Faith Messages to build your faith

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Happens When We Say "Yes" to God?

Jean Oathout lets us in on what is her response to the ladies retreat in Gananoque, Ontario...

As we have a Holy God, we need to understand that how we live is important to Him.

His Holy Word, the Bible, explains in great detail what our spiritual condition is, and lays it out clearly what it is:

We are sinful to the core, and in need of the Savior, God's Son, Jesus Christ.
(Rom. 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.")

As Jesus had our sins piled on Him, and carried them to the Cross of Calvary, was crucified, buried, and raised again to New Life, we have access now to the Father, to have Life given to us. (see Is. 53:3-12)

Through this "New Life", we are well able to do what the Father asks of us. It is up to us to be willing to submit to His promptings to serve Him where we are, and in a local Bible-believing church.

From Genesis to the book of Revelation, we can read His dealings with people of all walks of life and backgrounds.

The people He used to do His will astounds us at times, as they appear the least able to accomplish what needed to be done. (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary, all who were in Christ's linage.) 

When folks said "Yes" to God, He empowered them to do amazing feats, like bringing down the wall around the city of Jericho through Joshua. Some were used to rescue helpless people, becoming the "savior" needed to free God's nation, the Jews, time and time again.

What God wants to do through you and me remains to be seen, my friend. Is it possible that He has a plan for us to help others get to know Him better?

I believe He does, and that He asks each of us to take the time to inquire what that may be, through the reading of His Word and meditation.

What will you do? Will you respond with a "Yes' to God?

Our being connected to a Body of believes is all important, as we can learn to allow the fruits of the Spirit to develop through fellowship, trials, and learning to deal with others with differences of experiences and opinions.

God's design is to help us get along with others who know and follow Him, so we need to regularly meet with them, to learn how to be blessed, and also to be a blessing to others. 

How will we learn to witness God's goodness and grace, if we don't allow ourselves to mingle with folks, and to witness His working in their lives, to change them into His likeness. 

There's much to learn from those who've known God, and who have walked with Him for a longer time. This sharing will be invaluable in the developing our own faith.

We're to model ourselves after those who've experienced trials, and who've been faithful to walk through them with God's help. 

It will inspire us to be able to do the same. We will then be able to help others in their walk.

(Google images added)

At
 the end of the two-day ladies retreat in Gananoque, 
Ontario, on Saturday afternoon, we were given a bag of odds 
and ends and a block of wood. 

We were told not to open our bags until told to do so, and 
to not speak, once we opened our bags. We were to breath 
into the bags, as God had "breathed life into Adam" at the 
beginning. (Gen. 2:7)

This was to signify the breath of life being breathed into the 
contents of our bag, so we could expect God to give life to 
some of the articles in there, (so to speak), and use them to 
speak to us.

We were then challenged to examine the contents, ask God 
what significance some of them were to us, and attach them 
to the block of wood that was in the bag. There were tools on 
each table, as well as hot glue guns nearby.

The Lord spoke to all 90 ladies messages that will change 

their lives significantly. 

Here is my "craft" of objects that God used to speak to me...
It may not look like much, but each piece was very significant 
to me.

The following is an explanation of the photo: 

Rubber bands = These are folks that I'm connected to on my 
blog (www.jean-oathout.blogspot.com), and Face Book in some 
way, who check in at various times, and with varying 
commitments.

Small wrench = God's using my posts to make adjustments 
in my readers' attitudes and lives.

Popsicle sticks = God uses the Faith Messages as "tongue 
depressors", to view into my reader's lives and hearts, to help
them see their needs.

Curtain hook = Hopefully, some readers will become hooked 
to the Faith Messages, and check in often.

Q tips = The Holy Spirit draws and anoints my readers with His
Word, as they read the Faith Messages.

Tangled rubber bands  = Some folks read the posts with mixed 
emotions, and  God will help them get their thinking straightened 
out through the various Faith Messages.

Piece of boarder wood = Hopefully, the Faith Messages will 
give some folks guidelines for their faith.

Wire = I believe that my husband and I are wired together
in marriage, and God plans to strengthen it.

Thread holder  = Time will bring a re-threading of our relationship.

Thick black ring = Our love will become stronger in time.

Metal piece = Our marriage will be built on a stronger foundation 
of love, wisdom, and commitment.

Two small white objects = I didn't know what they meant, 
but agree with the Lord for whatever they signified. (A friend 
suggested they were some "secrets" God has for me.) Sounds 
good to me!

Stopper = I'm to shut my mouth, and allow God to speak to my
husband what His plan and will is for him.

Two pictures from the retreat:

Pam, Jean, Carol, and Bonnie
Pam, Jean, and Pastor Carol Forman,
of Community Life Station
Moira, NY.
(I will be leaving this afternoon, to drive to Catskill, NY, to stay with Leah while my son, John's away for work. She is due Thursday, so her delivery time may be quite close. We hope so, anyway. I don't know how long I'll be there, but it depends on how Leah and the baby do.)

