Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Already Alright

People everywhere are going through a lot.  Newspapers and news programs are full of bad news (Japan's earthquake/tsunami/nuclear problems), the new 'war' against Libya's dictator, revolutions in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, etc., terrorists bombings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel.   Falling home prices, economic recession.  Folks are grieving the passing of their loved ones.  But I come to tell you that in the words of my pastor and Yolanda Adams, "it's already alright." 

I know things may not 'feel' all right at this moment, but as the scripture says "my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19).  This includes giving you the strength and comfort to make it through each day.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (NIV Matt 6:34).  As Ms. Adams says,  although I'm surrounded by negativity, it's not going to change me.  Take a moment and sing along with Yolanda.  It will help you 'feel' that its already alright. 

Here are the lyrics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcpXK3eKLGE&feature=related

I want to start things out by giving testimony
Cause one of my friends got ill seriously
Now the doctor told him ain't no way you gon' live
But he prayed his prayer in faith
And a miracle appeared

Its already alright, its already alright
And all you got to do is

Just bow your head down
Just bow your head and pray

And then give it all up
And know everything's gon' be okay
Just throw your hands up
And then wave them left to right
And then do your dance child
cause its already

Always surrounded by negativity
This might be where I live
But it ain't gonna change me
Gotta work on my mind
And keep my actions pure
And when I stumble,
I know who has the cure.

So any time you're feeling down
lift your voice in praise It'll pick you right up
And you can come to Him, don't be afraid
Anytime, day or night He can give you what you need
And if you pray your prayer in faith
And in your heart believe 
its already alright, its already alright ------

When life's problems get you down
Can't find no peace nowhere around

Trust in the Spirit
you can't see
Its bout to bring you your relief
Go ahead and cry now, its alright
Cause now you're crying tears of joy
This life ain't hurting you no more
Cause you know
its already alright

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lamb's Book of Life

I saw the following posted on Facebook today:

I wish Heaven had a phone so I could hear your voice again. I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. I thought of you yesterday and the days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake from which I’ll never part…God has you in his arms…I have you in my heart.

Yesterday, I went to another funeral - Diane was a faithful Christian.  I met her two years ago and served with her on a church committee both years.  She made me laugh (and I love to laugh)!  She preached her funeral through the life she lived, as evidenced by the number of people who came and the remarks shared.   I'd like to hear her voice again. 

There are other voices I'd love to hear again: my grandmothers Big Mama and Little Mama, my cousins Kathy and Lisa, my brothers-in-law Eric and Ivy, just to name a few.  I've been to either the funeral or calling hours for five people in the past month.  There are days I long for heaven myself because I don't want to attend any more funerals.   

Rev 21:3-4 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 
To this, I say, thank you Jesus.  I know that I can't imagine what heaven has in store for me.

I Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Because I believe in Jesus Christ and that He died and rose again, I will dwell with The Trinity in heaven for my name is written in the Lamb's book of life.  This comforts me and helps me hold on and be joyful when God chooses in His infinite wisdom to take a life.

Rev. 21: 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Is your name written in the Lamb's book of life?  If you're not sure, all you need to do is confess that Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and you, too will be saved.  (Romans 10:9)  AND you have have unspeakable joy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spiritual Poverty

I mentioned in an earlier blog that in the Women of the Word Bible Study, we're studying the Book of Genesis. In looking at Joseph's life this week, we were told struggle = preparation and "to recognize God's hand even when things seem unfair.  He's orchestrating His plan.  God is orchestrating the moves in our lives.  The Sovereign Lord saw far into the future."   As Ann said "He chose Joseph to be his personal messenger...  There are generations who know nothing about Christ."  She asked us how are we helping to eradicate spiritual poverty? This is a powerful question.  We exist to bring glory to God.  Whatever we are going through, we can use to help others.  We bless Him by sharing our testimonies which includes our struggles.  Our challenge, when things seem unfair as God orchestrates His plan, is to use what is happening in our lives to help eradicate spiritual poverty, especially in the lives of young people.

Are you allowing the unfairness of life to overwhelm you or are you using your preparation time to show concern for this generation?  Are you involved and making a difference in the lives of children, not just your own, but school children, the youth at church, your nieces and nephews, your neighbor's children?  If no, meditate on these scriptures and ask God to reveal to you how you can make a difference as He continues His orchestration of your life. 

Judges 2:10-11  After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.  Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.

Psalm 78:3-7 what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Psalm 145:3-5  Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.

Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blessed Assurance - It is well with my soul

"It is in the quiet crucible of your personal private sufferings that your noblest dream are born and God's greatest gifts are given, in compensation for what you've been through."  
~Whitley Phipps

Last week, I attended calling hours for a young man (age 37) and the funeral for a senior citizen who's husband passed away last year. A 47-year old member of my church passed away Friday night.  A close friend's newborn grandbaby passed away on Saturday. My sister's sister in law died in February after a 2-month illness. Deaths are coming fast and furious. I'm just grateful that I know who I am and Who I belong to...it makes all the difference in the world.

I don't understand why God allows earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards BUT GOD is omniscient (knows everything), omnipresent (is everywhere) and omnipotent (has all power).  The storms that come into our lives send us running to the arms of our Savior.  Even in the midst of the storm, He sends joy.  When we focus on the storms, we miss the joy that He continues to send.

Blessed to see God's joy!
WHAT joy you ask?  How about waking up and being able to use your five senses (smell, taste, hear, see, touch), dressing and feeding yourself, shelter, clothing, family, friends, a job (it may not be the one you want, but somebody else would be glad to have it), transportation (might not be the mode you prefer, but you're somehow managing to get to the places you need to be), freedom to worshipHow about seeing the sun shine brightly - doesn't it give you joy to see things in color versus simply black, white or gray!    How about  experiencing the new spring season, being able to read this blog!  Yes, God gives us reason after reason to be joyful.  How about this one, even as we experience death, He gave us the gift of memories - think about it, God didn't have to give us the ability to remember the good times we shared with our loved ones.  And Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to comfort us in all that we go through.

(John 14:26  But the Advocate, 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.)  For this we can be joyful. 

Remember, He never stops sending joyPsalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  

So yes, it is well with my soul and I hope it is well with yours, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYFjikyp7mQ&feature=related

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Genesis - Women of the Word Bible Study

Now that I've launched my blog site, I thought I'd start by sharing my insights from the Women of the Word bible study that I attend.  I encourage everyone to find and attend a solid Bible-based study.  (KJV 2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.)

My bible study leader is a faithful, Spirit-filled woman of God.  Ann began facilitating this 9-months-long bible study in 2002, starting with the Book of John. In 2004, I joined this group of mixed-race women from our community.  Our topic that year was Prayer.  In 2005, we studied Parables of the Bible  and in 2006 we learned much about Faith.  I was unable to attend the Bible Study in 2007 (Proverbs) and 2008 (Heaven and Hell), but was blessed to return for the study of  The Blood in 2009

Each week in assigned small groups with designated leaders, we discuss our individual responses to a 2-page questionnaire that we received the previous week.  The questionnaires always begin with "What impacted you from last week's lesson or lecture and what application have you made or scripture memorized?"  and end with "What would you consider the key verse of this lesson to be and why?"  Completing all of the questions reinforces our knowledge of the scriptures.  We then form one large group to hear Ann's lecture.  Ann is a master of homiletics (analysis of a passage of scripture with emphasis on both the content and application).  She is truly a modern day Ezra (7:10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.)

We are studying the entire Book of Genesis.  Here are my answers for Lesson 1 Genesis 1 – 2:3 Creation:
Lecture Impact/Application: There are no circumstances in my life that are bigger than God.  “In the beginning, God” is all I need to know.  Just like He hovered over the waters, He hovers over my heart.  Key verse of this lesson and why?  Throughout Genesis Chapter 1, the words  And God saidAnd it was so.”  There is no challenging God; if He said it, it was done.  

In future posts, I'll share with you more of what I'm gaining from this intense study of Genesis.  If you haven't read Genesis, here's a suggestion.  Read Genesis Chapter 1 up to Chapter 2, verse 3 and answer the question "what do you consider the key verse to be and why."  I guarantee you, you'll gain insight into God's Word.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I've joined the blogosphere!

I had secretly thought of becoming a blogger.  Then my daughter began blogging (Ramblings of Real Housewife).  She's blogging about her life as the twenty-something wife of an Air Force man and new mommy.  My aspirations of a blogger vary significantly from hers.  I'm on a Christian mission and intend to use this venue as a means of sharing the gospel, encouraging the saints, and sharing my personal testimonies, old and new, about what God has done for me as a believer, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, church member, facilitator/speaker, and community volunteer.  I hope you join me on this new venture by giving me feedback and sharing your own testimonies. And I hope you are living a JOYFUL life!  If you're not, I hope by reading this blog, you will begin to experience His unspeakable (meaning no words to accurately describe it) JOY!