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Showing posts from January, 2019

I feel free

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. How are you feeling today? What kind of head space have you been in lately? I ask, because I'm just wondering if anybody feels like me -- free like me. Free as an eagle. Free as can be. That's right, out with doing business the old stale way and in with a fresh new operation. It's a shifting happening in the atmosphere of Sharon's life and I'm moving on to the big and awesome things God has for me. What  do you say for yourself? What are you speaking over your life? What it is for you? 
For me, I am no longer afraid to go out in the deep end. I am no longer afraid to fly higher, I am no longer concerned about what I have or do not have, and I am no longer concerned about what anybody thinks or says. Who the heck cares anymore? I don't. Because God tells me he doesn't give me a spirit of fear or timidity (2 Timothy 1:7), but He gives me a spirit of love, confidence, power, self-control, and joy. And I…

Open your mouth

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. I don't believe God makes a great leader who can't relate to people. Do you? And I don't believe God uses people who act as though they haven't been through anything. You may ask, well how about the leaders who have compassion for people? Well, compassion is a great thing and all great leaders must possess it, however, what was the impetus for that compassion? Why does the leader have it? Was he or she just born with it and can just relate to people, because she or he is a nice person? No, that's an incomplete story with an undisclosed testimony. Without opening our mouths about our walk and the things we've been through, such leadership is elusive, distant, nontransparent and limited. There will be little connection with people in that case. That's why we have to open our mouths and tell people our stories. 
In other words, if we're going to be a great leader of influence, we have to be willing to …

The land of promise

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." That's in Genesis 12:1-3 and that'swhat God told Abram (who later became Abraham). 
Are you familiar with the story? Abraham leaves everything behind. His family, friends, belongings -- everything. And he chose to follow what God was telling him to do and where God was telling Him to go, which was to a land of promise, a land of better, a land of opportunity, the land of Canaan. But get this: Abraham didn't know exactly how to get there. He just knew what direction to go and he went by faith. He didn't have all the answers. He was just going on the promise of what God told him,…

Changing seasons

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow blog post below. I love walking my dog and walking for fitness when it's fairly cold outside. And when the sun is out that's an extra bonus that makes me want to stay out there forever. Ideal weather is anywhere between 30-70 degrees. Who's with me on that? In other words, late-Fall, Winter, and early-Spring are my types of seasons. They get me in a good mood. In those types of weather, I feel like I can conquer the world.
Now, summer, well that's a totally different story. Summer is not my season and I almost dread thinking about the 90-plus degree heat. I love the sun, but I can already feel the discomfort of the intense heat. It's not a good feeling, because the heat makes me uncomfortable. I dislike being out in that type of weather for any length of time, but since I have to walk my dog and walk for fitness, I get out there in the early morning just to get it over with. Yet, I still choose to maintain a positive attitude in the…

Blessed abundantly

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."

Those verses come from 1 Corinthians 9:8-11 and they are a reminder that God has you on His mind. And they are a reminder that although things may not be easy right now, God still remembers what He desires for your life. Do you believe it? Believe it, because He has abundant blessings in store for you, because He wants you to be a blessing to others.

And remember this: scriptures are not just biblical stories and pie-in-the-sky a…

"Where are You?": When Misfits Become Kings: Book Study Part 3 (weekly podcast episode #30)

Follow along with blog post/transcript below.
"But God know. Before each of our births. He had our purpose and our path already mapped out. In fact, before the beginning of the world itself God not only had us in mind, He created a place where we could each individually walk, talk, and get acquainted with Him." That quote comes from page 16 in our on-going book study, When Misfits Become Kings: Book Study Part 3, chapter title, Where Are You?
It's about being in tune with God and staying with Him, not getting distracted by the things that will take us away from Him. And yes I have made those mistakes several times in my life and I hope not to ever repeat them. It's not a good place to be. And I can laugh now, but there was one time when I could not laugh and did not laugh, because nothing was funny. But I laugh now as a place of comfort and a place of deliverance. Casto highlights Adam and Eve, who were swayed by evil -- by the devil, when they took their eyes off of…

Redemption

Do you know there’s redemption in Jesus? Yes, that means that whatever you did or whatever was done to you, the Lord will bring you back. He’s the Redeemer and He still lives. Believe it. Job 19:25 says, "for I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth." 
He lives. And if you are in Christ, guess what? He lives in you and since He’s the redeemer, the slate of our lives has been made clean. So there’s nothing to worry about. The past, present and even the future for us is ok. Yes, God’s got us covered. Therefore, there’s no need to concern ourselves with anything. I refuse to do that, because it doesn’t help me or anybody else. I will simply focus on the positive and when I start thinking over my past pain, I know God is my redemption song. I will always know that. You know that for yourself too.

