ANNOUNCEMENTS

** Don't forget to check out this week's Bible verse.

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Power of Love: Openness


Openness when it comes to love is when we open our hearts to allow God in and all Him to do what He needs to through us. At one time or another, you'll ask "How is it that I can be the person the Lord planned me to be?" At times, I'm right there with you. 

I found that in order for us to be the person we are called to be, we need to strive to be more every day. We need to learn how to live out the greatest commandment the Lord has set for us. 

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 



As a Christian, we were chosen by the Lord and He loves us. We must remember that God is a God of love and He has always loved us before we even had the chance to love Him. The apostle John tells us a bit about this. In Exodus 34:6 he tells us about God. He says, "...The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth," By this verse, we see that love is WHO God is and not what He does. I believe that this tells us that this is what God desires from us. He wants us to be the most abundant thing from His children. In 1 John 4:19 it says, "We love Him because He loved us first."

When we love with such openness, it has the power to strengthen our faith and that gives us hope. Loving God should be our first priority in life. That means...we should hold God FIRST. This is before our children and spouse. Loving him means with every fiber of us; our heart, soul, mind, and overall being. Our relationship with Christ should be as solid as a rock and not that of moss. We shouldn't have a mushy, spotty relationship with Him. 

Opening ourselves to loving God isn't something that is optional as a Christian. Our love for Christ is the most important and wholeheartedly thing we must do. If we open us to God, we will see Him work wonders in our lives and blessings will pour in like the rain. 

How do we open ourselves to Him?

We devote our time to Him. We open ourselves fully to Him in prayer. Every aspect of our lives should be talked about in prayer; the good and the bad. We have a tendency to jump to prayer when things in our lives are going wrong. We don't have a problem asking for help, strength, support, or just a plain out blessings. I have seen it time and time again. As I praised God for answering a prayer, He was showing me something more to this plan of His that I am seeking. 

As an example, when I attended church on Feb. 7th, our Pastor said some powerful word, which I felt were directed towards me. Several times throughout the service, certain points felt as if it were God reaching out to me and telling me that my answers for my prayers are coming. I felt as if God told me to hang tight and let Him work. I'm a very impatient person and don't like waiting. I know... I know... that's just something we (Christians) do and sometimes it feels like it's a lot! 

I love when this happens. Don't you?

It's like God is confirming that He's heard me. The openness that I have with Christ is amazing and I know that if you're not at that point yet, keep your faith because it's coming. He's about to extend His grace to you. Remember, our God is faithful to His promises and He will extend His love to you. All you have to do is reach out. As I have said time and time again, Jesus is a true gentleman. He won't force Himself on you. You must reach out to Him and tell Him that you love Him and allow Him to use you for the good of His plans. 

Are you ready to take that leap? 














Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Book Corner: Breakthrough Faith Discussion



Welcome to our second week of discussing Larry Sparks book, "Breakthrough Faith: Living A Life Where Anything Is Possible". This week we are talking about chapters four through six. 


Larry Sparks seems to be on track so far with this book. He makes some powerful points on and about faith that really makes you think. I believe this book has the potential to help Christians get back on track and work on their faith. It also is a great place to start when you're wanting to build your faith in the right direction. 

Chapter four gives the readers what the truth about the enemy and basic understanding for the realities for Christians. This chapter was powerful for me because I didn't realize how much time I spent pointing out the blows from the enemy, which was allowing him to have power over me. However, I totally agree with not allowing him the ability to override what God has already done. 

I would say this week's reading gives great points when one is trying to understand God vs. Satan. 

My favorite quotes from this week are:

"We shut the accuser's mouth every time we declare the eternal power of Jesus' blood!" (Pg 53)

"It is so important that we build a solid faith foundation if we are going to experience a lifestyle of victory, and this all starts with being grounded in who God is, and, in turn knowing who we are in Him." (pg 55)

"Failure to know what God is really like and what His law requires destroys the soul, ruins society, and leaves people to eternal ruin." (pg 62)

"The blood of Jesus made us worthy to be inhabited by the Spirit of God." (67)


What have you learned from this weeks reading and how will you apply it to life? Has anything surprised you? What spoke to your heart? What quotes spoke to you?


