May you find the encouragement from God's Word to live the victorious, BLESSED life that God has planned for each of us!

Inspired Ideas

Have you ever had a successful moment in which you instantly realized it was completely beyond your own abilities? For me it was yesterday morning, during our homeschool Bible study time. Nothing flashy, but during my morning quiet time, I got an idea of a way to teach the kids about the protection of God and it turned out to be the best time we've had in the Word all year. Maybe for you it was a marketing strategy that you created at work that was hugely impactful, a tricky case that you miraculously diagnosed, or maybe you interpreted some crazy dreams that changed the destiny of a country for more than a decade..... ok probably not you, that was Joseph.

Our regular Bible study has had us studying Joseph for the last week or so and we've focused on how many times the Bible reminds us that through it all "The Lord was with Joseph and he became a successful man." (Genesis 39:2) What does it mean that the Lord is with us on a day to day basis? Well for us, it means that the Holy Spirit wants to lead and guide us in everything that we do, so that we can be successful for His Kingdom. It means that if we are walking with the Spirit, those "good ideas" are truly "God ideas."

The danger lies in believing that WE are really something, and not acknowledging where our Help comes from. Joseph never forgot to mention that God was the interpreter of dreams and that he was merely a tool. Neither should we. The Holy Spirit wants to empower us in whatever vocation we have been called to. He is not limited to the House of God or the gift of speaking in other tongues. I believe He desires to make us successful in all that we do. He has "God ideas" that He is longing to impart to you. Meet Him. Listen. And do what He says.

 



When Do Christians Sing?

I was spending time today reading my daily devotional in my favorite wooden rocking chair when I looked out the window to see a beautiful blue bird. It was singing and seemed happy to see the dawn of a new day.

 

It reminded me of the day when I was set free. I remembered the time and the place when Jesus met me and said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)   Oh, what a sweet time that was when Jesus took away the pain of sin. When the Lord first forgave my sin, I was so happy I was almost dancing. Actually, I may have been dancing and I know I was singing to the top of my lungs. I wanted to tell everyone around me what Jesus had done for me. I wanted to tell every leaf, every flower, and every stone on the ground of the wondrous love of Jesus. Jesus died for me. What an extraordinary and miraculous thing he did for me that day. I wanted to sing all the time, telling the story of my Savior.

 

But I realized soon after and still today that the beginning of a Christian life is just that, the beginning. For it is not only at the beginning of our Christian walk that we sing of his mercy and love. As long as we live, we keep discovering reasons to sing of the ways of the Lord. Our daily experiences makes us sing, “I will extol the Lord at all times; His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalms 34:1)

 

Magnify the Lord today!

Written by: Paula Oakes

 



Save the Storks- Pro-Life in Action!

Our country has recently been rocked by the release of videos exposing the atrocities of Planned Parenthood.  In the wake of such discoveries, I believe many people are left wondering what steps they can take to make a difference in the fight for the unborn.
Our youth group was privileged to be introduced to an organization that truly makes a difference in the fight against abortion.  Save the Storks is a ministry that meets women outside of Planned Parenthood centers and offers them an alternative right on the spot.  Women are invited inside a "stork bus," a high-tech mobile pregnancy unit, where they are given the chance to see their baby during an ultrasound.  They are treated with dignity and respect, and shown that abortion is NOT their only option.
 
"84% of post-abortive women say they felt that abortion was their only option!"
 
Save the Storks is able to reach the most abortion-vulnerable women who may have never heard of other pro-life pregnancy centers in their area.  Amazingly, 3 out of 5 women who board a Stork Bus decide to keep their baby.  If you would like to partner with them, please visit their website at www.savethestorks.com.



To remain, just complain!

The enemy of our souls has done an amazing job at taking the things that he knows will hurt us the most and disguising them as normal behavior.  My case in point is the act of complaining.  I don't know about you, but for me complaining is one of the easiest things to do.  It is so much easier to find the negative in a situation, the stuff that rubs me the wrong way, than it is to accentuate the positive.  Maybe that is why God spends a lot of time in His Word warning us about the effects of complaining.  If you read the accounts of the Israelites in the wilderness, God makes it pretty clear how He feels about whiners.  I'm thankful that by His grace He hasn't consumed me by fire as He did in Numbers 11:1-3,  but it is also that amazing grace that makes me want to please the heart of God and complaining never will.  It is interesting that the word murmur or complain actually means "to remain."  The word praise means "to raise."  So God has given us a choice, as He so often does.  When we are in the middle of a circumstance that we don't necessarily enjoy, we can complain and therefore "remain" right where we are, or we can praise and "raise" ourselves right out of there-straight to the victory He has for us.  God has called us to be different, to react differently, to rejoice always, to pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  So the next time you are tempted to complain, make the choice to raise yourself out of that circumstance instead with a little PRAISE!


Be YOU!

Be free to be exactly who God made you to be! Regardless of who you are: a teenager surviving high school, a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, an executive, a pastor, a grandparent, there are a million voices trying to tell you how you should act and who you should be. Some of these voices are coming from the world, some from the latest Christian media source, but I have found a much needed freedom in realizing there is only One Voice I need to listen to- the Holy Spirit, My God who loves me! Don't miss out on the unique place God has you right now. He will walk the halls, sweep the floors, type the reports, do whatever you find yourself doing right along side you if you will invite Him. His presence and peace are priceless! So stop and smell the roses (even if they are the plastic ones on your counter, yep that's me)! Enjoy life and the high calling that each of us has in our Lord Jesus! Be Blessed!


Our Source of Strength

 
"But David found strength in the Lord his God." (First Samuel 30:6) If you need strength today know that it can be found in our awesome God! He is more than enough to revive and refresh you mentally, physically, and spiritually and then to lead you on to great victory! So go reclaim all that the enemy has stolen! Be blessed!