Out Of The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18

There are so many Christians today that live in their painful pasts, shadowing the present that stands before them. Never moving forward for fear of falling backwards. Finding true freedom in Christ requires letting go completely of the past that binds us to the pain. Sadly, many of us aren’t able to do that. Though we know intellectually Christ has freed us, our memories haunt us, and we repeatedly revisit our past and all the things we did wrong. Some things we’ve kept to ourselves and pray that no one ever finds out. Some things have left us so damaged we cant see a way out. We tuck all the shame, pain and fears deep down inside our heart and pray that we can forget. When present events trigger a reaction in you that takes you back to that unhappy time and the pain returns, we forget we have been set free.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Letting go of the past not only helps you to live your best life now, but also paves the way for future success. The past is gone, but every time you give thought to it you bring it back into the present moment and you loose sight of the way out. Unhappy or hurtful past events can bring heartache, depression, and destructive behavior into your life if you don’t learn how to release them and let them go. Whatever holds you hostage keeps you from enjoying a deeper, fuller relationship with Christ. Surrendering your past is not about dwelling on the things you did. It’s about putting it under the blood of Jesus and focusing on the One who looks beyond those things into your heart.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Holding onto the mistakes and failures of our past stays with us and contaminates our future. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and the fears and the disappointments of the past that all bind our spirit. Peace of mind comes from living in the moment and not the past. We can’t focus our minds on Jesus and what He can do for us while we’re focusing our minds on our past and what we’ve done. Give your blessings the same amount of weight that you are tempted to give your troubles. Everyone has a past. The past can not equal the future unless you live there. By the grace of God lay your past mistakes at the feet of Jesus, walk into the light and begin a new life free of bondage to your past.

“Dear Father, help us to resolve any and all unresolved issues from the past and let go of any hurt, anger, grief, fears, and resentment. Help us to be free to fully live and fully love. Thank you for setting us free. in Jesus Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“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

With everything around us constantly changing, we have the comfort of knowing that our Heavenly Father never changes. He is the only constant in our lives. His love and faithfulness are the solid foundation that we can build our lives on. People and circumstances change but his love and compassion for us never change. No matter how dark or discouraging our circumstances may appear, our Father’s hand is guiding and gives wise direction to every decision and problem that comes our way. We are greeted daily with His mercies…How great His faithfulness.

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4

Are you in the valley or are you praising Him on the mountain top? Do you see the glass half empty or half full? Have faith and believe He will see you through. Our Father delights in our trust in Him. His word is fresh everyday! His Presence is always with us no matter how alone or lonely we are! When we study and meditate upon His word, it fills us with hope and uplifts and encourages our wounded and broken heart. Through the Holy Spirit we have a future of hope and eternal reward. His word reveals this truth again and again. Open his word today and allow it to minister to what’s going on in your life.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

If you are feeling alone and pursued by your enemies, turn to the One who is our salvation, our rock, and our redeemer…Hold on! He will see you through. God is still faithful. His word reveals this truth again and again. We are surrounded by amazing beauty and wonders that bear witness to His great faithfulness, mercy and love. We cannot help but give praise and thanksgiving to our loving, faithful and unchanging Heavenly Father. How great is His faithfulness!

Heavenly Father, thank you so much! No matter how difficult things are for us, You are always there. You do not change and Your compassions do not fail. Your faithfulness is great and your mercies endure forever. I praise Your name! Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Eagles Wings

BY Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Cancer… There is no word that strikes fear in people’s heart more then cancer. Thankfully, I personally, have never experienced having to hear my doctor tell me that I had cancer. However, I have recently had several very dear friends of mine face those horrific words. I have always thought that if I stood before a mountain too tall to climb over, that I would simply go around it. That’s very easy for someone who is cancer free to say. Applying it may be a different story. As I try to process what I think that my reaction would be, the only thing that I know with absolute assuredly, I would turn to my faith in God and his promises that “He bore the stripes for my healing” and that “He would never leave me or forsake me.”

