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Vaca Time
Vaca Time

 

Oh the wonderful anticipation of a well-deserved vacation.  We count down the weeks, the days and the hours until that incredible moment of departure.  Then we get a whoop, whoop and off we go to a fun-filled, amazing adventure.

Now I gotta tell you that I had all intentions of being a good girl, but then something happened.  I discovered that I really couldn’t see how just one drink could hurt.  I deserved it after all, especially considering how hard I work right?

Well, isn’t it amazing how we can talk ourselves into or out of about anything we put our minds to?   But that is exactly what I did…..just one drink….or two…..or three…or…..   Uggh!  Did I really just do that?  Yep, that was me alright.  The perfect role model of the perfect Christian was on display-not!  Oops, it’s a good thing my friends and family can laugh and move on.

Considering this was day one of our seven-day trip, I figured I better get myself in check before I did something real stupid.  But the real question is why did I get myself to that place in the first place?  Did I really think that sucking down mass quantities of those perfectly blended frozen drinks with the cute little umbrellas was the answer to wipe away all the stress and anxiety from which I was escaping?  Well, at that moment in time—Yes!

But then that yes turns into a resounding why?  Was knowing that God had provided this perfect cruise aboard a luxury liner not enough?  Was the fact that I am so very blessed to even be going on vacation not enough?  Was the fact that I was surrounded with 40 of my closest friends and family not enough?  Was knowing that the Holy Spirit was there with me not enough?  Or assuring myself that Jesus died so that I could have and enjoy my life not enough?  Well, I was enjoying myself—right?

So, I spent the next six days doing my best to be a good girl.  The kind of girl that God would be proud of.  But I still felt this pushing fault within myself.  It was a guilt that I just couldn’t shake and a behavioral response to no pressure that I just couldn’t understand.  Then as I spent another private moment alone with God, I found myself apologizing for my past behavior and almost begging him to forgive me….again.

I kept thinking to myself, why do I keep sinning and letting myself down with wrong thoughts, actions and behaviors.  Then I remembered that Hebrews 10 explains that we have been made perfect, yet we are being made holy.  Through his death and resurrection, Christ, once for all made us perfect in God’s sight.  And at the same time we are being cleansed and set apart for his special use for us.

So you see, we don’t have to be surprised, ashamed or shocked that we still need to grow.  God isn’t finished with me yet, and he isn’t finished with you either.  Yes, I should have listened to the Holy Spirit’s leading and stayed away from my alcohol demise, and yes I should have given Christ control of my desires, but I do not have to keep beating myself up.  Christ took it all for me!   He took each and every one of mine and your sins and replaced them with his perfection.

Now I walk with my head held high, filled with a life I adore.  Thank you Lord for the precious life blood that cleanses me from all unrighteousness.  Thank you for allowing me to enter God’s presence with boldness knowing that I have personal access to God through Christ.  And thank you Lord that I may grow in faith, overcome all my doubts and questions, and deepen my relationship with my God and Father.

So, hold your head high and never, ever be ashamed of your past, present and future sins.  You are loved regardless of your behaviors.  Learn to listen to that inner voice, trust in Christ and know that you are loved always.

 

