Walk The Talk

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” I John 3:17-18

Being a child of God brings with it some awesome responsibilities. One of the most troublesome is that it is not enough to just “Talk the talk” we are required to “Walk the walk,” following in the foot steps of Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. That means that we have to back up our talk with action. We can say all we want about how loving we are, but the real proof is in our actions. If God’s love is a motivating force in our life, then helping others is going to be a natural by-product. It is much easier for us to testify about Our Lord and Savior than to proclaim Him through our lifestyle. Yet we are called to do both. Not because it earns us points, or favor, with Our Heavenly Father; but, because that is the way He calls us to be.

“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:18 NIV

James writes, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” It is easy to praise God with our words but dishonor Him with our actions. God places opportunities in each of our days to shine His light and walk in His ways. You just never know what taking those opportunities to show the Love of God will do in just one person’s life not to mention what it can do for your own relationship with our Heavenly Father. Don’t miss those opportunities and don’t miss out on your own drawing nearer to the Father.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

A lifetime of talking about our faith, can be undone, in a moment in another person’s eyes by our actions. Works can’t save you, but they are a surefire way to show that you’re saved. You can talk the talk, quote the Scriptures, and say “Hallelujah!” all you want, but if your life bears no fruit, your words are virtually valueless. Don’t just say you love others, show that you love others. Ask yourself this question: Are you walking the walk or just talking the talk? Choose to let your actions reflect your words and not just be a hearer of the Word, but a doer! Make a commitment to Christ to put some action behind your faith!

Father, you have blessed me with so much. Help me to be wise and compassionate to those that you bring across my path. I pray that others see your love that dwells in me. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Battling Spiritual Warfare

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

To often in our lives we find ourselves being attacked by the enemy of this world. The enemy knows that he cannot steal our salvation; but what he tries to do is hold us captive by having control over certain aspects of our lives such as our emotions and fears to name a few. Many Christians wonder about the struggles they have in their lives, their personal spiritual warfare. Why are things so hard? What are they doing wrong? Is there some particular prayer technique or spiritual discipline that will make things work?

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Today we live in a perpetual battlefield and God is our only safety net. Spiritual warfare is resisting, overcoming and defeating the enemy’s lies that he sends our way. God rescued us from the power and bondage of the world, the flesh, the devil, and supernaturally empowered us with the light of His truth, love, and Holy Spirit. Through the Word of God and the power of prayer we, as believers, have the legal authority to tell the enemy that he has no power in our lives.

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

Praise God that we are not alone. At those times, when we are called to do something far beyond our own physical and emotional ability, we learn a deeper dependence on Christ. He has promised not to leave us unequipped and alone in the struggle against Satan and sin. We can resist the schemes of Satan and remain firm in our faith through His promises. Claim hold of the truths of God with confidence, knowing that no attack of Satan can ever overcome the power of our God!

Father, I stand on Your Word, which says that “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” I rest in You, my Father. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

It’s Just Stuff!

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world…” Psalm 19:1-4

Why do we always want more? Why can’t we ever be satisfied with all that we have? Why do we always feel the need for bigger, better, prettier, wealthier? No matter the cost we are always wanting and working for more. More things that cost us so dearly, often robbing us of our precious time and energy. Things that have very little value…Just ‘stuff’.

Oh! But look what all we are blessed with; We have tree’s taller than buildings, houses that are warm and cozy, food to fill up plates and have seconds to spare. We can go barefoot in the lush green grass in summer and play on snowcap mountains in winter. We have kittens and puppies who curl up in our laps with contentment. We have stars that twinkle and sunsets that paint the sky rainbows of colors. We have melodic sounds of birds singing and the wonderful smells of lavander, jasmine and honeysuckle. There are deep echoing canyons and babbling brooks and the ocean with all its wonders. We have family and friends to love and enjoy. We have eyes that crinkle at the edges from lifetimes of smiling and laughter…We have beautiful, priceless laughter!

