Not everyone will have the same ministry, but we all have one. It starts at home.
Enjoy your day! Try not to melt, if you're in Southern California. Stay hydrated in this heat. We need you! :D
A blog about anything and everything that helps our roots grow deep in God.
Here, this handsome soon-to-be-12 yr. old boy, has a good idea for an outreach. Please excuse the terrible quality in the video. It truly didn't look like this on my device! Not sure what happened.
We must encourage our children to take the Great Commission seriously. They too can share the Gospel of Christ and they're so creative. We can learn a lot from them.
Not everyone will have the same ministry, but we all have one. It starts at home.
Enjoy your day! Try not to melt, if you're in Southern California. Stay hydrated in this heat. We need you! :D
On which do we depend? Not, "On which SHOULD we depend," but on which one do we currently depend? It may be tough for a born again believer to admit their dependence on anything other than God, but our actions tend to say otherwise. Yes, yes, believers can be hypocrites. That is humanity for you; imperfection, senselessness, and faithlessness, confirmed by our actions, not just our words. Ouch. Guilty.
Titus 1:16 says, "Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good." Now, in this particular verse, Paul was referring to the unbelievers who hadn't surrendered their lives to God and their corrupted minds, but whoa, Paul! Those words are packed with truth and a light so bright, it exposes our sin, if we're willing to accept it.
We know from Scripture that anything we exalt above God in our lives is idolatry. The problem is that sometimes we do it subconsciously and it goes unnoticed. In the few times I have accidentally left my phone at home, I seriously thought I'd start hyperventilating! What is this hold this cellular gadget has on me? That was my initial reaction. That feeling of being totally and completely disconnected from the world and all that is right with it, was later replaced with a feeling of freedom and the curtain was pulled back, revealing a beautiful world out there with people, nature, and conversation! Go figure. It's been a while since then. I try to detach myself from technology when I fear it may wrap its tentacles around me again. I've even had to deactivate my Facebook account a few times for a while to concentrate on meaningful things.
Beware! Run from idolatry and anything that you begin to put before God. Do you
check your Facebook account first thing in the morning before even spending time
with your Heavenly Father, who just allowed you another day of life? Do you take
your cell phone in the bathroom with you, "just in case?" Guess what? We're not
that important! We DON"T have to be found or available 24/7, and you CAN hear
your phone from inside your purse or across the room! We're not attached to
them, though sometimes it may seem like it.
Many things that are created for our entertainment and convenience have become such a part of our lives, that we couldn't imagine our lives without them anymore. Our phones and computers have become our modern encyclopedias, GPS systems, business finders, cameras ,etc. Yes, convenient, but I fear that in this "blogging" and online diary (Facebook) age, we've become so focused and intentional on capturing so many moments of our daily lives, that we may not actually be living them or enjoying them. Evaluate yourself and take a break when needed. The world can survive without knowing what we're having for dinner for a while. Our families would also greatly benefit by enjoying more of our undivided attention.
We should be having a love affair with our Bibles, not technology. We should crave God's Word, prayer time, and worship time. It should be a way of life, confirmed by our words AND actions. We fail to fully appreciate the work, the price that has been paid for our ransom, when we can't wait to see what the world is up to, rather than quieting our minds to seek the Father, or erupting in praises to Him for being our all in all.
No, balance isn't key here. Our study time, prayer, worship, and living life should always far outweigh our time spent feeding our screen addictions; t.v., phone, social media...
Technology can be the devil's playground just like anything else. We should be rooted in God's Word so well, that the slightest change in devotion should be quickly caught and revealed by God's Holy Spirit. If our minds are focused on Him, then we'll hear Him when He tells us we're overdoing it. But will we listen? Let's pray we'll remain sensitive to God's voice.
John 10:27- "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
Sometimes we don't consider certain ideas or truths about our faith until we are asked or
confronted with the question. In an attempt to reach out to others so that we may all
continue to grow in our faith, we are asking people to participate in our "truth
or dare" challenge. They can either answer a question or take our dare. Here is
Maria, a mom, after dropping off her son in school. She was awesome and did the truth AND dare, ha ha! Love her!
