Remember the Good Past

by Kim McDougal

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits. – Psalms 103:2 (AMP)

There’s definitely things in our past that we want to forget and some circumstances we do need to put behind us. But there are things done in the past by our God we should remember, especially when we’re in the midst of a battle or if we’re waiting on God for an answer to a long-awaited prayer. It helps build our faith to remember how the Lord delivered us in the past. And, it helps keep our focus on God and not on the situation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore and it’s a wonderful thing for me to remember that when He helped me yesterday, there’s no reason to believe He won’t help me today.

Everyday has new challenges and our God is ready to handle them all. His mercies are new every day. You and I need a fresh, new anointing each day to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The Lord knows exactly what we need every second. If we go into our past to bring anything up, let’s bring up all the blessings, miracles, and answered prayers and nothing else!

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Outside Of His Will

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul….” I Peter 2: 11

Is there something in your life that you desire and yet, you know that this would be outside of God’s will for your life? Most of us have a bad habit or two. Some habits are just irritating, such as talking too much or laziness while others more damaging like gossiping, smoking, overeating, drinking too much, overspending, or even swearing. It’s very important that we have a constant check on ourselves, on whatever things we see or hear and do in our day to day lives. Bad habits in particular enter very stealthily into our life and before we even realize the impact, they become a part of our life and we become so addicted to it that later it becomes very difficult or nearly impossible to give it up.

“Change your hearts and stop all your sinning so sin will not bring your ruin.” Ezekiel: 18:30

The Bible warns us against surrendering to temptation. Remember temptation targets us for defeat. Complete victory over sin comes when we dislike our bad habits as much as God dislikes them. He hates anything that we make more important then Him in our lives. Build your faith today by depending on God’s power to live victoriously over trials and temptations. As we grow in our faith we have a desire to become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. When we have bad habits that hinder our witness for The Lord it stands in direct contrast with the example that Jesus Christ lived while on earth.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

When you are young it is easy to give up bad habits. But when they take hold, it becomes impossible to uproot them. Don’t wait for bad habits to grow in you, drop them while you have control over it or they will get control of you a stand between you and complete surrender to God. Matthew 6:24 “You can not serve two masters at the same time…” While bad habits won’t keep you from eternity in Heaven, they will keep you from completely and wholly serving God in your journey on earth.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

Jesus did not die on the cross so we can just keep on doing sinful things, He died a cruel death so that we can “go and sin no more” (John 8:11) If we walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh, the Lord will show us what is acceptable. He will give us the power to live victoriously over trials and temptations. To conquer the bad habits in your life, surrender your whole selves unto Him, pray and count your many, many blessings!

Father, forgive me if I have allowed any bad habits to take root in my life that are not pleasing to you. Help me to keep myself an example of You. In Your name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Am I the Problem or the Solution?

by Kim McDougal

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. -Psalm 139:23 (KJV)

We’ve heard it said before, “if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.” It truly means that if you see a problem but instead of looking for a solution, you egg the problem on then you’re not helping the situation. In our Christian walk, we should always take the time to examine our own heart and motives. God sees this and this is how He judges. He doesn’t care how good we look on the outside, He’s looking at our heart.

When we refuse to see that we may be causing distress rather than leaving our problems with God, we make life much more difficult. I had a real problem with complaining. I didn’t look at my blessings, all I could see was my trials and rather than tell God, ask Him to help me, I much rather complain and complain to other people which in turn caused them to retreat from me. For, who wants to be around someone who complains about how their life is so bad all the time? God had to deal with me on this, plus I brought on a lot of physical and emotional pain to myself and the more we won’t see ourselves and allow God to change us, the further we get from Him and from the solution.

Maybe someone has hurt, disappointed, or even lied about you. Possibly there’s a problem with a family member or friend. But, look at yourself today. You nor I are perfect. We sin, we make mistakes, we need God. If you’re pointing a finger at someone, don’t forget the three fingers pointing back at you. If you want a trial in your life to go away, you must first let God change your heart. The problem may still exist, but if you’re not reacting badly to it, it won’t have any power over you. And, when you’re not thinking about it, the problem usually vanishes.

