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Jesus is the Answer
Jesus is the Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Lately the world has seen an unprecedented number of terror attacks, murders, earthquakes, hurricanes, political hatred, racism, authoritative defiance and nuclear threats. And only the naive would not recognize that we are living in perilous times. So, where does this leave us as a nation and a body of Christ? Where and how do we look upon our world and wonder why all of these atrocities are occurring?

 

Well, to address these questions and many more, we have to start at the beginning for recognition of the true accomplice. Over the past few weeks I have heard time and time again, “How can God allow this to happen, or God must be disciplining or angry with those affected.”

God is love and in Him lies life. God loves us so much that he sent his one and only Son to take the death penalty that each one of us deserves. There is not a one of us that can say we haven’t sinned, and therefore we must have a Savior. That Savior is Jesus, the one who was with God since the beginning.

 

John1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 

We were separated from God by our sins, so Jesus came to earth to deal with and finish the required sacrifice. God requires a blood sacrifice for sin and Jesus 100% accomplished just that. He gave His life for you and for me one time and one time only. So what this tells us is that Jesus has already dealt with the sin.

 

In the old testament we saw numerous times where God dealt with sin in amazing ways. We saw a flood which filled the earth and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah through hail and fire. The sin was mighty and absolutely MUST be dealt with. For God to not deal with this sin would lead one to ask what kind of Father He could be. But, no! God is a good and perfect Father and He must discipline us in order for us to be all that He created us to be.

 

Unfortunately, God recognized that time and time again people were continuing on a self-destructive path led by sinful behaviors. So God knew that He must send a proper sacrifice. And this was found in only one: Jesus. Halleluiah.

So this now leads us to know that Jesus took care of or sin, so therefore this destruction that we are seeing all over the world cannot come from God. Jesus already took God’s wrath upon the cross. But there is another and his name is Satan. He is death. He is destruction. He is a murderer. And he has come to kill, to steal and to destroy you, me and all of our friends and family. He is a roaring lion, seeking whom he can devour.

Satan, who in his jealousy, preys on the weak at heart. He is a massive manipulator, a deceiver, a liar, a thief and a murderer. He is Satan and he is evil! The destroyer is just that, a destroyer. He has one goal on earth: to stop you from believing in Jesus and to make you doubt the love of God.

 

And now that we have ascertained the fact that God is a Creator, we can also recognize that our enemy is Satan. And just as God in his Holiness warned Adam and Eve so now we must be warned of our enemy Satan. You see, without knowledge we cannot conqueror. 2Corinthians 4:4 tells us “Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe…”. And when we are blinded, we do not know which way to turn and we see only darkness.

 

But we don’t have to live in darkness, being manipulated and lied to by our enemy. No, we can take a stand for truth and know that although troubles and calamity may be occurring at enormous rates, God is here for us. “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.” (2Corinthians 4:8)

 

So, the bottom line here is that when Satan was given control of the earth by sin, he began a wicked rampage against you and me. He is doing everything in his power to destroy us and lead us to turn away from God and our trust in Jesus. But we will not go down.

You and I were chosen for this specific time with a definite purpose. So, stand up for God. Do not allow others to turn away from God, but encourage them with all of your strength that our lives are 100% complete in Christ.

 

Now more than ever, ensure your heart is right with God. Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Ask Him into your heart and know that you are forgiven and your name is now written in the Book of Life.

 

And although chaos engulfs the world in a multitude of directions, we are always triumphant. So, be an example in the way you handle all situations. Place your trust in our living God, pursue a godly life and work at bringing others to Christ in order to complete the ministry God has given you. (Timothy4)

 

Blessings: Heather Joyner

Calling a Mulligan
Calling a Mulligan

Have you ever just had one of those days, or moments when you wish you could just do it all over again?  You realize the stupid mistake you made and wish you could erase it away.  Well, I recently had that happen to me in a very powerful way.

