Finding Faith by Trish- Spring 2020

According to Romans 12:3, we’ve each been given a measure of faith. This means all of have been given a portion of this gift. Some say, “I’ve lost all faith or I don’t have faith” however God has already given this to us. Perhaps our faith has been tested or seemingly lost but in reality, the cares of this world have perhaps buried it making it difficult to obtain. 

To understand better what we’ve been given, let’s look at what this gift actually is.  Hebrews 11:1 (Kings James Version) says thisNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

It’s so amazing to me that God in His vast generosity gave us the ability to believe for things we desire & hope for. Things not visible with our natural eyesight but can be seen through the eyes of FAITH.

To operate in Faith, we must first believe that God is able to do what we’ve asked or believed for. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20 (NKV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…,”

 We must also believe for things in line with His Word. God honors His Word and He honors faith. God operates in order and with principles. We have every right as His children to ask and believe for anything according to His Word. He will not however operate outside of order. For example, it would be foolish for someone to pray and “believe in faith” for someone else’s husband. First of all, that is just messy, without integrity and completely outside of God’s plan.  You can however pray and believe God for a spouse that would align with your desires and His plan for your life. The subject of faith can be testy for some and I completely understand. Some have “used their faith” and been disappointed. This is tough. I remember when my Mom was sick in the hospital over 3 years ago. We stood in faith for her healing. We were given exactly 7 days with her from the time the medical team told us there was nothing more they could do. For the next 7 days, she spent intentional time; valuable time with her friends and family. Her natural body fading before our eyes but we stood in faith and declared the Word of Faith over her. SHE WAS HEALED…her healing just came in a different form. Faith can be “lost” or damaged when life gets overwhelming or things don’t turn out the way we planned/hoped for. This doesn’t change the integrity of God. This is when faith is utilized all the more when we trust Him when nothing makes sense.

A mentor of mine used to say “I can trust His Heart even when I can’t trace His Hand”. Whenever I find myself worrying or concerned about a matter, it means I’ve surrendered to the lie that says, “God isn’t able to help me with this”. That is an ugly lie that must be torn down and replaced with the Word of God.


Maybe you’ve found yourself in a place where your faith needs a jump-start. Maybe the cares of this world have dwindled what was once strong and vibrant to something weak and barely breathing. Today is the day to renew your faith. Choose to believe again!  Faith is like a muscle. The more it is “worked out”, the stronger it becomes. You don’t need a lot of faith to get started…just use what you have and watch it develop. 

Faith is strengthened by hearing the Word of God and applying His truth (His Word) to our circumstance. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We’re in the 1st Quarter of the New Year, allow yourself to trust God and watch Him work the impossible in your life!

Photo Credit: Background photo created by senivpetro – www.freepik.com

2020 Vision by Sonya- Spring 2020

​Having “2020” Vision is key in this First Quarter of the Year! Our eyes should be set on Jesus and develop laser focus on what He is doing in our life and His plans for us!​ So, what does it mean to have our eyes on Him and how do we need to focus and make that a priority into this New Year of 2020? ​Keeping my eyes on Jesus means to look to Him in all I do and not cave to the demands of this world. The demands of this world urge me to do and be more instead of focusing on Jesus who says you are enough and rest in His love.  This scripture in Zephaniah 3:17 sums it up best, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  When you do things unto God it doesn’t become a chore but it is pure delight and He will delight in you and rejoice over you!  He loves a heart after His. We are enough when we see things through God’s eyes and He is with us every step in the journey. Don’t look away but focus on God giving Him all your heart, mind and soul. ​Having “2020” vision for me this year is diving into His Word more and taking time to pray and spend time with God daily and allowing Him to be the priority. For me it means seeing Him in my daily life. Asking Him where and how He wants to use my time and talents. Being more purposeful is another way I have been working on to be more focused on God and not just saying “yes” to everything! I want to be in His will each day and take the time to listen and hear from Him. Letting the Holy Spirit guide you is key in this and not trying to force something in your ways but allowing God lead you in His direction. I wear this bracelet that a friend made me that says “Jesus is better” and this serves as my reminder of what I should be focused on. When our eyes are on Him, He shows us the way and guides our path. Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight!” Not saying it is easy to follow God as we have to take up the cross daily and put our selfish desires aside. Looking up to heaven and focusing on things above gives us the “2020” vision. His way is perfect and He does direct our steps and makes them straight when we do that! Are you ready to have all your eyes set on Him for 2020 and give God our “2020” vision and let Him be our lenses? Let’s get started and see what opportunities God will open up for you and not be blinded by the world as His ways are much better!  Remember “JESUS IS BETTER”!!!​

Photo Credit: Coffee photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

The Power of Prayer by Trish

Just recently I was watching the news and heard the tragic story of a little boy who went missing while playing with his cousins outdoors. The family lived near a wooded area but it was unknown if he had wandered off, or if he was kidnapped. It was a tragedy and I cannot imagine the horror this family went through. Instantly I said a prayer for his safe return. As of a couple of days ago the news broke that the little boy was found, unharmed, with only scratches from his two days in the woods where he had wandered into. 

