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Family Easter Event 2021

Good Morning Friends and Followers

FaithAnchored Ministries will be hosting a Family Easter Event on Saturday, April 3rd in Walkerton off of SR 104.

You must register to attend the event (this is to ensure we have enough food and supplies for those who attend)

Once registered full address will be given.

The Family Easter Event will include breakfast, egg hunt, family egg throw painting, the story of Easter, a family photo and More!

Message me to register the event is FREE.

Donations are greatly appreciated. You can donate online or at the event. FaithAnchored Ministries is fully funded by donations. All contributions go back into the ministry to host future events, giveaways, meal relief, and more!

Email us at FaithAnchored@yahoo.com to register or Message Me on Facebook FaithAnchoredMinistries

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Daily Devo- World Hatred in the Last Days

It is 2020 and the world seems to have lost its’ mind. From a global pandemic that caused a shortage of toilet paper– to riots, looting, and pure hatred for our president as well as accusations of a stolen election.

Hatred is at an all time high in America– we are slowly going from the United States of America to the Divided States of America.

There are many in our country who are pushing to turn things of evil into things that are acceptable and good. This comes from a place of pride, selfishness, and lack of knowledge of the truth in God’s Word.

Those who claim to be Christian are under great scrutiny right now. The world is watching every step we take and using our imperfect if we actions to draw conclusions about our perfect and loving Savior- Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that the world will hate us– just as they hated Jesus. Jesus faced many attacks during His time here and warns us that we are ‘no better than our master’. Meaning we should acknowledge that they hate us because we are not of the world– we are of Christ– who the world also hated. If we were of the world- they would love us.

If we are faithful servants and believer’s of Jesus Christ the questions is not if the hate and attacks will come, but when.

John 15 goes on to tell us that we are not alone– they hated Jesus without a cause– and they will do the same to us.

John 15:18-25 NKJV

The World’s Hatred

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

We need to be prepared with the knowledge of truth in the gospel, so that when the attacks come– we can defeat each one in the name of Jesus. The Bible warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that in the last days perilous (full of danger or risk, exposed to imminent risk of disaster or ruin) times will come.

2 Timothy 3:1-15 NKJV

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

The Man of God and the Word of God

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Are you prepared with the gospel of truth, and ready to take a stand for Jesus?

We are living in the last days and the hatred for the truth in God’s Word is growing. Many are putting their personal feelings as priorities over the truth- removing God from many areas of our life.

I have been told we must keep the separation of church and state as the reason as to why their feelings or ways are being discriminated against. I can agree there should be a separation of church and state but NOT a separation of Jesus and state– these are two completely different things.

One is a building with religious practices and rules; where as the other is a relationship and foundational base of our country. All moral principles and laws were made based on the truth in the Bible. (stealing is illegal, lying is wrong, cheating/adulatory is wrong, we are to respect our elders, and forgive those who have hurt us– the list could go on)

The Bible is our foundational truth– the truth that people should be using as their source to ‘fact check’ anything. Without the compass of truth and morals– there would be no laws to follow.

I encourage you today to start preparing yourself for the day Jesus returns. Prepare yourself for the battles that lie ahead and equip yourself with the truth of God’s Word.

If the world hates you because of your relationship with Jesus- you are not alone- pick up your cross and keep pushing forward. Fight for what is good and right according to the word of God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for sending Jesus to be by my side and to go before me in each battle I face. Thank you for Your guidance through Your Word on the hatred in the world and the last days we are living in. I confess that I have allowed the hatred of others to affect my relationship and walk with You- forgive me Lord- and expose to me any hatred I am holding in my heart. Bring every thought and action in accordance with Your will for my life. I pray You would be my strength when I am weak and that in You I will run and not grow weary when standing against the hatred in the world. It is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Be Strong and Courageous

God did not design us with a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind. Fear is a liar, and from the enemy himself. The truth about fear is that everyone experiences it throughout their life. It is how we handle the fear when it creeps in that determines its effect on our lives.

Wikipedia describes fear and its cause like this…

Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. (Fear – Wikipedia)

Fear can stop us in our tracks, it can prevent us from ever starting something, it can keeps us stuck where we are, and can destroy our lives if we do not overcome it. Just as you read Wikipedia state fear is a feeling that is induced by perceived danger or threat.

Notice that the definition says perceived danger.. perceived means to interpret or look on in a particular way. So fear comes as a feeling that each person gets from how they interpret a situation as a danger or threat, this does not mean it is actually dangerous or an immediate threat.