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

GOD IN A BOX
GOD IN A BOX

GOD IN A BOX
Do you remember the restaurant from back in the day called Jack-In-The-Box? Some of you may not have been around, but it was a drive-thru Mexican restaurant, similar to Taco Bell. Anyways, my dad loved Jack-In-The-Box. He would drive thirty minutes just to get a little bit of their heavenly food. There we would be trekking half way across Virginia, just to get a taco (with hot sauce- of course). I can still picture how the drive-thru looked and the excitement in my dad as he ordered. Of course he always knew what he wanted way before we got in the driveway, and Lord forbid if mom and I wanted to look at the menu board. According to him we should have been fully prepared and ready for action the second we pulled up to the speaker.
Well, isn’t this similar to our walk with God. We should have such an eager expectation and longing to get even a little piece of God. We should be willing to drive half way around the state to get to Him and the glorious results produced by Him. And most of all, we should be fully prepared to answer and speak to Him before we arrive at his window. But, I believe many people are nowhere near ready. When it comes their turn to answer to the voice in the box, they say, “Can you give me some time or wait just a minute.” Well, I can guarantee you this, when it is your turn and you pull-up in front of God you better be ready! He will not give you a minute to decide. You must be fully confident, knowing that you are ready to see what He hands you. And you better be praying it’s not the hot sauce.
Right now is the time to put your reliance in God and His promises, not tomorrow. What happens if tomorrow never comes? Will you be prepared to meet your maker? Matthew 7:13 “You can enter God’s kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many that choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”
The answer is actually quite simple. When you pull up to the drive-thru window and God says what do you need? Your answer needs to be Jesus. For only Jesus and His salvation will allow you to enter God’s kingdom and receive what you have eagerly been waiting for. John 6:40 “For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life.”
Now imagine the hottest of hot sauce burning your tongue forever with no means of escape and no water to quench your burn. That is exactly what will happen unless you turn from your sins; turn to God and the salvation we receive through Christ. Ephesians 3:18 “ And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
Jesus said in John 3:3 “I assure you; unless you are born again you can never see the Kingdom of God…everyone who believes in me will have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life…There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God.” So, I urge you to turn to the love of Jesus, stop sinning and put your trust in the only one who can save you.
Just like you have a choice at the drive-thru window, God also gives you a choice. So choose well. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good.” God loves you so very much and he wants each one of us to spend eternity with him. Jesus died so that we might have life. So, take the time to put your hope and trust in the true savior and know that he hears you always.
Blessings: Heather Joyner

Water play starts June 7th
Water play starts June 7th

Every Wednesday for classrooms #1 through # 6

Every Friday for classrooms #7 through # 12

Water play lasts throughout the summer

Please make sure your child has the following items on each water day.

  • bathing suit
  • water shoes or flip flops
  • towel
  • water diaper if not potty- trained
  • sunscreen already applied before arrival at center (doctors note necessary for reapplication)
Mommy Dearest
Mommy Dearest

Mommy Dearest

“No more wire hangers!”  For those of us who are old enough to remember this famous line, we cringe a bit.  For those of you who do not know this line, it is from a movie called ‘Mommy Dearest’.  This movie depicted a self-righteous, obsessive, controlling mother and her daughter’s not so pleasant experiences growing up.

Now I know that we all have those memories from childhood that we try to tuck into the deepest part of our minds to never be seen again, but we also have pleasant moments we grasp to hold onto.  As we reflect on our past experiences as either a daughter, son, father or mother there are always going to be those times we wish could have been different.  That one bad choice of words that were used, that moment of indiscretion seen or heard, that choice that defined our life of lives of those around us.

Well, I have some good news for you today.  You don’t have to allow that memory or moment in time to define who you are.  You are an amazing man/woman of God.  You have been equipped and called to a much higher purpose that you can even imagine.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are blessed.  You have a God who fights for you and as you put Him first in your life, you will be victorious.  You were made to do good and mighty things for the Kingdom of God.  So quit letting those moments in the past be your future.

God’s Word tells us that we are “more than conquerors through Christ Jesus”.  You are created for so very much and you do have the complete ability to do incredible things here on this earth.  As we look in the mirror each day and see a new line here and pore there we don’t have to roll our eyes and think, “hey, I am going to get a face lift, or botox, lipo, tummy tuck or fillers or….” No, although the temporal happiness of less bags, sags, lines and wrinkles appeals to each one of us, they are not what makes us who we are or who we will be.

The memories of the past, the decisions we made and the lives of those effected do not have to be the end all to be all.  Take a moment to recognize how amazing and incredible you are.  If you have things you wish you could have changed (and we all do), then do something about it.  Go apologize to that person that you hurt, speak to that person that abandoned you and free yourself from that pain.  You do not have to live with that moment of “wire hangers” over your mind.

Take time each and every day to give yourself over to the God who created you.  Our time here is but a moment in all of eternity.  Use your past to make your future.  Those memories that make you cringe and those moments that make you smile can all be used to do good.  Reach out to others who are hurting and remind them and yourselves that you are a child of God.  You are strong and courageous and you can do anything you put your mind to.  So step out in faith, take life by the wire hanger and be the person you were created to be.

