Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Standing for the Truth

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16  (NIV) 

I am about to say something that is becoming more and more unpopular.  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the one and only God, that He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on a cruel cross for the atonement of our sins and was resurrected on the third day.  He is alive and interceding for us before the Father in Heaven and one day, hopefully not too far in the future, He will return again and take those who belong to Him back with Him and they will have eternal life.  

I also believe that the Christian Bible is God's Word, His love letter to us.  Because it is His Word, I believe it is true and that He is incapable of lying.  I don't question things like how much time it actually took to create the earth because whether it took six days or six million years, He still created it.  It is enough for me to know that He could have created it in six actual days because He certainly has the power to do so.  

I am alarmed by what I am hearing from many of those in leadership in this nation and the world.  Christians in the United States are beginning to see that persecution is coming.  Already we are belittled by those who claim that we are believing in a fairy tale.  When the COVID crisis came, one of the first things that were shut down were the churches, while liquor stores, tattoo parlors and marijuana stores were allowed to remain open.  Although it improved after awhile in some areas, in many states churches that tried to reopen faced reprisals from their city governments.  The claim was that churches were not "essential businesses."  

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is time for us to boldly proclaim the Truth.  Sooner or later, whether it be next week or the next decade, our freedom of speech will be taken from us.  While we are still able to openly preach the Gospel, we must do so.  All of us must do so.  We can no longer sit back and yield the responsibility to our preachers and teachers only.  Each of us has been called to carry God's Word to others.  

I know it isn't easy.  We will face rejection.  There may be those who get in our faces and ridicule or yell at us.  That's okay.  They did the same to the Savior.  Find an avenue for sharing that works for you.  Utilize social media as long as you are allowed to.  Hand out Bible tracts.  Strike up conversations in the line in the grocery store.  Write a blog, make videos.  Any way that you can share with others is good.  Jesus loved us so much that He allowed Himself to be crucified.  How important is He to us?  

May I also suggest one more thing?  Christian owned businesses are already facing persecution.  We need to support them with our business when we can and encourage them.  Even writing letters to thank them for adhering to their beliefs would be appreciated.  Also, we need to contact those who profess to be Christians who are serving in any leadership capacity and encourage them to stand up for their beliefs and what they know is right even if they are the only ones who do.  

I am so grateful that we do not have to fear the future because we know that the Lord remains in control.  He will guide us as we begin to share His love with those we encounter.  We just need to trust Him and to love Him enough to take the first steps.  God bless.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Trusting Beyond Turmoil: A Midweek Call to Surrender

Dear members of our cherished community,

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the week, let today's reflection be a guiding light. We navigate the challenges of life by casting our cares upon the Lord, trusting in His sustaining grace. Tuesday calls us to surrender our anxieties and fears, finding peace in the divine promise that we will not be shaken.

Take a moment to reflect on the message, and consider sharing it with those who may find solace in its words. In addition, your financial support is instrumental in ensuring the continuity of our ministry. Kindly use the "Buy me a cup" button on our website to contribute. 

Together, we strengthen our community and extend the reach of this transformative message.

May Tuesday's message inspire you to navigate the week with a heart grounded in trust and surrender.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Launching the Week in Faith: Embracing the Challenge

Greetings, beloved members of our faith community,

As we embark on a new week, let us anchor our journey in the transformative power of casting our cares upon the Lord. Today's reflection urges us to embrace the challenge of surrender, finding solace in divine assurance. In the quiet moments of trust, we discover a strength that surpasses our understanding.

As we delve into this week's theme, let us not forget the power of unity in our spiritual endeavors. Share this message with your friends and family, inviting them to join us on this collective journey of faith. 

Additionally, consider supporting our ministry by contributing through the "Buy me a cup" button on our website. Your generosity enables us to continue spreading the message of hope and resilience.

May this Monday message resonate in your hearts, preparing you for a week of unwavering faith.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

From Burdens to Blessings

In the sacred verses of Psalm 55:22 from the New Living Translation, I find solace and guidance: "Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall." These words, laden with divine assurance, resonate as a balm for my weary soul, offering a profound promise of divine sustenance and unwavering support.

This morning, amidst the juxtaposition of climatic elements, I found myself at my preferred fast-food establishment, an ordinary setting transformed by an extraordinary encounter. Recalling the frigid winds of a week ago, the numbing cold and the single-digit wind chill, the ambiance today stood in stark contrast – warm and rainy, a manifestation of the capricious nature of life.

As I approached the eatery, my perceptive gaze fell upon a weathered car, its backseat laden with a makeshift assemblage of belongings – a poignant tableau of someone's humble abode on four wheels. Blankets, clothing, and various items spoke silently of a life lived on the margins. The passenger seat held remnants of moments past, a pillow, and a few drink cups, attesting to a transient existence.

The protagonist of this moving narrative emerged as the owner of this humble vehicle, an elderly figure weathered by time and life's hardships. Her hands, bearing the visible marks of struggles, fumbled with the act of payment, yet her countenance radiated gratitude. Her request for an extra cup, a humble vessel, bespoke a desire to savor the warmth of a meager coffee ration, a testament to the simplicity of joys cherished in the face of adversity.

Clothed in garments that bore the testimony of time's passage and experiences etched on her face like a sacred script, she embodied resilience. Every wrinkle, a testament to a life lived against the odds, narrated a story of endurance. The unforeseen journey into homelessness, a reality no one envisions in their formative years, was now an indelible chapter in her life.

Yet, within the contours of her existence, one unwavering quality prevailed – determination. In the face of life's tempests, she embraced the ethos of making the best out of circumstances beyond her control. Her demeanor, though weathered, exuded a quiet strength forged in the crucible of adversity.

In contemplating the profound resonance of Psalm 55:22 and the humbling encounter with the elderly soul at the fast-food counter, I am stirred to issue a challenge – a call to embrace the transformative power of casting our cares upon the Lord. In doing so, we unlock a sacred promise: He will be there, unwavering and steadfast, in the face of life's uncertainties. The call to cast our burdens becomes not merely a suggestion but a resounding invitation to a life anchored in divine assurance.