Clothed With Strength And Dignity

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

‘Dignified’… the very word speaks to something in my spirit. I imagine a self-controlled woman making deliberate choices about what she says and does based on her priorities. I imagine a woman whose personality is not changed by circumstances, but exhibits grace under all kinds of challenges.

What is dignity? We find it mentioned in Proverbs 31:25 as something to be desired, “She is clothed with strength and dignity.” The dictionary defines dignity as “the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed.” Based on that definition and the entire chapter of Proverbs 31, I believe a woman clothed in dignity is one who knows who she is in Christ, and chooses to act in ways consistent with her high calling as a child of God. Sometimes, it’s easy to be so busy running around doing things for God that you forget all He really wants is your heart.

“Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30

I think of Rahab, [Joshua 2,6] who chose the things of God rather than the things of this world. We are enticed every day with worldly thoughts, attitudes, and way of life. Rahab understood that drawing near to God and his people would give her the strength she needed to choose wisely. That strength allowed her to believe in a better future far beyond the walls of Jericho. Rahab inspires us to believe in a better future beyond this life and become a strong woman of dignity and strength.

Proverbs 31 continues to give us a description of the virtuous woman and we see she is a woman of strength and honor, and is well-prepared for the future. She also is a woman of wisdom and speaks kindly to others. Where does this woman receive her strength and honor? It is from the Lord. When a person is strong in the Lord, they will also be honorable and receive honor. Your strength and power does not come from how much you can accomplish in one day. It flows out of your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Who is a virtuous woman today? Proverbs 31 tells us that it is the woman who puts God first.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies” Proverbs 31:10

Precious Lord, help us see True beauty is found inside when we develop godly character and are clothed with Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

An Invitation To Heaven

I am posting this as a promise fullfield to my dear sister in Christ, Debbie Croyle who has left us on earth to be with her beloved Jesus in Heaven. Dance for all of us sister…we will see soon.

An Invitation To Heaven

By Deborah Croyle

I would like to share my story with you. Have been married to my husband Fred for 40 years and when we married we took a trip on our honeymoon to our friend’s house, Judiann and Jerry. We had a good time but more then this; it was my start of a wonderful friendship with the Lord.

I had known Judiann for quite a while and we had been best friends. Judiann had a strong relationship with The Lord. Now, I didn’t know who The Lord was at the time and she would talk to me about The Lord. She would talk to The Lord like a friend but I didn’t know what that meant. As our relationship grew stronger, I knew that I wanted what she had, even if I didn’t know what it was.

August 20, 2000, I was at her house; we were going to go to church. II felt excited and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Before we went to church, we were in the worship room and she asks me if “I knew The Lord?” I said “Yes”. She asks me if “I believed that Jesus was God’s only begotten Son”? I said “Yes, I do believe He is God’s only Son.” “Do you believe that He is was crucified for our sins and that he was buried and rose after three days and went to heaven to be at God’s right hand?” I said “I do believe that”. Then I ask Jesus to be the Lord of my life and Savior. I ask Jesus to forgive me of all my sins.

What Judiann really did was invite me to be in heaven and that was awesome! I was very excited and had peace at the same time. Things were different now in my life. I just wanted to praise Him; I was so excited! I was baptized in the Holy Ghost; I was filled with the Holy Ghost and had had my heavenly language. I had to practice but it was wonderful. I didn’t understand how awesome that was until later. That same morning I went to church and didn’t know that there was something for me. Pastor came along and pointed to me and said “You are free” and I went in the Spirit. I was so blessed; there was so much warmth and love from the Holy Ghost and it was truly wonderful. That was my experience before of how I came to Christ. Judiann had loved me enough to give me the invitation from Jesus to heaven.

