Selasa, 11 Juli 2017

True Fellowship

True Fellowship
“If we walk in the light, as He is
in the light, we have fellowship with one another.”
1 JOHN 1:7

True fellowship is grounded in Jesus first of all. Fellowship with others on THAT basis is neither forced, nor orchestrated; it is effortless, spontaneous, and full of Life. Fellowship naturally occurs because we have all seen and heard the same thing from the Lord – we are walking in the same Path towards Christ as All in all. We are in one accord not because we all look, think, and act just the same, but because we all, in spite of our differences, have God’s End in mind.


Source: "The Chuch in the Wilderness" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/the-church-in-the-wilderness

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Seeing is Changing

Seeing is Changing
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the
only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
JOHN 1:14

Moment by moment, hour by hour, we are being changed. This transfiguration is subtle, but powerful. How is it effected? How does God change us? When we put on the Lord Jesus then we become what we have put on. When we see the glory of the Son of God then we are changed thereby. We become what we have seen.


When we see Him as He in fact is, when we behold His glory, we will be smitten to the ground. If what we have seen thus far of the Lord has not struck us dumb and blind then we have not yet touched upon His glory. Our vision is too small. May God illuminate our hearts and grant us further revelation into His Son, that we may be transfigured.


Source: "Lord of All" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/lord-of-all

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It's All About Your Attitude

It's All About Your Attitude (Writer's Opinion)

By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
GROVE, OK (ANS – July 9, 2017) -- “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” -- Psalm 118:24 (ESV).
AttitudeWhen I saw the following post on a friend’s Facebook page, I had to share it with my readers:
A famous writer was in his study and compiled the following list:
1. Last year, my gallbladder was removed. I was in bed for a long time.
2. The same year I reached the age of 60 and had to leave my favorite job. I spent 30 years with this publishing company.
3. The same year my father died.
4. The same year my son failed his medical exam because he had a car accident. He was hospitalized with a cast on his leg for several days. The destruction of the car was a second loss.
His concluding statement: “Alas! It was a bad year!”
When the writer’s wife entered the room, she found her husband looking dejected and sad. She read what he had written, left the room, and came back with another piece of paper. The husband read her version of his account of the year’s events:
1. Last year I finally got rid of my gallbladder which had given me many years of pain.
2. I turned 60 with sound health and retired from my job. Now I can utilize my time to write with more focus and peace.
3. The same year my father died at the age of 95 without depending on anyone, without any critical conditions, and met his Creator.
4. The same year, God blessed my son with life. My car was destroyed, but my son was alive and without permanent disability.
She concluded: This year was an immense blessing.
The moral? It’s not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. There is always, always something for which to be thankful. Our attitude is everything and the one thing we can control.
In a recent “Our Daily Bread” devotional, the author shared the story of Dr. Virginia Connally. In 1940, at the age of 27, she braved opposition and criticism to become the first female physician in Abilene, Texas. A few months before her 100th birthday in 2012, the Texas Medical Association presented her with its Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor a Texas physician can receive. Between 1940 and 2012, Dr. Connally embraced a passion for sharing the gospel message globally. During her many medical mission trips, she lived a life of service to God and to others—one day at a time.
Her pastor, Phil Christopher, said, “Every day for her is a gift.”
In a letter to her pastor, Dr. Connally wrote, “Every tour, trip, effort, I wonder if this will be my last and ultimate? Only God knows. And this is enough.”
What if we quit focusing on yesterday’s disappointments and tomorrow’s uncertainties and focused on God’s unmatchable gift of today? Wouldn’t our attitudes change?
When we embrace each day as a gift from God, we can’t help but have a positive attitude.
Photo captions: 1) Embrace each day as a gift from God. (https://www.linkedin.com). 2) Carol Round.
Carol Round very smallNote: I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at carol@carolaround.com with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or website. I'd be delighted to hear from you.
** You may republish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the ANS website (see above) and signing up there.

