An Overwhelming Privilege 

What is it going to take for us to be able to take a group of men and mold them into a team, a cooperating body that builds itself up and works together to bring young believers to maturity, reaching out to the poor and disenfranchised, the neglected, and the despised, bringing the good news to those that need it the most? 

 To start a church founded on sharing and caring, teaching about what grace means, teaching the truth that leads to godliness, teaching and practicing proverbial wisdom and psalmic prayer. To communicate devotion to Christ, self denial, devotion to the church, to ministry and to evangelism.

How do you take a young believer and guide him to maturity? Daily contact and discussions about the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit and what it means to love, what it means to live. Showing him how to please the Father, how to yield to the Son, and how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Guidance in Bible study, prayer, faithfulness to the church gathering, and meditation on the commands of Christ.

To share the whole counsel of God: faith, hope, and love, wisdom, knowledge and understanding, love, joy, and peace, mercy, grace, and power. To demonstrate what it means to commune with God and with one another. To explain what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. To encourage one another daily to be Christ minded, Spirit filled, and devoted to pleasing the Father.  

What an awesome task! What an overwhelming privilege! To partner with Christ in building his body! 

We are standing on holy ground; we are inhabiting the heights; we are exploring the final frontier; we are traveling in heavenly realms! All praise and glory to Our Father and Our Savior who gives the Holy Spirit generously to empower us to tread the heights of God!

     ~Brad Heilhecker 

The Good News For America 

The media today will be centered around the 58th Presidential Inauguration. All day long you will catch the coverage of the events. People are waiting to see if there will be protests and disruptions.  

Christianity Today has reported “hundreds of prayer warriors” are traveling to Washington, D.C. this week to form a “prayer shield” around the Republican president-elect and keep him from harm.  

This has been one of the most controversial and highly charged elections in most recent U.S. history. No matter who you voted for to be the next president, we can all agree that we will have one new president today. Donald J Trump will be our 45th president.  

This is not good news for some people. Those of us who carry the Good News, let’s help demonstrate this message of the Gospel to all. 

It is in bold big letters below to remind us. I CAN’T be this on my own. I have to get lots of help from God. 

Mark 12:30-31 NIV

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no commandment greater than these.”

If we choose to be the Good News, we give hope to others and it leads to action bringing us all together to help make America UNITED again. 

Choose to pray for our new president, just like you prayed for our past presidents. I am choosing to pray for Americans to unite and for each person to discover the amazing love ❤️ that our Creator has for them. 

God loves America 

Donald Trump 

Hillary Clinton

Barak Obama 

You and 

Me 

Let’s remind each other that we are all loved and He desires to know us. 

Be the Good News that people need for hope and freedom. 

Protection and Peace Today For All,

Kelley Allison 

http://www.bowlofsplendor.com

I Timothy 2:1-3 MSG

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to be. 

The Canvas Of My Life 

Despite my unstable childhood, like most little girls I remember the early arousal of maternal instincts kicking in. I wanted to be a mommy. I wanted to cook, clean, and care for my family. Many summer days I remember setting up house in the front yard, caring for my doll, who was of course a girl! I hand washed her clothes, hung them on the clothes line, and prepared pretend bottles. What bliss! What a joyous time of innocence and pretend!

As life unfolded before me, I never lost that feeling. Although I was no Einstein, I knew I was relatively smart and could do just about anything I wanted to do; but being a wife and mom was my first goal and eventually turned into my first ministry.

I write to you today, not as a young mother with little babies, blissfully happy in my career choice. I humbly come to you as a veteran. I’m closing in on half a century in age and 30 years and counting on mom duty. This journey has taken me to the heights and depths of my greatest accomplishments and worst fears. You would think by now I’d have all this figured out. Well, on the raising, I’m still getting there. On the growing, I’ve got a long way to go.

