christian minister spoke out vehemently against the incident.
Writing in his blog, Hugh Hollowell called it “ abusive. It is wrong. It is spiritual molestation. And speaking as a Christian minister, it undermines and contradicts the entirety of the message and teachings of Jesus. This is not what Christianity looks like.”
I first heard about this from Facebook friend Gary Johnston who wrote that, “Not everyone is religious, but everyone deserves food. So I was promoting that if you want to bring up religion, simply feed/help them FIRST and then you may talk about other things.”
I asked our Joy Junction Facebook friends what they thought about Johnston’s point of view. A number of people responded quite quickly.
Eliane said, “My thought has always been that if you want to help you do it without conditions. If you want to pray do so, silently even, as God knows what is in your heart. You can ask if the person you are helping wants to pray with you, but never make help conditional.”
Vanessa said, “Help the person and if they mention anything about God then talk about God if not pray for them in your own solidarity. People will always have an opinion, I wouldn't worry about it. Everyone does it their way or thinks in their own way.”
Ira said she totally agrees with Johnston. “You should never make ‘praying’ or your view of God a ‘condition’ of feeding another human being. I go to church every Sunday and pray on a daily basis. But when I help others, I do just that; help them! God already knows my actions and (there is) no need to stop and force that on another.”
So should prayer and/or religious services be a prerequisite for helping the homeless? Some time ago, I heard about the head of a homeless agency reportedly thinks it is “immoral” to mix religion with delivery of services to the homeless.
Maybe he or his clients have had bad experiences with those who combine religion with helping the homeless. If that’s the case, it’s sad, because the gospel is supposed to be “good news.”
My question to anyone who doesn’t believe in sharing the gospel when assisting the homeless, would be, “What other form of real encouragement is there for a homeless and hungry person after basic human needs have been taken care of it?”
And perhaps that’s the key. Let’s share the gospel after rumbling stomachs rumble no more and tired and weary limbs have found a place to rest.
Joy Junction is unashamedly a gospel ministry, as opposed to just being an agency, and sooner or later our guests will hear the gospel, one way or another. I was curious how our gospel component registers on their appreciation scale, so one of our staff asked a handful of our guests what they are most grateful for at the shelter.
One man said, “The spiritual guidance that (staff) provide shows you that God is with you all the way. I am forever grateful for all the staff and residents who have taught me. I have been truly blessed here and now I can use what I've learned to bless others.”
Another man commented, “The Bible classes help us to find ourselves along with Jesus. JJ has given us opportunities to grow. I like the family friendly atmosphere. That has helped my wife and I to continue to stay together, even when our life together has become difficult.”
Talking about two of our supervisors, one woman said “(Staff members) Sophie and Marcos are just two who really are my ‘go to’ supervisors to be real with me. Marcos always has a word of advice and a prayer. I thank God everyday that JJ is here to help me provide for my kids.”
So what does it boil down to? Respect and concern for others. Facebook friend Mary had a good point when she wrote that situations should be dealt with individually.
She said, “Some people need prayer first, and through that help is sought. Some need help first, and through that is an opportunity for prayer. Some are only seeking help, not prayer. Pray for them after you have helped them and they have left. Some only need prayer, and will refuse help that is offered. The biggest issue is respect for the person and his/her needs.”
In summary. Whatever you do, make sure it’s mixed with a generous dose of love, mercy and grace. That includes making sure noone goes away hungry.
Jeremy and Elma Reynalds use
Photo captions: 1) Deep in conversation. (via Joey Mustain). 2) Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writerJeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "From Destitute to Ph.D." Additional details on "From Destitute to Ph.D." are available atwww.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds atjeremyreynalds@gmail.com  

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What Do You Suppose God Wants?