This means that more likely than not, whatever it is that you are fearing, is not worth fearing at all. Change your perception and thoughts about the situation and see if you still find the circumstances as a danger or threat.

If you find that you are still feeling fearful, but do not see an immediate danger or threat, then I encourage you to do it afraid, as Joyce Meyer would say.

If you struggle with feelings of fear over any area in your life, it is important to remember that God tells us to ‘fear not’. The Bible also tells us that God is with us wherever we go. Fear is a liar and wants to hold us back from our God given purpose and destiny. We cannot let fear control our actions and ultimately our life.

One of the struggles I face today is to ‘go’ when God calls me to go. I have a fear of not being good enough, not being able to effectively share His Word, a fear of rejection and failure, and in the past I feared God was mad at me.

I realize that these fearful feelings are NOT from God. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel them, but it does mean I must put my fearful feelings in check with God’s Word and not allow them to stop me from following His lead.

Reflection

What is God saying to you today about fear?
Do you feel God is calling you to take a stand against your fearful feelings?
What is the definition of fear? Perceived?

Call to Action

Determine the reason you are fearful in a situation… is the fear from a perceived danger or an actual danger or threat.

Pray and ask God to help you ‘do it afraid’.

Don’t let fear stop you from fulfilling your purpose and chasing your dreams.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for your unfailing love, patience, and understanding. Thank you Lord for another wonderful day to rejoice and praise Your Holy name! Lord, I confess that I have allowed fear to stop me in the past from doing something I felt called to do. Lord the fear can be so paralyzing at times and the perceived danger seems so real. God help me to discern when circumstances are truly dangerous and when it is a ploy from satan to try to stop my growth in You. Lord I pray that You alone would be our strength and courage. Help us Father to be bold and courageous in Your name, pushing forward, putting every lie from satan under our feet and glorifying Your kingdom! Lord, help us to choose faith and courage over fear and disobedience it is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Devotionals, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

God’s Design for Sexuality- Adam and Eve

Genesis 2:18-25

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

The Bible makes it clear that our sexuality is built into our original design by God. God created man, woman, and all things and called it all ‘very good’! God invented sex, which is meant to be the glue that holds the relationship between man and woman together.

The Bible is clear that marriage and sex go hand in hand, two becoming one flesh; one cannot thrive and create a healthy relationship without the other. Man and woman, originally Adam and Eve, were created by God as a relationship unit.

God created male and female in His image. He used a rib from Adam to create Eve, neither were meant to be valued above the other. He created each of them with their own purpose that was complimentary to the other. Gender and opposite sexes were what produced the intimate concepts of marriage and family.

Adam and Eve were the first lovers and each were incomplete without the other.

Sex cannot do its work without the vital component of marriage as God intended it for. This is why when we are sexually active outside of God’s design of marriage between a man and a woman, we experience sexual brokenness resulting in a loss of sexual integrity.

Sex is not just about an action or about gender. It is a foundational part of who we are, what our original design was, and how we can relate to God and others intimately.

Sex is a gift from God intended to be experienced between a man and woman after marriage. The sexual union has a very specific intended design to help people express spiritual intimacy, emotional bonding, passionate excitement, and genuine nurturing.

Sex is meant to bond you and help you grow in intimacy, forming a life long ‘soul mate’ partner.

The Bible also spells out what God says about other aspects of marriage. (besides sex)

Genesis 2:24-25 explains we are to leave our other significant relationships and join together becoming one flesh. The process of marriage is designed to result in complete and total disclosure to one another, leaving us feeling ‘naked’ and ‘unashamed’.

Due to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden, they are the only two who ever experienced marriage in its original design as God intended. Their disobedience brought in an invasion of sin that complicated every area of life, including marriage and sex.

Society is filled with sexual immorality, temptation, sin, and misinformation on sex, marriage, and God. We need to be aware and set boundaries in our own thoughts and life that will help us to maintain our sexual integrity.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Sexual sin has devastating consequences to our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being; it can also have devastating effects on others involved.

Marriage alone cannot heal sexual brokenness. It is Christ alone who can redeem your sexuality and heal your brokenness. In Him you can have the redemption you need to have disciplined, mature, healthy boundaries and marital faithfulness.

If we commit our lives to God and live as a married couple under God’s guidelines of marriage and His direction, we can expect to experience that marriage and marital sex can be ‘very good’ as God intended it.

