Thursday, September 4, 2014

Loving and Forgiving

Loving and Forgiving
photo by photoxpress
photo by photoxpress



Breaking the chains of anger, bitterness and hatred

How hard it is for us to forgive and love one another. And yet Jesus showed us time and time again love and forgiveness. Even when he hung on the Cross you did not hear words of bitterness or hatred escape from his lips, but only love, compassion and mercy for he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. Why is it so hard for us to do the same? Let go of the enemy's plague of doubts, fears, anger, bitterness, hatred and embrace one another with love and forgiveness and feel the warmth of our Heavenly Father's love overflow within us. Loving and forgiving one another is our hardest and biggest challenge in life, certainly in mine, but just knowing and trying, brings us one step closer to being truly like Him when we do. Right now, this very moment tell someone you love them. Call that person you have been angry at  - a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, or a friend and tell them that you forgive them and that you love them. Break those chains of bondage and be set free.

Lord,
Please help us to be more like You.
Give us hearts that are set on fire and blazing with love and forgiveness.
Help us to reach others who are chained to hatred, bitterness, anger, filled with pain and help us to unleash the poison that swells within their hearts and souls so that they may experience Your overwhelming love .
Father we love you so much.
Thank you for your kindness, compassion, love and mercy you showed us all at the Cross. For we are truly undeserving.
Amen.

Love you all!!
Carol

Saturday, August 2, 2014

God’s Great Hand at Work

God’s Great Hand at Work

The trials, struggles, hardships and disappointments that we go through are not a punishment from God, but they are allowed in our lives to test our faith, trust and love for Him and Peter reveals just how precious are faith is to God in 1 Peter 1:7 (NLT) “These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So, if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

He is the Author of our story. We may not like how the story turns out, but we realize it is a story that reveals a greater good a greater purpose as the apostle Paul enlightens us in Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” But he never gives us more than we can handle as in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

We will go through periods of rough times of grief, but in the end we will discover the triumphant hand of God at work. Just as in John 11:17 when Mary and Martha waited for four days for Jesus to come and heal Lazurus and then anguished over Lazarus death, God’s great hand was at work to reveal a greater purpose and to bring God the glory. John 11:4 (NLT) “But when Jesus heard about it he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this.” Jesus performed his greatest miracle and brought the one he loved back from the dead. Hearts were resurrected and made anew. The disciples and people then truly believed he was the promise foretold, the Messiah, the Son of God.

Without the trials and difficulties that we go through, our Christian walk cannot grow stronger or closer. We will grow complacent and we will not seek God in all that we do. He doesn’t always answer are cries and pleas for help right away and sometimes not at all. We must learn to wait patiently, quietly and seek Him earnestly in prayer. Our walk with the Lord will grow, blossom and flourish when our faith is tested just as James pointed out in James 1:3 (NLT) “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” If we trust in God’s sovereignty, and place all our troubles into God’s hands and let God take control we will realize that he has a plan and that there is a greater purpose. His great love for us has no bounds. We must place the pages of our hearts and lives into God’s hands and allow him to write His story onto our hearts and allow His great hand to work in our lives. 

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the work that you do in our lives. Help our love, faith and trust in You grow and flourish when we face trials and difficulties. Help us to be steadfast in prayer and ever seeking you in all that we do. Help us to surrender to You and allow You to write Your story upon our hearts so that we may share that story with others and the great hand of Your work within our lives.
I ask this in Jesus' name.
Amen.

Peace and Blessings to you all!
Carol

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When Christians Feel Like Outsiders

When Christians Feel Like Outsiders

Photo by photoxpress


Have you ever been amongst Christians who really know the Word, are gifted at speaking about the Word and are on fire about the Word they explode with zeal and passion for the Lord and they get so caught up in a conversation about the Word amongst each other that you as an immature Christian begin to feel like an outsider?

You start to feel like you do not belong amongst this selected called group of Christians. It’s not that you don’t have a heart for the Lord. It’s just that you have not reached their maturity in the Word and you do not possess the gifts that the Lord has blessed them with.