What Do You Suppose God Wants? (Writer's Opinion)

By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – February 7, 2016) -- If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”—Luke 9:24-25 (NLT).
Some people might be surprised to learn the world does not revolve around them. What? You mean it doesn’t!
As infants, we sure thought it did. We cried and someone tended to our needs. We got fed. Our diapers got changed. We were picked up and rocked to sleep. In my case, the rocking chair didn’t work for my eldest, so I had to dance him to sleep. I’ve known other parents who had to place their infant in a car seat and drive him repeatedly around the block until he dozed off.
However, some never outgrow this demanding behavior. If I whine enough, people will do what I want. If I stomp my foot, they’ll jump. If I pucker up, ready to burst into tears, they’ll do anything to keep me happy.
Guess what! That’s not what God wants from His children. If we hang onto our lives, always seeking to please ourselves, we’ll never grow up.
Max LucadoIn his book “It’s Not About Me,” Max Lucado writes, “When God looks at the center of the universe, he doesn’t look at you. When heaven’s stagehands direct the spotlight toward the star of the show, I need no sunglasses. No light falls on me. Lesser orbs, that’s us. Appreciated. Valued. Loved dearly. But central? Essential? Pivotal? Nope. Sorry.
“Perhaps our place is not at the center of the universe,” he adds. “As John Piper writes, ‘God does not exist to make much of us. We exist to make much of him.’”
So, how can we make much of God? Max writes, “What would happen if we accepted our place as Son reflectors?”
In a recent sermon series titled “Rise and Shine,” our pastor said, “We shine most brightly when we give ourselves away.”
In this particular sermon, Pastor Ray cited the answers of several church members who replied to his question, “Why do you do what you do?”
One 17-year-old who volunteers as a youth small group leader said, “I love being able to minister to others. I don’t need to be paid to find great satisfaction in serving.”
Another church member, a young adult who plays the guitar in the Praise band said, “When I help other people connect with God, I feel complete.”
Showing up for practice one evening, another worship band guitarist replied to Pastor Ray’s question. He said, “It’s for the kingdom. I get weary but there’s something inside—a light that keeps me going.”
It’s that light—God’s light—that keeps another church member traveling to third-world countries to make a difference. “For me, this whole crazy world makes sense when I serve. It puts things in perspective for me.”
Another way to look at Luke 9:24-25 might be, “Less of what I want” and more of “What do you suppose God wants?”
Carol Round use
Photo captions: 1) Max Lucado. 2) Carol Round.
Note: I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to email me with your thoughts at carolaround@yahoo.com . You can also visit my blog at www.carolaround.com .
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I Have What You Need


I Have What You Need

My child, I am always here for you. Whether you need instruction or an encouraging word, I have what you need to face the day ahead. When you keep pushing and pressing ahead, you do not realize that you need to refuel until you are completely drained. So do not wait until you are empty to realize that you need Me, but come to Me daily for power and life and anointing for the day ahead.
Know that the road you walk is not one that you have to walk alone, child. I will never leave your side and I have all the wisdom that you need. Remember to be aware of Me in every moment of the day.
Ask and I will tell you, knock and I will open my door to you. Whatever you stand in need of, child, remember that you can simply lift your eyes up and reach out to Me. I will never hold any good thing back from you, but give to you abundantly. Come to Me and refuel today. I stand here ready to pour into you and give you the power that you need. Amen.

INFINITE SUPPLY

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33)

Regardless of what you believe about the Rapture and the Tribulation, Jesus says that we will experience tribulation in this world. Many Christians around the world currently suffer persecution without the comfort of other people to support them or encourage them. Yet, these same Christians have shown us time and again that they have a strong spiritual life, and they continue to produce spiritual fruit (including joy!) in spite of deep affliction.

If your spiritual life is based on church, or meetings, or regular face-to-face fellowship with others, what happens when those things are taken away, or denied, or not available, because of persecution or tribulation? It has happened before, and it could happen again; and if it does, many will stumble and fall because they have not learned how to live in Christ, and find their joy in Him, without fellowshipping with others. It is only by the grace of God that they can maintain their testimony, and they will be the first to fall when persecution arises.


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