Ascending Prayer

Ascending Prayer
“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.’” – MATTHEW 6:9 ESV

At once we are lifted up from the earthly situation and are made to focus upon a heavenly Father, a heavenly Kingdom, and a heavenly Will. I believe it is so important for us to see this. Prayer does not begin on the earth, it begins in the heavens. It does not begin with man, it begins with the Father. It does not begin with man’s need, but with God’s will.


Our praying is ineffectual because we pray as earthly men with an earthly perspective concerning earthly things. See how far and above this manner of praying is when compared to the hypocrite, praying in public to be seen of men! Prayer ought to bring us up into the heavenlies, not bring us down deeper into the earth. It ought to focus our vision on the Father, not on man, or the problems of man. Spiritual prayer begins in the Spirit; heavenly prayer begins in the heavenlies.

Source: "The Irresistible Kingdom" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/the-irresistible-kingdom


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Sabtu, 01 Juli 2017

Fighting FROM Victory


Fighting FROM Victory
“Thanks be to God, who gives us
the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 CORINTHIANS 15:57

Those who embrace the Cross have inherited the victory of Christ over all the works of the devil. This is the spiritual principle. The practical expression of this principle is seen when I demonstrate this victory in the battles of everyday life. If what God says about us is true, then we are not fighting FOR victory, we are fighting FROM victory – and actually, we are not fighting at all; we are merely standing in a victory that was given to us in Christ: “Stand therefore” (Ephesians 6:14).

Source: “Embrace the Cross" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/embrace-the-cross


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Christ Fully-Formed in You


Christ Fully-Formed in You
“Him we preach… that we
may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
COLOSSIANS 1:28

The word perfect there means spiritually mature, having reached the full measure of the purpose for which a person is created. This, in essence, is the purpose of all ministry, whether it is the ministry of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. It is to preach Christ, and to bring all men into a spiritually mature relationship with Him.

Paul wrote to the Galatians and said they were “my little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Christ was in them already, but He was not fully-formed in them yet: they were still children. Maturity in Jesus is what ministry is supposed to lead to. Christ is at the heart of everything; He is at the center of all activity; we begin with Him and we end with Him.


Source: "Lord of All" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/lord-of-all


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I Am Pleased With You


I Am Pleased With You

As the sun rises, it chases away the shadows and comes with a promise of something new. In the same way, I arise upon you today my child. My glory shines upon you. My favor rests upon you.
It does not matter what man will say or think about you. It does not matter what circumstances come against you. It does not matter what the enemy throws at you - for you are favored of me and you walk in my blessing and in my covering. So rejoice as you look forward and see the sun rising in your life!
Look forward with great expectation to see things revealed that have been hidden before. For while it was night, you could not see my goodness. You could not see my perfect plan. But look! The night has passed and day has come and I am reminding you of your inheritance in me.
I am reminding you of what you mean to me. I am reminding you of your position in me. So put your faith in me and not in yourself or in what you see. Incline your ear to my testimony and not to the words of others that would tear you down. For I am here to lift you up. I am here to give you rest. I am here to give you the strength to take the land I have prepared for you.
So hear my words and let them sink deep into your spirit. You are favored of me and I am well pleased with you says the Lord. Amen

Give it Time


Give it Time

My child, if you are finding it hard to get going and to get your ministry off the ground, then do not despair. Remember, I am the one who has called you, and I am also the one who will fulfill it.
Have you ever seen a gardener plant a garden today and tomorrow you see the full glory of every flower, every plant, and every tree He put there? Give my spirit time to work on what I have told you to plant. Allow me to water the seeds I have given you.
Allow maturity to come and growth to take place. Do not strive or push your own way, says the Lord. I am the originator of the vision you run with. I am the beginning and the end. So now, rest in me. Trust in me. I know what I am doing and I know where to take you.
Incline your ear against my chest and allow me to lead and guide you on the path you should go, says the Lord. Allow me to show you each day what I want you to do. Allow me to direct you, and then, just take each step in obedience and lean on my power and anointing, says the Lord.
Rest in me. Let go of any frustration and just press on forward in submission to my mighty hand. Amen.