You try to contribute here or there in conversation, but they can be so wrapped up in their conversation and frenzy of passion they pretty much ignore what it is you have to say. They exclude all others and continue to focus on what each other is saying making you feel even more of an outsider. At this point you want to leave. You feel like you do not belong and you are an intruder. And as you start to think and feel you are an outsider, you begin to feel disconnected and alone and the enemy begins to whisper in your ear, fogging up your head with a wall of doubts. Why are you here? You don’t belong in this group. These people live and breathe for God. They know the Word inside and out. You are no wheres even close to being in their league. The enemy continues to plague you with attacks bringing you further down into his world of darkness …down into his dark gloomy pits. You begin to think you are a fruitless tree, a bramble amongst the roses, a goat amongst the sheep, a building stone full of cracks unable to support the foundation, unable to achieve or be one that is like this select group of people. So you leave full of doubt and torn and afflicted with the seeds the enemy has planted within your heart and mind. The enemy did his job well. He used that select called group of people to bring you down. Isolating you and knocking you down. The enemy wants you to turn your back on God. He wants you to give up on praying and seeking God daily. He wants to see an end to anything and everything related to God. The enemy’s greatest joy is bringing us down into the deep dark miry depths of which he resides. But just when you have given up hope and you are sinking like as if you are in quicksand, the Lord pushes his hand through those dark murky depths and pulls you out into the light.

I have felt this way many times and have observed others amongst a group grow quiet and withdrawn. I know I don’t have the head knowledge; I have to write everything down, and don’t really speak unless I am lead by the Holy Spirit to do so. I am a listener and an observer. I show my zeal for the Lord through my writings, prayer and trying to serve Him wherever He leads me. One must never give up hope in our Lord and he would never want us to feel alone, disconnected and outsider. Just as many of us feel like outsiders, isolated and alone, so did Jesus amongst his own people who chanted, “Crucify him.” They scoffed him. The Romans mocked him, spitted at him, and beat him unmercifully. He faced the cross alone … betrayed by one disciple, denied by another disciple while the other disciples fled in fear.

John 18:36 (KJV) “…My kingdom is not of this world: If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” This is not our world either. In this world we will be plagued with trials and struggles to test our faith, we must endure and not turn our backs to God and let the enemy win. We must encourage one another, protect one another, care for one another and be supportive of one another. We should not exclude one another and we need to be ever watchful for the enemy lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on any one of us to bring us down.

So when you are feeling like an outsider, alone and disconnected from other Christians think of the cross and the dear sacrifice that was made on our behalf. God has a specific purpose for each and every one of us and we hold special place within his heart. He loves us so much. He will not allow us to settle in the dark depths of the enemy. He holds our hearts in His hands protected by His warm loving everlasting light. Matthew 28:20 “…And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He is with us always and all’s we need to do is seek Him and he will show us the way, protect us and provide us comfort in our greatest need.

Heavenly Father,
Oh Lord you know each and every one of our hearts. You know all the emotions we battle through every day and the struggles we battle through every day. Help us to lean on You and seek You when we are feeling like outsiders amongst Your church. Inspire us, encourage us to connect with sisters and brothers in Christ who are sitting alone, whose hearts are hurting and are feeling isolated and alone. Help us to encourage one another and build each other up and not down and protect us from the enemy’s arrows of doubts, loneliness and disconnection. Where others are on fire for the Word, may their joy and zeal infect each and every one of us and burn a hope and desire within our own hearts, but brings only the glory to You and let it not be used as a weapon by the enemy.
I ask this in Jesus’ name.
Amen.
Love and Blessings to you all!

Carol

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Struggling to Have a Heart like Jesus

Struggling to Have a Heart like Jesus

image by photoxpress.com


You know how God will speak to you through certain passages within the Bible, through a study, or through a devotion, or even through a sermon and usually the message is about something you need to correct within yourself. Well, more than anything in this world I want to have a heart like Jesus. Today, I followed a rabbit trail and discovered something amazing. For the first time, the light clicked on and the Lord revealed an amazing truth to me.