I know there were countless prayers across the country for his safe return and it was nothing short of a miracle that this young boy survived the weather conditions, and was safely returned to his family. What if there was no one praying? God longs to hear and answer the cries of His children. He delights in the faith we place in Him. In fact, without it, it’s impossible to please Him. (Hebrews 11:6) 

I was speaking to my best friend the other day who happens to be “Supermom,” she’s amazing! She was sharing how one night she encouraged her two young children to pray with her. As they sat down, she said, “Let’s just pray in the Spirit and if God reveals something to your heart, pray it out.” Her young son tapped her leg and said he felt like God was showing him a little boy in Africa and called him by name, saying he no longer wanted to go to church. My friend said, “Well, keep praying to see if God shows you anything else and we will believe that God will turn this young boy’s heart back to church.” We will never know the outcome of this story on this side of heaven, but I believe in my heart that a little boy in Africa is turning his affections back to God and to church and the prayer of little boy here in the U.S. was used by God for this to happen! 

Now, I know many of you reading this would say, “That is too far-fetched.” But as you nurture your relationship with God and spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit will reveal things to you and teach you how to pray specific prayers in faith.  

I remember when I moved to Phoenix years ago. I was 18 years old and I move there with nothing but $500 in the bank, and a whole lot of faith. I was trusting God for a car, and I knew what I had to work with wasn’t much, but I trusted the Lord. Each morning my precious mentor would require me to meet at 5:00 am for prayer. I hated it at first because I wanted to sleep, but it instilled a lifestyle of prayer in me.  One morning, I felt God lay on my heart to spend 3 days praying in the Holy Spirit during my lunch break about a car. This was on a Monday and for 3 days I obeyed and prayed. In my mind I thought I was praying about a car I was going to get. 

The final day of my 3-day assignment was on a Wednesday and that night, coming home from church, I was in horrible car accident at one of the busiest intersections in downtown Phoenix. Someone running a red light struck us on my side of the vehicle.  That pushed our car over to the curb, beyond the lanes of where oncoming traffic would be. Thankfully, there wasn’t any oncoming traffic at that specific time. My side of the car was so damaged I couldn’t open my door.  I remember searching my body to see if anything was broken or cut and nothing.  I climbed out of the driver’s side and was completely fine.  My mentor was also coming home from church and saw the scene of a bad accident. I saw her car pass by and screamed her name. She turned around and drove me home that night. I walked away with only a bruise on my chest from the seatbelt, and a back that just needed a good adjustment. All parties involved were fine! As we drove home I was quiet and just thanking God for His protection when I heard God speak to my heart, “This is the car you’ve been praying over for 3 days.” I still get emotional when I think of this story.  

Sometimes we think of prayer as a checklist or something we do to “clock in” our time with God when actually prayer is for our benefit.  The Holy Spirit guides us and teaches us things to come. The Bible says that even now Jesus is at the right hand of the Father praying for us. If Jesus Himself has a prayer life, how much more do we need one? 

Prayer with the Father is so much more than making our requests known although that is part of it. It is communion and sweet fellowship with the Lover our souls. The One, who created us, knows us by name and even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows you, He loves you and He longs to hear your voice in prayer! 

By the way, the end of my story is sweeter still.  By Friday of that same week, God laid it on the hearts of a beautiful couple to give me my first car. God is good and His mercy endures forever!

Where You Lead by Kenika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever is going on in my life, the world, or in the lives of those around me typically makes up for the varying content of my prayers.  It’s also important to me to make time to go beyond what’s temporal and on the surface by praying for God to show me what I can do for Him.  Asking Him to make it clear to me how my life and actions can bring glory to His name.  Years ago the theme of such prayers was that I would go wherever God told me to go.  I would repeatedly commit to being willing to do whatever He told me to do, go wherever He told me to go, and say whatever He wanted me to say.

This confession, if you will, certainly opened up some interesting doors in my life and sent me to some very unlikely places.  My experiences and my adventures are not necessarily what this is about.  Recently I asked a question (to myself because I often talk to myself. Don’t judge me, I heard it’s only strange if you answer back), “I wonder how many times Abraham moved before He got to the Promised Land?” Or more importantly, “How many stops did it take for him to get there?”  Anyone who knows me has heard my story of how Abraham departing from his homeland, family, friends and life, as he knows it, to go follow God was a major inspiration for my move from Michigan to Florida.

I’m sure Abraham had no idea what he was getting into following God like that.  I often wonder why God didn’t make it easier for the one who was later named His “friend.”  (2 Chron. 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23)  So I went on a brief search for just how many stops he made.  It was something like 17 or 18 stops until He finally reached the place that God lured Him out of His comfort zone with.  When I thought about how many geographic moves I’ve made, and how many theoretical moves I’ve made, I realized this is what it takes to go wherever God leads.

Flowing, moving water is this life giving, life sustaining force, whereas stagnant water is a rancid pool of death. Okay that was kind of morbid, but you get my point. If we aren’t moving, we aren’t living.  I don’t just mean physical locations, but also growing in our mindsets, knowledge and understanding of the things of God, experiences, and how we treat people. To me all of those things involve “moving” as well.  Abraham’s name was made great, we are a part of his descendants and he was regarding as God Almighty’s friend! It’s worth it to move.  It’s worth it to be sensitive enough to God’s leading and allowing Him to show us what’s next. What are you waiting for? Go!

 

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