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal:” Mathew 6:19

God gave us all that we could ever need to be wealthy, healthy, happy and whole. We simply need to stop living for the ‘stuff’ in our lives long enough to realize that He gave us so much more. Enjoy the beauty of all that He created, It is His gift to us. He knows each star in the heavens and each bird in the air. How much more does He care for you? We often rush too quickly through life to even notice the beauty and richness that surrounds us. His fingerprints are in all of creation and we are wealthy…very, very, wealthy!

Father, thank You for all you have Created for us. You gave us so much more then we could ever buy, collect or earn. Help us to be ever mindful of the richness and beauty of all that surrounds us. Help us to desire ‘stuff’ less and love ‘You’ more. We praise your wholly name, 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

Father God

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

‘The foolish man sees happiness in the distance, a wise man grows it under his feet.’

We are blessed in our family with six sons that I believe are wonderful examples of Fatherhood! I would be remiss if I did not add my wonderful husband to that number. Today, we live in a somewhat different era where fathers are called to be more hands on dads. Not to mistake that for loving their children more. More moms today are working full time, with many of them earning the majority of the income. It has been a delightful joy to watch our sons step into the role of caregivers. It amazes me what a great job they have done with that responsibility. The Bible teaches us that Gods love is like the love of a father. It is full of instructions on how to raise our children.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

We are all children of [Abba] God. What better example for us as a parent then to see how much He nurtures us and comforts us when we are in pain. How He distinctly gives us boundaries to follow so that our trials will be bearable. How He often picks us up and carries us when we can not take another step. How He heals our illnesses and shelters us from storms of life. How He loves us and how he gently corrects us so we will learn from our mistakes to be a better person. How He gifts us with so much more then we could ever deserve. How He has promised us an inheritance of eternal life with Him in Heaven. What an awesome Father that loves us so unconditionally and promises to never leave us alone. What a perfect example of Fatherhood! A Heavenly Parent who loves you with an everlasting love!

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Father God, knowing that we all belong to You gives us great comfort, joy and assurance. Help us to live each day in the fullness of the inheritance You supply for us as Your children. Amen

‘Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy.’

Sweet Blessings

A Heart For Compassion

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12

There have been many, many times in my life when I have been sick, or sad or hurting and needed someone to show me compassion. I needed a light to shine in the darkness and I needed to feel it’s warmth in my soul. I have been so deeply blessed by a tender hug, an encouraging word or a helping hand extended out of love. God calls us to show compassion. Sympathy, tenderness, empathy, sensitivity and kindness to those who are hurting and in need.

Compassion is kindness at work and love in action. God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages our wounds. He is faithful and good and never fails to comfort us when the trials of life seem so hard to endure alone.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

The bible tells us that when Jesus came to earth, He was moved with compassion. And immediately He acted to relieve the suffering. As Christians, we need to show compassion every day. Ask God to help you see others as He sees them and to give you a heart of compassion for those who may not have a relationship with Him. There is no better way to show the love of Jesus then by having a heart for compassion.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8

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

Counting Our Sins

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” Hebrews 4:13

I know God is displeased when we deliberately sin, but sometimes, we sin without even realizing it, not just by doing something wrong, but by failing to do something right. We may ignore someone who needs our help or encouragement, for example, or we may fail to pray for them or overlook their needs. So Is God displeased even when we don’t realize we have sinned? The answer is yes, because all sin is wrong in His eyes, and even if we don’t acknowledge it as sin, God sees it and knows that we have sinned. The Bible seems to indicate that there are degrees to sin, that some are more detestable to God than others. However, when it comes to the eternal consequences of sin, they are all the same, every sin, every act of rebellion.

“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-19

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2

We need to understand why God is displeased when we sin. He knows that whenever we sin, we are hurting ourselves, as well as others. He hates sin because it’s contrary to his perfect and holy nature. Therefore He hates anything that separates us from his perfect love. Know that God is aware and caring even when those bad things come your way. Sometimes you have done everything right when things go wrong. Stop beating yourself up when you know you have been obedient. It is merely God’s test to see if you will continue to be obedient to him. Ask God, through his Holy Spirit to help you to recognize the sin in your life. Remember…God hates sin but he does not hate the sinner!