It had to happen

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend about change. We were talking about how this was a season of transformation and shifting for us. And those transitions meant he had to do what he had to do for he and his family and I had to do what I had to do for myself and my family. It was nice to know I wasn't alone in saying goodbye to nonsense. It was nice to know I wasn't alone in saying "welcome, super-victory, it's nice to finally be able to experience you." 
As I said in yesterday's podcast episode, I'm not there yet. but I'm getting closer. How about you? Are you closer to your breakthrough victory? Isaiah 43:14-28talks about God's promise of victory with verse 19 saying, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Did you hear that? God …

The promise is still the promise

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. You know, sometimes in life just when it seems things are looking up, you turn around and boom, a step backwards. Just when you were starting to see a change, a shift, some forward motion, things slow down, almost to a standstill. Then you start to second guess yourself and question your moves to the point where it almost makes you want to just stop and not move at all. And you just about say, 'I'm done with all of this.' 
I know, because I've been there and sometimes I go there now. Yes, sometimes when I look at my progress, I say, 'dag Lord, why aren't I making more progress? Why does it seem I'm hardly making any headway?' And before I say another word, I think about Isaiah 40:29-31, which says: He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar hi…

Strong despite it all

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
Do you know it's not about how and where you started in life, it's about where you end up? Yes. Where do you want to go? You can get there and it doesn't matter what anybody says either. You can get there by the grace and strength that God gives you. So, if you're not feeling as strong as you like today, you will come through and become stronger despite it all.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Those words came from Paul when he was telling the Corinthians that although he was weak, he was really strong. He talked faith and it didn't matter what he was dealing wi…

Religious fashion shows

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post.
"Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. [And Jesus said the following:] “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer.
Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radi…

Praying smart

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. What types of prayers do you ask for? No, I'm not trying to get all up in your business. Ok ok, better questions would be, are you praying for the things God wants for you or are you praying for the things you want for yourself? In other words, how do you know that what you're asking for is what God wants for you? How do you know that what you're asking for is the best for you? What's your pattern of seeking and finding God's vision over your life? I'm just curious, because sometimes what we think is destiny for us, may not be. That's why we have to pray smart, right? 
1 John 5:13-21 talks about that and verse 14 says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." Now, how do we ask for anything according to His will -- according to what He knows is best for us? Well, I'm finally starting to realize that reading the scriptur…

Think well of yourself

Proverbs 23:7 tells us that we are as we think, so we have to think well of ourselves in order to be the best selves we can be. Don't let anyone convince you that you are not God's finest. Don't let anyone convince you that just because there was drama around your conception and how you came to be in the natural, that God doesn't have great and magnificent plans for your life. Think well of yourself, because you are somebody and the world is a better place because God made you, yes you. You were created on purpose for a great purpose. God was deliberate when He created you. That's right and Jeremiah 1:5 is the proof. It says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 

That means you are valuable, precious, and substantial to God and to people. Yes, that's right. Somebody loves seeing your face. So you -- we -- have a right to walk in a godly confidence, because we are God&…

"You Are Chosen, If You Choose": When Misfits Become Kings: Book Study Part 2 (weekly podcast episode #29)

Follow along with blog post/transcript below.
I once had a friend who used to say she didn't have a purpose. She would say she was taking each day as it came and the chips would fall where they may. She would often say, whatever will be, will be. I didn't agree with any of that, because I knew better and I know even better today. I wasn't swayed by such crazy talk. 
In Casto's book, When Misfits Become Kings, our book study continues in chapter 1. The chapter title is called, You Are Chosen, If You Choose. On page 1 he says,  "The chosen are the ones history remembers--the men and women who God has used mightily and publicly. By contrast, those who are merely called tend to be the unnoticed, non-productive, second-rate citizens of the kingdom. Although such characterizations are far from the scripture's true meaning, the church has entertained this flawed comparison for generations. Most folks use this verse to rationalize their role in the kingdom, or their l…

Amazing grace and amazing faith

Another great thing I love about God is that His amazing grace gives us amazing faith, doesn't it? Just when we think we can't get through another challenging situation, the Lord will give us another round of His grace to get us over that hurdle, yet again. He will give us second winds that come often, which will be so awesome we can't help but be amazed at His awesomeness. Yes, God will enable us to do great feats and accomplish amazing things, that we have no choice but to know it was Him. Then we will walk in a godly confidence, because of our faith and confidence.