 

When we really, really want something so desperately that we could just reach down inside and pull it out, won’t we do just about anything to get it?  We hope and dream and pray and beg.  We just know that what we are asking for and want is 100% the right answer.  We cry out to God and cry out to God just hoping to beseech Him enough that He will answer us.

 

Recently I had just that happen to me on a pretty large scale.  So, I had been asking God to help me with a loan I was trying to get for further expansion over one of my businesses.  And I told, yes that’s right…I told God that I knew what I wanted and asked Him to give it to me.

 

Anyways, I was given an opportunity by the SBA to hold the mortgage on my building…but there was just one problem.  The SBA won’t loan to any Businesses principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting”.   Well, uggh, what do I do now.  Oh I knew what to do alright.

 

You see, I am sooo very smart and superior in my thinking.  So much so that I always have the correct answer…..bahhahahahaha.  Yeah, whatever.  But this was my thinking at the moment.  I knew what to do, so I got to work.

 

The loan officer was coming by for a visit to my business and I had to take action.  So, I quickly called the girls and told them to (no judgement now) cover up and/or take down the religious items in the main areas of the building.  I know, I know, but it was just for an hour, right.  Yep, me oh perfect Christian wife, mom, daughter, and business owner put my plan into action.

 

My plan was to get this guy in and out of the building without seeing what I said I stood for in every way.  I justified my rationale that I was not denying God, just simply not wearing Him visibly upon my sleeve, or my business so to speak.  Worse yet, I even had all my employees follow suit.  AHHHHH, in retrospect!  It is absolutely amazing how we can talk ourselves into thinking things are okay to do, when we know deep in our hearts that it is so wrong.

 

To make a long story short, the guy never ended up coming.  And now I felt so bad about my decision.  I had been up all night long regretting and volleying back in forth in my head.  But I felt like I had no other choice. How else would I get this accomplished? I was putting my plan into action and relying on myself to get what I wanted when I wanted it!  Huh, God said….think again.

 

So, lets fast forward another week.  Ifinally get a text message from the loan officer stating he would like to come by the following day to meet with me.  Okay, I thought, here we go again.  But this time I felt something different.  I knew that I knew that what I had done was wrong.  And now I was being given a second chance to make the right decision.

 

Oh my gosh, I was a hot wreck.  So I stopped by my parent’s house to drown my misery.  I was explaining to them the circumstances when my dad said, “Well maybe God will give you a ‘Mulligan’.”  I laughed and told him that I had already been given my Mulligan, many times.  Oh thank God that he does give us ‘Mulligans’ or opportunities for a redo.

 

So again I was up all night and morning thinking what I could say to this loan officer to convince him that I am not a “religious” business.  I was prepared to cover the gamut from religion to relationship.  I never really consider myself to be “religious”.  This is way too hard for me.  But I do know that I have an amazing relationship with my Father.  And the Bible is not some “religious theology”, but rather a book filled with wisdom and knowledge.  And to deny the Bible as a valid source of history, one should also deny all other historical books.  I focus on love and how to love because then, and only then can we really know the true nature of Christ.

 

Okay, back on track, so God was giving me my Mulligan.  And trust me when I say my heart was pitter, pattering non-stop.  But then it struck me!  Why on earth was I so worried about a man when I have the Creator of All things on my side.  He is for me and not against me.  And the only place worry was getting me was nowhere.  So, I cried out to God and left it all in His hands.  And after all my heartache and worry, I at last felt some peace by not trying on my own to make things happen.   I opened up the Word for comfort and found, 2 Chronicles 32:7 “be strong and courageous!  Don’t be afraid (of a mere person), for there is a power far greater on our side!  …..he is just a man.  We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us.”

 

And fight my battles is exactly what and who God is!  Not only did God answer my prayers, but He actually gave me better solutions that I didn’t even know existed.  And the loan officer, this man I feared so greatly, told me that he was nervous to come talk to me.  Well, isn’t life funny?  All that anxiety for nothing more than a headache and guilty feelings.  God had it all along and He deserved all the praise.  For my pride in trying to solve the problem on my own, only led me to a pit of despair. But when I put my trust in God, He took care of everything.