Monday, February 22, 2016

Power of Love: Forgiveness

1 John 1:8-9 says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

We can't love unconditionally, fully, or limitless if we are bound by unforgiveness. This means that if we hold grudges against those who cross us wrong, we are not loving as Christ calls us to do. If we practice forgiveness, I fully believe that God will extend His grace to us.

Think about it: If God can fully forgive us for our sins, we should be able to forgive those who have wronged us. Jesus even forgave over and over in the Bible. Forgiveness is a fundamental part of our faith. Each time we openheartedly forgive those around us, we are growing closer to God. When we extend grace to though around us, we're showing these people God's grace and love.

Matthew 6:14 tells us, "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.

We are required to forgive. That doesn't mean for the time or until something happens again. That doesn't mean we say we forgive the person but won't forget. We take these circumstances and we learn from them. We grow with them. There isn't a set amount on how many times we must forgive someone for hurting us. I believe that Christ would want us to continually forgive them and not hold it against them. We are not called to judge the sins of others. Leave that part to God. We should forgive and extend compassion to those who hurt us, regardless of how many times they have done it.

When we choose to hang on to the hurts, we are opening ourselves up to bitterness, resentment, and disgust. These are not attributes of a Christian. How can we call ourselves a Christian if we allow these things into our hearts? (1 John 4:20) 

Are there people who you need to forgive and extend grace to?

I know were a few for me before I sat down to write this, they came to mind. I have openly forgiven them for the hurtful words and actions. 

Perhaps you should do the same!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Corner: Breakthrough Faith Discussion


Welcome to our first week of discussing Larry Sparks book, "Breakthrough Faith: Living A Life Where Anything Is Possible". This week we are talking about chapters one through three. 

The first three chapters touch base on faith in itself when it comes to being a Christian. While reading these chapters, the Faith in Action blog series came to mind. I touched base on a few of the mentioned points. I loved how the author puts it right to the point without sugar coating it. This is a book that I feel will be a game changer for me. 

Mr. Sparks puts it right out there when he says, "The faith you received is not wimpy. It's not watered down. It's not some junior faith that is in the need of a constant upgrade. You received supernatural faith from a supernatural God the moment you were born again." (pg 29) How power is that?

Here is some of my favorite points from this section:

"He does not respond one day, only to be silent the next." (pg 32)

"Experiential faith is NOT faith at all." (pg 32)

"Faith does not accept any ceiling or any boundry that prevents us from experienceing God's promises coming to pass in our lives." (pg 32)

"When something on earth is in disagreement with the culture and climate of Heaven, it should not be okay with us. In fact, it is completely unacceptable." (pg 34)


Faith is something we need to take seriously and outwardly. It's not something that we claim and then keep within. Our God wants everyone to see us and he wants us to show others the love that God has for us. 

How are you excercising your faith?













Monday, February 15, 2016

Power of Love: Limitless

The world can be a tough place to be. It's full of negativity and it's easy for people to hurt us or rub us the wrong way. It could be within the community during the work week, our family, friends, church, or even someone we encounter on an outing. Rude remarks can be exchanged. Someone could throw an insult while you're driving down the road. It could be someone who invaded our personal space. The encounters are limitless. However, regardless of any hurtful actions we encounter, it can knock us off our game and upset the entire day.

As a Christian, how do we go about these types of encounters with those challenging individuals? We're called love fully loves selflessly and without ceasing. Are we supposed to falsify a smile while grumbling on the inside? Are we supposed to completely disregard the situation and person altogether? How is it that we are supposed to respond to these kinds of circumstances?

We are supposed to love without limits. Let's define this. What does it really mean to love without limits? How is it that we're supposed to be truly kind to everyone, regardless of what they have done to us? 
Having a limitless love is one where harmony, joy, peace, kindness, and happiness are present. It's nonjudgmental, compassionate, and open. Limitless love is not allowing anger to flare up when you're driving down the road and encounter someone who tries to provoke you; giving the middle finger, yelling out the window, cutting you off during driving. Instead, you give a sincere smile and pray to God that they touch that individual and move within their lives. We pray for God to change their day and help them to push off anything the enemy is tempting them with. 

