Don’t Run from the Storm

The storm clouds roll in
I want to run, I am exhausted
One more step one long stretch
I see the sun then, again the down pour
Exhausted I cry out to the Lord, “WHY ME?”
I just want one moment of rest from the storm
I can’t focus, I am done. Yes Lord I said it I am done.
He then reminds me, “Oh Child remember it is during the storms, I carry you.”

Remember Luke 8:23-25 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24) The disciples went and woke him, saying “Master, Master,” we’re going to drown? He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25) “Where is your faith?” He asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the Winds and the water and they obey him.”

I see the storm continue to swell in the sky and just in a flash I run, I don’t turn back I continue to run.

Standing in the rain with me I turn to the touch of a hand pulling me back, He whisper’s in my ear, “My child the job is not done yet. I am changing you to become my child; the path you take is very narrow you need to be sure to have all the tools needed to overcome the bigger storms we will face together. There will be the biggest Christian revival anyone will see; I am preparing my people to become strong to look within and also to trust when you feel alone it is I who have taken you from the pain. It is ME who is going to shield you from the pain. So remember to maintain the faith, the lessons and the be prepared at all times.”

Matthew 24:36 is a good reminder- “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the father.”

Only the father, not even the Son. So when told me to be prepared, He wants our hearts to be purified like diamonds so our mind cannot challenge the evil which will be brought to challenge us.

Will you die in the Name of Jesus Christ, “Yes Lord, I will die in the name of Jesus Christ”
Weather the storm, He is preparing us for the revival of a life time.

Emmaus

Find the light; to Make Our Burdens Light

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

The darkness consumes my mind; it reminds of those times of feeling worthless. The pictures in my head of the past; the feeling of terror the thought of wanting to yell “STOP” but being paralyzed by the pain nothing comes out.

Then comes the loss of time and the feeling of not wanting to wake up again begging and pleading for the pain, the voices and the suffering to just stop please take it away from me. Nothing.

Happiness eludes me; why me? The idea of peace enters my mind then goes away again in an instant. Peace no more. Then I awaken not knowing how much more of this darkness I am able to take. I just want it to end.

Then in the moment of desperation and wanting to regain control of my life while being exhausted from not sleeping for days. I see where this is coming from. I crawl out of bed; pointing directly straight out of the house. Then I proclaim loudly, “Satan, I rebuke you from this home, from my heart and from my mind! My salvation is with my Savior Jesus Christ! I am saved for His glory; not yours! I rebuke you!”

Sheer exhaustion consumes me however there is still a battle to be fought in my mind; it just won’t shut off I decide to make it my purpose to regain what has been lost.
Time to go back to bed but again the continuation of my mind racing won’t stop. I have been fighting all day and I just want to sleep. I feel a hand on my arm; it is my husband desperately trying to keep me in bed quite aware of my exhaustion he just wants me to sleep. Then all of a sudden the break through moment begins; I am seeing the clouds of darkness shifting and the ray of light peeking through the clouds. Then begins the conversation with Jesus which should have taken place days ago begins;  I begin to pray giving Him the highest glory and honor. I am not worthy of His mercy and grace however I still receive it.

The exhaustion still consumes me in this moment of desperation I give Him praises for all of his blessings He has bestowed on me, both good and bad. Yes, the bad things in life because He continues to show me his redemption time and time again.

Then all of a sudden the feeling of my heart literally breaking in two. I don’t understand completely the circumstances of the situation I was praying for only there would be a new journey for those people I was praying for. I prayed so hard so hard for them and in the end all I could ask for was HIS WILL TO BE DONE. There is the bigger picture. His WILL be done. Then all of a sudden a peace falls upon me. The feeling of the Holy Spirit has me wrapped up and I hear His voice, “I am in control.” “I have you.” “Just sleep” my sobs were so hard it woke my husband; I reassured him I was okay. By this time I am saying aloud, “Thank you Jesus” “Thank you-“ I tell my husband to just lay here, can you feel Him, He is here with us; He is always with us; He is always faithful, He is in control; our Lord and Savior is in control. He is in control….”

