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What a Day, Oh Glorious Day!

white church in a fall setting

 

Today is a very happy day for me.  I know there is a difference in joy and happiness, but today I have had the privilege of having both.  I am going into my second week of prayer with the Lord and I am anticipating it being incredible.

Today, I went to Sunday School and church.  Our praise and worship was wonderful and the message was so beautiful and anointed!  I love my church and I LOVE my pastors!! 

After church we went to my friend and fellow parishioner’s restaurant for the “Blue Plate Special” (just like on ‘The Andy Griffith Show‘).  It was yummy…hamburger steak and gravy, homemade mashed potatoes, corn, homemade rolls, fried okra, and banana pudding cake or “Soapapilla” cheesecake…if you got one you could have the other, too for just fifty cents.  It is a place where everyone is your neighbor, they know you by name, and they sit with you and chat while you eat as though you are family.  It is just a small town, warm, homey atmosphere!  

We came home for football, friends stopping in, and another great service followed tonight.  I am so grateful for my pastor, my church family, and the move of the Holy Spirit we have there.  The messages my pastor preached was right on target and I gleaned so much from them.  

I am off to bed soon, and as I go I go with a big smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart!  God is good and I am so grateful for His love for me and my family!  God bless you, sweet reader!

 

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Unrealistic Expectations In Christians and Church Leadership

church leadership2

 

Matthew 18

Amplified Bible (AMP)

21 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and [h]let it go? [As many as] up to seven times?

22 Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!

23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a human king who wished to settle accounts with his attendants.

24 When he began the accounting, one was brought to him who owed him 10,000 talents [probably about $10,000,000],

25 And because he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made.

26 So the attendant fell on his knees, begging him, Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.

27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion, and he released him and forgave him [cancelling] the debt.

28 But that same attendant, as he went out, found one of his fellow attendants who owed him a hundred denarii [about twenty dollars]; and he caught him by the throat and said, Pay what you owe!

29 So his fellow attendant fell down and begged him earnestly, Give me time, and I will pay you all!

30 But he was unwilling, and he went out and had him put in prison till he should pay the debt.

31 When his fellow attendants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and told everything that had taken place to their master.

32 Then his master called him and said to him, You contemptible and wicked attendant! I forgave and cancelled all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me to.

33 And should you not have had pity and mercy on your fellow attendant, as I had pity and mercy on you?

34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (the jailers), till he should pay all that he owed.

35 So also My heavenly Father will deal with every one of you if you do not freely forgive your brother from your heart his offenses.

There are things the Lord has shown during my time of prayer that I, again, am going to use my blog to keep a personal journal to note.  I am learning so much about myself, and that I am not alone in some things I thought.  I have heard others who have had some the same misconceptions I have had.

One of the main things I hear from people who refuse to go to church, much less become part of the body of the church, is there is such hypocrisy in the church they want no part of it. 

I find it funny there are hypocrites and gossips and backstabbing in the workplace, yet these same people never think twice about going to work!  They show up everyday, give their job 110 per cent, and hold their hand out for the paycheck and start over the next week.  Where is the hypocrisy now?   How sad, and what a tremendous misconception.  Just because someone goes to church and/or is in church leadership does not put that person in a glorified body that cannot make a mistake!  People are still people until we die and go to heaven. 

A true Christian and true Christian leaders are still in a natural body, just you and I are, and just as you and I  are capable of messing up,  they can also make mistakes, misjudge situations, and not always walk in full wisdom.  They are going to sometimes say and do things that aren’t the wisest things to say and do, BUT that is the way with ALL people!

I use to be of the attitude, as naïve as it is, that if you were a “leader” you were above mistakes.  I put unrealistic expectations on people and got hurt and disappointed many times because I have yet to find the perfect person, especially in myself!  If I can give grace and mercy to myself for MY shortcomings, failures, and missteps then I must give the same mercy and grace when others aren’t perfect.   Where the hypocrisy comes in is when I don’t give the SAME mercy and grace to others that I heaped richly upon myself.