As fellow travelers on this journey of faith, let us collectively take up the challenge to entrust our worries, anxieties, and burdens to the Almighty. Let the act of casting our cares upon the Lord be a deliberate and conscious choice, a spiritual discipline that transcends the tumult of our daily lives. In the simplicity of this surrender, we find the assurance that God, in His boundless grace, is ever-present, ready to bear the weight of our concerns.

It is an acknowledgment that, no matter the tempests that may assail us, we stand on the bedrock of an unshakable promise – that God will always sustain us. This sustenance is not merely physical or temporal; it extends to the depths of our souls, providing strength, solace, and unwavering support. In times of hardship, uncertainty, or despair, the challenge is to stand firm in the knowledge that, as we cast our cares upon the Lord, He extends His grace to us.

Standing firm in His grace is an affirmation of our unwavering trust in God's love and provision. It is an acknowledgment that, even in the face of life's storms, we are enveloped by a grace that surpasses understanding. This challenge beckons us to be pillars of faith, exemplifying the transformative power of casting our cares upon the Lord and standing firm in His grace.

Let this challenge echo through the corridors of our communities, inspiring others to join in this sacred discipline. As we navigate the intricate tapestry of life, may the collective act of casting our cares upon the Lord become a beacon of hope and resilience. In the face of challenges, uncertainties, and adversities, let our response be a resounding affirmation that, through faith, we find strength; through surrender, we discover peace; and through standing firm in His grace, we become living testimonies to the enduring promises of a benevolent God.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Cultivating Grace Daily

On this Saturday, the canvas of your week is filled with the brushstrokes of experiences. Reflect on the art of cultivating grace daily. Much like a dedicated gardener tends to the garden regularly, tend to your spirit with intentionality.

Stand firm in His grace, flourishing not just on Sundays but in the everyday moments. As you embrace the challenges with joy, remember that each trial refines your endurance, shaping you into a vessel of divine perfection.

Saturday becomes a sacred space to cultivate grace in the small moments—the conversations, decisions, and reflections that shape your character. Carry the wisdom of James 1:2-4 with you, and let it guide your actions.

In addition to these reflections, we extend an invitation to support our ministry. Your contributions are the water that nourishes the spiritual garden we collectively tend. If you find resonance with our messages, consider using the "Buy Me a Cup" link on our website to contribute.

May this Saturday be a day of intentional cultivation, where the seeds of grace you plant today bloom into a garden of spiritual abundance.

Friday, January 26, 2024

From Tempest to Triumph

Friday arrives, and it is a day to reflect on the profound journey from tempest to triumph. Consider the storms you've faced—the trials that seemed insurmountable. Reflect on how each challenge refined your character, transforming you into a resilient soul.

The lessons from James 1:2-4 resound—trials are not obstacles but opportunities for growth. As you stand firm in His grace, resilient in the face of adversity, remember that every tempest eventually leads to triumph. Your endurance, like a steadfast oak, becomes a testament to the transformative power of faith.

Navigate today with the knowledge that challenges, when faced with grace, become stepping stones toward spiritual maturity. Let the journey from tempest to triumph inspire your actions and decisions.

As we ponder these reflections, we invite you to support our ministry. Your contributions are the seeds that enable us to continue sowing wisdom and fostering spiritual growth in our community. If you resonate with our mission, please consider using the "Buy Me a Cup" link on our website.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Flourishing Amid Trials

Thursday dawns, and the garden of your life continues to flourish. Reflect on the wisdom imparted by James 1:2-4. Your endurance, like a delicate flower, is developing, making you perfect and complete. Stand firm in His grace, finding strength in every challenge.

The journey from trial to triumph is a recurring theme in our lives. Consider the storms you've weathered and the triumphs that followed. Each tempest, when faced with resilience, becomes a catalyst for growth. As you navigate challenges today, let the lessons of endurance guide you, and stand firm in His grace.

In addition to these reflections, we extend an invitation to support our ministry. Your generosity serves as the fertilizer that nourishes the spiritual growth of our community. If you feel inclined to contribute, you can use the "Buy Me a Cup" link on our website.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Truth

 "Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."   Psalm 25:4-5  (NIV) 

We are living in a time when men are defining truth by their own standards or agendas.  They are attempting to rewrite history to force it to align with what they have decided the truth needs to be.  Gone are the agreed upon happenings that have shaped lives and nations for centuries.  The elite have their own ideas about what the past should be, so they are creating narratives and repeating them over and over until they become ingrained in the minds of others, particularly the young.  By changing what is taught about what was they are attempting to create the future that best suits their own ideas.  

Ugly words are being bandied about to shame people into giving up their own individual beliefs and accepting what they are told.  "The truth," they say, "is what we tell you it is."  It seems that the only acceptable viewpoint is the one of those in charge.  It is incredibly sad that some are accepting this strategy and adopting these falsehoods into their own lives.  

When my daughter was little she rarely received correction that was more than being talked to, or maybe spending some time in her room.  There was one thing that she would receive harsher discipline for though, and that was lying.  We wanted to teach her how important it was to tell the truth, even if she was afraid or thought she would get in trouble for doing so.  We were teaching her about Jesus and that by being truthful He was honored because it was the right thing to do.  

As I witness all that is taking place today, I see our enemy having a huge laugh at how gullible and easy to fool humans are.  His one agenda is to rob Heaven of as many souls as he can.  He loves it when we are deceived and especially when we know God's truth yet still choose to follow earthly ways.  

My friends, as Christians we are to have discernment.  We need to turn to our Father, tell Him what we are seeing and hearing and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us.  It is vital that we be studying our Bibles so that the Truth is fresh in our hearts which will allow us to weigh what we are encountering against what God says.  If it does not agree with His Word, then we are to reject it.  