As I was praying while I lay in bed tonight, I talked to God about my fears and short comings. I wondered, after being in the work force again, if I was supposed to be at home, solely a wife and mom. How could I feel this way after all the growth and many, many miles He had brought me through?  

I saw before me a bright white painting canvas. I saw the vibrant and beautiful colors my first 3 boys stroked across the center of the surface; the bright yellows, orange, red and blue! A new beginning, a new generation of upbringing, traditions, and way of raising. Oh yes! This was my goal. To break the curse and raise strong, God fearing, happy children!  

Suddenly the palm of divorce smeared across my beautiful canvas. No! No! My vibrant yellow was rudely mixed with my brilliant orange, and the red and blue bled into all the colors, leaving, mixing, swirling, the beauty together until they left an ugly brownish, black stain across the center of my canvas. 

My painting is ruined. It will never be beautiful again. 

I worked, I provided. I attempted to add color by keeping those glorious traditions and ways of raising. But atop the brownish, black smear, the colors lacked brilliance. Little by little a few bright spots were added. Watching my first-born dive into the Word, mature and become a man, produced some yellow. A splash of blue, a spot of red, a hint of orange as I’ve seen my second son grow with his joyous heart and many talents. A hint of purple and yellow to see my third boy love life and perservere. Still on the outer surface, just at the edges, were the reminders of brownish, black.

Then I had my baby boy, Sam. Brilliant white were those outer edges! Stevie’s yellow shined beautifully! Nathan’s array of colors, so vivid! My Jonathon’s starbursts of purple and yellow shined like the sun! With all the experience, growth, and maturity, I just knew my painting was going to come out absolutely perfect, as the Master had planned it!

I diligently prayed and worked day and night to avoid any miss-strokes. If I made a mistake, meticulously I corrected, being sure to do it just as the Master instructed. This time, THIS time, my canvas would be to His liking. I just knew it would come out beautiful and pleasing to Him! 

Another 12 years, another divorce. I prayed, I worked, I provided, but I dared not to look at my canvas. I dared not. No. I cannot bear to see another black smear. To start all over, to recreate. All those years. My heart and courage could not bare it. 

 
That is where I have been for months. I refused to look. Tonight, in my doubt and fear, God raised the veil. He made me look. He forced me to see. I argued. I didn’t want to see. In submission and obedience, I sat, as He held His hand on the tarp, ready for the unveiling. My heart raced, and sank, and raced some more as He slowly lifted. 

I closed my eyes.

“Open, look what you’ve created,” He said.

Tears filled my eyes as I gazed upon my canvas. No brownish, black. “Where is it?’ I wondered. This is not my canvas. All I saw was beauty. But divorce, hardship! Where are they? This can’t be! Surely, I’ve left a mark, a blemish, a smudge, somewhere!

I asked the Master, “Why is there no blemish?”

He replied, “Because you allowed Me to make the strokes.”

Perhaps it’s best to do as the Master instructs. I will remain at home, doing what I’m doing. I did notice there was still a lot of white space on that canvas.

~ Sandra K. Andrews 

Reverence 

WORTHY THOUGHT: In the end all people will stand silent in reverence before the Almighty God.

Reverence – profound adoring awed respect.

Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations I will be exalted in the earth!  Psalm 46:10

How proper, then, for us to take time each day starting today to stand quietly in reverence to honor Him with praise and thanksgiving, and exalt His powerful Majesty.

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill 

His Word Never Fails 

Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter.~ Ecclesiastes 4:1 NIV

For we all struggle. We all venture the hills and valleys, the periods of dark places, the unforseen places, ones that draw up every emotion – good and bad.

Don’t we all understand those places? Many are experiencing those today. 

If you find yourself dealing with difficult circumstances, unanswered prayers, death, sickness, or brokenness, my heart just goes out to you. 

More so, God’s heart goes out to you. He knows and understands and he wants you to know….. HE IS HERE. 