Limitless love is not being greedy, self-indulgent, resentful, dishonest, or corrupted. One who has a limitless love will not hesitate to share with someone in need, even though you may have very little. It's someone who thinks about the well being of others without any inside motives. It's someone who always tells the truth, regardless of the way it may make you or another feel. It doesn't lie, cheat, or steal to get ahead. 

When someone truly has a limitless love, they love themselves. They don't indulge in anything harmful to destroy their body. They care for themselves in the best ways possible. 

A person who exercises limitless love doesn't judge others based on who they are, what they believe, or what sins they have in their past. Limitless love is a never ending type of love that extends to all beings without prejudices. 

How can we be a person with limitless love? 

To help us build this type of compassionate love, first, we must seek God. We seek Him in each and every situation we encounter. We talk to Him without stopping. We pray. We ask Him to intervene in the situation and give us the ability to interact with difficult people or we ask Him to help us know what it is we need to know in order to love limitlessly. While praying, we consult His word. The Bible is full of wisdom and strength. It's full of compassion and direction for us. Without learning God's words, how can we be ready to battle the enemy who seeks to destroy us? 

Remember when we encounter those who are difficult, keep in mind that there maybe something steaming from the negativity. Perhaps a family member of theirs passed away. Or they are overwhelmed with anxiety or feel lost. If we take a moment to consider what this person's story is, maybe we won't be so quick to anger, judgments, and we will be quicker to understand. 

When we find ourselves being tempted and not expressing our limitless love, we could always take a moment of silence. If we wait before we speak, we can stop any harmful words from stumbling from our mouths to cause any other ill feelings. We should always try to speak with wisdom, kindness, and love. 

For us to embrace limitless love, we should be open to constructive criticism. This is a good way to learn what bad habits we have and may not see them. Most of the time, the criticism is entangled with truth, which can help us be a person with limitless love. Ephesians 4:32 puts it great: "Be kind to each another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."

So, push away the grudges and keep to love. Jesus extends His grace to you, as you should to those around you. Jesus is the reason we can love so fully, joyfully, and freely. Therefore, we should take heed to Christ and love with respect, kindness, and compassion.

What is limitless love to you?

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hanging with Larry Sparks

This Wednesday we will be starting our newest book for the book corner. However, I'd like to talk a bit more about the overall book and author. This book is a rather large one. 

Book Information:

We all experience the impossibilities of life, just like the four men in the Bible who sought Jesus’ healing touch for their paralyzed friend. The question is—how will you respond?

You have two options. You can accept your circumstances as God’s will and simply give up… or, you can break through and receive everything God has waiting for you.

Breakthrough Faith will help you discover…
  • You have an enemy: all circumstances are not God’s will
  • God is both willing and able to miraculously move in your life
  • You already possess breakthrough faith: you just need to activate it
  • The mind matters: what you think about God determines what you experience
  • Intimacy with the Father ushers you into a supernatural lifestyle and greater works
  • Practical keys to activating breakthrough faith in your life: Declaration, Testimony, and Presence

The paralytic’s four friends didn’t give up and broke through the roof to get to Jesus—and experienced the miraculous. You can break through too! Get ready to activate the faith God has given you and break through every impossibility that comes against your life!



Author Information:
Larry Sparks is a columnist for Charisma, teacher and revivalist who is committed to training the body of Christ through 3 key seminars: 1) Sustaining a Lifestyle of Revival, 2) Revival in Media, and 3) Breakthrough Faith. Featured on CBN, TBN, and Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural, Larry is passionate about raising up communities who usher in regional revival and awakening.


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If you haven't had the opportunity to pick up the book yet, you can do so by clicking HERE!

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Book Discussion Schedule

February 17- Chapters 1-3 
February 24- Chapters 4-6
March 2: Chapters 7-9
March 9: Chapters 10-12
March 16: Chapters 13-15
March 23: Chapters 16-19
March 30: Chapters 20-24


I'll see you this coming Wednesday to talk about Chapters 1-3!!!

Friday, February 12, 2016

A gift for you...

As a gift of appreciation this Valentines Day, I am offering Heavenly Realities: Stumbling toward Gratitude FREE on Amazon on Feb. 12 - Feb. 14. 