I will tell you that I am an "If God said it, I believe it and that settles it" kind of girl.  There is no greater authority than the Almighty.  My prayer of late is that He will reveal the evil, the deception and the lies in America and throughout the world so that everyone will know what the real truth is.  As He does that, I pray that all who claim to be followers of Christ will stand up, speak up and declare Jesus to a world that has lost its way.  God bless.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Joyful Art of Endurance

Tuesday unfolds, a blank canvas awaiting the brushstrokes of your journey. It is an invitation to engage in the joyful art of endurance—a masterpiece in progress, painted by the moments of your life.

Recall the wisdom from James 1:2-4, echoing in the chambers of your spirit. Trials are not stumbling blocks but opportunities for the blossoming of your faith. As you face challenges today, remember to stand firm in His grace, drawing strength from the divine well within.

Consider the day as an opportunity to create a beautiful stroke on the canvas of your faith. The art of endurance is not merely a passive stance; it is an active, intentional embrace of life's trials with resilience and joy. Just as a gardener finds delight in the growth of every bloom, find joy in the challenges that shape your character.

In the midst of your endeavors, we humbly invite you to support our ministry. Your contributions play a crucial role in sustaining the spiritual garden we collectively cultivate. If you resonate with our messages, consider using the "Buy Me a Cup" link on our website to contribute.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Cultivating Resilience

As the dawn of Monday breaks, it beckons us to embark on a new week—a garden of opportunities awaiting cultivation. In the tapestry of life, much like a skilled gardener tends to the soil, we are called to cultivate resilience amid the challenges that inevitably unfold.

The essence of our Sunday sermon, "Cultivating Grace: Flourishing Amid Life's Trials," resonates in the stillness of Monday morning. James 1:2-4 urges us not to view trials as stumbling blocks but as stepping stones for growth. Each challenge is an opportunity for our faith to blossom and our endurance to deepen.

To cultivate resilience is to stand firm in His grace, drawing strength from the wellspring of divine resilience within us. Just as a garden thrives with careful attention, our lives flourish when we tend to our spiritual soil. Today, as you navigate the tasks and trials of the week, carry with you the reminder to embrace each moment with joy, knowing that you are refining endurance in the garden of your faith.

In addition to this, we extend an invitation to support our ministry. Your generosity enables us to continue sowing seeds of wisdom and nurturing the spiritual growth of our community. If you feel compelled to contribute, you can use the "Buy Me a Cup" link on our website.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Cultivating Grace: Flourishing Amid Life's Trials

In the sacred realm of biblical wisdom, we turn our hearts to the profound words of James 1:2-4 in the New Living Translation:

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing."

As we delve into the depths of this passage, let us reflect on the essence of trials and tribulations in the tapestry of our spiritual journey. James beckons us not to shy away from the adversities that life unfurls before us but to embrace them with an unwavering spirit.

In this exploration, let us conjure a tale—a parable of a humble gardener named Elias. Elias tended to a magnificent garden, a sanctuary of blossoms and foliage that mirrored the beauty of creation. One fateful day, a tempest swept through the garden, leaving destruction in its wake. Elias, gazing upon the ravaged landscape, did not succumb to despair. Instead, he saw an opportunity for renewal.

Elias understood that the storms of life, much like the tempest that befell his garden, were not harbingers of defeat but catalysts for growth. In the same vein, when troubles assail us, we are called to perceive them not as insurmountable obstacles but as occasions for the blossoming of our faith.

As we traverse the intricate narrative of Elias, we glean insights into the profound truth embedded in James' words. The Apostle invites us to view trials as not just mere inconveniences but as stepping stones toward the refinement of our spiritual character. In the crucible of adversity, our faith is tested, and through that testing, endurance sprouts forth.

The journey of Elias teaches us that the endurance cultivated through trials is not a passive endurance but an active one—an endurance that propels us forward, enabling us to weather the storms with grace and resilience. It is in the refining furnace of challenges that our faith transforms from a fragile seed into a towering oak, deeply rooted in the soil of unwavering conviction.

How, then, should we apply these verses to our everyday lives? The answer lies in the conscious choice to embrace life's challenges with joy and gratitude. Just as Elias did not bemoan the storm but saw it as an opportunity for the renewal of his garden, we are called to adopt a mindset that transcends mere endurance.

Every trial, every tribulation becomes a sacred ground for the cultivation of endurance, shaping us into vessels of divine perfection. In the crucible of life's adversities, let us stand firm in His grace, drawing strength from the wellspring of divine resilience that resides within us.

"Stand firm in His grace" becomes our mantra—a rallying cry that echoes through the corridors of our hearts, reminding us that we are not alone in our journey. In the face of challenges, let us stand, not in our own strength, but in the unyielding grace bestowed upon us by the Divine Gardener.

Dear brothers and sisters, may we heed the wisdom of James and the allegory of Elias. Let us rejoice in the face of trials, knowing that our faith, when tested, produces endurance. And as we stand firm in His grace, we emerge from the crucible of life not merely enduring but flourishing, perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Compassion in Action

Saturday calls us to put love into action, inspired by the timeless words of 1 Corinthians 16:14. Reflect on moments of compassion, such as the team-building event where your actions spoke louder than words. As you extend a helping hand to those in need, remember that love is a verb – it requires action. Consider supporting our ministry through "Buy Me a Cup," transforming your love into tangible assistance for those who require it. Your contributions allow us to continue spreading compassion, making a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Unity in Fellowship

Embrace the goodness and pleasantness of dwelling together in unity, as Psalm 133:1 reminds us. Let this Friday be a celebration of the warmth found in human connection and the grace of divine presence. In your interactions with others, foster unity and a sense of community. As you reflect on the strength of faith that unites us in spirit, consider supporting our ministry through "Buy Me a Cup." Your contribution becomes a tangible expression of unity, allowing us to continue fostering spiritual harmony and sharing the love of Christ.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Acts of Love