”I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” John 16:33

Somehow we forget that life really is fragile and that radical destabilizing news is only a phone call away. A dear friend of mine shared with me her experience and testimony with learning that she was facing cancer…”I thought I would share I got my pathology report back. I’m stage 1 melanoma survivor. My doctor told me that if I wouldn’t have found it when I did, it would have invaded my lymph nodes and I probably would not have survived. I wanted to share that the Sunday before I saw the doctor I was in church and God gave me this verse to hold onto; John 11:44 “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” His word is truth and I believed in what he said to me. And now I’m thanking my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for what he did for me. “You’ll have many mountains but you will rise on “Eagles Wings.”

Where do you go for peace and comfort in the midst of the turmoil that that kind of news brings to your soul? When you’re in a difficult place your spirit may know that God is trustworthy, but your emotions may stumble. If you have cultivated a growing relationship with God, great solace is found in His presence, love, mercy and grace. Learn to focus on God’s Word. Store it in your heart. You will never have to take that journey alone. When you’re in a dark place, know that God crawls into the darkness with you, tells you He’s with you, and then he holds you till hope begins stirring in your soul.

I have been so blessed and heartened to watch my friends on their journey’s with so much faith and grace. I want to take this moment to tell them…’Thank you’ for showing me what beautiful women of God you are, and for giving me such inspiration should I ever have to face this journey. You will ever be in my heart and my prayers!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Sweet Blessings

Dealing With Insecurities

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:1-5

Today’s women are desperately insecure. Self-hatred, self-abuse, and self-destruction have become the norm among the female camp. And sadly, women in the church are struggling just as much as their non-Christian counterparts. Insecurity grows out of a persistent sense of being unaccepted.

Are you crippled with insecurities? Often we are trying to sift through the ashes of marriage problems, financial challenges, health issues, or relationship issues. Maybe our insecurities have caused us to behave badly and say something wrong, done something stupid or acted in a way that we knew was inappropriate, and we hurt someone else in the process. All these things can cause a good amount of emotional torment. Insecurity is a bitter friend. It targets the core of our being and keeps us from having a pure heart.

“…so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” Ephesians 2:5

This is the time that we need to “stand firm” in our belief that God’s power is working in us. That we trust our heavenly Father for His immediate help in our life with all of our insecurities. We need to look upward to God. He knows right where you are, He loves you and He knows your heart. Invite the Holy Spirit to lead your decisions and emotions today. Call on His wisdom and listen for the whispers of His truth. If you have struggled with insecurity, know this simple truth: Your value and significance does not come from man, it comes from the Lord. He sees you as beautiful, well-equipped, chosen, significant, valuable and irreplaceable.

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-26

Sweet Blessings

Jim’s Testimony

by Jim Kent

I am a living breathing miracle. Because I am here, not in pain, or even feeling bad at all. A short time back, Ed came up to me and told me that God had something in store for me and I didn’t know what he meant. 
I told him that whatever it was I didn’t think that it included speaking in front of people and that I didn’t even feel good being called to pray out loud. He said that I might be surprised what God had in store for me. Last Thursday or Friday, I found a message on my phone from Rob. He said that God had put me on his heart and was lead to pray for me.
 I wasn’t able to call him back that night and thought of it early the next morning but it was too early to call. But then I forgot to call him back.

So on Sunday, I told him that I had received a message from him. He said that he didn’t know what it was, but God had put me on his heart and told him to pray for me. I told both men that I needed all of the prayers that I could get and thanked them. I told my wife, Jo, about it but didn’t know what it was about and I wondered why God hadn’t impressed on me what it was about. But now I know that he knew that I didn’t need to know because he already had it under control. Tuesday morning, I was working in the flower garden by our fifth wheel and Jo called me in to have lunch. I told her that I needed about another half hour and I would be in. When I went in to eat lunch I felt very fatigued and my arms were starting to ache and I was very hot. So I went back outside to cool down, but felt worse and was afraid that something was going on so I went back into the house and sat back down and tried to eat my lunch. But I still didn’t feel like eating so I was just sitting there. Jo noticed that I wasn’t eating and asked me if I was alright
and I told her that I was very hot and didn’t feel like eating until I cooled down. She kept after me to find out if I was ok and I kept telling her that I was, but I started feeling worse. At that point, I had a feeling that it was my heart so Jo gave me an aspirin and I also took a nitro glycerin that I have. But I still felt bad. She kept bugging me to go in and get checked out so I finally agreed to, but was afraid it would be a false alarm and just cost us a lot of money.