Selasa, 27 Juni 2017

Undefeated


Undefeated

For you already have the victory in my name my child and I have called you to overcome. I have called you to stand tall on the top of the mountain and to survey the land so that you might take it in my name.
So do not see yourself as defeated any longer! Do not look at the battle and think that it is too much for you - rather stand up tall now and see it from my perspective. Stand up strong and see that my hand is stretched out against the enemy and that it shields you!
For I shall indeed bless those that bless you and curse those that curse you, for as long as you walk in the shadow of my wings and under the covering of my hand. So do not look to the left or right now. Do not look at the battle and feel overcome. Rather stand in heavenly places with me and see that you have already overcome.
See that you do not stand in this battle alone. See that I fight by your side. So come now my child - take my hand and pick up your sword once again. See things through my eyes and gain your strength so that after you have seen the truth, you might stand to fight once again and this time, not to be defeated, but to overcome says the Lord.

The Field of Treasure


The Field of Treasure
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden
in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes
and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
MATTHEW 13:44

For too long we have contented ourselves with what God can do for us and what He can give us. We come to the Lord with a need in mind, and the next day we approach with another need, and the following day we return with yet another request. This pattern repeats itself continually. We return again and again to withdraw a little more from the heavenly bank.

Surely we should let our requests be made known unto God, and we must also ask, that we may receive. But think: if a man owns a field, does he not also possess the buried treasure in the field? Does it not stand to reason then, that if we receive HIM, we possess all He has? How shall He not, with His Son, freely give us all things?

Source: “Lord of All" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/lord-of-all


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Dying to Live


Dying to Live
“If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for My sake will save it.”
LUKE 9:23,24

Resurrection Life is that which has died, but now lives. It has the mark of the Cross upon it. It has passed through death once, and death can no more touch it. If we have not already passed through death then we are constantly fearful of dying, but the one who has already died and lives again has nothing more to fear from death. As we are decreased through the daily carrying of our cross, Christ in us is increased, and the strength of His Life is matured through our weakness.


Source: “Embrace the Cross" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/embrace-the-cross


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Listen to My Words


Listen to My Words

Take heed to my words for they are spirit and life. Do not dwell upon what you can or cannot do, but instead dwell upon my words and what I can do. It is me that will get you through every hard time and it is me that will give you the power to live a successful life.
My child, as you listen to the words that I speak, you will find that these words are all you need to inherit every blessing and take hold of every promise I have for you.
Do not allow the enemy to push you beyond what I desire for you. The enemy desires to get you to run ahead of me or walk far behind me, but I desire to get you to walk right alongside me. The enemy desires to wear you down, but I desire to build your faith and fill you with even greater hope.
Lay down the cares that weigh you down. Lay down the fears that make you worry and doubt. Listen to my words to you again and again. It is in you hearing my words time and time again that you will gain the confidence, faith, and hope that you need to walk triumphantly over every work of the enemy and fulfill the plan that I have for you, says the Lord.

What is Your Focus in Life?

What is Your Focus in Life? (Writer's Opinion)

