Time with God. The God of love

Ada MaduakorFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Dear God,   Into your presence I come, Oh God. I am filled with wonder at your greatness. El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty. I praise your Holy Name. Who can compare to you, Oh God. Father, the Mighty King. Oh Lord, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth. Elohim, the everlasting God. God who was and always will be God; unchangeable God. I lift my voice to praise you. Everlasting father, the God of love. You love us even when we do not love ourselves. You are always with us and will never leave or forsake us. Even when those we love forsake us you are there – The everlasting God who exists beyond time and space. I know that you love us and that you are always there..Jehovah Shamma. Father, today I pray that your love is obvious to us, for those you love you bless. This month father we get gifts of love from friends, husbands, loved ones and we are filled with the knowledge that this represents their love for us. But the love of God knows no bounds, you shower us with blessings all the time. I am forever thankful… regardless of what … Read More

Jesus, Forgive Your Church

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Jesus, You must weep at the condition of Your church. It is only through Your suffering that we even have the right to be called Your church. You loved us while we were yet in our sins. You paid the price of our redemption with Your own blood. You have clothed us with Your righteousness so that we have access to the Father. You fill us with Your Spirit, who teaches and empowers us. We are without excuse. We have cast aside Your priceless gift of righteousness so that we can wallow in our treasured sin. While the neighborhood outside our church doors is filled with hurting people, bound by the chains of addiction and lust, we choose to bicker over who has “power”. Even though children are neglected and abused just steps from our sanctuary, we spread gossip because someone threatened our sense of control. Our city is going to hell in a hand-basket, but we choose to focus on who gets credit for trivial things. “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” –Revelation 3:17 ESV O God, forgive us. We, who … Read More

The Importance Of Being Intentional In Relationships-An ABC Series- F Is For Fear

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Motherhood, Trials, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I have been wrestling with the topic of this blog for a few weeks now.  When the idea for this series first came to my heart, I had planned on the topics to be all warm and fuzzy, uplifting and interest peaking, but I’ve been learning along the way that I may have MY plans, but the Lord keeps stirring me to write about things that actually make me quite uncomfortable. I had planned to write about friendship, faithfulness, even forgiveness (knowing that is something I still need to work on) but that nagging feeling just won’t leave my heart.  There’s a different topic that I need to dig into and so this week F is for Fear Fear is something I struggle with greatly. Fear masquerades through my life in many different disguises, but when all is stripped away, I’m faced with the reality of how much fear hinders my life. The bible speaks SO MUCH about being brave instead of fearful, yet this is still something I face every single day. Fear represents a lack of faith and trust, and the devil sure likes to not only magnify my fears, but also throw it in my face that … Read More

The Power of “I Love You”

Madison RosserFaithLeave a Comment

I have the wonderful privilege of teaching middle school, which means this past “little” holiday chalked full of teddy bears and boxes of chocolate was a pretty big deal among my people. Personally, throughout my life, I have neither loved nor hated Valentine’s Day. My husband and I do little to celebrate; however, if you have a middle school child or have hung out with middle schoolers to any extent, you know there are a lot of feelings on Valentine’s Day– feelings of dread, awkwardness, or just flat-out hate. Feelings of anticipation, excitement, and elation. Feelings of being noticed and feelings of being unseen. Considering all these possibilities, I choose to embrace Valentine’s Day in the wild and weird way of middle school. I wear pink and red and don some extra hearts, including a pair of bouncing heart antennae, which result in no one, including myself, taking me seriously at all, all day. I make sure I always have something to give to each kid that walks in my door that day. Just something little. This year it was a chocolate heart. Then I give my Valentine’s Day Speech. It is cheesy and ridiculous. It includes teaching students what … Read More