Let’s pray:

    Father, help me to apply zest to my work efforts that I might please You. 

   I offer my actions and words today as a testimony to bring You glory. Use me today to point others to You.

   I know that I'm in need of fellowship with other believers, so I ask to be lead to folks who love You, and who are committed to walking in obedience to You.

   Please enable me to find ways to be of service to others, and to grow in my faith as I do.

   Open my eyes to Your will for me, and help me become sensitive to Your leading me in and through Your Word, and to answer "Yes", when You inspire me to obey You. 

   In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Joshua 1:9  "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed, for the LORD thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."

Today’s quote: Jennifer Benson Schuldt  “Like reading, Prayer 
can be  silent. Hannah, who longed for a child or her own, visited 
the temple and “spoke in her heart” as she prayed. Her lips were 
moving, but “her  voice was not heard” 1 Sam. 1:13. Eli the priest 
saw but misunderstood what was happening. She explained “I...
have poured out my soul before the LORD” v.20. God heard 
Hannah’s silent prayer request and gave her a son v.20.

Some thoughts today: We need to constantly put off what hinders us to walk in peace. We have been crucified in Christ, are now freed from sin’s control on us. Rom. 6:6,7Let’s choose to not sin!

God’s Word purifies our hearts. His Word and Presence are wrapped together. It is a cleansing agent. We cannot clean ourselves.

God will cause faith to walk out what He wants done. He will give the creativity to get things done. 

- Will you look to Him to enable you to release connections, which will tend to hold you back from being effective in God's Kingdom? Connections matter, as those that encourage your new Life in Christ will strengthen your faith and determination to please Him.

A popular post:   God's Retirement Plan Lisa Wardrop tells us: "God never ceases to amaze me how in His creative ways our needs are met."

Check out the 128 links, to find helpful posts for your prayer ministry.  INTERCESSORY PRAYERS by Dutch Sheets




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God's Armor

Dr. Charles Stanley shares with us about how to survive a Satanic Attack:

"When we hear the word war, we think of physical combat with armored vehicles, soldiers in uniform, and deadly weapons.

Yet there is a spiritual war going on around us that is just as dangerousone we often ignore or fail to understand.

We have a powerful opponent working against us. In fact, the Lord calls him "the god of this age" 2 Cor. 4:4 because he is the source of evil and wickedness in our world.

To overcome Satan's attacks, we must first recognize that he is a real adversary. Then we need to hold our ground against him.

To stand firm, we have to dress for battle.

Wear the belt of truth. 

Because of who our Enemy isnamely, the Father of Lieswe must wear a belt of God's truth to counter his deceit.

It is imperative that we make a commitment every day to hold to the Lord's plan, obediently following Him, whatever the cost.

Just as a belt secures clothing in place, our lives are to be encircled and held together by the truth of God's Word.


Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Much like a protective covering, obedience guards us from harm.

Since the Devil prowls around seeking to deceive and destroy 1 Peter 5:8, we are to 'suit up' daily in the armor that comes from choosing God's way in our conduct and conversation.

When we are protected in this way, Satan's arrows of lust, doubt , or fear will not penetrate.

Be sure your feet are shod with the gospel of peace.


Roman military boots had metal cleats to help soldiers stand firm in battle.

Similarly, our spiritual "shoes" provide the solid footing of assurance—the certainty that we have peace with God and are safe in Him. John 10:28


Carry the shield of faith. The most powerful asset we have as believers is our faith.

It helps us to resist the Enemy's temptations by thinking, I know I have this need, but I trust in God. So I'll wait for the Lord to provide it in His way and in His time.

We are well protected behind the shield of faith.

Wear the helmet of salvation. 


The mind is Satan's battlefield; it needs to be conscientiously and effectively guarded.

In a spiritual battle, our assurance that we are saved will help repel the Enemy's lies, which might cause us to question God or to think contrary to Scripture.


Carry the sword of the Spirit. God's Word is both an offensive and defensive weapon.

It makes inroads for the gospel Heb. 4:12 and also protects us.

As Jesus proved in His desert temptation, the devil cannot stand against it.

The spiritual battel raging around us is real and fierce Eph. 6:12.

Today, safeguard yourself by spending time absorbing God's truths (the belt) and then applying them through obedient action (the breastplate).

We are not in the reserves, simply waiting to be called up. We are in the war.

Soldier of God are you fully dressed for battle?"

These two devotions, (which have been combined), are taken from Dr. Charles Stanley' September 2013 In Touch publication of the IN TOUCH MINISTRIES. (pg 52)

Let’s
pray with Gwen Smith:

"Lord, Surely there is a battle raging around me! At times it knocks me down and hits me hard. 