Maria is a local and works as a substitute teacher. This morning she attended a workshop that is being offered to parents and teaches how to encourage our kids to grow in an emotionally healthy environment. Enjoy!
We have a limited window of opportunity in our children's lives to influence them and guide them along the right path. Surely, we can be of influence even during their adult years, but by the time outside influence finds its way into their lives, the morals and standards we have taught them should be so firmly instilled in them, that the corrupted ways and secular thinking the world teaches, will not shake them.
That's not to say that our children will grow up and never backslide. Our goal, our duty, is to teach them God's Word and HIS standards, not with the Bible alone, but by example. We cannot simply carry a "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" attitude. That is our goal. The reality is that often even godly children backslide as they find their way through their teenage years and early adulthood. We cannot burden ourselves with blame. They do have their own mind and ultimately will stand on THEIR own faith. We must trust that the Spirit of God will continue to work in them and lead them back.
I have heard of many cases where the children grow up, go to college, are confronted with the theories of evolution and such, causing these godly children to question their faith. There's nothing wrong with having questions. I love hearing stories of kids that went on to do their own research on their faith, only to conclude what they had already been taught: that the God of Israel, the Lord God Almighty of the Bible, is the One true God. For them to reach their own conclusion is priceless and needed. Some just find it in a way that takes them longer and causes parents much pain. Let us rest in the assurance that God loves them more than we could ever love them. They are in His hands.
My boy is only 9 years old, but I have in my care, my niece, nephew, and quite a few other children that are part of the ministry, that God has given me the honor of being in their circle of influence. Now, if we're truly honest with ourselves and are serious about our walk with the Lord, truly seeking to honor Him in every area of our lives, then compromising is NOT an option. We MUST know the Word of God, we MUST accept and live by HIS standards instead of ours or the world's. The fact that the world has become so desensitized to vulgarity and immorality should not affect God's people. Remember, God doesn't change; people change. His Word stands firm and so do His standards. We have no excuse. None.
Every area of our lives needs to be surrendered to God. We will struggle, indeed. God sees our hearts and our intentions. He also sees our useless excuses. So do our children.
Are we teaching our girls to dress modestly? Not because their body is something to be ashamed of. God made us beautiful, in His image. We dress modestly out of respect to our Heavenly Father, ourselves, and as to prevent others to sin by lusting.
Are we teaching our boys to respect ladies (even those that don't act very ladylike)? What are our kids learning from the shows they watch on t.v. and the movies we take them to see? Many don't see it as a huge deal, but the reality of it is that kids are influenced far beyond what we can even imagine. T.V. shows these days are teaching children that disrespecting their elders and taking revenge on friends and siblings is funny. They also promote an unrealistic, extremely accessorized, perfect wardrobe for kids, whom are now idolizing such fashion. The rude remarks that pass as comedy and this poor excuse for entertainment, should not be taken lightly. It does not honor God. That goes for us as well. We have no business watching anything that does not honor God. No excuses. Whatever we do, whatever we say, we must do it as representatives of Christ. What we allow in our homes, what we allow in our kids' minds, should be getting all our attention when deciding what to do. Our homes are to be holy, set apart for God. What we allow, we condone.
Many are the lessons we must pass on. We have our manual; God's Word. We must teach our children to:
The world has an enemy disguised as self-sufficiency, self-centeredness, and self-entitlement (just to name a few). It's a "me" and "microwave" kind of generation. We want it, we "deserve" it, and we want it now. The media exceedingly promotes such a way of thinking. We must guard our hearts, minds, and mouths with the Word of God and everything we do and allow, should be filtered through it.
We are parents, we are teachers. Don't focus on trying to be their friends as to avoid being disliked. You have a divine calling and responsibility of bringing up God's children. They are HIS and we are honored with the partnership God offers us in bringing forth the next generation for His Kingdom. Let's not waste this blessing He has bestowed upon us. Tomorrow may never come. We have TODAY. Let the reality of such a great responsibility make us tremble to the point of repentance of our sins and weak excuses, and propel us to the next step we must take. Surrender every area of your life to God. Let's examine our hearts and rejoice in the mercy of God. He is willing to forgive and strengthen us. And let's pray for one another, for the world, for the media industry and those involved, that their families will surrender to God and honor Him with the talent they were blessed with. Then they can be good, godly role models for our children.