No More Twisted Truth

Carol DunfeeBible Study, FaithLeave a Comment

Satan is a great liar. He weaves untruth into truth. He takes a great doctrine from the Bible and skews it just a little, so that people who embrace the distortion end up miles away from God’s original truth. Like Eve, we are so easily led away from God’s pure Word by innocent-sounding, seemingly-sincere falsehoods. Even in the most “orthodox” of churches, tiny distortions can permeate an otherwise truth-based organization. It could be an over-emphasis on service, an under-emphasis on God’s Word, a minimizing of prayer’s importance, cherry-picking verses about giving, or expecting the members to all fit one specific mold. While we are all unique individuals who seek God with our own style and gifting, truth itself cannot be tainted without devastating results. We must train ourselves to recognize these small variations on the original truth in God’s Word. How do we protect ourselves from believing twisted versions of truth? Ask for discernment. Our Father wants us to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) In our human weakness, we need divine wisdom to discern between truth and falsehood. Fortunately, we have all the resources we need for wisdom and discernment through the Holy Spirit. He … Read More

Sovereign Above All

Jewel ZymurgyBible Study, FaithLeave a Comment

The study that I have had the privilege of doing with my friend has caused me to think and dig and widen my perspective in such a profound way in what feels like such a short time…I am constantly in awe— This week we are studying God is Sovereign— God is Sovereign—Holding the position of ruler [a supreme ruler], royal, reigning [possessing supreme or ultimate power]; independent of all others; above or superior to all others [supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, boundless, ultimate, total, unconditional]; controls everything, can do anything 2 Chronicles 20:6 “And said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you” Just as peasants have always bowed before their king for fear of offending the one who had the authority to take their life, God’s sovereignty compels us to bow before Him. But unlike corrupt earthly kings who abuse their authority to terrorize their subjects, God rules in love. 1 Chronicles 29:10-13 “Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O … Read More

Sometimes It’s Hard For Me To Love You

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, TrialsLeave a Comment

Sometimes it’s hard for me to love you. I know that sounds ugly, but it’s true.   I know it’s wrong, and I’m sorry. I promise I’m trying to be better about that.  I know what the Bible says. I’ve read it many times before. “Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 NKJV The Bible tells me to love my neighbors (which means coworkers, siblings, parents, customers from work, actual neighbors, church members, inlaws, distant friends, my spouse, my children, my boss, the people in line at the grocery store, our police, our political leaders, ex boyfriends… The list goes on and on.) but  sometimes … Read More

Why We Must Pray

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Have you every wondered why we pray? After all, if God is all-powerful, won’t He make His will happen no matter what we do? Well, yes…and no. This is no simple topic. Christians have been debating it since Calvin wrote his Institutes of the Christian Religion in the 1500s. Is God completely sovereign or do we have free will? Um, yes. Are you confused yet? This past week, I began reading a book on prayer that provided many answers to long-time questions. Dutch Sheets explained why we pray. It is so simple that even my kiddos grasped the concept and began praying with new power! Follow me down this road for a moment… God gave mankind dominion over the earth. “And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.’” –Genesis 1:28 AMP While I had always read this verse with the understanding that God gave us dominion over the animals, I had completely missed that God put the earth under … Read More

He is Faithful—

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

It has been utterly amazing being able to unpack and study the attributes of God—every attribute I look on and have opportunity to share my thoughts, I am brought to a place of finding myself completely astounded at the immensity of God! My jaw practically hits my chest with joy at hearing and being able to share in how the same verses impact another as I share in this study with a friend of mine—and it is such an incredible thing! So many days I have found myself in complete awe with the glimpses I get and I can hardly contain my excitement as I share the incredible things that I am learning about my God! Yesterday though, yesterday was a little different—still an amazing truth of God revealed in a tangible way in my heart and mind…but it was beautifully different. This week we are studying how God is faithful and a few of the verses of the dozen spoke to my heart in a super loving way. God is Faithful—Constant, loyal, reliable, steadfast, unwavering, devoted, true, dependable Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with … Read More

No Longer Slaves

Carol DunfeeBible Study, FaithLeave a Comment

Sometimes the wonder of Jesus gets lost in repetition. I have heard His story so many times that I tune out and fail to really ponder how wonderful these things really are. In December, I revisited His humbling incarnation, His crushing crucifixion, His miraculous resurrection, and His powerful ascension. The depth of Jesus’ love for me touched my heart. It empowered me to worship Him in new ways. Only there was one last topic which I didn’t know how to address: Jesus seated at God’s right hand. I wrote out all the verses, like I had for the first four, but I just couldn’t process it all. It was just too powerful for my puny mind to grasp. So as the 21-Day Group Fast arrived, I wrote about what God was showing me about prayer instead. Now that the fast is over, it’s time to revisit the power of a seated Jesus. When Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He sent the Holy Spirit to live within believers. Jesus now sits at the right hand of God the Father. Contrary to what it seems at first glance, this is no passive sitting. From this seat of power, Jesus constantly … Read More