Then the sleep finally came upon me finally my burden was light; I could feel the work of the Holy Spirit putting my heart back together making me stronger than I was before. Would this be the last time I encounter the darkness hard telling but, I knew in my heart Jesus had a message for me.

During this period of darkness it was scary, times of begging for peace to come upon me. But the peace came when I was completely exhausted. He allowed the darkness to remind me I need to continue to place my faith and trust in Jesus. Have the relationship with Him to allow him to be in control. This message was so resounding; I woke the next morning so full of the Holy Spirit I didn’t want to miss out on worship service. The message begins, Who is in control? You or Jesus? Wait? What? Is this really happening right now? Everything I had discussed with Jesus his message was being repeated at Sunday morning service. Jesus knows my heart He knows how I need to hear his message so, why not remind her, “She is not in control I am.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
There is a lot of people who face pain, uncertainty, sorrow and those who have great joys to celebrate.
In Matthew Jesus promises there will be rest for the weary. He wants for us to place our burdens on Him and allow him to be in control.
With the pain we feel at times there is no light in the forefront; then I remember the one light I can always count on is the Light of Christ. We must realize through the storm clouds, rain and valleys there is hope with our faith in Christ.
All too often we want to handle the situation on our own. We don’t need help from anyone. But Jesus tells us in verse 29, when we take His yoke upon us and learn from Him our burdens will be light and then we will have rest for our souls. By doing this we will grow spiritually in our relationship with Jesus. He wants that relationship to be at the center of our lives when we do this the burdens, sorrow pain and celebrations in life are shared with Him. Then we praise him in all things good and bad.
Praise Him in the storm; watch the storm clouds clear and see His light; He is always there faithful and true.

Darkness_Light

 

Becoming Priesthood of Believers

The world can be a challenging place to live in if we do not have a relationship with God. With God as our focal point He helps us cope when we are faced with difficulties.  Before I became a member of this congregation I was a victim of abuse; I was a victim, I remembered each anniversary like it was a birthday, I was lost and confused. Soon I learned that God will also place people in our lives who have strong influences on us. One person He placed is in my life is Pastor Helen, she has been influential in my spiritual walk and it all began with a simple phrase, I needed to stop being a victim of my past and become a survivor.

Sure, those words didn’t set well however over time this statement changed my life. Where was I going to begin learning how to become a survivor.   I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and stop becoming emotionally draining to those around me so, by developing a relationship with Jesus I was able to turn my past over to HIM.  I then learned the meaning of true forgiveness so I would be free; by forgiving those who have caused harm to me in my life allowed me to find my true happiness in God and understand the healing grace of Jesus.

God wants each one of us to find true happiness and have a relationship with him.  As a result of Jesus’ death we have salvation; God used this (Jesus’ death) act of love to bridge the gap of sin and death which at one time separated us from God, and us from other people. God has called on ALL of us to become servants; we need to show others how to make the grace of Christ real in their lives but, first let’s start with our own lives.

There is a biblical concept of priesthood of all believers, it is important to understand the church and everyone’s role who serve in the church. All believers, laity and clergy alike are called and given the authority to be priests to one another. We have all been baptized in Christ and we are one in Christ. We all have a role to play by being a member in the body of Christ; in God’s eyes no role is more important than the other. Often times there is a misconception that pastoring/ministering is left to the clergy; when in reality it is left to ALL of us to be pastoring/ministering to each other.

Each one of us play a role in being a priest in our community. What is a priest?

  1. A priest functions as God’s representative in the world, communicating God’s word and shedding light on God’s will in people’s lives. A priest pronounces God’s word of forgiveness and healing grace.  As believers we give words of forgiveness by stating, “I forgive you” this demonstrates the healing of a relationship through forgiveness and grace.
  2. A priest also acts as the people’s representative to God. A priest intercedes for the people, going to God for the sake of the people, and offering sacrifices of love on their behalf. Each time we lift someone in prayer or we are giving of ourselves selflessly we are being the representative for them.
  3. A priest is not only the ordained clergy but anyone who has experienced the love, acceptance and forgiveness of God, and who helps others experience this grace as well. At one point or another we have experience the love God has for us and accepted Christ as our savior.  There have been several members of this congregation who have surrounded me with unconditional love when I have reached out to them. I refer to them as God’s vessels and I am reminded their words of encouragement are words from God.