There are things people have done that could have easily been an offense with me.  I may have been misunderstood, but in their shoes, would I have misunderstood the same matter?  Would I have felt and reacted the way they did?  Nine times out of ten the answer has been yes, I would have.  Should they have chosen that reaction?  Nine out of ten times, no but I was no better!  Things look much different from other perspectives.  Don’t let offense in, not in the least bit!!  It will deplete your prayer life of God‘s power and eventually change you to someone you would never want to be!!  Satan doesn’t come to make you better!  He always comes to destroy you, your future, and all good things in your life and the good things that were to come!  That is why the Bible calls him the thief!

When sin is purposeful, known, and enjoyed  that is one thing, but when someone errs in judgement of what is the best thing to do or not do, say or not say,  that is a very different situation entirely!  Be a person known for great grace and great mercy!  That is what I pray to be, too!

Blessings and grace to you, dear reader!  I will see you next time!

 

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Jesus, Everything We Need!

Jesus smiling

 

 

3 He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.  Isaiah 53:3-4

There is no way in a single post can I do this scripture justice with everything it means and gives us as Christians.  I had, on Tuesday,  an incredible and miraculous experience that is recorded and based on this scripture.

A couple of weeks ago we had an evangelist  hold a revival at our church.  The Monday night of that revival was going to be a healing service.  I literally, with my own eyes, saw the lame walk.  I saw them get out of wheel chairs, throw walkers away, crutches fell to the floor as the people (all elderly) walked back and forth in the front of our large church.  At first, they were assisted as in just having an arm to hold onto, but when they saw Jesus had truly healed them they let go of all who were helping them and walked unassisted and, of course,  with no physical therapy!  It was truly the miraculous!

Last August I developed symptoms of tachycardia and was diagnosed with it.  I began to take medicine for it that gave me unpleasant side effects.  I had prayed and asked the Lord to heal my heart and to allow me to be medicine free.  When I got in the prayer line, the evangelist said God wanted to heal acid reflux and if you had it to come down God was going to heal it.  I stepped forward and I was healed of it that night.  I had been on antacids for more than 20 years and I was up to 2-3 per day and still had no relief!  That night was the end of that!  I WAS healed, praise God!!  At the same time, I was a little disappointed because my heart continued to race and feel like it was beating out of my chest.

This past Tuesday I went to our prayer meeting we have at our church.  We have prayer request and then we find a place to pray until our pastor calls us back together.  When he did he said the Lord spoke to him and told him we were to pray a hedge of protection around our church and our property at the church (we have 5 acres total).  As we did, a message in tongues went out.  I knew the Lord was speaking an interpretation to me but I waited to be absolutely certain.  Another lady, who is a precious woman of God, had an interpretation and gave it.  It bore witness with me in my spirit but I knew I had one, too.

My pastor said, ”There is more.  Someone is getting the interpretation and just go ahead and speak it out”.   I then gave it.  I found out last night at our Ladies Meeting, he told his wife he knew I did have it and was about to call my name to give it.  Praise God for confirmation!  The interpretation is as follows:

Because of you have asked according to My name and all My name represents, angels are posted round about this church and the property of this church.  They stand ready, facing outward for the battle is not in the church but outside of it.  They not only guard the boundaries of the church but the heavenlies above this church.  Because of that protection and because you have used the authority of My name I have given you, this church has an open heaven!  Ask and you WILL receive!  The Lord, thy God has spoken it! 

I could literally see those angels God was speaking of.  They were  wing to wing and massive!  I cannot describe the size to you, it was so incredible.  There was a circle of them on the ground, but God had me look up and I saw them wing to wing just above the property, hovering in the air, facing outward, guarding and ready, and they too were warring, protecting angels.