On this Thursday, let the timeless wisdom of 1 Corinthians 16:14 guide your actions: "Do everything in love." Reflect on the profound love we are called to share as followers of Christ. Consider the ways in which your daily actions can embody this love – whether in your interactions, decisions, or responses to others. As you ponder the significance of love in your life, we invite you to contribute to our ministry via "Buy Me a Cup," an opportunity to extend your love beyond words. Your support allows us to continue spreading love, compassion, and the teachings of Christ to those in need.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Mid-Week Message - Inherited Traits

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."  1 John 4:16  (ESV) 

I was born with a crooked toe.  I know that is a strange opening, but it is something that has brought me great joy over the years.  You see, it is one of the things that I inherited from my father.  He told me that after my birth a nurse came to him and apologized that one of my toes was "malformed."  When he asked her questions about it, she told him that one toe was crooked rather than straight.  He laughed then told her that he had one just like it so I had gotten it from him.

Now, I was a daddy's girl.  Never was I more content than when I was with him.  I decided when I was very young to pattern myself after him.  One of the greatest compliments I ever received came on the day he passed away when someone dear said that I was just like him.  Through tears of deep grief, I smiled, grateful that the Lord had allowed me to be his daughter.  

We all inherit traits from our biological parents.  It may be our height or the shape of our nose.  As we grow we may develop some of their other characteristics.  We may be shy, have bad tempers or be kind-hearted and generous.  Though some of these things are learned behaviors, others are inborn.  Whether we like it or not, our parents leave their "marks" on us.

Scripture tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, when we believe in Him and repent of our sins, that we become children of God.  John 1:2 tells us, "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."  If we are His children, then we can be sure that we will also bear His traits as well.  

Today's verse reminds us that God is love and that if we are abiding in love then He abides in us.  We are to become like Him.  

Because I loved my earthly father so much, I have shared his humor, his wise words and the love he had for me with those around me.  Those things are important to me.  They shaped me.  But, even more important are the gifts that I have received from my heavenly Father.  I am not just a child of Jim King, but I am a child of the King of Kings and therefore have been given a new nature, new gifts that are like His. 

I hope you can identify with my experiences.  I spent a lot of time with my dad.  I watched him and how he handled life.  I listened to his words, took them in and hid them in my mind and heart.  I worked to develop a close relationship with him and made sure he knew how much I loved him. 

Now I have a Father who is eternal and has sacrificed His only Son on my behalf. And on yours.  Because of His great love, grace and mercy, He has reached down to make a way for us to return to Him.  If earthly relationships are worth our time and effort, how much more so is our relationship with the great I Am?  Are we as willing to spend our time and energy with Him?  Which of His traits do we find within ourselves?  How familiar are we with His words, His wisdom and His love?  Are we allowing Him to change us to His likeness?  

Just some things to think about as we go through this week.  May His love envelop each of us and may our response to Him be to sit at His feet and drink in all He has to offer.  God bless.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Comfort in Despair

In the midst of life's trials, find solace in the timeless words of Psalm 34:18 – "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." This Tuesday, let the assurance of divine closeness be a source of comfort. There are moments of despair when the challenges of life seem insurmountable, but take refuge in the knowledge that the Lord is near. As you navigate the complexities of this day, carry with you the peace that comes from knowing you are not alone. May Tuesday be a day of seeking and finding comfort in the loving embrace of the Divine, a reminder that even in the darkest hours, the light of His presence shines brightly.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Divine Resilience

As we embark on a new week, let the profound words of Philippians 4:13 resonate within your spirit. Life's journey presents challenges that may test our resolve, but in these moments, we discover divine resilience. Through Him, we find the strength to navigate both triumphs and tribulations. As you face the complexities of this Monday, hold fast to the assurance that God's strength is within you, a wellspring of fortitude that empowers you to overcome any obstacle. Let this day be a testament to the indomitable spirit that dwells within, rooted in the unwavering faith encapsulated by Philippians 4:13.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Embracing Divine Strength and Love

As we gather on this sacred Sunday, let the timeless wisdom of the Holy Scriptures infuse our hearts with inspiration and solace. In the tapestry of our lives, each thread is woven with divine purpose. We, as individuals, inevitably face trials and tragedies. It is in these moments that the words of Philippians 4:13 resonate most profoundly, reminding us that through Him, we find strength to navigate both the highs of triumphs and the lows of life's unexpected challenges.

Amidst our virtual fellowship, let Psalm 34:18 be a comforting refrain. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Each of us, at some point, faces trials that can easily leave our hearts shattered. A day that begins with joy can take an unexpected turn during a routine trip to the Doctor's office, revealing news that is life-threatening. Yet, even in these moments of despair, the assurance of divine closeness offers solace to those in need.

In every spoken word, let the essence of 1 Corinthians 16:14 guide us, encouraging that "everything be done in love." As Christians, we are called to embody this love in tangible ways. Our faith is not merely a collection of words but a lived experience. During a team-building event, my team and I ventured to a food pantry, guided by the principle of caring for those who are homeless and hungry. Inspired by our Christian calling, we sorted canned items and delivered food to those unable to get out. It was a wonderful opportunity to extend love to those in need and offer a helping hand to those facing challenging circumstances.

Today, we celebrate the goodness and pleasantness of dwelling together in unity, echoing Psalm 133:1. In this sacred space, the warmth of human connection and the grace of divine presence prevail, mirroring the strength of faith that unites us in spirit.

Navigating life's currents, may this Sunday be a sanctuary of peace. Our fellowship, a masterpiece of divine connection, is inspired and sustained by the timeless verses of the Holy Scriptures. Rejoice in the sacred journey, as we unite in the embrace of spiritual harmony, drawing strength and inspiration from the eternal words of our Creator.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 1:13-16 Christian Standard Bible

Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:12 Christian Standard Bible

For the sin of their mouths and the words of their lips,
let them be caught in their pride.
They utter curses and lies.