From that point on it was a learning experience. I got to know Jesus better every day; who He was and who the Father was. The Holy Spirit is so awesome that I changed daily and progressed and learned and it was beautiful. When I came home I told Fred but he didn’t know what I was talking about and I was still learning. As I was learning about Jesus, Fred didn’t understand and there were many times I had to figure out how to be an example and not irritate others with my new love for Jesus.

I am so Thankful for Judiann and my sister-in-law Carolann who shared with me how to be able to do what I needed to do and how to be with Jesus. They are invaluable to me.

I want to tell people that the only way to get to heaven is by asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior; there is no other way. You either go to heaven or you go to hell. There are only two choices. I don’t want anyone here to be in denial about how to be in heaven.

I want to speak to my relatives, Peter, Jennifer, and Brandon about their Jewish heritage. I realize that there are other Jewish people that have accepted Jesus as their Savior and are Messianic but the ones who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, they have the same choice. They either except Jesus as their Savior and go to heaven or don’t except Jesus and go to hell.

I was in Jerusalem not too long ago on a trip and what struck me as the saddest thing was that there were so many millions of Jewish people who do not accept Jesus as Savior. I wondered who they are praying to at the Wailing Wall. They don’t know that God of the Old Testament is Jesus. They are so devout and I admire their devotion and faith but that won’t save them. You can be sincere but you can be sincerely wrong.

I realize that many Jewish people believe there is hell on earth but they don’t believe there is an actual hell that they will go to. God did not make hell for people. He loves each and every one of us so much that He died while we were still sinners. Satan knows there is a heaven. He was a shining star in heaven; he rebelled and wanted to be God. God can’t have sin around Him so He kicked Satan out with one third of the angels. Lucifer is now here and he rules the earth as his kingdom. Satan believes in hell because he that’s where he is going. Now his only goal in this world is to get as many people away from God as possible by any means. He lies, steals and does anything and everything to get people to go to hell. Jewish people are thinking they have it made because of their heritage, but they don’t.

I also want to say to parents, “we need to think about the children that we are condemning to hell”. That is a responsibility that God does not take lightly; we have a standard to uphold to our children. I don’t want this to be sugar-coated because it is life and death. It is going to heaven and being with Jesus, in a most wonderful, loving place that has no pain, no difficulties; or the other alternative, hell where there is pain, pain, pain.

I have talks to many people at work in my nursing days and I extended the invitation to them from Jesus to go to heaven. Don’t let this opportunity go by because you may not have an opportunity when you leave this church or when you leave your house or when you cross the street. You never know the time or the day when it will be too late to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Accepting Jesus is the best and the most glorious thing I have ever done in my whole life and I have no fear of dying because I know that I will be in heaven with Jesus. There was a time when people accepted Jesus and there were times when they would ridicule. Because of Jesus this has been the best journey I have ever had. There is no other person in my whole life that I would rather have and there is no way I cannot be with Jesus. If my family gave me up because of Jesus that would be fine because He is my everything!

There are some who are Jewish, like Ron and Gayle, whose lives were changed because they accepted Jesus. They can help you learn about Jesus. Carolann and I (along with many others) have been praying many years for my loved ones and especially my brother Jim to accept Jesus and we are confident that God will answer our prayers and that they will be in heaven.

Accepting Jesus is the most important thing because we are sinners. I have not put down the verse in the bible but I’m confident that Pastor George and the elders of the church will give you ever verse that shows who Jesus is and what He did for us if you ask them.

On my trip to Israel I ask our tour guide, Godi, about Jesus. I said to him “I realize that you don’t believe the Messiah has come yet to the Jewish faith but we, your tour group are Christians and we believe that Jesus is our Messiah and Savior”. “What is it that you are looking for in a Messiah”? “Are you looking for a king or a soldier”? “What are you looking for and when is he going to show up”? He said “If the Messiah shows up or if he does not show up, that is okay also”. I just about cried because it’s so sad that so many people of the Jewish people will condemn themselves to hell. Everyone has a choice, not just Jews. God gives us that choice and He will never take that choice away from us. It is up to us to accept the possibility that you either reject Jesus and go to hell or accept Jesus and go to heaven.