The next night was Wednesday night.  We went to church and it was a great service as always.  It was during praise and worship I noticed something was happening to me that has never in my life happened before.  I stood praising, just thinking about God and His love and faithfulness.  I wasn’t asking for anything, I was just praising.  Suddenly, a peace I have never experienced came over me.  I felt a literal tranquility that I have NEVER known.  I knew something was happening to me, but I didn’t know what exactly.  God began to speak me.  He told me to look around.  He told me I was loved by every single person that was in my church family from the oldest to the youngest (how many churches can say that?  I hope they all can!).  I then began to feel my body relaxing in a way I had never felt before!  Muscles I had no idea were tense began to relax as this incredible peace was washing over me.  I felt almost weightless!

When the service was over the feeling didn’t leave me.  Peace, such as I cannot describe to you, continued to envelop me, literally!  I got home and it was still there.  I noticed I had not had my medicine for the tachycardia and my heart was beating normally!  In fact, the medicine was 2 hours overdue!

I told my husband I believed God had healed my heart and I didn’t need the medicine any longer.  I told him if I did need it I could always take it later, but I was going to hold off for a bit.  I have not had the beta-blocker since Tuesday and I have had no episodes of ANYTHING with my heart!!  Glory to God, I AM healed!!!!

My pastor’s wife asked me to give that testimony last night and as I did the Holy Spirit brought forth another message in tongues and interpretation just for me!  He confirmed I was healed and many other things!  God is so good!  He literally completes us and never leaves us a “partial work, partially healed, or partially delivered”!  He completes ALL He begins!

I am not telling you, precious reader to come from your medicine!  I don’t know your story or where your faith is.  I am simply telling you what God did for me and He is willing to do it for all who ask and believe but He does it in His timing!!

Had not my pastor heard from God and had us take our authority over all the power of the enemy and prayed for our property to be protected would this have happened to me?  I have to say, I do not think it would have.  I praise God for my church, my church family that loves me, and my shepherds who lead lives holy and consecrated to God.  I am a living example of what God can and will do when someone takes the time to pray, listen and obey!

Blessings, precious reader!  I will see you soon!

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Marriage and Family-Focus on the Positive

focus on the positive

 

 

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].  1 Corinthians 13:7

 

There is a reason you were attracted to your mate.  There was a reason you were so crazy about them you made a lifelong committment to be with them, before God no less!!  When life happens, we tend to lose sight of those reasons.  I am thoroughly convinced if Christians did what 1 Corinthians 13 said, and actually just focused on one specific area, our churches would not be floundering, but bulging at the seams of the rafters and walls! 

Depending on the version of the Bible you are reading, it basically is worded like this, “Love believes the best of every person…”  In other words, God’s love in us focuses on the best in people.  It doesn’t mean we are walking in a La La Land, where we are totally unaware that evil exist, but when it comes to the “small” things, love focuses on the best in others.

Many years ago, I had begun to notice certain things about some people my husband and I knew (yes, I finally get to tell off on myself!  :/).  It started really small, but these certain, small things were negatives.   They were true, but instead of taking them to prayer, I took them to my husband.  My intentions were good in my mind.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t imagining something or perceiving something incorrectly.  As I told him the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Stop talking about that.”  I continued and asked my husband if he had seen what I did.  He had seen the same thing, but told me he felt it was something we didn’t need to discuss, even though it was true.  When he said that the Holy Spirit spoke again, “When you talked to your husband about that, did it change anything in that person?  Or, did it change something in you?”  BAM!  Oh, yes!!  We cannot ignore this one, precious reader!

When we see something that isn’t conducive to someone’s spiritual growth, something that needs to be changed for them to move forward, something that is a hindrance to themselves (I am talking about detriments to that person, not to the entire church.  When it involves hurting others in the church and elsewhere it MUST be dealt with.) it is God calling us to prayer. 