Blessings: Heather Joyner

God Alarm
God Alarm

God Alarm

Don’t you just love first thing in the morning when you are deep into R.E.M. sleep and suddenly you hear that oh so familiar alarm beckoning you out of bed?  Beep…beep…beep!  Arggh, is it that time again?  So, you reluctantly flip your feet off the side of the bed and get prepared for the day.

Well, just as we know the sound of our morning alarm, we should also be able to jump at the sound of other alarms as well.  Easter Sunday we had an amazing sunrise service while watching the glorious colors of the morning sky peak over the horizon.  It was a beautiful sight as the pinks and purples glistened upon the water and reminded us that we have an amazing God and Creator.

But, as I sat there enjoying the sunrise, I was humbled within myself.  I thought of all the times throughout the day that I am so busy and don’t even give a second of my time to God.  I go through the daily motions ever so busy without even a thought.  Now don’t get me wrong, I do think of God and perhaps thank Him for something or just say hello, but I don’t really spend any time with Him during my day.  So, I thought to myself, “this has to change, but how?”

Then, it came to me as I sat looking at those surrounding me in worship.  I quickly asked everyone to go get their phones.  My niece looked at me like I was a bit nuts, especially since hers was in the car, but she complied with my wishes nonetheless.  I then told everyone to set a God alarm on their phone.  That’s right, a God alarm.  I had them set their phone alarm to go off at three different times during the day: once in the morning (before leaving the house for the day), once at their usual lunchtime and once before bedtime.

I got a few chuckles and “really”’s, then I explained to them, “why not have an alarm for God, we certainly have alarms to remind us of everything else.”  Then I pulled out the choker…..not only are we to set ourselves an alarm to pray, but to also pray with someone else around us at that particular time.  Of course, if there is no one there, there is no one else there, but otherwise step out of your comfort zone and pray with others.  I did get a few looks, but everyone agreed.

So, later that day at our Easter brunch, my cousin came running up to me, grabbed my hands and said it was time to pray.  Oh wow, I thought, this may really work.  And it did.  We all began utilizing our alarms to pray and spend quality time with God throughout the day.  But, it wasn’t until two weeks later that I discovered something amazing.

My cousin had set her lunchtime alarm to go off during her usual break time, but she was busy with a patient one particular day and her phone was left in the breakroom.  So, one of her co-workers came to her and told her that her alarm was ringing in the other room.  My cousin politely thanked her and finished up with her patient.  She then headed into the breakroom for some much needed sustenance and her prayer time with God.  However, when she entered the room, there were six co-workers already on break.   But then one of them said, “you know every day we hear that alarm going off at the same time of day, what in the world is it for?”  So she decided to take a leap of faith and tell them that it is her God alarm and her reminder to pray.  She then asked them if she could pray with them and they happily said “yes”.

She said that she stood, a bit in amazement, as they all began to hold hands, pray and share their faith.  Come to find out, each one of her co-workers, whom she worked with for years, were all Christians.  But here is the clencher……not one of them knew the other was a Christian.  And I wonder how many people that we surround ourselves with on regular basis may be walking in faith as well, yet we are unaware?

Well, now not only was my cousin able to open lines of faith and communication with others, but they all loved the idea of the God alarm so much, that they all set their alarms at varying times to do exactly the same.  And I want to challenge each one of you…RIGHT NOW…..to go get your phones.

No really…..go get it or you will forget……waiting…..waiting….waiting….okay great.  Now set those alarms on your phone.  Please remember not to ignore that alarm.  Even if you only have a quick moment and are maybe not able to pray with others around you, take a moment to pray to God.  Then as the situations arise step out and pray with other people.  Now, I know it can be uncomfortable and perhaps you don’t know what to say, but do it anyways because the more we practice the better we become.

So, what I recommend is to let your God alarm sound off for a few when others are around.  Make sure that someone else hears it instead of instantly turning it off.  Maybe even wait to see if someone else will tell you it is going off, then you can tell them that is your God alarm and pray with them.