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:10

Sweet Blessings

Cups Of Grace

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:10

‘HOSPITALITY’ the Webster’s Dictionary defines hospitality as: Kindness to visitors: friendly, welcoming, and generous treatment offered to guests or to strangers. Let’s take a journey through Our history of Hospitality beginning with…BIBLICAL HOSPITALITY

Biblical times Hospitality…As presented to us in the Bible was not merely a practice. It was a way of life. Christian hospitality was a sacred process of ‘receiving’ outsiders and changing them from strangers to guests. However, the biblical customs concerning how a person should treat travelers and temporary residents was much different from our idea of hospitality today. It was more than simply ways to be polite or friendly that went beyond entertaining guests. Hospitality customs were a vital part of the culture and people followed these customs as sacred, codes of conduct. The host was obliged to provide a traveler with food, water, and shelter. They even provided them with water to wash their dusty feet and often a servant washed the feet of the guest. This symbolized the acceptance of the stranger and the absence of any hostile intent by the host.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Hospitality today…We are living in much different times today. We think of hospitality more as entertaining friends and family. It has become more of a social event. However, just like the early Christians, we must also offer hospitality as a means of sharing The Lord Jesus Christ. By creating a welcoming home, we make the Christian life attractive. The benefits of the act of hospitality can offer friendship, acceptance, fellowship, refreshment, comfort and love in one of the richest and deepest ways possible for others to understand. Friendship provides arms to console [a hug] a heart to understand and feet to walk along beside us when we are going through trials or celebrations. God weaves our lives together, strengthening old friendships and creating new ones.

When we invite our neighbors to church, we are asking them to enter our world in the hopes that they might discover Jesus our Savior. When we invite our neighbors into our homes, we are inviting them to enter our world to see how we as Christians live our lives. Often doors can be opened in the hearts of friends when we first open the door of our home. A time for tea is a way to connect with other Sisters. Hospitality is a crucial element of Christianity that empowers us in God’s service. Tea is a tool we can all use to share hospitality. Offering and sharing a cup of tea gives us many opportunities to witness, share the gospel, teach from the Scriptures, pray with women, and encourage others to simply savor an afternoon moment with God….I think of these moments as ‘Cups of Grace!’

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

Throughout the Bible, God commands us over and over to take notice of and care for those around us. Did you know that hospitality is considered a virtue? We serve Christ directly when we show hospitality to those we don’t know. Christian hospitality is the most important influence on any aspect of Christian living from the biblical days to today. Do you have the gift of hospitality to use for The Lord?

Sweet Blessings

Joy Down In My Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart” (Where) Down in my heart (Where) Down in my heart to stay.’

What does the joy of the Lord mean? It’s not pretending that you have no problems and that everything is okay. It is recognition that God is present in all your successes, failures, disappointments, and dilemmas. Joy is the highest attainment of life. It’s even higher then happiness.

To understand God’s definition of joy and how it should look in our lives as Christians, we first need to learn how to let go of our need to need. Feel the reality that you already are enough, and that it is truly magnificent. Don’t worry about what will be or what won’t be. See and feel the limitless beauty of what is and the miracle of existence. Even the biggest problems are no match for the positive possibilities that fill your life.

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalms 16:11

Embrace the joyful times in your life. Live them fully. A moment of true, unencumbered joy is worth more than pure gold. When you regularly lose yourself in joy, you will think more clearly, be more motivated, feel better and be healthier. When you have more joy in your own life, you have more to give others. By experiencing joy, you enable the true person inside you to come to life and it will add immensely to your life and the lives of those around you. Let yourself be joyful, without guilt. Learn to value the joyful moments and lose yourself in their richness.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

To find the fullness of joy you must live in the presence of the Lord. When we remain connected to him through prayer, worship, walking in obedience, reading the word, sharing our love with family and fellowshipping with other Christians, we can experience a level of joy that the world cannot give to us. Let’s relish every moment of life as we live it and find joy in the journey. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows. We can all find joy when we keep our Heavenly Father as our guide.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Sweet Blessings