Don't get discouraged, the Lord is with us.
I admit that I don't wake up every single morning full of anticipation for what the day will bring. I have experienced times of great discouragement as the ministry goes forth. In my small attempts to help people get to know God, I wonder at times if anything at all is happening in the spirit realm. Anything worth people's time. Then discouragement sinks in and I wonder if I should even continue with anything at all or if I should just go back to living life as it was a few years ago; minding my own business and living for my family. Selfish, but I'm sure many believers have had thoughts like these cross their tired minds.
But then of course you quickly get slapped back into reality and realize once more that it's not about you! The sooner we can accept that, the better. "I'm tired, no one listens, no one cares, it's not helping, people are flakes, I don't have enough funds, help, or wisdom," BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. That's what I sound like to myself when I get discouraged. I sometimes wish I could detach my brain from myself because I cannot stand it.
What does God use to reel us back? The one thing we thought we might give up on. This morning, right before school started, a little boy I hadn't seen since the ministry picnic in July, approached me and asked me if I was going to get him and his sister a Bible. He remembered! I hadn't been able to get a hold of this boy the rest of the summer after the picnic and here he is, wanting his Bible!
It's happened countless times. If I'm discouraged, God will send someone to me that needs encouragement and I think, "Really, God? I have nothing to offer, nothing to give, and you send someone that needs exactly what I am dying for?" (Ok, I may exaggerate when I'm discouraged, just a bit.)
We will not always live in a spiritual high where everything is lovely and God's presence is tangible. I love those moments! But I learned I cannot depend on them and I'm glad! Otherwise, we wouldn't be required to have faith; we'd just be waiting for our next moment of God's manifestation. We walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
I have a longing to be with the Father, an ache in my heart that sometimes is quite painful. I long for Him with all my being. I try to remember that this life will be over in the blink of an eye and then I'll have an eternity with Him. While we're here in this life, we cannot neglect the Great Commission. We're not Holy Spirit Juniors, roaming the earth, making disciples. We are Christ's ambassadors who proclaim His message and the Holy Spirit does the work in people's hearts. Whether we see the seed being planted, cultivated, and growing, or not, the work must be done.
Take heart! Nothing we do for the Lord is in vain and His word doesn't come back void. We don't have to see it. We don't have to concern ourselves with the work that God said He would do, as if we didn't believe Him. His timing, not ours. His way, not ours (though I do have a few ideas for Him and make them known).
Whatever work you're doing for God, if you're seeking Him and feel led to continue doing what you're doing, then be obedient to God's calling and be courageous. We have to press on. It's not about us. Push through the discouragement. God is faithful and He will grant us the grace and strength we need to continue. We can't give up. We must take the focus off ourselves and continue to abide in Him. Remember, it is when we bear much fruit that we are truly His disciples and bring glory to the Father (John 15:8).
That's enough ranting for now. I was thinking "out loud".
I wrote a poem to our Savior today to thank Him for my life...
Life is full of surprises
We fear the unknown
We long to feel loved
No one really wants to be alone
We may fail
We may succeed
Sometimes we'll follow
Sometimes we'll lead
But fullness of love
of Joy and of Peace
The source of life
and all of these
I could only find in You
My Savior, my King
While I deserved nothing
You gave me everything
And I will use my life
Every joy, and every sorrow
To bring glory to your name
And if I don't get to see tomorrow
In this life and in the next
I will bring you praise
In every breath, in all I do
Every moment, all my days
Lord, you deserve more
than I could ever give
Grant me purity of heart
May I honor You in how I live
I thank You for my life
Oh, Yahweh, for you
I will spend it in worship
That's all I can do
My Anchor, my Shield
My rock and my friend
Thanks to Your mercy
Your praise will have no end
Forever and then longer
That's all that I can do
Come what may, I won't be shaken
If my focus is on You...