I have always had this emboldened image in my mind as to what a person with a heart like Jesus should be like - a bubbly outgoing sociable person who had an angelic glow and was always giving and serving. I failed in achieving to be like such a person. I thought I will never have a heart like Jesus for I am to shy, I lack the gift of speaking and intelligence, I have health issues, I am at a lost most of the time as to what my gifts are so not sure where I should serve and pretty much dirt poor which makes it hard to give or do anything to help out. I thought how can I do his will and have a heart like his when I failed in all these areas. I thought Lord, I am not perfect and it is way too hard of a struggle to become like this person.

However, the struggles we go through in life is how our Lord shapes and molds us into being just like him and to have a heart just like him. I let the enemy’s tactics that plague this world throw fear, shame, doubt, ignorance, and envy at me to bring me down and interfere with what the number one goal of every Christian should be – to have a heart like Jesus. Why? Because I have been so hung up on the struggle to become like this perfect person and forgot that there is no perfect person. Jesus was the only perfect person that ever walked on this earth. None of us will ever be perfect if we were perfect we would not have to seek God for help, guidance, comfort and wisdom. How important it is for us to remember Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The Lord provides us strength to get us through the struggles in our lives. As we depend on him, and seek him daily through His word and prayer the more we begin to be more like him and to have a heart like his. If we lack the will and diligence and are bound and determined to have our feet in two worlds ( this world and the world in which our Lord resides in), we will never discover what it means to have a heart like Jesus and the enemy of this world will hold us back and will delight in seeing us fall and crumble.

The enemy knows I will never measure up. We all fall short of the glory of God. But to strive to have a heart like Jesus can be shown in many ways; it can be a smile, a hug, a touch, a prayer, an anonymous donation, providing a meal, or a helping hand. It is the little things that touch the heart, heal the heart and show how much we love each other. Sometimes we are limited at what we can do or say because of a disability, but that does not matter to Jesus and it does not mean we do not have a heart like Jesus or can prevent us from having one if we only abide in his commandment as in John 13: 34-35 (KJV), “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

It is important to remember that the enemy doesn’t want us to love one another, to be like Christ and to do God’s will. He wants us to be torn, to be confused and to be inflicting emotional pain upon one another. The enemy’s goal is to keep us from loving like Christ. We need to guard our hearts from the enemy, seek the Lord daily and ask him to put a hedge of protection around all of our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV), “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

We will continue to walk through this world struggling to achieve the great love that our Lord has for each and every one of us, but if we cast our worries upon Him, obey and do His will, He will take care of our hearts.

Father God,
Please give us a heart that overflows with love for each other. A heart that is like yours and one that long’s for your will and not the enemy’s will. Help us to protect our hearts from the enemy’s attacks that would prevent us from having a loving heart like yours. Enshroud us with your love; help us to make you the focus of everything in that we do daily. Guide us, direct us and help us in our time of need.

Amen.
Love to you all and God Bless!
Carol

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fan or Follower Must Stand Up for the Truth



I just finished the book, Not A Fan, by Kyle Idleman. You can check it out here notafan.com . It is a book I think every Christian, young or old, should read. Idleman's book has deeply inspired me and my Christian walk. Has made me stop and think, where do I fit into these two categories: am I a fan of Jesus or am I a follower of Jesus.

If you are a fan of Jesus, you do not strive to have a personal relationship with Jesus and your just a pew warmer on Sundays. You do not strive to be Christ like in all that you do or say. Fans have a quasi relationship with Jesus that is based on their own ideals as to what a Christian is suppose to be and do. A fan's life is basically centered around oneself and not around God. It's all about me...me...me and serving oneself, not God. 
Matthew 4:10 "... for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." 
So, do I serve myself or do I serve the Lord? I think if I were to grade myself, it would have to be a C+ mainly because I think I let my insecurities and heath affect my ability to serve, especially in a public setting. I am so uncomfortable around lots of people and have a hard time going up and talking to people. I have to force myself. I allow it to interfere with serving the Lord. I have also let school interfere with my serving the Lord. Presently, I feel more like an outsider in my church because I do not have the time to attend the women's Bible Study anymore or participate in other activities within the church because 90% of my time is spent at school and studying.

However, my relationship with Him has become more intimate than has ever been before. Since he opened the doors for me to go back to school, I seek him daily and pray daily for his guidance, wisdom and knowledge. I try to read the Word everyday or a devotion or listen to a sermon or worship music on the radio on my way to school. Saturday mornings I was participating in an online Bible study at the Women's Bible Cafe and when I can, I study the Word with a sister in Christ on Fridays. 

