From Busy To Fruitful

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
 
As busy people, we often find it difficult to be still. Whether we work, volunteer, stay home with kids, or are retired, we are busy running from one thing to the next without much time in between. We hardly have time to accomplish what is required of us in a given day, let alone find time for ourselves or for God! However, the reality is that, without His help we cannot be all that He created us to be; and all that others need us to be. The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote; “We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing…” Psalm 39:6  Just like any other relationship in our lives, to sustain a healthy relationship with God; we have to make time to connect with Him one-on-one. This can be done through prayer, bible study and worship, and can be done any time or anywhere. 

 “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 
Often God has to shut a door in our lives so that He can subsequently open the door that He wants us to go through. There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God. There’s never a point when you reach full spiritual maturity and you don’t have to grow anymore. There is nothing in or of this world that can compete with knowing God and who He is through Jesus Christ. You can’t have one foot in the world and one foot in the faith and be growing as a Christian. God doesn’t want us to be busy; He wants us to be fruitful! Take time to go from busy to fruitful…a place God intends for you to be. Be still and remain in His presence.
 
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your word to renew me.” Psalms 119:114
 
Father, please help us to remember to make room for You in our dailey lives so that we can and be all that you created us to be for those who rely on us. Thank you for all that you do in and through us. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Worthy Of Your Calling

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
 
How monumental is the command that we walk in a manner worthy of God. Stop and consider His divine perfection, there is nothing to equal Him! The good we do is God at work within us. It doesn’t matter if our calling is a stay at home mom, a wife or a career mom, the point is that we live worthy of whatever it is God has called us to be. It means being honorable and admirable at all times and telling the truth when a lie looks so much easier. It means saying no when everything within you wants to say yes and loving when you’d rather hate. It means giving God what you have and trusting Him for the rest and giving your time when it would be easier not to. It means being like Christ.
 
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
 
Sometimes we dwell too much on our own weaknesses. It is easy to dwell on the feelings that we are unworthy. Unless we learn to look at ourselves like God looks at us, we will never reach the potential that He has for us. The devil bombards our mind, and he comes against us in every way and tries to condemn us and make us say bad things about ourselves. But we need to realize that we are a child of God and dearly beloved by Him. Therefore, walk worthy of His call. When discouragement comes, stand firm in your faith, and God will mold you into an instrument of His love to others.
 
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
 
God has called you to be a light of His love and forgiveness to a world locked away in utter darkness. Are you doing your best to walk in a manner worthy of the sacrifice that has been made for you, Holy, acceptable to God? If not, begin today by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus our Lord and begin to cultivate the life of faith in you. Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
 
Father, Please help us to be worth of our calling. Help our actions and words glorify You and point others to Your amazing love. Help us to lift up those around us and challenge those who know You to pursue Your heart more passionately. In Your Precious Name. Amen. 
 
Sweet Blessings

The Living Word

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won’t limp or stumble as you run. Carry out my instructions; don’t forsake them. Guard them, for they will lead you to a fulfilled life.” Proverbs 4:10–13 NLT

Life is full of obligations, emotions and relationships. Some are life-giving, yet sometimes the weight and responsibility of everyday life is heavy to bear.  As wives, mothers, friends and daughters, we need to know we’re not alone. We long for someone who understands, someone to help us find perspective. A friend who gets us. You’ll find that friend in the pages of the Bible. It is a roadmap for our lives, It shows us how to be happy, successful, a loving parent, heal broken hearts and build our faith.The Bible not only gives us instructions, but also examples. If you earnestly seek to know the Father better and please Him, time spent in His Word will never be wasted. Through it, you will experience the joy of a personal relationship with God.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

The Creator put much thought into the instructions to ensure everything we needed to know is covered. The Word of God constantly points us in the direction of success in all areas of life. When we have instructions, we have a plan to follow. Instructions bring security, confidence and peace: all we have to do is follow them. Each day brings us to new crossroads that we must face. His Word contains the perfect answer to every question, and the exact solution to every problem. It gives us warnings about life and how to proceed when those warnings arise. It speaks of how we should care for ourselves and for others. It tells us what we must do to maintain relationships and speaks to the very heart of what we were created for and what our purpose in life is about.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

Every word in the Bible was inspired by God. The scriptures represent God’s heart. His heart is to teach us to live the right way so we can truly enjoy life while being in relationship with Him. His boundaries and commands are meant for our good. If a Christian wants to know what God’s will is for your life, read His Word. Only when we surrender our lives to His Word is Heaven able to guide our footsteps.