Thank you, Father, for a new year to bring You glory.
This is Grace. She is one of our Blossom Princesses and has been participating in our ministry for almost a year. Her family celebrated her 11th birthday today with a "movie night" theme. Grace has grown by leaps and bounds in her walk with the Lord. Her level of maturity and her fire to reach others for Christ always amazes me!
We did a couple of mini impromptu interviews with her during her birthday celebration. Excuse the excess background noise. It really WAS impromptu and we had no time to pick a quiet place. She is an excellent example of a believer taking the Great Commission to heart! I just love hearing the testimonies she shares with me!
In this next (also totally impromptu) video, Miss Gracie shares with me part of a testimony that involves her cousin and her walk with the Lord. Her cousin is 6 years old. As soon as she started sharing, I told her to stop to give me a chance to record her. Her stories are always so inspiring to me because Grace is so young yet so dedicated to bringing people her age to Christ!
Here are just a few pictures of Grace at her "movie night" themed party.
Guests were greeted at the entrance (above) at the ticket booth where we selected our choices for snacks and beverages. Then "security" escorted us through the entrance and into the "theater." Very cute!
I noticed after I uploaded this image that Grace has one foot out of her shoe! Ha ha! The beautiful girl next to her is her friend. Her friend has also participated in our Blossom Tea Parties and thanks to Grace, has been walking with the Lord for a few months now! Praise God!
Miss Gracie always inspires me. She's a firecracker, a princess, armed and ready. We must raise up this next generation of boys and girls to be godly people and to be on fire for the Lord.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRACIE! May God continue to bless you and use you to bring others into His Kingdom!
This journal entry from a 6 year old girl really touched my heart. She shared it with me today and it reminded me of a thought I had last week.
How would my life be any different if my faith was like that of a child?
Would I be bolder in some areas of ministry, perhaps?
Would I pray more?
Would I love better?
Would I forgive quicker?
At what point in life, or our walk with the Lord even, do we communicate to God, by our thoughts and actions, that we do not trust Him like we say we do? It's somewhere between the heartbreaks and the new responsibilities. Instead of fixing our eyes on things of eternal value, we focus on the "here and now." Understandable. Typical. But not acceptable. In Christianity "good enough" isn't good enough. God wants all of us, not head first, not feet first, but faith first. Every single part of our being, good and bad, is sought by the Almighty to serve Him and bring Him glory. That thought should terrify us with an epiphany that will bring us to our knees before the Father once more.
Why must be complicate things in such a way that we do become self-focused and we mistake it for the fear of the Lord the Bible speaks of? I'm guilty.
This precious princess didn't condemn herself for not praying. She even said, "but that's ok." I've spoken with her and she's aware that she should pray. She is also aware that she can go to her Heavenly Father for forgiveness and fellowship. The simple way she shared her answer for fighting with her cousins (talking) is humbling. I find myself to be the student often when speaking with children. My own son's prayers shed light on my heart's condition when he asks God for something so simple and is overjoyed when he sees his prayer answered. I practically want to slap myself for ever getting frustrated at his long prayers when it's past his bedtime and I have work to do.
Faith like a child. Simple, trusting, beautiful, unshaken, and real.
I am guilty of being double minded like the book of James warns us not be in the first chapter. It says we shouldn't expect to receive anything from God if our loyalty is divided between God and the world. If the God in our head isn't big enough to handle our lives, then we don't worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We've made up our own God- one who is not capable of handling our problems. That's not MY God. My God is able and mighty. My God is clothed in majesty and strength. My God is the Great I AM, the Holy One, the only One... May our troubled hearts remember and rejoice in that in good times and in bad.
God Bless us and guard our hearts, minds, and mouths! May we live with a faith God wants us to have; that of a child.
This morning, one of the volunteers at my son's school who helps direct morning drop off traffic, was threatened by a mom who was dropping off her children at school. You see more and more of this as time goes by. The other parent was apparently in a hurry and the volunteer was in her usual spot on the street by the traffic cones, directing traffic. The parent basically warned that she would run the volunteer over if she didn't move out of the way and go stand on the sidewalk instead. The police was called and they followed the parent to her home.