In the book it mentions how a  fan 's light has been doused and is barely flickering. Even though I may not be able to show on the outside, as other Christians do, my joy and passion for the Lord, it does burn zealously bright and fervent within my heart and soul and behind my pen. But it is something that I need to work on. I need to learn how to share and display my joy with others and share why I place my hope, faith and trust in Him and not in the things of this world.

These insecurities hold me back from being a true follower, and my social anxiety problems, my stuttering when I am really nervous, poor memory and my low opinion of myself. I let our finances hold me back. It becomes an excuse. We are not rich. We are a single income family that lives paycheck to paycheck and sometimes we struggle putting food on the table and having gas to go back and forth to school and work.  I let my past sins hold me back from being a true follower as well. The enemy drives it into my head that I am worthless...trash. I  get it into my head that no one would want to associate with me or be my friend. Following Jesus, as Idleman points out should be our top priority. And that means giving all of ourselves to him and laying down all distractions of this world, including the distractions of our insecurities and of our past.

So how will I be a follower? Well for one, I think this blog is one way to reach the millions of people who do not know Jesus personally. If I could reach just one soul through this blog, I would be extremely happy. Once this last school year is complete, I pray the Lord will open doors for me to serve Him with my art and web design. My hope is to start designing web sites for ministries and non-profit organizations and use my art and photography as way to reach others. I want to start some sort of ministry giving hand decorated hope boxes to women being released from jail or prison and facing re-entry back into the community. I want to show them our Lord is a Lord of love, compassion and mercy through tracts, a small Bible and other items. I have a heart for the elderly, so I want to help somehow in that area as well. I am not sure what direction the Lord will lead me, but I have full confidence and trust in Him that He will open the doors and lead the way.

And the Lord will lead us we must place our trust in him, as Idleman stated in his book, Jesus told Matthew in 9:9 follow me and Matthew got up and followed him. 
Matthew 9:9 "As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him."
A follower can be anyone, a tax collector, an inmate, a disabled person, a black person, a white person, a poor person, a rich person, a welder, a waitress, a divorcee - anyone.God has a plan for each and everyone of us. Heaven does not throw stones. There is only one requirement and that is to repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and believe that He died on the cross for your sins.

Are you ready to follow now? If not, when? Jesus didn't have a pillow to lay his head on at night or a place to call home. He reached thousands of people preaching, sharing and healing and he sent the disciples out into the world to share the truth with others. 

Many Christians let the things of this world define who they are instead of Jesus and his message. So many of us have stepped back from the truth that Jesus wanted his followers to share, due to fear of the enemy and escalating crisis spreading  and many of us have compromised our beliefs and what it truly means to follow Jesus and obey the Word. When we took up the cross, accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we chose to follow Him and not the ways of this world. If we step back now in fear, the enemy wins. Fan or follower, We must be united and stand up for the truth, live our lives like Jesus. It is important that our attitudes, hearts and minds reflect Jesus not this world. Something I think many of us fail at, including myself. 
God Bless Brothers and Sisters,
Carol

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Failing to Reach the Millions

Failing to Reach the Millions

The people that get left behind in the tribulation will be the people that we failed to reach out to in brotherly and sisterly love. They are many people we condemn, judge, abhor and find disgusting. I am so eternally grateful that my heavenly Father does not find me disgusting nor anyone else, but that he loves us ALL unconditionally. Just as he loves us so should we love others for we are to live for Christ. For if God did not love us, there would be no hope in this world, but because he loved us so much he sent his one and only Son, Jesus, to take on the sins of this world. Jesus reached out to the multitudes of sinners, the lost, and the forsaken and gave them hope. Where many of us, condemn and judge, Jesus showed mercy and love. Many of us shut the doors on people because of their past sins because we find them disgusting, creepy, yet we do not know their true hearts or the circumstances of the past we see only what the enemy wants us to see. Only the Lord knows our true hearts and He has changed the hearts of many.