Dedicate Your Weekend

Dedicate your weekend to God's will. Use this time for prayer, reflection, and intentional living. Let your actions echo the transformative journey we've explored together this week.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 30:2-6 Christian Standard Bible

I am more stupid than any other person,
and I lack a human’s ability to understand.
I have not gained wisdom,
and I have no knowledge of the Holy One.
Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his hands?
Who has bound up the waters in a cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name,
and what is the name of his son—
if you know?
Every word of God is pure;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Don’t add to his words,
or he will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

Morning Scripture Reading - Philippians 4:10-13 Christian Standard Bible

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly because once again you renewed your care for me. You were, in fact, concerned about me but lacked the opportunity to show it. I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Isaiah 1:16-17 Christian Standard Bible

“Wash yourselves. Cleanse yourselves.
Remove your evil deeds from my sight.
Stop doing evil.
Learn to do what is good.
Pursue justice.
Correct the oppressor.
Defend the rights of the fatherless.
Plead the widow’s cause.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:11 Christian Standard Bible

Do not kill them; otherwise, my people will forget.
By your power, make them homeless wanderers
and bring them down,
Lord, our shield.

Support Transformation

As you reflect on the week, consider supporting the transformative work of our ministry. Click the "Buy Me a Cup" button to contribute, enabling us to continue spreading God's message of renewal.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 29:27 Christian Standard Bible

An unjust person is detestable to the righteous,
and one whose way is upright
is detestable to the wicked.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 17:10 Christian Standard Bible

I, the Lord, examine the mind,
I test the heart
to give to each according to his way,
according to what his actions deserve.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 3:4-16 Christian Standard Bible

Now John had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.”

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?”

Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed him to be baptized.

When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:10 Christian Standard Bible

My faithful God will come to meet me;
God will let me look down on my adversaries.

Transformative Acts of Love

As the week progresses, let your actions speak volumes. Engage in transformative acts of love and service, reflecting God's goodness in the midst of a world that needs His light.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 29:26 Christian Standard Bible

Many desire a ruler’s favor,
but a person receives justice from the Lord.

Morning Scripture Reading - Micah 6:8 Christian Standard Bible

Mankind, he has told each of you what is good
and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Titus 2:11-14 Christian Standard Bible

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:9 Christian Standard Bible

I will keep watch for you, my strength,
because God is my stronghold.

Mid-Week Message - The Praise of Music

 "O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"  Psalm 95:1-2  (ESV) 

Music.  It can warm the heart, soothe troubled emotions, conjure memories long forgotten and convey messages like no other medium can.  From the time our mothers sing lullabies in our infancy, to the hymns that remind us that Jesus is near as our days come to an end, we walk through life accompanied by the precious sounds of melody and harmony.  Whether it comes from ocean waves or an electronic box, we cling to it and allow it to play upon our mind and hearts as we make our way through our allotted time.  What a gift our Creator gave when He created music.  How bland would our world be without it?  

Tonight I sat and listened to one of my favorite things.  I love hearing men raise their voices in song.  There is something majestic about the male voice, especially when it is being used to praise the Father.  The rich tones of tenor and bass, joining together to express adoration to the Almighty thrills my heart.  And, I have to wonder, if it thrills my heart, what does it do for the One to whom it is being lifted?  

Scripture speaks of singing songs and hymns both to each other and to the Lord.  Today's verse is only one reference.  As with all the talents we have been given, ultimately they are meant to be used to bring glory and honor to Him from whom they came.   The sound in Heaven must be beyond description as those who have gone before us sing His praises.  

As I enjoyed the beautiful voices that I listened to tonight, I found myself wishing that the music would continue forever although I knew that the performances would come to an end.  My heart was gladdened and my spirit was uplifted and the feeling it created was one that I did not wish to lose.  I couldn't imagine that I would ever tire of hearing such sounds.  Ah, but then I remembered a precious truth.  One day, not all that long in the future, we will be where Jesus is, walking with Him and having the privilege not only of hearing, but participating in the glorious choir of souls that have eternity to sing love songs to our Savior!  

As we go through this week I pray that each heart would be touched by a song that is a reminder of His undying grace and mercy.  May we begin and end our days with the melody of praise in our minds and on our lips.  God bless! 

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 29:25 Christian Standard Bible

The fear of mankind is a snare,
but the one who trusts in the Lord is protected.

Morning Scripture Reading - Ezekiel 34:12 Christian Standard Bible

As a shepherd looks for his sheep on the day he is among his scattered flock, so I will look for my flock. I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and total darkness.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Romans 12:1-2 Christian Standard Bible

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:8 Christian Standard Bible

But you laugh at them, Lord;
you ridicule all the nations.

Stand Firm in Grace

Amidst the challenges, stand firm in God's grace. Be unwavering in your commitment to live counter-culturally, reflecting His love and compassion in all you do.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 29:24 Christian Standard Bible

To be a thief’s partner is to hate oneself;
he hears the curse but will not testify.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 John 2:15-17 Christian Standard Bible

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Titus 3:9-11 Christian Standard Bible

But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning. For you know that such a person has gone astray and is sinning; he is self-condemned.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 59:7 Christian Standard Bible

Look, they spew from their mouths—
sharp words from their lips.
“For who,” they say, “will hear?”

Renew Your Mind

Start your week with intentional mind renewal. Seek God's wisdom and align your thoughts with His truth. Let His transformative power guide your actions today.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 29:23 Christian Standard Bible

A person’s pride will humble him,
but a humble spirit will gain honor.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 43:16-21 Christian Standard Bible

This is what the Lord says—
who makes a way in the sea,
and a path through raging water,
who brings out the chariot and horse,
the army and the mighty one together
(they lie down, they do not rise again;
they are extinguished, put out like a wick)—
“Do not remember the past events;
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.
Wild animals—
jackals and ostriches—will honor me,
because I provide water in the wilderness,
and rivers in the desert,
to give drink to my chosen people.
The people I formed for myself
will declare my praise.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Prayer for the Week Starting January 7, 2024

Heavenly Father,

As we gather before You today, we humbly come into Your presence seeking the transformative power of Your grace. We recognize the challenges of living in a world that often pulls us away from Your truth. Grant us the strength to resist conformity to this world's ways and the wisdom to discern Your perfect will.