He is in this difficult time, he understands the areas that you find hard to face because they are unknown. And he is working all things out for his good, his word never fails.

For no word from God will ever fail.~Luke 1:37 NIV

May the Lord instill his peace and comfort into your heart, mind and soul. May he bestow the very blessing of his word onto and into your circumstances. God’s will has always been to accomplish the intended plan for your life. So grasp onto his hand. Walk and talk with him, during this season.

~ Baring His Beauty,

    Tiffany Thomas 

My Laid Down Life 

Alone and abandoned

I ran into You

My nakedness uncovered

for all to see

I am the clown, my life a live show

I couldn’t escape there was no where to go

My spirit was crushed

My emotions ran wild

My heart torn to pieces

The pain so surreal

Did it happen again? 

Or was it just a nightmare?

Was I revisiting the tombs of my greatest distress?

Felt the pain I have forgotten, 

all over again?

What kind of God would bring me 

to this path again?

Why do I have to rewrite this test again?

“I no longer live here God”, 

I cry through my tears

My only escape, is to surrender to 

His will

Though my flesh shouts “No!!!”

I will heed to His call

For He knows best

He sees further than me

As He put me in the fiery furnace again

I release my will and I just let go

While I softly whisper “break me and mold me, and have Your way”

I am Your servant daughter

Have Your way in and through me

Till I am totally dead, but alive in You

Invade my life with Your Spirit Lord

Till I am no more, but its all about You

And all you want to accomplish through a broken vessel, 

That has been put back together by Your Spirit alone

One day I will look back and 

see your plan along

I will shine with Your brilliance

Totally dead to self

I will know that it was never about my pain and my fear’s

It was what You wanted to accomplish 

Through my laid down life

As I move from darkness into Your light

May I resemble Your heart to 

a dying world

~ Ebigale Wilson 

Photo- Pinterest 

Love Period

Hard, easy, true, real, it’s all Love….. Period! 

Enjoy this weeks #SongSunday! 

“HARD LOVE” by Need To Breathe 
Trading punches with the heart of darkness

Going to blows with your fear incarnate

Never gone until it’s stripped away

A part of you has gotta die to change
In the morning you gon’ need an answer

Ain’t nobody gonna change the standard

It’s not enough to just feel the flame

You’ve gotta burn your old self away
Hold on tight a little longer

What don’t kill ya, makes ya stronger

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love

You can’t change without a fallout

It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love
You know the situation can’t be right

And all you ever do is fight

But there’s a reason that the road is long

It take some time to make your courage strong
Hold on tight a little longer

What don’t kill ya, makes ya stronger

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love

You can’t change without a fallout

It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love
When the wolves come and hunt me down

I will face them all and stand my ground

‘Cause there’s a fire burnin’ in me

They will see my strength in this love I found

Oh
Hold on tight a little longer

What don’t kill ya, makes ya stronger

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love

You can’t change without a fallout

It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love
It’s a hard love…
Hold on tight a little longer

What don’t kill ya, makes ya stronger

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love

You can’t change without a fallout

It’s gon’ hurt, but don’t you slow down

Get back up, ’cause it’s a hard love

‘Cause it’s a hard love

Restoration Stories – Dawn Larrabee 

December 28 marked the 4 year anniversary of my divorce. I celebrated this day. 

Why? Because this was a new beginning. 

Even though it was another two years before I went through deliverance with my Pastor, this was a day to celebrate. One of the very first sermons I remember my pastor preaching was on the Real “F” word (I’ll never forget it). 

Forgiveness 
I thought to myself, no way, no how, was this happening.

I could NEVER forgive what had been done to me!!! 

The staff gave the congregation sticky notes as we entered the church. As he went through his sermon, he was saying, I know you’ve been hurt, I know you’ve been treated badly, but you have to forgive the person/persons that have done this to you. I was literally bawling my eyes out thinking ‘how does he know all this about me’.  