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God’s Love vs Human (Worldly) Love

Many over the years have confused what love really is. The truth is there are many different types of love. God’s Love and Love for God and the way humans love and the world teaches us what love is are what we are going to explore in this article. If a person doesn’t understand the type of love being referred to from the one speaking, it could easily cause confusion or unintentional misleading. Meaning when a person whom does NOT know God and what His love really is they could confuse a message about God and His character by comparing His love to the way we as humans love.

The only way to truly know the difference between the two is to experience it for yourself. I encourage each person to explore God’s love and meaning on their own by researching and studying the Bible (God’s Word).

There are MAJOR differences between human love and God’s love and those differences if not understood could be used as a weapon by Satan to keep an individual from knowing God and seeking a relationship with Him. Using the misconceptions, as weapons, to lie to you about your self-worth, God’s character, what your purpose is— the list goes on.

God’s Love

Agape- the highest form of love which is the love of God for man and man for God. God is love, see 1 John 4:8.

God’s love is unconditional God is not mad at you! God’s love will never change for you! You can not earn God’s love as His love is not based on merit, we can never be “good” enough for God’s love and mercy. We love because God first loved us. 1 John 4:19

God’s love is Sacrificial– The bridge between us as sinners and God has been made by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. God loves us so much He sent HIS ONLY SON to die for our sins so we may be saved from an eternity in Hell! WoW!! I mean really think about that would you send your child or even you yourself to be tortured, beaten, and killed on the cross for someone, perhaps this person even denies your existence? This is God’s love He loves us even when we do not choose Him.. John 3:16 Romans 5:8 God’s love is about what He gives and Who He is.. NOT about what you do.

God’s love is forgiving, merciful, and endures all things– Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Love has no fear and endures forever. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Romans 8:38-39

Image result for love is patient bible verse

Human love

According to Wikipedia Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.

When it comes to Human love it is often based on feelings and merit. What someone or something does that makes you feel happy, smitten, and other positive feelings.

Human love is often looked at as “disposable” in todays society. When a marriage gets tough people tend to divorce, when our favorite shoes wear out we throw them away, when something is broke we simply replace it with something new. This is the exact opposite of Gods Unconditional love for us.

Human love can be “tarnished” by inconsistency, lies, betrayal, and intentional or even unintentional hurt. We have a hard time forgiving those whom have hurt us or have done us wrong in some way, which in turn can cause friction and change in the relationship. God’s Love is quick to forgive and as you seen earlier, keeps no record of wrongs, so when we mess up–because we will– we need to repent and ask God for his mercy and forgiveness, this keeps our relationship with God strong and unchanging. When we mess up God already knows and is there waiting and ready to forgive and move on, our only requirements is to ask and receive His forgiveness.

This message is close to my heart because I was once trapped in the misconception of Gods love vs Human love. Chained and bound by the lies from Satan leading me to think I am not worthy of God’s love or any love for that matter. I came to this conclusion on my own by comparing the pastor’s message that God loves me to the words spoken from those in my life whom have hurt me deeply, yet claimed to love me.

It took years for me to come to the realization that God is NOT mad at me because of my past or even current mistakes. I use to think God was punishing me when the trials in life would come and even use to think what have I done so wrong…? I have also felt like I had “let God down” when I messed up, like seriously, God is going to eventually give up on me– just like everyone else. (another lie from Satan)

This just is not true God is patient, slow to anger and quick to forgive. God loves each and every one of us unconditionally, without change, even when we do not feel it or when we make mistakes. Nothing can separate us from His love.

I desperately want people in the world to see they are NEVER alone and no matter what humans do to you God is bigger and God is near, you just have to call on Him. People in the world will let you down –it’s human nature. BUT GOD will never fail! People in the world may lie to you, BUT GOD is a God of His word, He can not lie. People in the world may hurt you, abandon you, disappoint you; BUT GOD is near to the broken hearted and desires for you to live a happy, fulfilling life.

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The Ultimate Valentine

It’s the time of year where “love is in the air”. Couples showering each other with flowers and gifts in an effort to show the other how much they love them. For others it’s a time of sadness, loneliness, and depression. Often feeling unlovable because they are “alone” and have no one to spend the day with. Feeling as if somehow they aren’t “good enough” to have someone show them love on this specific day.

My hopes in writing this is to bring hope, joy, and the surrounding presence of God’s love to those whom feel “alone”. I am excited to share with you– you are NOT alone. Not on Valentine’s day or any other day for that matter. Let me share with you a love that is unconditional, unfailing, and unchanging!

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

The love of Jesus– there is no greater love than that of Jesus Christ– who was tortured and killed for you– yes YOU– so that your sins would be forgiven so you may live eternally– so you would know His love. Perfect- Unconditional- Never Failing Love!