Lord, renew our minds as we delve into the depths of Your Word. May the examples of transformation, such as the life of Paul, inspire us to live lives dedicated to Your purpose. Help us to put Your will above our desires, acknowledging Your sovereignty in all aspects of our lives.

We pray for the courage to stand firm in Your grace, even when the currents of the world try to sweep us away. May our actions be a reflection of Your love, compassion, and service. Guide us as we navigate the practical applications of Romans 12:2, contributing to the flourishing of Your Kingdom on Earth.

Lord, may this message resonate in our hearts, prompting a collective commitment to transformation within our community. Empower us to be true disciples of Christ, embracing the call to live counter-culturally and to be beacons of Your light in a darkened world.

In Jesus' name, we pray.

Evening Scripture Reading - Romans 8:28-30 Christian Standard Bible

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 19:12-14 Christian Standard Bible

Who perceives his unintentional sins?
Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins;
do not let them rule me.
Then I will be blameless
and cleansed from blatant rebellion.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

A Christian's Guide to True Renewal

We turn our attention to the profound wisdom found in Romans 12:2 from the New Living Translation, a verse that calls us to a distinctive way of living in a world filled with diverse customs and behaviors. As believers, we are challenged to resist conforming to the patterns of this world and, instead, allow God to transform us into new beings through the renewal of our minds. It's a call to embrace a life that reflects the goodness, pleasure, and perfection of God's will.

Consider the world we live in — a place often marked by conflicting values and influences that can easily shape our thoughts and actions. In the face of these challenges, Romans 12:2 provides a guiding light. Today, we embark on a journey together, exploring the transformative journey set before us as believers. Throughout this message, we'll navigate the intricacies of God's transformative power and uncover practical steps to renew our minds. I invite you to reflect on your own life, considering where God's transformative touch might be the most impactful. Let's dive into God's Word with open hearts and minds, ready to be changed for His glory.

As we delve into the complexities of our world, it becomes apparent that cultural and social influences play a significant role in shaping our beliefs and behaviors. Many of us, especially the younger generation, find ourselves immersed in distractions that can subtly steer us away from the path of righteousness. Children, for instance, may easily be captivated by the allure of television and video games. It's disconcerting to note that some video games, rather than fostering positive values, glorify violence, reducing the sanctity of human life to no more than pixels on a screen.

Moving into the realm of higher education, college-aged adults often grapple with ideologies that advocate for violence as a means of advancing personal positions. Instead of promoting reasoned discourse, some ideologies deploy anger as a tool to beat opponents into submission. This shift away from constructive dialogue poses a significant challenge to the principles of love and understanding that our faith encourages.

Moreover, the removal of prayer from schools and the dwindling attendance in churches further reflect the secularization of society. As these spiritual anchors weaken, individuals may find themselves more susceptible to the prevailing ideologies and distractions that the world presents. Today, let's explore together how these distractions manifest in our lives and how we, as followers of Christ, can navigate through them with discernment and a steadfast commitment to our faith.

In our journey of understanding the transformative power of God, it's crucial to delve into the profound concept of how God's transformative touch changes our hearts and minds. Amidst the distractions and influences of the world, we must also acknowledge the role that Christians have played in allowing some of these changes to occur. Rather than maintaining a firm parental role, some Christians have chosen the path of friendship with their children. Society, in turn, has imposed constraints on the rights of parents to discipline their children, contributing to the erosion of traditional values.

It is imperative to recognize that the foundation of a child's belief system starts with the nuclear family. Instead of solely blaming external influences, Christians must reflect on their own responsibilities in shaping the next generation. The phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child," as espoused by figures like Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 2007 presidential campaign, has been misconstrued. The core beliefs that guide a child's moral compass are fundamentally taught by parents. Parents play a pivotal role in instilling a sense of community, responsibility, and faith within their children.

Today, as we explore the transformative power of God, let us also reflect on our own roles as parents and guardians. How can we reclaim our responsibility in shaping the belief systems of our children, ensuring that the transformative touch of God takes root within the context of the family? Let us consider how, through God's grace, we can navigate these challenges and renew our commitment to being faithful stewards of the young lives entrusted to us.

It becomes evident that one of the key elements lies in the renewal of the mind. In the face of societal distractions and influences, Christians are called to intentional and purposeful mind renewal. The modern era has presented unique challenges, and Christians must acknowledge the impact of the secular ideologies that have permeated various facets of society, including higher education.

Amidst these challenges, it's essential to emphasize practical steps for allowing God to transform our minds. Instead of succumbing to the prevailing anger-driven narratives, Christians are encouraged to engage in reasoned discourse and cultivate a mindset grounded in love and understanding. This involves a deliberate choice to immerse ourselves in God's Word, seeking His guidance as we navigate through a world that often values discord over harmony.

Moreover, addressing common challenges in mind renewal includes recognizing the value of prayer as a powerful tool for seeking God's guidance and wisdom. In an era where prayer has been removed from schools and church attendance has dwindled, Christians are challenged to integrate prayer into their daily lives. By renewing our minds through prayer and intentional engagement with God's Word, we fortify ourselves against the distractions that threaten to reshape our perspectives.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that some Christians may, knowingly or unknowingly, backslide into the ways of the world. This underscores the necessity of remaining fixed in our pursuit of mind, heart, and soul renewal. True followers of Christ Jesus understand that mere lip service to Christianity is insufficient. We must be authentic in our commitment to transformation, recognizing that if we do not change but still claim to be Christian, our profession becomes empty words devoid of genuine faith. Let us, then, hold firm in our resolve to be true disciples of Christ, actively pursuing a transformative journey that reflects the profound renewal God desires for our entire being.