Gratitude is often thought of as a gift or a blessing. By choosing gratitude, we teach ourselves to see the blessing in all situations, which leads to a more thankful life.


This thirty-day challenge will take you on a journey, which will have you looking at different parts in life to find gratitude and give thanks. We will focus on the meaning of gratitude, seeing gratitude in difficult moments, ungratefulness, thankfulness, and even focus on saying thanks to friends and family who deserve recognition. When we choose gratitude, we teach our children to be more thankful and live a life with "eyes of gratitude."



Join me in this journey to better your life with joy, happiness, and an attitude of gratitude.


Download your copy here: http://goo.gl/xreJ8I

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Corner: 'More Than' Discussion



Welcome to week seven, which is our final week discussing
More Than: Abandon Your Labels, Embrace Your Calling.


Chapter 8 is the final chapter and we talk about being a lion and not a poodle. 

I'll be honest, the heading of this chapter threw me off when I first read it, but once I finished it I totally agree with it. 

In this chapter, the author takes us on a small reminder for the final chapter. I enjoyed it.

"To remind you, to remind me, that we are so much more than our current circumstance, a past label, failed dream, or negative word or words that have been spoken over us. Once we allow those labels to be removed, ourselves to be relabeled for a cause and to start to identify ourselves the way that God identifies us, then and only then, can we begin to discover our calling." (pg 69)

Wow! How powerful is that? Am I the only one who feel that this couldn't be any more true and it has the gears going for future hope? 

I know that I'm ready to be like the lion. I want to run full force, jump the fence of anxiety that's holding me back, so I can embrace the future that the Lord has in store for me. I most definitely will be referring back to this book in the future as a reminder of stepping out in my faith. 

I want to personally thank the author for writing a book that makes us see ourselves in ways we don't normally see and for helping us embrace the calling the Lord has on our lives. 

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My favorite quotes from this chapter are:

"In life, there will always be a good path, but God wants you to take the great path." (pg 75)

"...leave behind you luggage and the security of knowing the next step in order to trust that His plan is greater than anything we could ever come up with? If so, you can rest assure that you have a father in Heaven who loves you, will never abandon you and will walk alongside you as you take those steps to live out His calling for your life." (pg 75)

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What quotes from this chapter really hit home for you?

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Readers, let's be the lion in all that we do and push away anything which holds us back from being anything less than who the Lord has called us to be. 

In closing to this discussion, I want to thank you for following along and reading this book with me. I had a great time and look forward to diving into the next book on our list. Until then.... take care and heed to the words that spoke to you throughout this book. 



Monday, February 8, 2016

The Power of Love: Unconditional

Unconditional love. 

Do you know the meaning of this...the true meaning?

Let's take a look at what the meaning of unconditional love is. It means to show affection without limitations or conditions. It's associated with true or complete love. 

To love without conditions is a rare type of love that some believe takes a lifetime to find. Of course, if we have a relationship with Christ, we most certainly know how it feels to be loved unconditionally. Regardless of our past sins, Jesus loves us and even showed us this by the cross. 

Another aspect of life where we find unconditional love is with our very own children. Thinking about it, there isn't anything in this world that my son or daughter could do that would make me love them any less. Yes, they test my daughter tests my limits at times but this doesn't change anything with the way I love her. 

Now if we think about unconditional love towards our spouse... does this change any? Do you love your spouse regardless of what he/she has done and is forgiveness ever present within your marriage? I know when it comes to my husband, I will always love him unconditionally and forgive him as I have always done. My husband and I have been through so much that most would say would push us apart, however, once we got past it, we ended up being even closer. 

Let's talk a bit more about this unconditional love I'm speaking of. I define it as caring for someone in a selfless way. This type of love is hard work for one to give or sustain in life. It's looking past all the flaws and failures. It's pushing the person forward when they feel as if they want to give up. It's standing by this person even when no one else will. It's genuine love that's tough and demanding on both parties and it's the one love that needs constant care. 