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

There are many people that have the wrong idea of who God is– Thinking that He just wants to take the fun out of life or give you a list of rules that is impossible to follow perfectly. Some think He is mad at them–that He is to blame for the bad things in their life– some even believe that God hates them. As Joyce Meyer says and wrote a book on, God is NOT Mad at you!! I read the book and if you believe God is mad at you–you should read it too.

God doesn’t correct us or give us rules because He is mad or wants to be a party pooper. God corrects us through His word because He loves us! Just as a good parent loves their child– God loves us even more!

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

The Bible is there to instruct, convict, and replenish your soul– not to chastise, condemn, and break you down. God instructs us in Matthew that love is the greatest commandment. This is because God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and lack of capability to uphold each commandment in the law. When Jesus was crucified He was sinless His death represented the love of God to all of us.

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God never stops loving us even on the days or years we do not choose Him. God authored the concept of love–God is love. God wants us to love Him, love ourselves, and love everyone as He loved us. We love because He first loved us.

You see no one is truly alone– that is a lie the enemy wants you to believe– so that you will remain in bondage to loneliness, sadness, and depression. God is always with us–He goes before us and prepares the way.

If you are feeling alone and vulnerable this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to seek out the Ultimate Valentine– God. He showers you with the perfect love all of the days of your life. He has many gifts (blessings) for you– you only have to receive Him and accept them. God is near to the broken hearted and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. What better valentine to have than the one who authored the concept of love.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the ultimate example of unconditional love in Jesus Christ. Thank you for showing us love even when we did not deserve it and in our times of struggle. Forgive us Lord for forgetting that we are never truly alone, You are always with us. Remind us that regardless of what the world says or what our circumstances may seem like we are loved far more than we could ever imagine. Remind us that our relationship with Jesus is far more important and comforting than any relationship we could ever form on this earth. Lord I pray that in this season we remember that we love because You first loved us. Remind us that You are the author of love and we must learn to truly love ourselves and who You created us to be before we could ever show true love to someone else. Lord help us to be vessels for Your kingdom, give us courage and boldness to share the love of Jesus with those who cross our paths daily. Thank you for Your perfect and unconditional love and it is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Spreading Love

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is spread-love.png

In my post Love Defined I explained how the word love is perceived one way in society– an emotion or attachment and another in God’s eyes–an attitude or behavior. Further I explained that God is the creator of the concept of love and without God love simply doesn’t exist.

We love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Society has become extremely hateful and negative as a whole. God created us and instructed us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) The intolerance, discrimination, and anger/bitterness that people hold against one another is out of control. It has got to the point for some, that those who are different or think differently than oneself is immediate grounds for hatefulness, slander, and down right bigotry.

God never intended for our world to be full of so much hatred– however by choices made by each person in society– here we are in 2021– God is not allowed to be talked about in school, prayer is frowned upon– yet sex, violence, and other sinful nature runs ramped and no one blinks an eye. I think this year needs to be the year we choose change–choose to spread love–healthy, Godly, unconditional love. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

We are called to walk in love, to share the love of Christ with others, and to be the example of Christ’s love to the world. You have everything you need to walk in love. You already have compassion, empathy, patience to love– you only have to accept Jesus and access it through the Holy Spirit. Love is believing the best in people and not the worst.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

I want to be clear that when I refer to society being hateful and negative as a whole–this INCLUDES many self proclaimed Christians. In fact if I am being honest–I have had some experiences where the Christian folk was far more rude, hateful, and unpleasant than the unsaved folk who had never heard about the love of Jesus.

This is disheartening and exactly why Christians get a bad stigma. When people see someone whom is claiming to be a Christian and love God acting in such a way– it detours the lost– why would they want to live for Jesus and act like that? We have to be very careful and be sure that if we are talking the talk– we need to be walking the walk. This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t mess up because you will– we aren’t perfect. Being aware of your talk and actions during your day to day interactions will help you recognize when your fleshly emotions are starting to take over.

In the Bible God gives us instruction on how to behave like a Christian.

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor (Hate) what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God wants us to love like He loves– not like the world loves. God designed the concept of love and wants us to understand how perfect His love is. When we spread love in the way God tells us too– It pleases Him. God even went as far to say in Matthew 25:33-40 that when you help others you are helping Him. I have often heard people say why doesn’t God stop all the terrible things in the world or why does He allow people to go hungry and without a home. I usually respond with something along the lines of “God created us and called us to do His work– often times we see these things because God is calling one of His children to help those in the world around them and unfortunately we don’t always make the move when we are called into action.” One person alone can’t fix all the “problems” in the world today BUT if we all did our part and acted when called upon to help and show love like Jesus–society as a whole would be much, much better.