By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service (Writer’s Opinion)
GROVE, OK (ANS – June 26, 2017) -- “But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!” -- Matthew 13:16 (CEV).
Focus in LifeWhen I was in sixth grade, I was diagnosed with myopia or nearsightedness, meaning I had the ability to see near objects more clearly than distant objects. To compound the diagnosis, I also had astigmatism, an imperfection of the cornea preventing part of it from focusing light onto the retina.
At 10-years-old, I was fitted for glasses. Because my eyesight was so bad, the lens in my glasses were thick in appearance, almost like the bottom of the classic soda pop bottle. As usual, children forced to wear glasses earn the nickname, “Four Eyes.” I was no exception. I admit, it hurt at the time.
When I reached high school, my vanity led me to ditch the glasses out in public. My parents wouldn’t buy contacts until I graduated and headed to college. I put up with the hard lenses in my eyes for three or four years until allergies made me forgo them. I returned to glasses.
During the next three or four decades I tried contacts again, this time the soft ones. Again, allergies made me miserable and the contacts were uncomfortable. Finally, I decided to stick with glasses. By this time, the material used for lenses had improved. Although I still needed a strong prescription, the lenses were thinner. I no longer looked as if I were sporting pop bottle bottoms in my frames. I actually looked forward to picking out new frames each time I visited my optometrist. It was almost as good as shopping for new shoes.
Several years ago, I had cataract surgery and chose to have a lens implanted in each eye. Now, I can see far off, which means I can drive without corrective lenses. However, now I have a new problem. I must wear reading glasses because I wasn’t keen on having one eye corrected for far-off vision and the other for close-up, like reading. I’d tried monovision contacts at one time but they made me dizzy, and I’m almost positive strangers thought I was winking at them when I was forced to close one eye or the other.
In a “Guideposts” article by Susanna Foth Aughtmon, she addresses something more important than our visual eyesight—our spiritual vision. She writes, “Sometimes I forget that my ‘spiritual’ vision is just as important or even more so. I can tend to let pride or self-righteousness cloud my vision which is beyond dangerous in Jesus’ eyes. He often called the Pharisees ‘blind guides.’ Not the best nickname for someone who thought they were trying to follow God and lead others along that path.”
When we keep our focus on Jesus, our spiritual vision is perfected. We see things through His eyes, no glasses, no contacts, no surgeries required. Isn’t that what God desires for His children?
Why not ask Jesus to open your “spiritual” eyes to see what is important today, to clearly see His will for your Life. You will be surprised at what you’ve been missing.
Photo captions: 1) How's your spiritual eyesight? (TheIndianExpress.com). 2) Carol Round.
Carol Round very smallNote: I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at carol@carolaround.com  with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. Also, if you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or website. I'd be delighted to hear from you.
** You may republish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends and colleagues that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the ANS website (see above) and signing up there.

Your Jar of Oil


Your Jar of Oil
“Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
2 KINGS 4:2

Every disciple of the Lord Jesus is at a different level of growth and spiritual maturity. But may I say that no matter how long you have walked with the Lord – be it several years or only a day – you have at least one “jar of oil” in your house.

Now what you do with that one jar of oil makes the difference between a victorious life and a defeated life. The single jar of oil is not much in and of itself. It is not sufficient to meet the demands of your creditors, nor is it sufficient to sustain your spiritual life. It is only sufficient when it is poured forth. The one who “saves” his life will lose his life, but the one who “pours out” his life will really have it in abundance.

Source: “Lord of All" by Chip Brogden
http://www.chipbrogden.com/books/lord-of-all


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Back to Basics


Back to Basics

My child, I know that when you are going through training and preparation, things can get intense and they can get tough. The fire in your heart burns brightly and strongly and you are ready to push through and do whatever it takes.
However, today I want to remind you, my child, that my joy is your strength! Why are you here? What is it that I gave you and what did I call you to do in the first place? It is time to remember the reason for your fire and passion and to put it into perspective with my joy.
I am calling you to do a mighty work. Do not lean on your own understanding to accomplish that work, but lean on my joy that is found right there in your spirit.
Look into my eyes and allow me to cheer you on as you press on forward giving your all for my kingdom! Allow my joy to be your fuel, and my love to be the wind in your sail.
So get back to the basics. Tap into my joy and run this race! Amen.