This type of love is selfless, as I have mentioned above. Part of loving unconditionally is that we put others first. We aren't too quick to judge or dismiss them. We take the time to truly understand them and we want the best for them. Having a selfless type of love means that one doesn't try to figure out what's in it for them. They don't focus on their wants and desires. 

God wants us to love others as He loves the church. This is the purest type of love there is. I'm always excited where the next step of unconditional love is going to take me. 

How would you define unconditional love? Is it important to you? What would you add to this?

I believe that it should be because it's the best type of love one could ever experience. 


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Corner: 'More Than' Discussion


Welcome to the sixth week of our book discussion of 
More Than: Abandon Your Labels, Embrace Your Calling.

This week we read through Chapter 7, which we read about leaving behind our unnecessary luggage.

This chapter really had me thinking because I believe that I'm about to go into a new season of my life where I have to display and show my faith in God. I'm not a person who likes change or new things. As a matter of fact, I try my hardest to keep things normal and basic. Therefore, this chapter has opened my mind to the new in my very near future and I'm working on the anxiety that comes along with that. 

I believe that I do have little things dragging behind me that is keeping me from securing my future with God's blessings. I believe He's in an idle mode, waiting for me to shed some of this and show real faith in Him. As the author stated within the chapter, "It's time for us to get rid of our safety nets and back up plans, watching them float away, and determine that forward is the only way to go." (pg 65) This will be a task for me because I'm always the one to ask "What if" questions. It's time that I shed myself of this anxiety for the unforeseen future and trust FULLY in God and His wonderful plan for me. 

Thinking throughout the chapter, I have come to realize that I have been carrying around old baggage. The main one is all the books I had from college that I don't use anymore and I didn't think about it...but those books aren't useful for me any longer. I've kept them as a just in case basis. I always thought maybe I would need to refer back to them and use them in the future. Well, I graduated a while ago and I think it's time to pass them on. 

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Here are the quotes that struck a nerve in me as I read,

"When we finally step into our calling, it is vital that we leave our luggage behind." (pg. 63)

"We must leave our suitcases behind because it shows that we are finally stepping out in true faith." (pg. 63)

"In order to move into our future, we have to shed all the unnecessary weight." (pg. 68)

"By releasing the things that keep us secure, that keeps our reslove teetering between all in and the safe zone, we can confidently step out in faith without ever looking back to what could have been." (pg. 69)

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How has this chapter impacted your life? 
What are some of the luggage you found you need to let go? 



Monday, February 1, 2016

Sharing the Love this Valentine's Day...

.... by showing some love to all of you who love to journal. 



Spread the word by sharing!!

Power of Love: Christian Virtues

Jesus said, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).



We are commanded by Christ to love in more than one verse in the Bible. The instruction to love is mentioned approximately 16 or 17 times, depending on which Bible version you are using. In fact, loving as a Christian isn't just a feeling, it's actually a lifestyle we should take very seriously. Jesus said we should love Him with all of our heart, mind, and soul. He mentioned this is the greatest commandment. 

In a world full of malice, there's no better time than now to focus on the virtues of love as a Christian. Let's talk about love as a Christian for a moment. If you observe the world, you will see a lot of pride in the community and hate plastered all over the place. The true meaning of love is slowly being destroyed right in front of us. This isn't how the Lord wanted His people to be. Love is indispensable and it's vital to the values of a true Christian. 

God's love for His people is unconditional. This is proven in John 3:16; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. We should be doing our best to show His love to the world through us. Love should be unconditional and pure. Pure love is acceptance and forgiveness of fellow Christians and the world around us. Jesus tells us to love ALL. He doesn't say that we should dislike, hate, or even frown upon anyone.  

The will of God for us is to remain filled with the Holy Spirit, truth, and love. We are to be the love, joy, peace, kindness, faithful, gentle, and patient filled person so that the Lord may use us for His greater plan. How can He do this if we aren't doing our best to be Christ-like, which then opens us up to hear the whispers of God? In order to have the right relationships among those within our lives, we need to  have the right relationship with God by following His Word and direction. If not, this could be a big hindrance with our personal relationship with God. 

There is no one person in this world who is free of sin. We all have sinned. Jesus was/is one who lived a sinless life and loves us so much. Why shouldn't we show our love for Him by displaying our love for others?