Please except Jesus invitation to you now to come to heaven and see Jesus and see me there also. I will be waiting for you with a personal hello and a hug. I will be there with joy and laughter. The part in heaven will be so spectacular; it will be for days. We’ll be so blessed! So I give you this invitation and I hope to see you in heaven.
With love in Jesus,
Deborah Croyle

Out Of Adversity

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved, made to slip, fall or fail.” Psalm 55: 22

We have all been battered, bruised and scarred by life. So many of us are battle worn and weary from carrying our own burdens for far too long. Many of us choose to continue to wallow around in our mire. When we do, we cannot move forward. The mire is always going to be there to take our eyes off of all the goodness our Father has for us. We have a choice; we can either choose to die of a broken heart or choose to live.

“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deuteronomy 20:4

We all have a choice in how we respond to adversity in our life, we can choose to become victims and allow ourselves to become depressed, embittered and angry, or we can choose to be victorious and use the adversity as learning experience that will only make us stronger. Regardless of the adversities that come our way, we have to stand fast in our faith. Satan is there waiting for us to open the door to worry, fear and disbelief, or for us to give up completely.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

God sees redemptive value in our trials. He uses difficulties to advance our spiritual life and to achieve His great purposes for us. I encourage you to allow adversity to call your faith to action rather then to question it. Rise up, stand boldly and confront that which comes against God’s purposes and plans for us. None of us enjoy trouble, but in this sin filled world, sorrow and hardships are guaranteed. Let us surrender our thinking and ask to have the mind of Christ, who trusted the Father’s ways even unto death on the cross.

Heavenly Father, give us the courage to hold on regardless of what life deals us. Knowing that with you, all things are possible. Not all things happen as we invision them or would choose them to be. We know that whatever happens, it’s only for a season. We ask for your perfect will to be done in our lives. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Could You Be Convicted Of Being A Christian?

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1

If you were being accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? If you were on trial, what would the charges be against you? Would the jury hear that you were guilty of praying, reading your Bible, being kind to others or praising the Lord? What attributes do you posses that would prove you guilty of being a Christian? Or is the evidence not looking so great? Would the defense testify that you were found gossiping, lying, cheating, cursing and being dishonest? As Christians, let’s pray that we will always hear the words ‘Guilty as charged’ as we stand before the court shining with the grace of God.

“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15

It’s your choice today…. You can live out your life with the attitude that you are innocent of being a Christian and spend eternity in the place called Hell. Or you can be found guilty, and sentenced to live out eternity in Heaven with our Lord who promised us riches beyond our imagination. I would encourage you today to take inventory of your life. Would you consider yourself to be a Christian? How do other people see you? Are the facts of your life enough to convict you as born-again believer in Christ? Does your daily behavior prove otherwise? God is the only judge that counts. May we all diligently seek to acquire and exhibit the attributes of godliness and live in His righteousness alone! With a little practice, you may end up rejoicing with all the other ‘guilty-as-charged’ Christians sentenced to Heaven for all of eternity.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35

Heavenly Father, I humbly ask that you become our counselor when we stand before the courts of life. That we will always be found guilty living our lives in such a way that we glorify your presence and that our reward is eternity in Heaven with You. Thank you for being our perfect example. We love you. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Lighten Up

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? I hear so many people today say how busy and overwhelming their lives are. Everyone seems to be saying, “I always have so much to do and so little time to do it.” Sometimes I think we get so used to carrying our own burdens that we cling to them because they bring us comfort and a false sense of responsibility. We become addicted to worrying about them. We get caught up in them and then allow ourselves to become downtrodden by them.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Today we live in a world filled with so much anxiety and angst! One of the greatest lies the world tells us is that to have a good life, and perhaps especially a good Christian life, is having safe, respected, comfortable and prosperous lives. God never guarantees our success, comfort or even respectabilty. Instead, He asks us to be willing to give up absolutely everything in order to trust him and to follow where He leads us. It’s important that we learn to recognize these burdens that we put on ourselves, and to completely trust God to make the very best decisions for our lives.

“Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Our goal should be to please God with all our decisions. We should always ask ourselves, ‘is this just a Good decision or is it a God decision.’ Biblical scripture provides us with comfort and support and gives us relief from the suffering that everyday burdens cause. If you’ve been looking behind you with sorrow or around you with sadness, fix your eyes on what’s ahead. God’s wonderful future for His children is beyond our imagination.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

Sweet Blessings

Choosing My Inheritance

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

One morning as I was reading my bible study, I read these words in Samuel; “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance” But instead of “He” I saw the word as “Me” I thought just how gracious God is that he has given me the power to control my own inheritance in Heaven. If someone told you that you could have anything that you wanted in this life, all the wealth, homes, vacations, cars and toys, and all you had to do was except Christ as your personal Savior, be a good person with a pure heart, help others and, be kind, wouldn’t you think that you must have just won the lottery? There’s just one problem… All these riches end with our death. Only Heaven is for eternity.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1Corinthians 2:9

Think about this…Heaven is a place of matchless beauty and blessings. Our Father has prepared mansions for us and there filled with great treasure for us? John described Heaven as an entire city of transparent gold with walls made of precious jewels with twelve gates made of single pearls. The streets are made out of pure gold. There will be neither tears nor the sound of crying. The leaves of the tree of life will guarantee our health. It will be place of fellowship and a place of joy. We will stand with angels, walk with friends, sit down in the company of Abraham, Isaiah and David and talk with Paul and Adam. The whole city is lighted by the glory of God. There will be no power shortages, for God is all powerful, no bumping into things in the dark; no sleepless nights. Nor will there be bills, hospitals, bank accounts. In fact, In Heaven we will have no complaints, no lying, no hate, no fear and no crime.

“Look, I am Coming Soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” Revelation 22:12

There aren’t any riches on this earth to compare to the riches waiting for us in Heaven. God gives everyone of us the ability to control our own inheritance. By receiving Christ as our Savior we inherit eternal life. If we believe, we are a citizen of Heaven. We are to let Christ reign in our lives now, but our full spiritual inheritance includes being with Christ and reigning with Him throughout eternity.

Jesus said, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” John 5:24

Sweet Blessings

Do I Really Want to Do a “Do-Over”?

by Kim McDougal

“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” -Romans 6:4 (NLT)

You’ve probably been asked this question at one time, “If you had to do over again with the knowledge you have now, what would you go back and change?” If you ask me this question, my answer is, “NOTHING“. Why? Well think about it for a minute…why would I go back and change the decisions in my past when it is my present and future that I need to be focused on and concerned about? What’s past is past. Sure, we all have moments in our life that we’d like to change. But the important thing to remember here is when we repent of our bad decisions and place these sins under God’s feet, it stays there for Him. He no longer brings these things up again and He doesn’t hold anything against us.

In my opinion, when you hold onto this idea of wanting a Do-Over, we’re in essence saying, “God, I don’t believe that I’m really forgiven.” It grieves the heart of God and I think it actually makes Him angry for us to live in the past when He did so much on that cross for us to have a new life.

Our scripture today says it all. Because our Savior Christ rose from the dead, now we may live a new life. To me, this is the ultimate Do-Over, I get to Do-Over everything from my past by making better decisions NOW with Christ. I get to talk to Him everyday and ask His will to be done in my life TODAY. What I do today goes into the future. It’s like my past never existed! That’s the best remedy to wanting to change a past mistake. Walk with God each day, listen to His voice, follow His lead. Let Him have full reign over your life. He wants to give you and me a brand new life with abundance. But we tie His hands when we won’t leave the past buried. And He won’t override yours and my will. He’ll simply wait until you and I are tired of living in the past and decide to do it differently.

A Do-Over from the past? NOT ME. I’m Living in the Present creating a New Future with Jesus Christ. Will you join me?