He said, you were given a sticky note when you came in today, I want you to write down the one person that has hurt you the most, the one thing that is tearing you up inside and I want you to bring it up here and put it on the stage, and then we are going to pray forgiveness and we are going to break those chains and we are going to move on.  

He continued, I know you’re thinking why should I forgive this person, they are the one that hurt me, they should apologize, not me, but you have to get past this and the only way to do so is to FORGIVE.  

As I continued crying my eyes out, I just could not bring myself to write my husband’s name on this sticky note, so I thought of someone else, something else, that was very low on the pain scale, but still held an anchor on me of anger and hatred.  

I walked up to the stage, I placed my sticky note, and we prayed, and I continued crying thinking deep down, that what I really felt most hurt by was my husband. (we were not divorced yet, but he was gone overseas already at this point) 

I went back to the church a few more times, but each time, the sermons were speaking to me and had me crying and I kept thinking, how does this guy up here (the Pastor) know EVERYTHING about me.  

So I quit going, because the pain of his sermons reaching me deep down, was just too much to bear. 

Over the course of the next 2 years, my life was a roller coaster of deep valleys and small mountains.  

More valleys than mountains as I struggled as a single mom with a behaviorally, head strong child, working, mortgage, financial worries, and going through a divorce. I began to drink a lot more alcohol to drown out the pain, to the point of passing out most nights.  

Then one night in November 2013, feeling like a failure because I was divorced and still single, I had gone to a sports bar with some friends and had a few too many, like most other nights.

I was in a very low valley at that point, and as I drove myself a mile and half down the road to get home, drunk, and crying my eyes out and screaming at God ‘why? Why are you doing this to me? Why are you making my life so miserable? Why do I deserve this? I am a good person, I work hard, I’m a good mom, why God why? I just want to be happy, is that too much to ask?’ I was beating my steering wheel to death as I was driving and yelling at God. I pulled in my garage, and I said to God, ‘I’m done!! I can’t take this pain anymore!! I just want to die!’ I left my car running, I closed the garage and I placed my head on the steering wheel, still crying a river.  

About 30 seconds later, I heard a voice, it said, ‘Dawn, turn the car off, and go inside and go to bed.’ I lifted my head, looked around, and said, ‘ok.’ And I did just that. I went inside, and went to bed. 

Over the course of the next few months I kept telling myself over and over, ‘I need to start going to church, I need to get right with God’, but I just could not bring myself to get there.  

Finally I gave myself enough lead way and said, ok, I’m going to start going to church in the New Year, and I worked myself up to it for weeks, and then come January 2014, I made my commitment to go to church every weekend, and I quit making excuses and I reluctantly went every Sunday.  

The struggle was real, my daughter was not having it, she kicked and screamed EVERY Sunday. I would show up at church in tears many Sundays because the struggle was soooo real. And the volunteers at the church would recognize my struggles, and they would pray over us. As the next few months went by it got easier. Someone approached me one day and said you should meet with the Pastor, she can help you with some of your challenges. Not really knowing what they meant, I agreed to set up a time to meet because I needed help and I knew it. 
The first meeting she told me that I needed to make a list of every person I could think of that had hurt me, that I was angry with, that I had grudges against and we were going to pray over each situation to forgive them….. 

Here we go again with ME forgiving THEM. Reluctantly, I agreed.  
Through many tears, much stress and heartache, and near death, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. 
To forgive the person/persons who treated me so badly, who cheated on me, who lied to me over and over again, who left me abandoned with a child that I loved yet resented so badly, I had so much anger, so much hatred and so much resentment! 

I hated myself, I hated every aspect of my life. 

My pastors taught me that my daughter is a child of God (no matter who she was biologically) and HE would ALWAYS provide for her and they taught me that I must first forgive, even though I wasn’t at fault. 

This was difficult. I struggled for years. 