Matthew 25:33-40

33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

5 ways to spread love everywhere you go

Smile at people
Hold the door open for someone
Compliment a stranger
Pay it forward (buy someone a meal, coffee, etc.)
Leave positive post-it notes in public places

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for another day to serve and spread Your love! Thank you for the direction and instruction on what love is and how we are called to spread Your love everywhere we go. Father, I confess at times I get wrapped up in the stress and things happening in the world and quickly forget to spread Your love instead of joining the world in spreading division and hate. I pray that You would remind us of Your love and the examples You have given us through the Bible. Lord, help us to be great and loving servants, help us to spread Your love to all those we come in contact with. Touch our hearts and lead us each day to those You have sent for us to share Your love and truth with. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen


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Love Defined

What is love?

An age old question that people have been seeking the answer to for years- some find it- some never do. In a world full of so much hate and misrepresentation it is easy to get lost in what the world says love is. I say this because I was lost– for many years– due to false beliefs of what it meant to love or feel loved– in my case, this had a lot to do with my life experiences and lack of positive reinforcement to set healthy boundaries and concepts of love itself.

So in the spirit of the upcoming “holiday”- Valentine’s Day- I decided to dig deep into the origins of love-where it came from- what it’s suppose to really mean– and how healthy love is shown and received. The month of February will be designated to articles pertaining to love. I write this in hopes it helps someone fill the missing void and redefine their thoughts on the true meaning of Love.

Dictionary.com defines love in the following ways

  • passionate affection for another person
  • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
  • sexual passion or desire
  • Then notes Christianity: Gods benevolent attitude toward man–mans attitude of reverent devotion towards God.

Wikipedia defines love like this:

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.

Wikipedia goes on to explain that Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Scientific research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades. The color wheel theory of love defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The triangular theory of love suggests “intimacy, passion and commitment” are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

In the Bible love does not refer to an emotion but an attitude or behavior.

If we follow history back far enough it all begins in the same place–In the beginning was God. He created all the Earth, all things that walk the Earth and swim in the sea, every creeping creature, and He created man and woman in His image.

Love is of God. God authored the concept of love. Without the presence or existence of God there is no love.

1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

As you may already be able to see our society’s view on love vs what love was designed by God to be are two different things.

Although they have similarities the biggest difference is the love we learn from society is broken– it can and will fail, it’s usually not an unconditional love, society’s version of love is emotionally charged and can change based on circumstances– where God’s purpose and design for love is based on an attitude or behavior. We love because He first loved us.

Let’s explore more of God’s design for love–a love that is fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, and patient among many other things. God describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 as the greatest gift He has given us.

1 Corinthians 13- Love the greatest gift

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Could you imagine a world where we loved ALL people like God tells us to– no matter their background–no matter their sin. I encourage everyone to put love to the test and love like a 1 Corinthians 13 warrior.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for loving us in a perfect and unconditional way. Thank you for giving us the ultimate example of love through Jesus. God this world is so lost and has distorted the meaning of love so badly that it’s overall meaning and design has been nearly erased. God we know that You are love and without You there is no love. I pray that you touch each persons heart that reads this, open their eyes and hearts to the truth in Your Word. Remind us that regardless of what the world says love is, we know in You there is a perfect love that drives out fear and it renews us from the inside out. God, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and embrace us in Your loving arms. I pray that those who do not know You would seek to know You and would feel your love and presence surround them. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

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From Trials to Triumph, From Bound by Sin to Set Free!

Bam! Bam! Bam! My head bounced off the wall behind me. Anger and rage, as if something dark had completely consumed his body. Blank, black, nothingness in the eyes of my father, as I looked back in anger and disbelief.

How could he?

Why would he?

I did everything he wanted me to—where did I go wrong?

Thoughts racing one hundred miles per hour through my head—as I experienced demons face to face.

The demons of my earthly father—stared deep into my soul—as I prayed- “Lord, help me! Forgive him for he knows not what he is doing.”

In the split seconds of this all unfolding—I remember thinking I hope the picture on the wall above me does not fall and hit us— how far is he going to go—When I get my feet back on the ground—I am out of here!