Kamis, 15 Juni 2017

God is Alive Today in Albania and Kosovo

God is Alive Today in Albania and Kosovo

By Harold J. Sala, Special to ASSIST News Service
GuidelinesteamALBANIA/KOSOVO (ANS – June 8, 2017) -- As Pastor Jeton (pronounced ye-TOHN) quietly speaks, one would never guess the horror he and his people have lived through in this picturesque area of the Balkans. Jeton is a Kosovar Albanian -- over 80% of the population of Kosovo are Albanian but in 1998 neighboring Yugoslavian Serbs sought to wipe them from the land.
Harold Sala preaching in AlbaniaThousands were slaughtered and over a quarter of a million were driven from their homes into Albania during the bloody conflict that pitted neighbor against neighbor, leaving deep hatred and distrust. Those that fled to Albania received a bleak welcome, in a land that had been isolated from the world for decades.
While both Albania and Kosovo are predominantly Muslim nations, Albania holds the distinction of being the first nation to officially write a belief in atheism into their constitution as it did in 1967. A dictionary published shortly thereafter doesn’t include the word “God.” He, nonetheless, chose to remain in both countries incognito.
Presently a $22 million-dollar gift from the President of Turkey is being used to build mosques throughout Albania on the sites where churches stood before the Communists destroyed them and also a mosque in Tirana that will be one of the largest in the Balkans.
Yet the church, in both Albania and Kosovo is alive and vibrant--a testimony to men and women who cherish their faith and refuse to capitulate to the darkness that has gripped the land. It’s a “first generation church,” that means pastors have no mature mentors, no established Bible schools or seminaries, but they have a radiant faith, a “can do” mentality and a desire to impact their culture in a positive way, often ministering to the whole person including medical needs, educational needs, pre-schools and the establishment of primarily independent churches.
Kosovo worship centerThe stories of both countries, today, is a collage of individual encounters that men and women have had with the grace of God, the story of grit and determination to break through the darkness with the light of the Gospel, facing what most elsewhere would be considered impenetrable obstacles. Their stories of triumph are thrilling and humbling.
I shall never forget the two hours I spent listening to Pastor Jeton as he explained that in 1999 Serbian soldiers burst into his home and lined up his entire family, excepting his father who was hiding, for execution. With scalding tears his mother screamed, “Have you no heart -- killing children?” Hearing this, the father came out of hiding, allowing his family’s lives to be spared, and was executed. Two years ago Jeton’s father’s remains were discovered in a mass grave in Yugoslavia and returned to the family for burial.
TWOWOMENFor 22 hours the family fled, trying to escape the onslaught that was taking place. Emotionally wounded, the survivors (a term most prefer over “victims”) returned to burned-out homes and very fractured lives. Emotional healing came slowly. The kindness of Christian missions organizations that came to Kosovo and rebuilt Jeton’s family home for them ultimately led him to Christ. But years later when Jeton was asked by an Australian visitor what he would do if he met the man who killed his father, he became very angry and said, “Never ask me that question again!” He had actually planned on tracking down the man who killed his father but then, yielding his hatred to the Lord, he forgave the person, completed Bible school training in Britain and established a thriving church, now able to minister to those whose hearts are yet filled with hatred.
While the Catholic Church is powerful in Kosovo, evangelical groups are growing rapidly in a nation that is 96% Muslim. More than 120 independent pastors are affiliated with the World Evangelical group. One challenging problem is the economy resulting in a lack of funds to provide support for most pastors. “If there were 100 adults in a church,” explained one pastor, “80 of them would be without income.” Another recounted, “For the last 20 years there has been an exodus of brain trusts,” resulting in a lack of economic stability. While many youth want to leave Albania and Kosovo for better paying jobs in Europe or North America, many want to simply rebuild their own country.
IMG 5987A catalyst bringing evangelicals together has been Media7 Albania, the host group who recently invited our Guidelines team to minister in both countries. Founded by a strong, visionary woman, Enkelejda Kumaraku, Media7 reaches Albania and nearby Kosovo. Their TV station in Kosovo has just begun 24-hour broadcasting, with Albanian coverage soon.
Honored as “International Ministry of the Year” in 2016 by National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), the ministry has overcome formidable obstacles in using both radio and television to share the Good News. Guidelines International Ministries is translating its “Guidelines for Living” and “Encouraging Words” into Albanian and releasing supporting publications to help reach and sustain those who are growing in the faith.
God is very much alive, and working in the hearts and lives in Albania and Kosovo today!
For additional information, please contact info@guidelines.org or www.guidelines.org.
Photo captions: 1) The Guidelines team on their trip. 2) Harold Sala preaching in a church in Shkodër, a city in northwestern Albania. 3) A Kosovo Worship Center. 4) Two women conversing in the street. 5) One of hundreds of Mosques in Albania and Kosovo. 6) Harold (left) and Bonnie Sala (right) with Dan Wooding after Dan had interviewed them for his “Front Page Radio” show.