How could I forgive when I did nothing wrong, they needed to apologize…. NOT ME! 
Finally I listened to them, finally I forgave, and FINALLY I felt the chains that bonded me to sorrow, self-pity, anger, resentment, and hurt, be broken. 

Finally I felt free, happy, and loved. 

I felt a stronger connection with my daughter, and we have worked so hard together to build a strong relationship/friendship that is nowhere near perfect, but 100 x better than what it was.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God, my church and pastors for all the blessings in my life. 
There also isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pray that simple prayer that my pastors taught me for forgiveness.
You can do it too. 
“Dear Heavenly Father, I CHOOSE to forgive ______, and I release them from all judgement. In Jesus name, amen.”

Until you do this, to whomever you feel hurt, angry or have a grudge against, you may never know the TRUE feeling of freedom.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33

 ~Dawn Larrabee 

Praying Scriptures 101

Those of you who are older like me…..born back in the summer of 69. Or as in my case, spring of 69. You might remember learning this song in Sunday School. 

Check out these cuties fireplace performance of the age old song….

The B•I•B•L•E

I didn’t know there were other verses. We just stuck to the first one and repeated it over and over. 
The B-I-B-L-E

Yes, that’s the book for me

I stand alone on the Word of God

The B-I-B-L-E
The B-L-O-O-D

That Jesus shed for me;

Christ paid the price, our sacrifice

The B-L-O-O-D!
I’m S-A-V-E-D,

By G-R-A-C-E;

I’m saved by grace, the Scripture says

The B-I-B-L-E!
Well, I am learning that the Bible is our foundation for everything. Dahhh!

 You think a Christian would know that and understand it. But we all need reminders at times, myself included. 
I sometimes find in my own walk with God I forget to daily incorporate the Word. Even if it is just a sneak peek. 
I found a great way to remind myself to add Scriptures each day to my morning. 
http://prayscripture.org/
You can go to the above website and sign up by email for a daily reminder. You are sent scripture passages that you can add your name, a friend or family member into the blanks. It’s a great chance to literally jump into the BIBLE and take some friends or family with you!!

Each morning I am reminded me to say the scriptures out loud. I add names where the blanks are to personalize it. 

There is an extra power punch in the SPOKEN Word. 



This is just one way to insure you get into the Word. Plus, you are doing the most amazing thing by praying scriptures back to God. He loves to hear His Words spoken out loud and interceding for others. 
It’s a win win situation. 
The BIBLE 

Yes, that’s the book for me!


Stand alone on the Word of God and watch what happens to your walk and your world around you. 

An example of today’s email – below image  

http://prayscripture.org/
Extra Extra Read All About It!!

Philip Hand added this handy dandy tool to his ministry website

This link allows you to type in someone’s name with the ability to print out scriptures with that name inserted in the scripture. 
Pretty personal and cool!!!
http://www.vhm.org.uk/healing_scriptures.html

Scripture On,

Kelley Allison

http://www.bowlofspendor.com

Be Fearless 

Diving deep into an ocean,

Masked in strength and endurance,

This remedy can cure the disease

We all know to be evident within;

Seeing ourselves on the edge 

About to leap with faith,

Into the vast and deep ocean

Below can be mind-blowing,

But only if we actually do it;

Our minds are the battlefield 

Where we choose our gear,

Unpredictable is the choice 

That will launch us in a direction

Where our lives will begin

To bleed our wounds healed

In the name of Jesus;

Our inner selves want to be known,

To be seen and heard,

So why do we choose to live 

In the shadows;

Thinking when will be the time

To bloom, when really,

We believe we’ll never be ready;

So choose a cause

Wear a face of war,

Don’t back down, ever;

Loosen the grip on yesterday

Seek to devour the fear within

Lead by example

Push the darkness

To see the light all around

Don’t lose hope

Forgive yourself and others

Love fiercely

Rid yourself from sin

Give life a BIG chance

Don’t believe the lies

Embrace truth as it comes

BE FEARLESS

~Bethany Anne