The Importance Of Being Intentional In Relationships-An ABC Series- E Is For Expectations

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

I want to start this post with a bit of humble honesty about myself. Most of the time when there’s a conflict in our marriage, I’m the problem. I don’t say that to be funny, or proud (I’m no diva) I say that because I want you to understand my heart behind this series. I haven’t been writing this series as someone who has perfected her relationships to the point of writing a how-to blog, but I’m writing this series because I need to be the one to try harder in so many ways. When God first laid the idea for this series on my heart, I had written an A-Z list and formulated a slight plan for each week’s topic. I intended for this week to be about encouragement, but the reality is, this week being encouraging isn’t the part of my character that needs the most work. Instead, this week: E-Is For Expectations This week I really need to work not only the way I set my expectations, but how I deal with them when they are met or not. On Monday of this week, I asked my husband to do something for me. It wasn’t that I … Read More

Come to Him to Receive Rest

Guest BloggerFaithLeave a Comment

Are you tired?  Are you buried under mountains of stress you can’t seem to climb out from under?  God reminds us over and over throughout scripture that He loves you. He will sustain you. He will loose the bonds of wickedness that bind you. He will remove all our heavy burdens. He will release the oppressed. He will break every yoke of bondage. He will give us rest for our body and soul. He will exalt you, because He loves you so very much. He will feed you. He will gather you to Him. He will carry you when you need to be carried. He hears your cries. He will deliver you from any and all troubles. He is always with you. He will strengthen you. He will help you. He will uphold you. He tells us what we should do and promises what He will do. Let God’s words provide comfort to your soul today:   “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).  “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to … Read More

My Time with God: Healed

Ada MaduakorBible Study, Faith, Prayer & Fasting, Worship2 Comments

Dear God, Good morning I am energized as I come boldly into your presence today. I am humbled that I can stand before your throne.  The blood of Jesus has made atonement for us to come into the Holy of  Holies. Father God we adore you;  my knees are on the floor. Father I marvel at your greatness, your depth who can comprehend? Praise be your Holy name oh Lord our God. Clothed in majesty the King of Kings none can compare to you. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever! Today Lord we lift the hurting, the ones that are in pain, the ones who cannot comprehend the reason for the season they are going through. You, oh Lord, are the one who saves and comforts… thou giveth and thou taketh away.  Heal, oh Lord, and send your Holy Spirit to comfort. The Lord our God is mighty in battle;  he anoints the sick and comforts the fearful.   Father God we confess that we have not worshiped as we should.  We are tired, we are depressed, we are confused, torn apart that we are still here asking for healing asking for a break.  … Read More

A Tsunami of Answered Prayers

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

P.R.A.Y. Praise. Repent. Ask. Yield. It’s such an easy acronym that even my kids remember it. It may not a comprehensive guide to prayer, but it’s a great place to start. Jen Cudmore has written about the praise and worship aspect of prayer here and here. Last week, I wrote about the importance of repentance. This week, I was going to write about the “A” step, but I find that I can’t really separate it from the “Y”. Asking and yielding go hand in hand. “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” –James 4:1-3 ESV There are two reasons we do not get our prayers answered: We do not ask God. We do not yield to God’s desires. Until a couple years ago, I didn’t see enough prayers being answered to fuel my passion to pray. I didn’t ask God for much, because it didn’t … Read More

He is so Holy…

Jewel ZymurgyBible Study, Faith, WorshipLeave a Comment

Second week of studying with my friend as we journey through some of the attributes of God. As we move through the scriptures, I continue to be amazed at the insight and overwhelming pictures that I get impressed on me as we dig into these beautiful aspects of God. We just finished with God is Holy…oh what an unmatchable time of worship—to be able to get a simple understanding of the holiness of God…it makes me speechless. Holy—Spiritually perfect or pure; sinless; deserving of awe, reverence, adoration— Exodus 15:11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” Immediately, as I read the first verse given, songs of awe resonate in my brain– From the first moment that I read this verse it brought me to a place of causing me to deeply desire to worship—and as I began to read, I didn’t even make it past this first verse for the first two days because all of my insides demanded that I worship—and so I did! I turned on a couple of worship songs that I feel God placed on my heart and I just sang … Read More