Simply take their hands and you can say, “Dear Heavenly Father. We come to you with thanks and praise.  Thank you for this beautiful day and opportunity to pray together.  Lord we want ask you to bless us and protect us today and give us opportunities to share your love with others.  We ask you to watch over our friends and family and help us to use our time wisely.  Thank you Lord….in Jesus Name…Amen.”

Now of course you can pray whatever you like, this is just an idea to help you break out of the comfort zone if you are a bit uncomfortable praying with others.  So, remember to listen to the God alarm and post this to your friend’s pages so they can do the same.  Let’s make sure God’s alarm is ringing all over the world.  Please share your amazing stories with us to see how God’s alarm is affecting others.   Psalm 96:3 “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”

                Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Grade  “F” or is it my place to grade them?
Grade “F” or is it my place to grade them?

What…an ‘F’?

Why oh why is my life this way?  It is so empty, so lonely, so vacant and alone.   Don’t worry, I’m not talking about myself, I’m actually talking about the restaurant we went out to last night for supper.  I know it sounds a bit crazy, but that was the words I could hear coming out of the magnificent, dark-stained wood beams as they stood over the emptiness that should be a booming food establishment.

 

One of our friends works out of state half the month, so we joined them for a goodbye meal before his morning departure back to the oil rigs.  His wife stated that she would like to go early in order to beat the evening dinner crowds and insure us a quick seating, so we agreed to meet at 5:30pm.  I know right, that is early.  Anyways, we met as planned and headed into the lobby entrance.  And as I looked around I saw only a few staff members and a handful of patrons seated.  I thought to myself, fantastic…we should get great service and be in and out.  But as you can guess, this wasn’t quite the case.

 

Now mind you, that I have been teaching all about love and the importance of humbling oneself to think of others as better than ourselves.  I know you can already feel it coming on, the test….dun, dun, dun.  Yep, that is exactly what I got….the dreaded, but very important, God test.   And how I do is all up to me.

So, usually the first thing you do in a test is put your name on top and get ready for the questions.  So, I’m thinking, okay this is the easy part….meet our waitress……….meet our waitress……….meet our oh, here she comes.   Nope, not so much.  It’s just a sweet lady putting down some bread plates.   Meet our waitress….meet our waitress, okay finally a waitress (only 15 minutes after being seated with no one in the restaurant btw).  Oops, did I say that.

Question number one…….WRONG!

Onto the next section of the test, getting our food.  Oh, by the way, did I mention that we are at a steak house, known for ah…being a steak house.  Anyways….question two….WRONG!   Here comes that beautiful 6oz filet, medium-rare with a loaded baked potato….yum,yum…..well-done.  Are you kidding me, really?  Of course a steak house can’t properly cook a steak.  Can they not put a thermometer in the meat and test it before sending it out?  No wonder it is so dead in here.   Yikes….question number three….WRONG!

Wait, there is just one more question on my test….let’s see how I can do.   The very apologetic manager makes his way to the table and offers us free desert for our troubles.  Oh, how nice…thank you sir.   Yeah, nope, just a few eye rolls and another look around at the empty restaurant.  The beautifully plated mocha mud pie, strawberry shortcake and chocolate lava cake arrived at the table.  They look glorious upon the plate with the whipped crème in abundance.  Then, once again, the looks of disgust upon all eight faces as we pass around the deserts.  Needless to say, we left them half-eaten in the middle of the table.   Question four…….WRONG!

 

Final grade…….F!

F, what do you mean F?  If I was you I would have felt the exact same way.  Well, initially I thought that too.  I felt that I had a right to be upset, disgusted and let down all at the same time.  But then I remember that one precious word of God’s……love.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

I know, you expected me to post 1 Corinthians 13 didn’t you?  Love is patient, love is kind, etc.  But, I believe this verse hits home with my test.  I love how John starts off with “little children”.  That about hits the nail on the head.  We love to act just like little children when we don’t get our way or things don’t go just to perfection.  It’s all about me, me, me.  But, Heather, you were at a restaurant and a paying customer.  You should expect a good service.  Yeah, yeah I know.  But as we grow in Christ, we need to learn to go a bit deeper than just the surface.   We need to realize that God can, and does, use the little or sometimes big experiences in our lives to help us grow.