There is one great high priest and that is Jesus, He is the supreme mediator between God and people. In Christ, the separation between God and humanity is overcome.

  1. There is only one representative to God and that is Jesus. He is the Word made flesh, mediating God’s grace and truth to us. The only way to the Lord is through the son and the son is Jesus. He is the one we develop a relationship with; which draws us closer to God.
  2. Jesus is our representative to God. He shared our humanity and loving sacrificed his life for our salvation. John 1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

All believers share this priesthood-in partnership with Christ. The members of the Christian community are a royal priesthood. As described in 1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10

1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10: As you come to him, the living stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-5) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

9)But you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10)Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

  1. We are part of the priesthood of all believers, each of us is called to represent Christ and share his grace with others. We need to stand with Christ in the gap to help those who have lost their way with God or we have a friend on the outside looking in; God wants us to extend a hand by using our relationship with Christ we bring them closer to God.
  2. We also participate in Christ’s ministry when we perform loving, sacrificial acts and share the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness. Live by example, how are we demonstrating the love God has shown us; we also must be able to have grace and forgive as God did.

The phrase “priesthood of all believers” doesn’t mean every person should act as their own priest. What it means is we are given the authority to love to be priests to one another.  Christ laid down his life for others to make the grace of God real; we are also called to do this. Demonstrate the grace, love and forgiveness of God to each other and those in need of a relationship with Christ.

The church is the body of Christ a place where people come to experience the love, acceptance and forgiveness of God. The Church is also the place where we have also committed our lives to Christ and also to the ministry of sharing God’s grace with others.

We all have a journey we are on and are becoming more aware of our role in being part of the priesthood of believers. God has a plan; a mission for each one of us.  While I was on the walk to Emmaus (Which is a 72 hour retreat; to help you individually to develop a relationship with Christ. At the beginning of the walk we are assigned a table group. This group was our family for the next 72 hours, my table was the table of Rebecca.) By the time Pastor Helen told me to become the survivor my faith journey was just in it’s infancy by the time I participated in the walk to Emmaus. Well, I experience a brief argument with Jesus, he was urging me to share my story within my group. I resisted very hard and I even remember walking down the hallway and verbally stating “Why? I am no longer a victim, I’m becoming a survivor.” Little did I know at the time; if Jesus wanted my story shared it was going to be shared. So by the discussion got to me; the words were just flowing from my mouth. In that moment I was ministering to someone else and giving them the strength they needed to share a part of their past they had never shared with anyone in their lives not even their spouse. They were also a victim of abuse.  In that moment I realized, the Lord DOES have bigger plans for me and I may not always understand at the time but, how can I question his plan. I share this experience with you because:

  1. We need to make Christ real for people; we need to embody Christ in all things we do in life; personal, family, work and leisure. The building we come to worship in is not the Church, the Church is a ministry of love; we are a community of believers in ministry, the royal priesthood whoever are the body of Christ in the World. Not only do we belong to the Church; we are the church, wherever we are.
  2. We need to be a gateway of God’s grace, share love, acceptance and forgiveness with other people. God has put in our had the keys of the kingdom, we have the power to bind or unbind a person by the way we share or withhold the grace God has given us. Words from God can be expressed in many ways; when a person is in pain we can tell them “God Loves you,” “You are forgiven,” or a simple prayer. For someone who is overwhelmed with life, a simple touch of a hand on the shoulder, the company of a friend, or an offer to help also represents God. There are so many different ways to represent God in different situations.
  3. In the world today there is so much darkness that surrounds such as narcissism, cynicism, and hopelessness; so, we want to be the light in the darkness and also become a promise in the midst of problems to help others overcome these things.

Our journey/mission is personal. The only person who can guide you on your mission is yourself and the relationship you have developed with Christ. Just as Jesus struggled in the wilderness with his own temptations we are going to have our struggles as well. We need to be true to ourselves, look at ourselves in the mirror and remember our relationship with God is personal and avoid religious language and stereotypes. We want to be a Witness for Christ in a way that is natural to us.