In our exploration of transformation and mind renewal, it is essential to delve into the discernment of God's will. Connecting the dots between transformation and discernment, Christians are challenged to navigate a world where God's will may often be drowned out by conflicting ideologies. The removal of prayer from schools and the dwindling attendance in churches contribute to the challenge of discerning God's will in a society that increasingly distances itself from spiritual anchors.

However, within the Christian community, a cautionary note arises as some preachers perpetuate the misconception that God's will is subject to human demands, reducing the Divine to a cosmic vending machine. This distortion places human will above God's, emphasizing personal desires over divine purpose. True discernment, on the contrary, necessitates an understanding that God's will is sovereign and that our desires should align with His purpose. It calls us to reject the notion that God is at our beck and call, highlighting the need to prioritize His will above all else.

Jesus, in imparting wisdom through the Lord's Prayer, underscored the paramount importance of aligning ourselves with God's will. The phrase "May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" encapsulates a profound truth. It serves as a timeless reminder that true discernment begins with a sincere commitment to putting God's will above all else. By seeking to understand and align with His divine plan, we navigate the complexities of a world that often strays from His truth. As we delve into this transformative journey, let us collectively strive for discernment by humbly placing God's will at the forefront, recognizing that His purposes far surpass our limited understanding and desires.

Let us consider the practical applications of the principles we've unearthed. The transformative journey isn't merely theoretical; it demands concrete actions in our daily lives. Providing tangible examples of applying Romans 12:2, we recognize that transformation extends beyond our personal spiritual growth; it has a ripple effect on the world around us.

Consider, for instance, the narratives of individuals who have embraced the renewing of their minds. Their stories serve as living testimonies to the power of God's transformative touch. Whether in overcoming personal challenges, fostering healthier relationships, or actively contributing to their communities, these individuals demonstrate the practical implications of allowing God to shape our thoughts and actions.

Yet, personal transformation is not a solitary endeavor. It thrives within the context of community and shared experiences. As we explore the practical applications, we acknowledge the importance of collective renewal. A community of believers actively engaged in mind renewal fosters an environment where individuals support and uplift one another. This collective commitment to transformation enhances the impact of God's work not only in individual lives but also in the broader community.

Today, let us delve into these practical applications, understanding that our renewed minds should manifest in tangible expressions of love, compassion, and service. By actively living out the principles of Romans 12:2, we contribute to the flourishing of God's Kingdom on Earth. As we navigate our daily lives, let our actions reflect the transformative power of God's grace, inspiring others to embark on their own journey of renewal and discipleship.

As we move forward in our exploration of transformation, it becomes imperative to consider the practical applications of the principles we've unearthed. The transformative journey isn't merely theoretical; it demands concrete actions in our daily lives. Providing tangible examples of applying Romans 12:2, we recognize that transformation extends beyond our personal spiritual growth; it has a ripple effect on the world around us.

Consider, for instance, the powerful example of the apostle Paul, the author of the Book of Romans. In his earlier life, Paul, then known as Saul, zealously persecuted early Christians. However, his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus marked a profound transformation. Through God's intervention, Paul's mind was renewed, and his life was radically changed.

Paul's story serves as a compelling testimony to the practical implications of allowing God to shape our thoughts and actions. Transformed from a persecutor of the faith to a fervent preacher of the Good News, Paul's life showcases the impact of mind renewal on personal calling and purpose. His transformation not only brought about a change in his own heart but also fueled his passion for spreading the transformative message of Christ.

Yet, personal transformation is not a solitary endeavor. It thrives within the context of community and shared experiences. As we explore the practical applications, we acknowledge the importance of collective renewal. A community of believers actively engaged in mind renewal fosters an environment where individuals support and uplift one another. This collective commitment to transformation enhances the impact of God's work not only in individual lives but also in the broader community.

Our renewed minds should manifest in tangible expressions of love, compassion, and service. Inspired by the transformative journey of figures like Paul, let our actions reflect the power of God's grace, turning us into ambassadors of the Good News. As we navigate our daily lives, may our transformed lives serve as beacons of hope, inviting others to embark on their own journey of renewal and discipleship.

Our exploration of Romans 12:2 has illuminated a transformative journey, urging us to navigate the complexities of a world often veering away from God's principles. The challenges posed by societal distractions, conflicting ideologies, and the secularization of our communities underscore the need for intentional mind renewal. True transformation, as exemplified by the life of the apostle Paul, demands that we put God's will above our desires, recognizing that our renewed minds should manifest in tangible acts of love, compassion, and service. The call to "stand firm in His grace" resonates throughout this journey, urging us not only to resist the conformity of the world but also to actively contribute to the flourishing of God's Kingdom on Earth. In a corrupt world, we are called to set ourselves apart, living lives dedicated to God and becoming ambassadors of the transformative power of His grace. As we embrace this call, may our actions be a testament to the renewing work of God in our lives, inspiring others to embark on their own journey of discipleship and transformation.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:5-12 Christian Standard Bible

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Don’t be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
This will be healing for your body
and strengthening for your bones.
Honor the Lord with your possessions
and with the first produce of your entire harvest;
then your barns will be completely filled,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe his discipline;
for the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.

Morning Scripture Reading - Joshua 1:9 Christian Standard Bible

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Friday, January 5, 2024

Cultivating Gratitude

Dear brothers and sisters,
As the week concludes, let's foster an attitude of "Cultivating Gratitude." Each day is a gift, and gratitude transforms ordinary moments into extraordinary blessings. If our messages have touched your heart, we invite you to support our ministry through "Buy Me a Cup" on our website.

Evening Scripture Reading - James 1:5 Christian Standard Bible

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 34:17-18 Christian Standard Bible

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
he saves those crushed in spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 20:24 Christian Standard Bible

Even a courageous person’s steps are determined by the Lord,
so how can anyone understand his own way?