So, you will get what God has for you. That's how He operates -- through our faith. We have to trust Him no matter how long it takes, because faith matters. "Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Peter 1:2)

Life on God’s terms

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. I was never one to make New Year's resolutions. It just wasn't my thing. However, there are some who have been successful in making resolutions and I applaud you, because it's not easy, right? I just always tended to focus on the goals I had written down and that has worked for me. Nevertheless, one of the things I'm looking forward to in 2019, is becoming a new and better me and doing that on God's terms. Yes, I'm saying bye bye to the old self and hello to the new self -- to the one who needed to put my foot down more and cut toxic needy negative people off sooner rather than later. And it feels good already. Yes, to look after myself more and empower myself more.
If you made a New Year's resolution or whatever resolution you want to call it, to say goodbye to the old you, congratulations, I will see you on Greater Street. In the interim though, this is how Romans 8:12-17 can inspire you: "So don’…

The struggle is real...temporary

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. Do you know that your time is coming? Do you know that challenging times don't last? And do you know that God wants to bless you and bless you indeed? I hope all of your answers to those questions were a yes and an amen, because you know what I often say, 'we have to believe it to see it.' 
Although most of us have heard the phrase, "the struggle is real", that doesn't mean the struggle will always be. In fact, the struggle is real...temporary, so it won't last forever. Like a body-builder in the weight room, the pulls and strains will come, but glory comes next. So, as long as we're still trying, then we're going to get somewhere. Sooner or later, the work we're doing is going to pay off, because we're moving and seeking God for help and guidance. Psalm 54:4 says, "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me." Stay with it. Greater things will start happening.…

When Misfits Become Kings: Book Study Part 1 (weekly podcast episode #28)

Follow along with transcript below.
In today's book study titled, When Misfits Become Kings, Mark Casto delves into the misfits or the people who are seen as "different" or the people who have been cast aside. He writes about how God used such people for greatness and how their being misfits served as one of the key reasons God used them -- Davidin the bible,being one of them. Have you ever felt like a misfit? Do you feel like a misfit now? If so, join the crowd, I have, as well, and I think I will be a misfit for the rest of my life. It pretty much goes with the territory when one wants to do big things for Jesus, wouldn't you say? So guess what? I'm totally ok with not fitting in.
In the introduction of the book, I'll start off by talking about what I highlighted, which was "something in my longed for more, and I felt like a square peg in a round how, an outsider, a misfit going nowhere very slowly" (pg xxiii roman numeral 23). I highlighted those…

Your help comes from God

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. Do you know that when you are in Christ, not only are you a new creation, but your help comes from Him -- The Lord, God, the Messiah, Yahweh? Yes, it's true. Psalm 121 says: "I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."So you see, there it is. God's got you wherever you go. You're never alone and you can reach out to Him whenever you like. There is freedom and power in that. 

God is watching over you

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8); "the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore" (Psalm 121:8).
So, there it is, you have nothing to worry about, because God is looking and watching over you. He's ensuring you are in His protective arms and it doesn't matter what may be coming against you. God's got you. Just in case you may have a mountain in front of you, let me tell you this: God is with you and He's got you covered from all sides. You see, when we love God and call Him Father, that means we are under His covering at all times -- we are His children and that means something. Therefore, He is a good good Father who is going to ensure He takes care of His own. You can rest in knowing that.

Faith under pressure

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought" (James 1:2-8). It doesn't matter what is coming at you, with faith -- with trust -- with a positive attitude, you will get through. We can't give up, because doing the challenging and difficult things as we rely on God to get us through, will ensure we grow from the experience. Having faith under pressure produces strength and power as we go through life. And that faith makes us battle-tested and battle r…

The royal rule of love

My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? (James 2:1-4). Public opinion can really throw us off if we let it, can't it? But we have to refuse and refrain from being tossed to and fro in the wind. We have to focus on what Jesus would have us to focus on, and that is love. It doesn't mean walk around with a pie-in-the-sky mindset. It simply means to walk around thinking of the next person -- no matter who he or she is and no matter what he or she looks like. Make sense?

You can rejoice

You have a right to rejoice. You have a right to peace. And you have a right for staying true to who God made you to be. Why? Because you’re in Christ Jesus and you have a right to what He promised you, which is joy, peace, and sincerity, at a minimum.
Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” You can rejoice.

You can talk to God

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. Do you know you can talk to God? And do you know He will talk back? Yes, it's called having a relationship with Him -- a reciprocal relationship. You talk, He talks; He talks, you talk. And also, a loving one. God is there any time and any day. He's there when people have left us and when people sleep on us. That's right, God never sleeps and He can be counted on 24/7, so no matter what's going on in your life, good or bad, God will rejoice with you and God will comfort you. It doesn't matter, because He's the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Isn't that awesome? It's awesome, because God is God and God is reliable 100% of the time, even when man isn't. God isn't flaky or cold today and hot tomorrow. He's consistent and never flip flops on us. That's why it's so much easier to talk to Him during our ups and even our downs. 
The bottom line is, God good all the time and all the…

Won't God do it?

Daily Devotional Podcast. Follow along with blog post. "A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:1-5).
Wont God do it? He will indeed, especially when we will stop at nothing to get to Him. And when we have unflinching faith like the paralyzed man, it doesn't matter who is standing around watching, God will do it. Yes, He will bless you in front of anybody.