Our journey is spiritual; spiritual doesn’t mean after we have passed on it is about how we live today to the fullest in this time according to God’s will. Just as Jesus worked for God’s deepest desire for people in this world; live in the fullness of God’s grace and truth. This is our mission from God once we have accepted being a part of the royal priesthood this will help us interpret God’s will for people’s lives.

Our journey is service oriented we are reminded we do not act on our own authority but we are a representative and our journey should be one that demonstrates serving as Jesus served.

We share our journey, we work together as a team we are one body of Christ in this community and we must remember; we cannot accomplish Christ’s ministries alone, Jesus called along 12 others to share his life and his journey with. (Just as I mentioned earlier) I have had several members of this congregation I have called on to help steer me in the right direction or just in a moment of needing a little reassurance.

Our journey calls for our best, each day when I wake I have the free will to decide what type of day is it going to be. Each day is a journey in strengthening my relationship with God by becoming closer to Jesus and in doing this I want to ensure I put my best foot forward in attitude, ability and action. After all, Christ did give his best for us in turn we should do the same for him.

I was saved on November 11, 2006; my mother passed away on July 17, 2007 I believe with all my heart; me being saved at this time was part of God’s plan. Hindsight is 20/20 after all; then my younger sister was asked, “How is Melanie handling your mother’s death?” her response was, “Not too badly, she has a strong relationship with Christ.”  At that moment when I heard her retell me the conversation I realized I was being used as a vessel of God’s to show how coping with difficulties of this world which cause heartache we still find comfort of the Lord’s arms.

God wants Christians like you and me to become active partners in our journeys/missions; he calls on us to be the church. We are blessed with an opportunity to write our own modern day version of the Gospels, telling our story and how being active participants in the body of Christ we grew in our relationship not only with Christ but with others within the body of Christ; we became messengers for God to those of little faith. We each have a responsibility, a mission, a journey and that is to continue each day to make Christ real in our lives; share his grace so that others may know what God’s salvation is really about. We have the ultimate responsibility to be the church right where we are; it is about our personal relationship with Christ and being the example to others who strive to have the same relationship with Christ. Be a vessel/or messenger of God in someone life today. We are all called to be priests.

Sing Praise to the Lord

It has been way too long since I last blogged.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about trials, storms, desert and just feeling alone.

My latest Facebook post was about who are we to questions the trials we come face to face with. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul when he was imprisoned the first time because he freed the slave girl Lydia of her demons. What did Paul and Silas do? They would sing Praises to the Lord.

Doing this is easier said than done. I am human after all. When faced with difficult situations I need to remember; don’t become emotional. Listen intently, find the lesson or opportunity I need to learn and always, give the praise and glory to the Lord because he has a message for me. By allowing these things to happen we are putting faith and trust in the Lord. We allow him to help us through any situation we may be faced with. I believe the Lord will carry me through the valley. He is going to find the way for us.

He knows of all our needs. This is why we need to learn and have more trust and faith in the Lord. Sure, we are going to fall but it is an opportunity to grow.

Phillipians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Rely on him and remember give ALL THINGS to the Lord good and bad. Seek out the glorious gifts of life lessons the Lord has in store for each of us.

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Salvation

For some reason this topic has been on my mind a lot lately; I have also been reading a lot from the book of Psalms especially from Psalms 51. (David wrote Psalms 51) This is one of the critical points when king David has realized everything he had done was for his own selfish need. He sinned by having an affair with Bathsheba and then he also had her husband murdered and covered it up.

King David did horrible things but here is where he begins to ask for forgiveness:

 Psalms 51:2 “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from sin.”

We are familiar with the story of King David and his short comings yet the Lord still used him for His purpose.  How? by showing us his mercy and love by forgiving King David for his sins.

So, thinking about ourselves; we have days we are just on top of the world; we don’t miss a step and keep on walking forward with the plan to please the Lord. Reminding ourselves of our true purpose. Then one day we will sin, sin is a little word with a huge impact, it means the same as doing something wrong which is against anything you believe to be righteous and true. I know I fall short on a daily basis; falling short could be as simple thinking a thought which is inappropriate or wishfully thinking harm would fall upon someone.