Morning Scripture Reading - Genesis 28:15 Christian Standard Bible

Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Hebrews 12:1-2 Christian Standard Bible

Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 27:1 Christian Standard Bible

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
whom should I dread?

Letting Go, Moving Forward

As we approach the weekend, let's focus on "Letting Go, Moving Forward." Release the burdens of the past and step into the future with faith. God's promises are ahead of you. If you appreciate our message and would like to be a part of our mission, consider donating via "Buy Me a Cup" on our website.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 19:21 Christian Standard Bible

Many plans are in a person’s heart,
but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 43:1 Christian Standard Bible

Now this is what the Lord says—
the one who created you, Jacob,
and the one who formed you, Israel—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are mine.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Philippians 3:13-14 Christian Standard Bible

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 23:4 Christian Standard Bible

Even when I go through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—they comfort me.

Mid-Week Message - New Year New Chance

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with one another and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you."  Colossians 3:12-13  (NIV)

Have you ever played the game in which you make up stories about the people in the cars that pass yours?  This was a favorite of mine and some of my friends when we were teens.  We would fantasize elaborate backgrounds and come up with outlandish scenarios as to where the person was going.  Silly?  Yes.  But as I look back on that game now, I realize that it taught me something valuable.  It reminds me that I don't know the details of who any of those people are or what they are living through.  

As an adult, I have made an effort to keep that in mind as I go through daily life.  I am well aware that we all encounter good days and bad.  Each of us struggles with something.  If we only knew the story behind the actions others take, I think we would be much slower to judge and much quicker to extend compassion.  Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

Your child comes home and tells you about a new student in the class.  This child comes in with uncombed hair, wrinkled clothes and sometimes doesn't smell very good.  The other children have already begun name-calling and not including this child in recess.  Concerned about your own child's well-being, you talk to the teacher and find out that the father in this family left and because the mother had no money to pay the rent, she and her three offspring are living in their car.  

On the highway heading to work, you are cut off by a man driving an expensive car.  As anger builds, you conclude that he must think he is better than everyone else and deserves the road for himself.  He takes the same exit as you do and as you reach the stoplight and pull up next to him, you roll down your window so you can tell him he shouldn't drive that way.  He apologizes and explains that he is a single father and was up all night with a very sick child and that if he was late to work his job would be at risk.  Then you notice the emblem on the car and realize it is a company vehicle and that he doesn't own it at all.  

You and a friend see a woman who is wearing a lot of jewelry and costly clothing.  Her hair is perfect, her nails are professionally done and you think she probably lives a life of ease and doesn't have a care in the world.  You make a comment to your friend about her that maybe isn't very nice and it turns out your friend knows the woman's story.  Her outward look belies what her life is really like.  Her husband is rarely home and when he is, he is abusive.  Her one child attempted to commit suicide a while ago and is in a long term treatment facility.  With no one at home, she shops - a lot.  

If we were to do as Jesus would do, how would we handle life differently?  If we could see others the way their Creator sees them, how would that change our hearts?  We may not be able to have those insights, but we can have the understanding that there are probably things going on in their lives that we would be surprised by.  I know there are things in my life that others don't know about.  How about yours?  

We all need to clothe ourselves in the compassion, patience and gentleness that today's verse references.  Any person who crosses our path should be treated respectfully and kindly.  Each interaction is a chance to show God's love and just may change someone's day for the better.  If we can offer that gift, why wouldn't we?  

It is a new year and we have new chances to live our lives for Christ and to make a difference in this world.  I pray we take full advantage of those chances and touch hearts and minds for Him as we do.  God bless! 

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 4:23 Christian Standard Bible

Guard your heart above all else,
for it is the source of life.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 41:10 Christian Standard Bible

Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - 2 Corinthians 5:17 Christian Standard Bible

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 103:12 Christian Standard Bible

As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed
our transgressions from us.

Seeking God's Guidance

In the hustle of the week, let's center our hearts on "Seeking God's Guidance." Just as a compass points us in the right direction, seeking God's will ensures we navigate our days with wisdom and purpose. Take a moment to pray for guidance, and if you feel led to support our ministry, you can contribute via "Buy Me a Cup" on our website.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:3 Christian Standard Bible

Commit your activities to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 43:18-19 Christian Standard Bible

“Do not remember the past events;
pay no attention to things of old.
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 11:28-30 Christian Standard Bible

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 139:13-16 Christian Standard Bible

For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.
My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in your book and planned
before a single one of them began.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, dear friends!

As we stand on the threshold of 2024, let's carry the spirit of hope, gratitude, and purpose into the days ahead. Yesterday, we reflected on the lessons of the past, embraced God's promises, released the burdens of yesterday, sought divine guidance, and cultivated hearts brimming with gratitude.

As we step into this new year, remember that each day is a gift from God—a chance to make a difference in His kingdom. Your life is a canvas, and God is the Master Artist, ready to paint wonders through your journey.

If you missed Sunday's message or want to revisit its inspiration, head to our website. As we embark on 2024, let's make a commitment to share the Good News, embody the love of Christ, and be vessels of His grace.

And for those who wish to support our ministry in this new year, consider contributing via "Buy Me a Cup" on our website. Your generosity enables us to continue spreading the message of hope and love.

May this year be marked by growth, joy, and an unwavering trust in God's promises. Happy New Year, and may God's blessings overflow in your life!

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:5-6 Christian Standard Bible

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 29:11 Christian Standard Bible

For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

New Beginnings

Dear friends,
As we step into this fresh week of a brand-new year, let's embrace the concept of "New Beginnings." Just as God's mercies are new every morning, let's approach each day with a renewed spirit of hope and purpose. Reflect on the lessons of yesterday and carry gratitude into today. If you'd like to support our ministry in spreading hope, consider donating via "Buy Me a Cup" on our website.