   Please be the anchor of hope and strength that I need right now. Hold me secure and pull me through each trial I am facing. 

Help me to remember who I am in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

Today’s Bible verse: Eph. 6:10-18 MSG ""God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way.

This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet.

Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable  weapon.

In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out."

Today’s quote: Dave Weiss – “God is not withholding from you. When He has something for you to do, He will make it clear. In the meantime look to what He’s previously given you that you left unfinished and start working on that.”

Our thought today: We can't keep all of God's commandments to be saved, but Jesus did. Reach out to Him and touch Him for your need.

23rd- Sunday evening’s post:  What Happens When We Say "Yes" to God?  Jean Oathout  (Some impressions of a retreat I was at recently)

{I will be away from my computer for a few weeks, so I will send out another post when I return.}

A popular post:  Love Covers a Multitude of Sins  Lynn Karlsen "When someone we love is involved, we see things a little differently and extend a measure of grace not normally shared."



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Wisdom for Brides (Christian Marriage, Counseling,
& Help) (Volume 1)


Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse  
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Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse 
My book in paperback $9.45




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Are We Failing?

Tammie Johnson challenges us with this:

One of the most important commandments of Christ is to love our neighbor as ourselves.

We have many, many people out there who are unsaved. They are less fortunate than we are.

We must ask ourselves, ’"Why do people who call themselves Christians push less fortunate people away? Didn’t the Lord send us to heal the broken hearted? And be faithful to lead them to Him?"

In God’s Word, Jesus said the healthy didn’t need a doctor, the sick did.

Are the less fortunate pushed away and shunned, whether they’re sick or healthy?

Of course they look different; of course they act and talk differently than us. They don’t have a lot of money; they may not even smell right.

But that’s why  the Lord sent His people, His disciples, His followers, to love these people and to lead them to Him, the Great Physician.

We are to teach them, hold them, have compassion and have love for them, even if they are different.

That’s why we are here. We serve the Holy One, the Great I Am, God Himself. 

Not for our own foolish pride, or selfish ways. 

All too often I see this, and people are deeply wounded by this.

Having the Lord’s heart, it breaks my heart as well, when I feel what God must feel when we act that way.

Let's love our neighbors as ourselves, no matter where they come from, who they are, or how they act. Not on how we feel.

Help God gather His children. Once we do our part in bringing them to the Lord, trust God to do His part. 

With guidance through church attendance and praying for them, they can soon grow in the Lord and be what He intends for them. 

Pray they'll begin loving the only One Who matters: God!

But for that to happen, we must get past our own needs, wants, desires, pride, and selfishness.

We’re to do what God has put us here to do as His children: Minister His love, minister His Word, and lead people to Him.

Remember what you were like before someone took you under their wing and spoke to you about the Lord. (Not pretty).

Remember what the Lord did for you so you could have the life you have: Eternal Life.

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

Put yourself for one moment in their shoes and you will know how they feel. 

Please remember, that you have the love of God within you, to reach out to them with the love of Jesus, like someone loved you once.

Are We Failing? by Tammie Johnson

Tammie is married to Allen Johnson, and enjoys hunting and fishing with him.

It is Tammie's vision to have revival services in Ogdensburg this summer!

(Used by permission by Tammie Johnson - Google images added.)

Let’s
 pray:

   Father, we admit our lack of attention to others who need Your Salvation.

   Please forgive us, and help us to reach out to those You show us we're to speak to about Your love and Redemption in and through Christ Jesus, that You offer to us all.

   May we not always think of our own needs, but begin to see Your leading us in helping others find You.

   In the Precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen

Today’s Bible verse: Is. 41:15a :"Behold, I (God) make thee a new sharp threshing instrument."

Today’s quote: Sharon Jaynes – “Hurt is inevitable in relationships. We are sinful creatures living in a fallen world, and it is only by the grace of God that we can be a blessing to anyone. The only way to be better rather than bitter is to extend the same grace to others that God extended to us through Jesus Christ. The key to writing a beautiful life story is to have a pencil with a good eraser.”

Some thoughts today: You're already significant! God loves you!

- We're like a bridge. As others see Christ formed in us, they'll become interested in Him, too!

- The times you feel frustrated, you'll not be in God's will for you. Take a "time out", and seek His face in His Word for clear direction.

23rd- Sunday’s post:  God's Armor  Dr. Charles Stanley

    Evening's post: What Happens When We Say "Yes" to God?  Jean Oathout (My impressions from a ladies retreat I attended)

This is my last post for about 2 weeks, as I'll be leaving for Catskill tomorrow after church, to stay with my son, John. They are expecting their first child on the 27th, and as he has to work, I'm to be with Leah. Please pray for my safe traveling, and that I'll be a blessing to them. 