When we were born; we were born with sin. Our natural tendencies are for our own selfish ways rather than to please the Lord. When Jesus died on the cross he took on all our sin for our own salvation. King David didn’t have this at the time; he had to turn to the Lord himself. I can imagine him on his knees praying these words to the Lord.

Psalms 51: 10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a stead fast spirit within me

11) Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12) Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.

With our salvation; we ask for forgiveness by praying through “His son Jesus Christ.” We can become free of sin once we ask for forgiveness and truly want this forgiveness. God wants to have a close relationship with us and the only way to prevent the crushing wave of guilt is to ask for his forgiveness. By doing this we are also building our relationship with Christ and this is where the foundation for salvation begins.

So when we find ourselves distant from the Lord this is the time we want to remember:

  1. We turned away from Him (Through sin)
  2. God has proven time and again he will mercifully forgive us
  3. Salvation comes through accepting Christ as our savior
  4. Ask for repentance

Remember Jesus’ words

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

Waiting at the Well

Scripture: John 4: 1-26

I enjoy reading the conversation between the Samaritan woman and Jesus. It is a real eye opener for me, in some retrospect it demonstrates how  a single encounter with Jesus can change a life. This in part is why I chose to call my blog “Waiting at the Well.”

Who doesn’t have a past that is less than perfect? Who doesn’t have  luggage which has a tendency to bring us down. Sure, in a perfect world we would raise this up to Jesus and turn it over to him 100% of the time; however we are human and we want control.

Let’s take a look at the story of the Lady at the well. Here is what we know:

1) She is a Samaritan Woman and Jesus was a Jew

2) She was drawing water from the well of Jacob and Jesus was talking about living water

What is the living water?

  • This is when you desire to have a relationship with the Lord as if you were thirsting for water.  Jesus tells her that anyone who drinks of the water from the well will continue to be thirsty but, whoever drinks from the water he gives them will never be thirsty again. I would like to think Jesus is talking about the relationship we can have with him. The comfort and peace which is found in this relationship of unconditional love from the Lord.

3) She was a woman who lived in sin; She stated that she had no husband, then Jesus replied to her “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

  • Wow, what a jolt of reality. If it were me, I would have hidden myself, instead her encounter had a calming effect on her. She was more than willing to listen to the words of Jesus; she identified him as a prophet. I love to read His response to her..

John 4: 21-24 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22) You Samaritans worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23) Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

  • If I am understanding this correctly it’s not about the location of where we worship God; it is about our attitude; he wants us to be “in spirit and in truth”

4) Her eyes are opened to whom she is speaking with. I like how she ‘knows the Messiah is coming’

John 4:25-26 The woman said, “I know the Messiah” (Called Christ) “is coming. when he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26) Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

I know in my heart, God knows me better than I know myself; what he wants from us is to come to him on our knees, raising our arms to praise him and to develop a  relationship with him no matter how broken we may feel. I believe our past is part of God’s plan to mold us from the inside out to carry His message forward.

Where are you? Are you waiting at the well for Jesus or have you moved beyond this point?

As for  myself, I have moved from the well; I have found my peace and comfort  from the Lord when I decided to surrender myself to him on November 11, 2006.

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27) And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Family and Friends!! I am Here blogging!!

Introduction Of Blogger

Today I was able to spend time with my oldest son. While I was with him I had the opportunity to discuss my first blog. So here it is a brief introduction:

I am a daughter, sister, wife and mother along with many other titles. First and foremost I am a child of God. On November 11, 2006 I accepted Jesus as my savior. This was my Easter. I remember the days leading up to this night; I was sprawled on the floor in front of the cross asking for Lord to change me from the inside out. The changes he has made and continues to make have been challenging and comforting. It has also brought me to have a closer understanding of my relationship with Christ and my relationship with my husband.

I am not an expert in theology however I feel with life experiences I’ve grown to have an understanding of my relationship with the Lord. This has allowed me to deliver a message of hope, inspiration, faith and trust.

I am so looking forward to sharing and being a vessel for the Lord’s message.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

My next blog will be about why I choose “Waiting at the Well” for my page. Read John chapter 4 “Jesus talks to a woman at the well”