The Importance Of Being Intentional In Relationships-An ABC Series-D Is For Date Nite

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, Motherhood, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

A wise person once said that love is spelled T.I.M.E, and I wholeheartedly agree with that.  Time is one of the most valuable things we can give to someone else, yet it is one of the things that most of us have very little to spare.  We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but those 24 hours look different for every person and family.  Maybe you are the sole provider for your family, so you work long hours or multiple jobs to try and make ends meet.  Maybe you are a student and you spend HOURS studying or in class.  Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom, raising a child (or several.) Maybe you are a retiree, and/or empty-nester and volunteer somewhere.  Whatever your season of life, and whatever your days look like, we all spend our free time, on what matters the most to us. To me it feels like our culture has everyone running in different directions constantly, and it’s difficult to foster close relationships with people, when you are neglecting quality time with one another. Maybe you aren’t in a romantic relationship, but it’s been a really long time since you’ve gone to coffee with your best … Read More

What are You Tasting?

Amanda OrzechowskiFaith, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

A while back I was asked to consider writing for the blog. I put it off for a while. I didn’t think about it but when I was asked again last week I said that I would pray about it. And I’m no liar, so I prayed. And then, hoping God would change his mind, I prayed some more…. And then some more. I knew what God wanted me to do. Typically, that’s how it works. We usually know what God wants us to do. Has God ever asked you to do something that you didn’t want to do? Because here’s the thing, I like to write. LOVE it. There’s something about putting your thoughts on paper and being able to physically look at them that makes those thoughts easier to figure out. Easier to understand. Easier to overcome. What I don’t like? Is letting people read those thoughts. There’s a large dose of vulnerability that comes with that, and nobody likes to be vulnerable. People might judge me if they read them. They might see that I don’t have it all together. They might look at me and say, “she’s such a hypocrite”. They’ll know that I’m not perfect. … Read More

Removing the Barrier

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

If you are like me, you might tend to see prayer as a list of requests for God. I always envisioned prayer warriors as checking off a long list of petitions about people, churches, government, etc., but it is so much more. Just like my conversations with my husband are not just about asking him to do things for me, our conversations with God involve enjoying His presence, agreeing with Him, and more. In last Friday’s blog, I shared Priscilla Shirer’s prayer outline and encouraged you to make your own based on a simple acronym: Praise (basking in His presence, thanking Him for His gifts, blessing His name) Repentance (seeing yourself as God sees you, confessing where you fall short of His holiness) Asking (boldly asking for what you need) Yes (agreeing with God by praying His Word back to Him) Because Jen Cudmore is addressing the element of praise and worship in our prayers this month, I will jump into the next part of our outline: Repentance. Honestly, I would love to skip over this point. Nobody likes to visit their dirty laundry everyday. Yuck! I would rather keep the lid on that stinky hamper and pretend it doesn’t … Read More

He Is Just 

Jewel ZymurgyBible Study, FaithLeave a Comment

A friend of mine and I have just started studying about some of the attributes of God and with the first week under our belt I have been utterly amazed at the amazing way that God has just touched my heart in the opening of and digging into His Word. For a very long time I have just internally wrestled with the fact that God is just. I think that a good portion of that comes from the way that I grew up—witnessing daily the wrath of a birth father who was very strict in his handing out of discipline. The expectation of perfection was always there and when it wasn’t attained, the administering of the punishment was swift and extremely harsh. I think that I decided that God must be like my birth father. Judgmental, condemning, harsh, wrathful—waiting for me to mess up so that he  could come at me in an extreme and punishing way. So when my friend brought forth the list of attributes of God…I picked “God is just” right away. Not necessarily because  I desired to know more of this aspect of God…but because I wrestled so much with the sheer idea that God is Just. It … Read More