 

So, I want to encourage you today to know that EVERYONE, even those you couldn’t imagine, make mistakes.  Maybe you have an addiction to drugs, or alcohol, or pornography, or cursing or smoking.  Perhaps your issue is your wrong way of thinking or not fully trusting God.  Well, I am here to tell you today that we have a Great and Mighty God on our side.  He hears you when you call to Him and He will fight your battles for you.

 

Don’t give up and give in.  Instead seek God and His wisdom.  Quit relying on yourself and your own abilities.  Ask God for a Mulligan and make the right choice.  Remember what Isaiah 42:10 tells us, Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

 

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Reflection
Reflection

 

Remember that famous song by Otis Redding, ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’?  It is a song that has lived on for years.  With its debut in 1967, it’s hard to believe that so many of different ages know the song.  We can all picture sitting on the water’s edge reflecting on time.  For some this is a moment of joy as we look out at God’s wonderful and marvelous creation, yet for others it may be a time of self-evaluation.

As I was initially writing this, I was thinking about how it seems that heaven is a little closer when you’re by the water.  My thoughts were focused on enjoying God and marveling at creation, yet something propelled me further into investigation.  So, as I focused on the lyrics to this famous song, I was struck by the sadness and loneliness of the song.  Here I was thinking nothing but good thoughts, and yet as I listened to the original version of the song, it was quite the opposite.

It turns out that, ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’, was realized after Otis Redding’s untimely death at the age of twenty-six.  He had been several huge hits and was at the top of his game, so to speak.  Otis had just returned from a European tour and was living in a houseboat in San Francisco Bay where he wrote his last song.

Otis was raised in Georgia and began by singing in his church choir.  But then, at the age of 15, he dropped out of school to help pay the bills after his father’s death.  He worked several odd and end jobs while following his passion for music.  And although he became a musical success, one must look at his life and his lyrics and wonder if he felt a sense of ease and satisfaction of life or if he realized there is much more to living.

I tend to believe it is a little bit of both.  We all have dreams and desires deep within us that we want to achieve and go after.  We have all pondered the meaning of life and wondered why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing.  And I am led to believe that Otis felt the same way.  Being raised in church and the son to a preacher, we know that Otis had roots formed in the Christian faith.  He had seen oppression, suffered the loss of his father to tuberculosis and done everything he could to help his mother and siblings survive financially.  Then a breakthrough happened and Otis’s life would never be the same.  No longer would he have to worry over money, clothes, housing or food.  Now Otis had everything he ever wanted in life, or did he?

If God were to give us everything we wanted, all the riches in the world, would we be satisfied?  If each of our dreams was fulfilled and we could be or have it all, would we find satisfaction?  Otis though not, as his other hit “Satisfaction” leans towards.  The famous words….’I can’t get no satisfaction, but I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried….I can’t get no…no, no no, hey, hey hey.’

So if our trying and trying and achieving and achieving and getting and getting doesn’t do it, what does?  While stuff and things and achievements can be very exciting for the moment, they are just that…..a moment.  And as we reflect on life and wonder what we should do, one doesn’t really have to look that hard.  God’s word tells us in Matthew 30, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added onto you.”

God’s will for us is for us to be successful and to achieve all of our dreams.  But His word tells us one thing to do first….’Seek first the Kingdom of God’ and don’t worry.  Find peace in your life and be happy with life.  God promises us that He will take care of us as we put Him first.  The book of Peter tells us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Otis Redding used his gift that God had given him.  He used it until the day of his death.  And I believe that he knew that all of the fame and success he achieved really meant little.  Satisfaction of life is found in one place and one place only.  And you too can have this satisfaction in the arms of Christ.  If you are reflecting and wondering what you should do and why things are the way they are, seek Him.  This is the place of peace and contentment.  With God first, life takes on a whole new meaning.