A popular post: The Forgiveness of Christ  "Have you accepted the forgiveness of Christ? If not, do it!"


There are life-giving words
in this Book, that God
has provided for us!

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Wisdom for Brides (Christian Marriage, Counseling,
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Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse  
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

#64 The Gift of Intercession

C. Peter Wagner continues telling us about intercession, with today's message on The Gift of Intercession:

"Not all of our intercessors have the gift of intercession, although I think God has chosen to allow us the privilege of a rather high percentage of those with the gift for reasons I will mention later.

Of our 18 1-2 intercessors, [he then lists them], 10 have been recognized as having a gift of intercession.

Doris and I consider the eight who do not have the gift of intercession as essential and precious to ourselves and our ministry as those who do.

Some who do not have the gift are actually more committed to supporting us day in and day out than some who do.


The center and guards are no less important on a football team than the running backs and the ends. It takes the whole group as a team to win.

Because this kind of language is relatively new to our Christian community in general, the process of absorbing its implications takes time.

Pam Marhad is a key member of our team. But she had to work through her role as an 1-2 intercessor as one who does not have a spiritual gift of intercession.

She wrote about her experience in Body Life, our Sunday School class monthly newsletter. 

She said, "More often than not, when I decide I will pray for certain people or situations, a feeling of frustration and 'what's the use?' overcomes my good intentions and defeats me."

As she prayed about it, Pam felt the Lord took her to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.

There it is clear that God is the one who decides who gets what talents and how many. 

[Check out my post of Peter's message on this subject: #15  God Selects the Gifts]. 

When she saw that, she confessed, "I've been guilty of looking around and saying in my heart, 'Lord, I'm just a one-talent prayer.' Others You have made five-talent pray-ers let them pray. My prayers probably don't matter."   

Then Pam rightly concludes that all God expects of her is to use the resources He has given her, nothing more, nothing less. 

"As I'm faithful and obedient to use what He's given,' Pam says, 'then He's free to give me more if He chooses. If I don't value His gifts to me and neglect them because they don't measure up to what I see others doing, then I very effectively tie the Lord's hands in my life and find myself on the outside looking in with envy and resentment."

It could not be said better.

As I write this (possible because I am writing this book), a note just received from Bobbye Byerly says, 'Peter, you are coming up No. 1 in my prayer discharge right now. It's nothing I've done or failed to do. Nothing you've done. I would guess that God is orchestrating a new realm of prayer support for you at this time."

#64  The Gift of Intercession, in the 
series taken from C. Peter Wagner’s 
book, PRAYER SHIELDHow to 
intercede for pastors, Christian leaders 
and others on the spiritual frontlines.
(pgs. 127-129)  by Regal Books


Let’s pray:

   Father, when we understand that our prayers are important to You, and to those we're praying for, help us be faithful to pray.

   I know that You've given me gifts, and I claim them now, asking that You'll help me recognize what they are, and how You want me to walk in them.

   My desire is to please You, and to be effective in what You've called me to be active in, and not compare my gifts with others around me.

   I ask these things in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Deu. 4:7 "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?

Today’s quote: Joel T. Barnaby "The church is full of men who have been well-nursed in the bosom of the Church, but never fathered by the ministry of a "Paul" type figure. Many leaders in the Church have enjoyed the process of spiritual conception; few have ever taken the responsibility of being a true father. We need more Father's in the Church who will "travail until Christ be formed" by covenant relationships."

Some thoughts today: You may think you're too old, but there are dreams and visions yet. Go after them, and ask the Father to supply what you'll need to see them come to reality. As God waits on us, do something! You are coming into the time of provision—rest in it.

- Are you willing to risk obeying God's leadership? 

- We need each other, as there are times we are in error, and others can speak into our lives with truth, to help us make changes that are needed to learn how to walk with God more effectively. 


22nd- Saturday’s post:  Are We Failing?  Tammie Johnson

23rd- Sunday's post:  God's Armor  Dr. Charles Stanley

    Sunday evening's post:  What Happens When We Say "Yes" to God?  Jean Oathout  (My impressions on a ladies retreat)

25th- Tuesday's post:  #65  Feeling the Wind of the Spirit  C. Peter Wagner


A popular post:   The Church, God’s Womb Upon the Earth: Prayer Note #91  Dutch Sheets shares with us,  “Whether through speaking, touching, laying hands on the sick, declaration or worship, when God’s power starts flowing upon the earth, it is flowing through human vessels."

Yep, it's almost time again!
(Google images added)


AuthorsDen.com
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Wisdom for Brides (Christian Marriage, Counseling,
& Help) (Volume 1)



Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse  
Kindle $2.99 A review would be appreciated.

Granny's Guide to Marriage in Verse
My book in paperback $9.45