So, here goes.  We all need to grow up and quit acting like whinny little kids.  We are in this world together.  And no, it is not a perfect world.  And no, not everything always works out the way that we would hope it would.  And no, you aren’t all that matters in this life.  But, but, but……no buts.  We have to get over ourselves and realize there is a whole world full of people that need to see Jesus through us.  Not just in word, as the scripture says, but in deed (action) and in truth (for real).

We have to be done with saying…oh, yes I am a Christian….tee, hee, hee….I am perfect….look at me.  While on the inside you are a slathering, hot mess.  God wants us to be so much more than that.  He wants us to show our love for others in our actions; and He wants us to really mean it.  So, to put this in everyday terms….when your service at a restaurant is not that good and the food comes out tasting terrible and being overcooked, you do not sit and down-grade everything.  No, you stop, think about all of the circumstances and love.   You pray over the staff, the cooks, the manager.  You ask God to bless them and make them successful and yes even cook your steak to a perfect medium-rare.  Well, really God does care about the little things and He wants to be involved in every part of our lives.  So, why not our meals?

Just remember that when you ask God to make you into the person He created you to be or you ask him what it is that you can do for Him, get ready.   Because God isn’t going to just test you in these big, enormous ways all the time.  Yes, he may ask you to do a mission’s trip, or feed the poor, or clothe the naked, etc., but most of the time He is just telling us to love.  So, I encourage you today to take off your blinders and notice the little quizzes in life.  And be prepared by trying, and trying, and trying again to show your love in real action.  Don’t be fake and try to act all perfect like you are little miss or mister I never do wrong.  Just be love and notice others and pray for their needs.  Open your eyes and look around you because there are tests everywhere.  Now comes the final question… are you passing your test?

 

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

But a Moment in Time
But a Moment in Time

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever notice how some people in life just seem to always be down in the dumps and never ever seem to break out?  What a shame!  Times in our lives, experiences, moments, happiness, sadness, joy, comfort, anxiety, passion, anger, happiness and so much more are all important aspects that make us who we are.  But, unfortunately many people grab ahold of one moment or experience in time and they just can’t seem to let it go.

 

This time may be a representation of a good time or a bad time.  The good time is a moment that you just wish to relive over and over.  It was a time where you could remember the happiness that made you never forget that moment in time.  So, instead of treasuring that memory you push forward to experience it again and again.  Now, this isn’t always the worst thing in life, like perhaps a vacation with the family or a beautiful mountain spring; but then there is that unforgettable sadness so many cannot seem to break out of.  The time when you remember being ever so happy and try desperately to get it back, yet you know it is one hundred percent impossible.

 

And oh the bad times.  You feel like that thing that has happened to you is the absolute worst thing in the entire world.  You can’t believe the bad luck you have.  It seems like absolutely nothing ever goes in your favor and you are always getting the short end of the stick.  And no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to break out of that moment.

 

Well, you don’t have to stay in that moment, good or bad.  You don’t have to spend your entire life trying to relive that one moment in time that you thought was just perfect.  You don’t have to live in regret, sorrow or depression.  Your life is so much more than that.  You were created to have a multitude of experiences in life.  They weren’t all meant to be good, perfect, mediocre or difficult, but they were all created so that you can grow as a person.

 

God uses our weaknesses, our victories and our defeats to bring us into our destiny.  Well, I don’t know what my destiny is you may be asking; but you are no different than so many others.  We spend our lives looking at circumstances while growing and learning through each one.  You see our God is an amazing God.  He has good and incredible plans for our lives.  He wants us to use each one of those ups and downs to make a change in our world and in ourselves.

 

We are given but one opportunity in life and we owe it to ourselves to reach out and become the very best person that we can be.  So, be done with allowing one moment in time define you because you are so much more than that.  We are meant to live life to the fullest and become all that you are created to be.  So quit letting your mind lie to you.  Break out of that bondage and be free to enjoy your life.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…

Count it all Joy
Count it all Joy

How are you living your life?  Are you walking around with a joyful attitude or are you walking around with a sourpuss, poor me attitude?  Are you looking at each day with expectation and an abundance of hope?  Well, unfortunately many people are walking around with a pitiful attitude.  But, I am here to tell you that you have a choice to make.  You do not have to live your life filled with anguish and pain.  No, you can be filled with an unspeakable joy that overcomes all things.