When we reached the emergency room at the hospital, they came out and got me and took me right in. The doctor gave me an electrocardiogram and told us that it didn’t show anything bad, but there could still be something going on. After that, I don’t remember how things progressed but I know that I started to have extreme pain in my chest and my arms. I do remember things went into high gear in the emergency room. The doctors and nurses there started asking me about my pain level, and it was off the charts.

I always thought that when you arrive at the hospital that, that would be the height of the problem and from that point on things would start getting better, but that wasn’t the case. I had only been at the hospital about 10 minutes when the wheels fell off and I was in deep distress. I could hear the doctors and nurses scurrying to save my life. I was calling out to Jesus and asking him to forgive me of all of my sins and anything that I had forgotten to confess in the past.

At that point, I knew that I was ready to go to Heaven. There wasn’t any fear for me after that. Then things started to turn very fuzzy and I closed my eyes and just waited for God to take me home. Someone said at that point my blood pressure was only 40 over 20
but all of a sudden the doctor grabbed me by my face and yelled at me. He said open your eyes, just stay with me, don’t close your eyes. When I opened my eyes, off to my right was my wife Jo and my Pastor George. It broke my heart to see their faces in such anguish. I started to cry, because I didn’t want them to be sad for me. I asked to have Pastor come and pray for me and he came over and called on the Lord to take control and guide the doctors so that I would be spared. God answered his prayer.

At that point, I felt the pain start to subside in my body. But that isn’t where God’s healing started with me. It started when God impressed on Ed to pray for me and when God laid me on Rob’s heart to pray for me even though they didn’t have any idea what they were called on to pray about. He sent his angels before me and they prepared the way for my recovery. I have always prayed that God would go “before” me and prepare a way for me that I would follow. And to keep me and my loved ones in his hand and to completely cover me with his other hand and he did. Within minutes, I was being prayed for by literally hundreds of people from all over the country. I was instantly put on prayer chains and Heaven was bombarded by prayer warriors. I am so very thankful to everyone for the prayers and I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for answering those prayers. I was life flighted to the hospital in Eugene and was taken right to surgery. I received three more stints in the same artery. Out of the hospital on Thursday and home by noon. God is so good!

The Power Of Faith

By Georgia (J0) Kent

“He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings, his faithful promises are your armor and protection”. Psalms 91:4

This scripture has a very specific meaning for me today. My wonderful husband had a heart attack this week. One is never prepared for such an abrupt emergency. As Christians, we think we are girded with scripture and faith. However, when you are standing in the moment and watching someone you love so much fade away from you, it’s very hard to have the presence of mind to even think rationally. I am so thankful that, even though I was not able to think clearly in that moment, my faith never wavered. The words from the famous poem called “Footprints” came to my mind…“My son, my precious child. I love you and I would never leave you, during your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you”.

In looking back to last Sunday at our church, a dear man of God came up to my husband and shared with him that God had placed him on his heart. He had been praying for him. I believe that God was sending his Angels out before his heart attack. “I am sending an Angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and bring you to the place I have prepared”. Exodus 23:20

There were so many miracles on this day that it would be hard to tell them all. We arrived at the hospital ten minutes before my husband had this heart attack. Within twenty minutes our church, family and friends were praying and many had placed us on the World Wide Web to form intercessory battle prayers.

I share this personal story, not only because it is such a miracle, but that it is a testimony about faith in the mighty power of God in times of great need. Sometimes, when you stand before a mountain that seems too high to climb over, this is where you have to trust in your faith. Faith will carry you over the top. It’s about faith. God wants us all to have faith and believe what it says in his word…

“For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”. Matthew 17:20

Today, five days after this experience, my husband is home with a new love and appreciation for the power of faith in prayer.

“Whatever you ask in prayer you will receive if you have faith”.
Matthew 21:22

Sweet Blessings

Below is my husbands personal testimony…