Unfortunately, this rudeness that seems uncalled for is happening more often amongst adults and children alike. We feel the need to rush to the next destination of our busy day. The red lights get on our last nerve and people seem that much more obnoxious early in the morning when we just want to be on our way. Hardly anyone takes the time to enjoy the rising sun, the birds singing, and their own families, to just be happy to be alive! It's no small thing! Our hearts are beating, we have a purpose, and what really matters isn't what always gets to see the best side of us. What really matters often gets our left overs. If I were that particular volunteer, my thoughts would have been, "Lady, you better drink your coffee and smile pretty because sometimes my flesh is a bully and it may just beat my spirit and I may not seem very Christian." Now, that doesn't usually happen and profanity has never been part of my vocabulary, but a few rude remarks might have escaped me. Whether or not the other person's rudeness was called for, my reaction doesn't say who SHE is, it says who I am.
We, as believers, are often mocked, treated unfairly, misunderstood, and maybe even persecuted. When I talk to my son about our reactions when people are unkind to us, I always tell him to remember to offer grace to them. As much as we might want to react to their offense, we must remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). That person may very well be going through something difficult in their life. Perhaps even something in their past, en emotional struggle they never dealt with. Whatever the case may be, we must know there is a time to speak up and a time to simply offer grace, a prayer, and friendship. There's a Savior that person has yet to know, perhaps.
Grace...such a wonderful thing. Not deserved, not earned. God set the example for us to follow. Offer grace. It won't always be easy, but as we grow in our relationship with God, it will come easier because it's in our nature, as followers of the Messiah. Whatever we do and say, may people see Jesus in us. The flesh IS a bully, but the Spirit inside us believers is stronger than that. Let's not attempt to justify the flesh, but rather, let's crucify it and die to ourselves, as the Bible says. Only then, can we offer grace. When we leave our own desires for justice and continue to hold firmly to God's promises.
Offer grace today. Know when to speak and bless your "enemies."
Have you ever read the book of James and in the very first three verses thought, "Yeah, James, I'm not there yet?" I have. Whoa, but I enjoyed it! The book of James is no milk for babies. It is the meat and potatoes we all need, but what it left me with the first time I read it was the wonder of how on earth I would ever get to the point of finding joy in my troubles! Sure, he's right- it makes our endurance grow! But my, oh my!
Well, I had a good chance to see that these past couple of weeks. The whole book was great and it serves as a good spiritual slap in the face (much like Oswald Chambers' books), but again, what I was hoping, was to hold on to His peace and experiencing joy in times of trouble.
During the last couple of weeks, I faced emotional challenges due to something that was beyond my control. In the past (even up to just a few months ago), this situation might have completely floored me and frozen the ministry. This time around, however, was different.
Someday I may share the rest of this testimony, but I don't believe I'm quite ready. Suffice it to say that this long gone issue came back and stared me in the face as if to challenge me and say, "I'm back. What are you going to do about it with your weak and fragile mind?" You know what I did? I bent my knee to the One who holds the world together, the One who still sits on His throne above the world! I cried out to Him and said, "Yahweh! YOUR will be done, I KNOW You're in control and You will deliver us!"
I laughed at the enemy and said, "I will go on. The ministry will go on. I felt joy and anticipation to see what God would do and how He'd show up and show off.
My faith had been tested by my circumstances countless times and I discovered now, by experience and recognition, that James was indeed right to suggest we consider troubles an opportunity for great joy...hmmm...
Not only did I notice I did just that, but I also found joy in seeing the work God is doing in me. He is good....and I am humbled and amazed at Him once more. Can we be anything less than amazed by Him?
I am savoring the book of James once more, meditating on it verse by verse.
That James....smart man.
Be joyful and thankful in all circumstances!
Hello, I'm Cynthia, founder of Faith Outspoken. I strive to be a woman after God's own heart. I love fellowship time with my sisters in Christ, and sharing the Gospel! Thank you for visiting!