I know, how on earth do you expect me to do that?  Well, we have to learn to look beyond our problems, beyond our sickness and beyond your trouble.  God knows how and where you are and He hears you and He has a victory for you.  So, ask and receive.  Speak out to God and glorify in knowing that He is for you and not against you.

  God is the great healer who gives joy with no sorrow.  Psalm 30:5 “Weeping may be at night, but joy comes in the morning.”  When we see this, we can stop thinking about every negative thing that has happened to us over the past twenty years.  God is our redeemer and our joy.  So, stop waiting for joy to run over you, you move towards joy.  Matthew 25:21 “Enter into the joy of the Lord.”  We have to exercise and embrace our joy.”  John 16:24 “Ask and receive that your joy may be full.”  Psalm 16:11 “in thy presence is the fullness of joy.”

A joy explosion is among each one of us and all the powers of hell cannot defeat us for we are children of God.  James 1:2 “my brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”  We are all blood relatives through the cross and God has said that we should be filled with joy. We need to refill ourselves with joy.

You can have a refreshing of your marriage, your relationships, your finances, your business.  Proverbs 17:22 “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  For a day without laughter is a day without sunshine.  We really need to capture joy in the moment of life.  Regardless of what is going on in life, we can have joy.  Remember that when people are coming against you, and people are saying things about you, laugh.  What?  Yep, now you have made the devil so mad that he has sent his minions to come against you.

Philippians 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.  Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”   We have to learn to sit with a joy and expectation that something good is going to happen.  Our joy is always there.  It is not like what makes us happy.  Joy is our innermost soulful joy.  Whether there is a hard time, a good time, a crazy time, we can have joy.  So, I encourage you today to find the joy that overcomes the circumstances in your life.

How can we have a joyful feeling in our day of everything we are going through?  Well, let’s look at Jesus who “counted it all joy” as he was led to the cross.  It was His joy to know that He was taking our sickness of sorrow.  Jesus knew that he was taking our shame of our past, that he was opening wide the storehouses of Heaven for us, that all of the blessings of the Covenant were now for who so ever shall receive.  So be joyful and know that you are royalty and blessed.

 No matter what is going on in your life, you have the authority of God.  You are what the bible says you are, you can do what the bible says, you can have what the bible says you can have.  You have authority, you are a threat to the prince of darkness.  When you roll over in bed, every demon trembles with fear, because you are the King’s child and you have all power on earth and in heaven.  Jesus has given us direct access to God and all that is His.  “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.”  So today….rejoice and be glad for nothing is impossible for you.  Shout and be joyful, lift your hands and praise God Almighty and know that heaven will come down and glory will fill you with all the joy of the Lord.

                                                Blessings:  Heather Joyner

 

A Silver Spoon
A Silver Spoon

Do you ever look around and wonder how a person got where they are or why one person seems to just be born with a silver spoon in their mouth?  Well, I believe man people think this way and truly wonder…..why them and not me?

 Why is it that some receive one kind of return and some another? Does God just arbitrarily give greater blessings to one person than He gives to someone else? Absolutely not! He measures the blessing back to us according to the way we measure the Word. Mark 4:24 (AMPC): “And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”

Our increase depends on how much thought, study and attention we give God’s Word in this area. We must give God’s Word first place in our heart and receive it by faith instead of doubt.  We must be willing to defend it when the devil tries to steal it.  The Lord is just waiting on your faith!

When we make a choice to become increase minded, our faith has a chance to flourish.  Scripture after scripture tells us about the promises in God’s Word for our supernatural increase.  Sadly enough, so many people never grab ahold of this principal and they live their lives filled with lack and poverty.  Okay, let me ask you a question:  In order to get something in life, don’t you have to do something?  Of course you do!  Well, in God’s economy we are required to have faith.

What do you mean have faith?  Well, have faith in what God’s Word says.  The Bible is filled with a multitude of scriptures on financial increase, protection, favor, blessings etc., but it is up to us to find those scriptures, believe those scriptures and act on them through faith.  We have to meditate (or read over and over) the words that God has said to us.  Once we continue in this quest, this journey, our hearts begin to be filled with faith and belief.