When you talk about something, it is like fanning flames.  The Bible tells us how powerful spoken words really are!  The thing you talk about the most will eventually rule you because you can’t talk about something you aren’t thinking about.  As a man thinks in his heart so is he, the Bible says.  What you think about, you talk about!  Once you begin to think and vent negativity, you become a pessimist who stresses over every little negative thing and then you have to “vent” it.  What comes out of a vent?  Air.  What happens when air is blown on a flame?  IT ROARS!!!  I think you see where we are going with this thing.  :)

Now, we all know if you do the opposite of something, you are going to get the opposite result.  With a  small tweak in your car you can throw the car from reverse into drive.  Reverse, we know is going backwards, and drive is going forward and getting where you want to be!  Ahhh…you are so smart!!  You know what I am up to again, don’t you??  :)

If you are looking at every negative, not so fun, flat out drives you up the wall thing your mate does, it isn’t going to deepen your love!  Make a list of everything that attracted you to your mate, and the things that endeared them to you!  They are still there.  Begin to focus on the positive(s).  Tell your mate you appreciate that positive!   Tell others what makes you proud of your mate.  “Vent” the positive and not the negative.  Give the flames of romance a chance to smoulder again!  Let peace permeate your home and mind. 

We never think anything of “tweaking” anything else in our lives!  We tweak our diets and feel empowered, we tweak our schedules and feel empowered, we tweak our exercise program, and feel empowered!  Why is it we never think of tweaking our actions, reactions, and thoughts toward those we should cherish and love most and empower our marriages and families?  Something to think about!

Blessings, precious reader!  Make your focus positive and empower your life!  See you soon!!  Simply,  Juliana

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Daily Bible Devotion-Building Each Other Up!

building each other up

Daily Bible Devotion 

1 Corinthians 13:7

The Message (MSG)

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE BEST,  Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuildingRomans 14:19 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

 

Tomorrow is church and I am very excited about that fact.  We have gone to this church for almost two years and I love my new friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord.  We have many exhorters in our church.  Our church is a very loving place.  People appreciate one another and they are not shy about letting others know it.  Everyone is treated equally, and without favoritism.  I know our worth does not come from others, but at the same time God does command  the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in the Lord!

Why does it seem so easy to focus on the negative instead of the positive, to NOT believe instead of believing, to NOT expect the unexpected?  Why do we allow the minute things to overtake the greater, more worthy of our attention things?  What we focus on is what we become.  The Bible says what we think about the most is what will master us.   What a great promise!  We just need to take our attention to the more positive things in life!

I had a friend that remodeled part of her home.  Everything was beautiful.  Every room was absolute perfection except for one bathroom.  In that bathroom, the contractor had called in another person to design a border around the bathtub and to paint the room.  The worker did not sand off the glue from where old wallpaper had hung in a small space of the room.  The paint had begun to chip and crack in just a small area of the bathroom behind the shower curtain.  The more my friend thought about it the more upset she became.   Soon it began to drive her crazy!  She could not appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the majority of the home, due to the small flaw that was going to be easily fixed in the near future.   She would not even allow people, other than close family, to come see it because it had become so large and conspicuous to her.

We do the same thing with people.  The smallest of flaws with our friends, family, church, workplace can become so magnificent in size because we have focused our attention on the flaw or flaws instead of focusing on what is good and positive.  What if we saw just one redemptive thing and focused on it?  What if we told that person(s) we appreciated that one thing?  What if we went home and, instead of telling our family about all the negative things about our boss, coworkers, etc.  we told the good and positive things they  did.  What you talk about the most is what will grow in your life!  Life and death are in the power of the tongue!  We can either vent or we can pray and let God change them, or MAYBE God will change us and what we focus on! 

When we put the shoe on the other foot, we can give much grace and mercy.  We don’t want people to pick us to pieces, so therefore we should not pick others to pieces.  We should look for every opportunity to do what our scripture says…believe the best of others until we are shown otherwise!  Remember what we give is always what we receive!

Blessings in abundance to you, precious reader!  I will see you soon!!   Juliana

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