You can change your life.  You can make a difference in this life.  You can achieve all of your dreams.  You can live a life of greatness.  Quit waiting and wasting your time.  You will never regret giving your life over to God.  Perhaps you have stepped away and know that you need to make some changes or maybe you have never really made God a part of your life.  Well, now is the time.  Simply ask God into your heart and trust in Jesus’s sacrifice to take away all of your sins.  All of that garbage from our lives is gone in a second, drowned in the bay when we give our lives over to Jesus.

Please don’t wait until it is too late.  You never know what is going to happen.  I am sure that Otis Redding had no idea that the day he got into that plane would be the last flight he ever took.  But as his plane went down into the chilly waters, just three miles from the runway, I’m sure his mind was going in a multitude of directions.  Just before he boarded the plane, his friend James Brown warned Otis not to go.  But as we all know, he did board that plane and he is now with our Father in Heaven.

So as you contemplate life and meaning, make sure to enjoy each moment of time.  God has given you endless opportunities and promises to take care of you.  Your satisfaction will be complete in Christ.  Put your hope in Him and never be lonely again.

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

Bit and Bridle
Bit and Bridle

 

 

 

 

 

If you are a dog lover like me, you know how proud you are of your precious pup when they listen to your voice and are obedient to comply with your commands.  We are so excited to see Fido fetch the stick, sit, lay down, spin, whirl and twirl without hesitation.  But what happens when you are completely ignored by man’s best friend?  We ask again and again for compliance or we give them a nudge in the right direction, but they still don’t listen.  So eventually we end up shoving their tushy down to make them sit or we go get the thrown item ourselves.  It makes you wonder if Fido is acting saying, “look at that silly human chasing that stick.  I’ve got them wrapped around my little paw.”

You see, just like listening to their owners and being obedient is very similar to many of us in our relationship with God.  We hear God speaking to us and we read what God does and doesn’t want us to do in His Word, yet we completely ignore Him.  We go on doing what we want to do despite the blatant signs all around us.

God has all of the answers for us, ready and prepared.  All we have to do is open our eyes. Listen and obey.  A life with God doesn’t just mean that we know or acknowledge that there is a God.  It means that we are making a choice to follow God.  Psalm 32:9 tells us “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”

When you pull on the bridle of a horse, it pulls on the bit in its mouth and pulls it to a halt or forces it to go this way or that way.  God doesn’t want us to have to be led in such a manner.  He wants us to walk in an intimate and open relationship with him.  He wants us to spend time with him each and every day and listen to our conscience.

1 Samuel 15:23 tells us that “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry.”  So, if we really look at this verse, we should cringe at even the thought of not listening to God.  When we live in a world filled with sin, debauchery, drunkenness, crudeness and basically anything goes we should stand at attention eager to be led by the perfect leader of eternity.

In order to be led by God, we have to set aside the things that hinder us from His best in our lives.  These hindrances are the sins that we continue in when our conscience is screaming, “stop, stop, stop!”  And what happens if we ignore God long enough is that suddenly He is just gone.

I can tell you with 100% certainty that you nor I want any part of living a life void of God.  So, let’s spend our days purposely searching for God instead of living in the pain and agony of regret and sorrow.  When God’s word tells us to pray, tithe, raise hands in praise, forgive and give to others, do it!

When we stand in front of God, the Father Almighty, you do not have to shrink away.  No, you can stand strong and proud.  So many people spend their lives getting what they want, but not wanting what they get.  Let’s not be that person, instead accept God’s guidance heart, soul, mind and body.  Allow yourself to be aligned with God’s Word so you can find God’s perfect answer, will, guidance and lead.  Know that God has a perfect will and divine destination for you.  So seek Him with all your heart and live a life free of bit and bridle.

Blessings:  Heather Joyner

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