Ezekiel 36:26
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

heart of stone
Copyright © PhotoXpress


Just like the Lord knew the heart of Paul and Paul changed. Paul began a journey with a heart for the Lord reaching out to millions and sharing the truth. He knew the heart of Peter and Peter changed. He knew the heart of Matthew and Matthew changed. And why did all these mens' hearts change? Because Jesus reached out to them and revealed to them the truth and showed them love, kindness and mercy. The enemy takes delight in stripping others from knowing his love and the truth. We are helping the enemy win when we behave just like him and not like our Lord.

We are ALL children of God. Because of His love, there is hope and there is still time to reach out to the millions who do not know Him personally.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for loving us and for sending us your one and only true Son to die on the cross for all of our sins. As we develop a closer relationship with you Lord, I pray that you will open our eyes and hearts and reveal to us how you want us to share that truth with the millions of people who still don’t know you personally. What you sacrificed for us, there is no greater love. Help us to draw close to you and depend on you at all times and to see others through your eyes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ways to reach out to the millions

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Please Take Me Home Lord

It has been awhile since my last post. I have been working on some writings, but time has not been available to me to post them, due to school and studies. But tonight, I felt compelled to write this poem addressed to my Lord and Savior Jesus. It seems I talk to him more than anyone these days to guide me and to help me through my daily struggles. I would not have made it this far in my life without Him. Thank you Jesus for always being there for me when the fog enshrouded me with doubt, fear, hopelessness and tears.

Please Take Me Home Lord

The enemy despises me.
He hates me.
The enemy does not want me to be even present within Your great halls.
There is little comfort or compassion found within these great halls,
only hateful penetrating eyes hidden behind masks
and ever changing chameleons’ visible only to Your eyes.
I yearn for Your company.
I yearn for Your friendship.
I yearn for Your kindness.
I yearn for Your love.
For there is none other,
none greater,
than You O’LORD.
Please take me home.
For I am a hindrance to the people I love in this world.
My past sins drag others down with me to the enemy’s gates.
They are blind and innocent they do not see the enemy reaping about
My past sins keep others from blooming with your glorious truth.
Please take me home.
For there is no other place I rather be than with You oh LORD
This world despairs me
The enemy attacks me silently
All seems hopeless without You LORD.
Please take me home.
For my home is not of this world,
my home is with You.
For you are the light that shines ever so brightly,
that dries my tears away.
You are my rock.
You are my inspiring hope.
You are the radiant truth.
You are my Savior.

Please take me home.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Letter from Jesus

photo by photoxpress


A Letter from Jesus.

My Dear Children,

My world is not of this world.

It is a world that is not full of abomination, hate, conflict and darkness,
but a world full of divine beauty, unconditional love, everlasting peace and heavenly lightness.

It is a world where you will not find any stones, whispers or lies,
but a world full of mercy, quietude and sincerity that never subsides.

It is a world that will not mock or reject one due to their disability, age, race, gender or past, but a world that will accept all unequivocally with love that is unsurpassed.
It is a world where you will not find any disconnection, loneliness or sadness,
but a world full of genuine heartfelt unification, friendliness and gladness.

Those who weep in this world will smile in my world
Those who fear in this world will be fearless in my world.
Those who hold regrets in this world will be content in my world.
Those who harbor shame and guilt in this world will be released in my world.
Those who limp in this world will be able to run in my world.
Those who cannot speak in this world will be able to shout for joy in my world.

No amount of treasures in this world can uphold to the treasures that await in my world. To enter into my world, all a person needs is the key to unlock the door. The key is the knowledge and acceptance of the truth which is the Word of God and to repent from your sins and accept and believe in me that I Am Jesus, the Lord and Savior, the Son of the living God, who died on the cross for EVERYONE’s sins. No matter what sin a person has committed ALL are equal, YOU will be forgiven. Accept me, Jesus, as your Savior today and receive my promise and the keys to my world.

Yours lovingly,

Jesus

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I wrote this at a time when the enemy was striking me on all sides, weary of the battle and longing for a one-on-one conversation with our Lord Jesus, I wondered what he would say to me. Words of comfort and compassion came to my mind. I long for the day to enter His world and pray for those who do not believe to even see just a glimmer of the treasure I eagerly await.
May you all have a blessed day!
Carol

© Carol Moore