Father, implant Your word in my heart. Let it take root and grow. Let it flourish and thrive. Let it be alive and active, guiding my steps and directing my path. In your name Lord. Amen

Sweet Blessings

RSVP Heaven


By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:9

Some of the happiest moments of our lives are spent around a banquet table. Milestones are celebrated there, friendships grow deeper, and relationships are renewed. Could this be why Jesus so frequently used this image to describe heaven? God is planning the ultimate party called the Bridal Feast of the Lamb. It’s the celebration of the union of Jesus Christ and the church, everyone who have believed in Jesus while on earth. It has been a longtime in the planning and the experience of it will be unequaled!

“Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, ‘What a privilege it would be to have a share in the Kingdom of God!” Luke 14:15

If you have been putting off your response, your RSVP, or if you presume that you can enter heaven without responding to Christ’s invitation, one day you will deeply regret it. You need to turn away from all your offenses so that sin will not be your downfall. Take responsibility for your sin and commit to change those wrong actions and attitudes because the Lord has set a day to judge all people. The joy and happiness of that banquet are worth the sacrifice of any worldly priority. Have you said yes to Christ’s invitation to join Him at the wedding feast and spend eternity with Him in His House? If so, you have reason to rejoice, Heaven’s Gates will be opened to you.

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them, they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be there God.” Revelation 21:3

Heaven is a real place. It’s where Jesus lives and waits for those He loves to come to Him. It’s a place of joy and love and hope, a place where all of God’s children, young and old, will stay and be happy forever. Our Lord is preparing a resurrection feast, celebrating the conquering of Satan, sin, death and hell, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross. The invitation to come into our Father’s House has been extended to everyone through Jesus Christ at the Cross. If you refuse, the door to Heaven will be closed. Have you ‘RSVP’ your invitation yet?

“Oh God, Thank You for inviting us to a share in Your Kingdom. Give us the courage to say ‘yes’ to Your Invitation and ‘no’ to excuses that would hinder us from the feast You’ve prepared for us. 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

Finding Joy In Sorrow

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

How do we remain joyful when inevitable tragedy faces us? We cannot expect to go through difficult times without feeling the impact of such events. We can expect to experience sadness with loss. How does joy come from trusting in the Lord in times of difficulty? God’s ways are not our ways. We may not comprehend the notion that joy can come from despair, love can grow from forgiveness, or life can grow out of death, yet Christ showed us all of these things.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.” Isaiah 55:8

God does not promise us that we will be exempt from trouble or sorrow. Tears will come, have faith, one day soon, deep inside there will be a joy that is difficult to understand. It is a joy from God, produced by the Holy Spirit. Share your tears with God. Sometimes, the tears of grief are really a prayer, even when there are no words. Your tears are so precious to God that He records each one of them and stores them in a bottle.

“You have collected all my tears and preserved them in your bottle! You have recorded every one in your book.” Psalms 56:8

What a wonderful God we serve. He is a God of infinite love and is ever present to give us peace in our darkest days, yes, even when we face illness and death. The blessing in our sorrow that is born on the battlefield is embraced by God’s beautiful, intimate presence. When we are suffering, he comes near, picks us up in His loving arms and comforts us, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Lord, we know You are the source of our comfort. You’ve walked where we walk, you’ve grieved as we grieve. Keep us always mindful of Your presence. I trust that You will take that which brings sorrow in our life and make it a source of joy. Amen

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson

The Fruit Of Our Hands

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:19-20

‘The Fruit of our Hands’. What a beautiful way to think about using our hands to serve our Father. We have a wonderful Women’s Ministry outreach group in our church that we call ‘Creative Hands’. We gather each week to work on many different crafts and to share fellowship and love with each other. This is a time for our sister’s to strengthen their faith and establish meaningful friendships while selflessly working on various crafts to be used for God’s service. It’s such a blessing to know that we have God’s favor upon the work we are doing.

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:29

The Bible tells us that God holds us in the palm of His hand. Our hands represent our Father’s hands. By the good works of our sister’s, they are extending their hands to represent God’s hands. God allows us to partner with him in working for his purposes. He has given each of us unique and special gifts for which to serve Him. What a privilege it is to spend time together in His house creating goodness in His name to share with others.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

In Proverbs 31:31 we see that the good woman produced good fruit and was praised for her works of righteousness. May we all have a desire in our hearts to be like the good woman and produce good fruit that will remain throughout the ages? The steadfast faithfulness, love and loyalty that is seen through our ‘Creative Hands’ ministry represents the same way that we can see Jesus love and loyalty for us.

“And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of our hands, confirm and establish it.” Psalm 90:17

Sweet Blessings