Spring Forth by Kenika

 

Just do it already.  Forgive the ones that hurt you, let go of the situations that disappointed you, release people from the figurative debts they owe you, and forget about the bad things (and the good things) that once were.  Prepare yourself to experience something better, something newer.  It’s not anything you’ve ever seen before, so it will probably be difficult to wrap your mind around.  It won’t come in the way you’re used to, so it may take a while to convince you. But if you stay bogged down in the “should a” “would a” “could a” of life you’ll never experience anything in it’s fullness.

In the book of Isaiah, the prophet, God is speaking through this vessel and trying to get His people back on track, to walk in the full understanding of what He’s done and what He will do. Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”  He’s trying to let them know that deliverance from Babylon is inevitable and also that ultimate deliverance from sin, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, will come as well.  (Read the verses surrounding 19) He says “behold” or pay attention; marvel; admire the fact that I’m doing a “new thing.”  A new thing is something that hasn’t been done before.

He goes on to say, “I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” He’s calling to their remembrance how God delivered them from Egypt. The Red Sea was parted for them to walk across on dry land, and God continued to provide and make a way during their 40 years in the wilderness. I don’t know about you, but I would be totally happy if God delivered me in that way again! I’m sure the Children of Israel wouldn’t have minded a repeat either.  This is what makes God great.  He can certainly do the same, predictable, things over and over again but Isaiah is saying, “Stop, pay attention, be amazed” because God wants to do something new. This deliverance from Babylon will be greater than even the most extraordinary ways they were delivered before.  It was probably hard for them to fathom deliverance greater than a sea parting in half, but they are encouraged nonetheless to believe.

The verse goes on to say, “now it shall spring forth” or “already it is springing up.”  It’s already happening! He’s telling them to look at the fact that God is doing a new thing right now, and then Isaiah says it shall spring forth, but a better translation is that it is already springing forth! The new thing they need God to do is already happening! How awesome is that?  That’s why I started out by saying that it’s time to let go and essentially lose some weight. What do I mean by that? Letting go of the dead weight that’s holding you down, whatever it may be, and behold what God is doing.  As Alpha and Omega, God knows our beginning and our end.  He’s already done all that He is ever going to do but to us it will all be new!  It’s already happening, it has sprung forth, perceive it, embrace it, believe it, live it.

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God’s Joy, Our Strength by Sonya

 

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” Nehemiah 8:10.

I have had to see God’s joy in each day as I have been mourning the death of one of our dear friend’s daughter. Words can’t describe all the emotion you go through when you lose a loved one. I can honestly say that it is one of the hardest things I have had to go through and it felt like the loss of one of my children. Our friends were like family to us and we would go on family trips together and spend time together for birthdays and holidays. This little girl that passed was only 5 years old and was my youngest daughter Lydia’s best friend. It is hard to mourn as an adult but when you see your child mourn it breaks your heart as a parent. But Lydia has brought so much joy through this time and truly showed me how to have joy in our sorrow and that it each day was a gift from God and to be joyful. She would tell me to cry happy tears and that her friend was in heaven having so much fun and that we should be happy for her. Lydia carries her picture around wherever we go and will hug and kiss it!  She is choosing joy and happiness because she knows her friend is so happy in heaven. My daughter has shown me so much and seeing it through her eyes has brought me so much joy in my mourning. Lydia is choosing joy and not letting anyone take that away from her because she knows she will see her friend and Jesus in heaven one day. As John 16:22 puts it, “ So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” Let the joy of the Lord be your strength in your mourning. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength,” Nehemiah 8:10.

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Forever Faithful by Bombi

 

 

 

I can still remember hearing my mom talking to one of her friends over a cup of coffee, “God is faithful,” as she breaks down the latest way He has shown it to her. It’s one thing to hear it growing up having your parents give it to you during their parenting teaching moments, and it’s another to learn it in life for your own self.

I’m pushing 40 and I’m telling you, God is faithful. I’ve had jobs come and go. Friends come and go. People come and go. Promise keepers come and go, and the one thing that is steady as steady can be, is God’s faithfulness.  What continues to blow my mind is the way He shows His faithfulness. How the reality of His faithfulness sideswipes me when I need it most. It’s moments like drudging through the hard times of single motherhood wondering how I’m going to get through it all and receiving God’s provision through the people He provided (including my amazing husband). Or saying “goodbye for now” to my dad as he’s breathing his last breath knowing I will be with him again one day. Or witnessing the reconciliation of family members when there’s been a massive wedge for years between them.

It’s the sunshine after the rain and the calm after the storm. It’s food on my table and shelter over my head. It’s the air in my lungs, or the fact that I don’t have to make my own heart beat, He’s doing that for me. It’s everything and anything that comes to me redeemed or good. It’s all His faithfulness. He’s showing it and showing off in glorious ways that tells me “You see that, I’m here and I’m never leaving. I’m always going to take the best care of you. I’ll always keep my word. I don’t care what he or she or they did to you or said about you, I am your God I am your Father and that will never ever change, that’s a promise.”

Then there is the ultimate and my most favorite way that He’s shown Himself faithful. Those low moments when my faith has plummeted and I’m acting like I’m denying His presence in my life. When I’m faltering and wavering and feeling like I’m undeserving of His grace and mercy. Those are the times I see Him shining even brighter, so bright it blinds out my self-pity and brings me back to Him. Because even in the moments when I’m letting Him down, He’s just being who is His, forever faithful. And when I realize yet again that He is faithful, I am changed.

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”

2 Timothy 2:13 ESV

 

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The Battle of the Mind by Sonya

 

 

Our minds are good at playing tricks on us! I know for me my mind can really dictate how I live.  Our mind is a battleground that we need to constantly fight for what is right and connect to God. You can have a broken mind and not be able to hear God and what He is telling you. That broken mind will lose the battle, as it will draw you farther from God. Therefore your mind is powerful and whatever is consuming your mind will consume how you behave and fall into sin. Because the battle for sin will always start in your mind and how you think will cause you to act that sin out.  This battle of your mind is a spiritual fight because we are fighting against our flesh and what the world says and what God says.  God says think on these things in Philippians 4:8, “Finally believers, whatever is true, honorable, worthy of respect, whatever is right, pure, wholesome, lovely, admirable, good and brings peace, think continually on these things. We need to take our thoughts captive by thinking on those things and being obedient to God’s word.

 

The most important things we can do to win the battle of our mind are to guard, protect and renew our mind.  To help us guard and protect our thoughts we should line those thoughts up to God’s word. His truth will set us free and renew our mind. Renewing of our mind will bring peace and strength. What has helped me is to establish healthy boundaries for my mind. These boundaries are established by discerning what is put into my mind. Television, books, social media, technology and people can play a big part in that. If I choose things that are garbage for my mind, then I am going to spew garbage from my mouth and actions. I have to choose what is healthy for me to watch and look at and who I surround myself with. The people that I allow to speak into my life are very essential as those people around you can use words that can either build you up or tear you down. Therefore choose wisely who you let speak into your life. Allow Godly wisdom to be spoken into you and not the lies of Satan that will tear you down.

 

What we put in our mind has a huge and lasting impact on how we think and act. The Bible tells us, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” Colossians 3:2. To fix our minds on Him, which is the right things and we will have a healthy mind not a mind filled with this world. God’s desire is for us to live a holy life that is focused on Him to give Him the glory. Our minds should desire Godly things and our actions would follow that. Prayer and mediating on God’s word is the most powerful way to win the battle of your mind. If you are struggling in that area and need prayer, please let us know we are here for you and want to help you obtain victory in this battleground of your mind!

 

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