Oh, well, that is fine and good for you Heather, but I don’t really believe all that mumbo jumbo.  Well, too bad, so sad for you.  You can choose to believe that a truck isn’t going to come at some time or another when you are standing in the middle of a downtown freeway also, but that doesn’t make it true.  And you can choose not to believe that getting ahold of the Word of God and activating it through faith doesn’t work either, but once again that doesn’t make it true.  You have to believe and take a chance in life.

The bible is filled with promises and amazing gestures from God for obedience through His Word.  Now, you can live your entire life with a belief in Jesus as your Savior and truly be a good person and go to heaven one day; but Jesus died for so much more than that.  3John2 tells us that Jesus came so that we may prosper in all areas of life.  He didn’t say to just barely get by…just making it till Jesus comes back.  So, I ask you….what are you waiting for?

It is time to find your faith!  Open the Word of God, speak the scriptures out loud, activate your faith and believe that it is for you.  When you take the time to act upon the Word of God, you will see proof positive that God is faithful and just to those who obey.  When the Word says in Malachi 3:10 “tithe and see that I will open the storehouses of heaven and pour out a blessing so great you cannot take it in.”, then do it.  Quit being stingy with your money.  The Word says “give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing with room for more.”

He is thinking about how He can bless us and, “do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” (Ephesians 3:20, AMPC).

Wow, is all I have to say.  And I am living proof of the principal answers found in God’s Word.  He does stay faithful and true to what His Word says.  I decided seventeen years ago to give my way of thinking over to the Word and believe in all of the principals He has laid out, and my life has never been the same since.  I have seen and put His principals to the test.  I have seen the truth in obedience.  And I have prevailed!  God has blessed me, and continues to bless me each day as I have faith and believe what scripture says is available for me.  So what are you waiting for?  Reach out, open the Word of God and grab ahold of your silver spoon.

                                                Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Christflection
Christflection

Love:  what a little word with so very much meaning.  We hear people talk about loving people all the time.  As a teenager, we can’t wait to hear a guy or gal tell us they love us for the first time.  We spend hours upon hours focused on love and how someone does or does not love us.  Relationships die, families are destroyed, people kill themselves…..all over love.

Wow!   The power that exudes from this one precious word is incredible.  It’s impact can be felt around the world.  Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy this one itty bitty word.  But, why is this word so powerful and so destructive?  Well, we can find the answer to that in scripture through the meaning of love.

1Corinthians 13 “Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  Love does not demand its own way.  Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.  It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…there are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.  Let love be your highest goal…”

So you see, what we are really searching for is God.  Huh, how did you go there?  Well, God is love and this love appeared to us here on earth to show us the perfect love.  Jesus the Christ took himself as our hate, as our sin, as our embarrassment, as our fault and as our defilement and destroyed Satan forever.  Jesus took hate, death and destruction and nailed it to the cross.  And he replaced it with love.

And when we truly come to understand who and what Jesus represents, maybe just maybe we can begin to truly love others.  Jesus took all of our sin, our hate, our lust, our greed and destroyed it.  He has given us freedom in return.  When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, all of these horrendous acts that we have done, are no longer.  It is like they have never existed.  No matter what the sin or shame you have felt throughout your life, he took and erased it all.  We are now seen as a direct reflection of Christ.

Now that we are no longer seen as ourselves, but of Christ, then our behavior should mirror Him.  And He is love, so we ought to love.  Now go back to the true meaning of love and see if you truly are living this way.  Well, I don’t know about you, but it sure does take direct attention for me to love in this amazing way.  But today is a new day and a today I will be love.

Lord Jesus, help each one of us to love as you have loved.  Help us to see others as you see them and help us to treat them as you would treat them.  How we love you and thank you for loving us even as we are.  Thank you that we are now a mirror of you and no matter what we do or how we act, Lord you are the reflection in the mirror.  Help us to live up to that precious sacrifice you made upon the cross.  And Lord help us to recognize changes we need to make in our love walk so that we may be mirrors that directly reflect you.

                                                Blessings:  Heather Joyner