He finally let go, as my feet hit the ground, the words spewed out of my mouth—like word vomit “YOU ARE FLIPPING (only I said the real one—the big one—the “F” bomb”) OUT OF CONTROL—I AM OUT OF HERE!”

I quickly walked towards the door—grabbed my purse—in attempt to exit without any further exchanges.

I knew better than that.

As more words of hate, anger, and bitterness spewed from his mouth towards me—I stood in shock, anger, and disbelief—after everything I have done and been through—this is what I get?

And there it was again—the word vomit—It was like I had zero control over my words—and out it came— “IT WAS MY SON—MY SON—THAT THEY TOOK AWAY! HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL?” I screamed, before I quickly left—giving him a dose of his favorite angry gesture—I slammed the door behind me and b-lined home.

I lived next door at the time, so I did not have far to go and there was not much distance between us—we literally shared a yard. This was the beginning of the end, the boiling point that would bring me to where I am today. After about thirty-one years of struggling, fighting, and going through some of the darkest days of my life—It was time to Rise!

Rise Up! Be the woman I am called to be—take my life back—find my freedom and joy once again.

After many years of praying, seeking, and crying out—God answered me. His answer was NOT one I expected nor one I liked.

He said to me, clear as day—”Stephanie, are you going to listen to Me, God the Father, or your earthly father? You cannot live to please us both. Seek first my kingdom and all things will be added to you.”

“Ok, God—I am all in—I don’t know what this means or where you are going to lead me next—but I am all Yours.” I said, “You lead the way.”

Take a journey with me through a season of devastation, loss, abuse, and heartache. From victim to victor—from trials to triumph—from loneliness to surrounded by God’s love and presence.

Read through my time of struggle and see the relations to your life trials. Learn that no matter what, God is on your side.

When the pressure is on—it is not a time to quit—it is the time to rise up!


To read the rest of my testimony get your e-book or paperback copy on Amazon!

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Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I am sure you have heard the famous question of, “Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This question is usually asked when trying to determine if a person is pessimistic or optimistic.

However, I recently heard another pastor (I don’t remember who) state that what people are forgetting is that the glass if refillable!

WOW!

Such an obvious yet deep statement; one that I never really looked at before now.

It is typical of the world we live in to make you believe there are only two options; in this case half empty or half full. In other cases, it may look like; we are to believe what the government and the ‘majority’ are saying or stand against them.

Pushing an outrageous agenda that an individual is either supportive of the misguided opinion or you are a hate filled bigot who must be stopped is another example of today’s society deceiving you to believe it is one or the other.

BUT GOD! There is ALWAYS going to be the original set standard of truth, morality, purpose, and creation. The Bible warns us of the days that the world will perceive lies as truth and truth as lies. We must remember our roots and stand strong like a tree that is planted by the water– we shall NOT be moved.

Going back to the cup analogy; there is another popular saying that comes to mind and that is, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Referring to self-care, if you continue to pour out your love, patience, understanding, and so on, but you never refill the cup eventually you will have nothing left to pour out; your glass will be empty.

The point is, you do not have to be conformed to the worlds’ view and perception.

The glass is neither half full nor half empty– the glass is REFILLABLE!

When you are feeling down and like your glass is half empty, I encourage you to dig into scripture and fill your glass back up with good, pure water (the Word) and have confidence in knowing that the Lord knows we all need a ‘refill’ that is why His Word tells us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

God knows that the world is going to persecute, distort, and attempt to leave you feeling empty. That is why His Word, the Bible, is full of encouragement, truth, and promises you and I can count on.

We must be careful not to buy-in to the lie that our cups are half empty and we definitely do not want to be refilling our cup with the ways of the world.

If you don’t refill with the correct pure water (truth, the Word of God, and Jesus), your cup will contain filthy, tainted water of the world; which can leave you feeling more empty than ever before.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Lord, I come to You this morning so thankful and humble for Your promises and that You are a promise keeper. Father, sometimes we see our glass as half full and other times half empty. God, You know our hearts and struggles, forgive us for quickly falling trap to lies in the world. God I pray You help us to remember that You are our cup and our cup is refillable! God remind us that we cannot pour from an empty cup and that we need You, Your Word, and Your faithfulness to refill us with good and pure water. Lord help us to remember to call on You when we are feeling weak or empty. Help us to not allow the world to fill our cup with dirty tainted water that will only poison our souls and those around us. Lord, I cry out today fill our cups! Give us the renewed strength, patience, and love we need to continue to spread Your love and kindness to others. I thank you for Your many blessings and claim these promises today in the name of Jesus.

Amen