"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Heaven or Hell? The Choice is Yours!

This has become one of my favorite times of year because every fall around Halloween, Southside Baptist Church in Princeton, Kentucky opens up their "Judgment House". Tonight, my family and I anxiously attended Judgment House to see what had unfolded this year.

The Judgment House is like a play. You begin on a journey with characters. There are usually about two or three main characters that you travel along with on their life journey. Tonight there was a young lady, 17 years old, who was diagnosed with cancer. She worked hard for the Lord. She was very passionate about introducing people to Christ to help build His Kingdom. She was a kingdom minded young lady, whose life of earth was difficult to live because of her terminal illness. As we traveled with this young lady, we actually walked through different rooms to watch the scenes of her life unfold. We watched her rollercoaster ride with cancer, and her determination to keep bringing souls to Christ despite her own illness.

In tonight's journey, the young lady, named Hannah, actually introduce another young lady around her age who also had cancer to Christ. The young lady prayed The Sinner’s Prayer and was saved. Hannah attempted to spread the love of God to a young man who also suffered from cancer, but he refused because he felt that everything in his life had gone wrong. First, his dad had left, and he did not know where he was, then the doctor's had informed him that there was nothing else that they could do to help cure his illness and that he was going to die. He was an extremely angry young man.

To make a long and emotional story short, Hannah actually dies, as well as the other two youth. We traveled to heaven with Hannah, where she was surprised to see the young lady that she shared Christ with, and to hell with the young man that allowed his anger to overshadow Christ’s love for him. Waiting for him was his father, whom he had been disconnected from since early childhood. His father still rejected him, and the young man began to blame his father for being in hell. The boy begged God for another chance, but God refused. He told him that he had plenty of chances, but he was too busy focusing on his own struggles that he could not see that God loved him. He had made the wrong choice and was hell bound for eternity!

Let me just say, God really used this group of people to spread the message of salvation. The tour counselor stated that they have had approximately 1,500 people go through the judgment house. Out of that massive number, around 150 have been saved and about 950 have rededicated their life to Jesus Christ. Heaven and Hell looked, and felt like what the Bible describes. Our names were called from the Lamb's Book of Life, and it really made the abstract of life after death tangible.

Attending Judgment House always humbles me. It brings me back to the reality that if my life is not totally committed to Christ, my choices could land me in Hell. It made me think that all that I think I am doing doesn't even really measure up to what I should be doing. When we entered Heaven, I wept the entire time. I don't think it was a dry eye in the group! What a marvelous day it will be when we get to Heaven and are greeted by our heavenly Father!

I am sure that this is not the only church organization that puts on a Judgment House. I have also heard these called Trilogy Houses. Check your local area to see if any churches are putting on anything like this. I have only really given a snapshot of what occurred tonight. And, I am not even sure if there are words to describe everything that I saw, heard, and felt on this night. If you are in this area, I encourage and recommend that you attend "Judgment House". You will never look at your salvation and relationship with God the same!

Lord, thank you for allowing my family to attend Judgment House tonight. Thank you for moving so powerfully through this church and give them the strength and resources needed to continue to do your will. Lord, I pray that anyone that does not know where they will spend eternity will seek your council. Let them know God that you love them, and created them for your purposes. Lord, I pray for each person that has recently found you. I pray that they stay on your path throughout their Christian journey. Lord, forgive me for the areas in my life that I do not exalt you. I realize that I am so unworthy of everything that you have done for me. Right now, I just want to thank you for even allowing me to have the opportunity to enter into your kingdom. Thank you for your son Jesus Christ, for if He had not died, I would have no way to reach you. Thank you Lord just for who you are!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


It is a warm and sunny day. You are speeding down the interstate listening to your favorite tune, trying to enjoy the sunshine that is beating down upon you. Although your intentions were to leave earlier for your important meeting, something just came up and now you are late. You decide not to sweat it, and think positively that you are going to try to have a good day, despite the stress that is accompanying your tardiness. All of a sudden, traffic comes to a halt, and you are stuck yet again and are temporarily stalled in reaching your destination. You become irritated at the inconvenience that this traffic jam has caused you. Then….as you get a little closer, you see the red flashing lights, the jaws of life, a mangled car, and numerous emergency personnel trying to save the life of someone that was involved in a car accident that occurred approximately no longer than ten to fifteen minutes before you arrived on the scene. All of a sudden, your frustration, irritation, and stress leave your body to make room for thanksgiving and praise!!! It took you about ten to fifteen minutes to deal with that “something” that came up, and you realize that could have been you in the accident. You ask God to bless the lifeless body that lies ahead of you, but you praise that God spared you as well.

I don’t know if this scenario is one that you have ever experienced, but I have experienced it several times. I currently commute to work, and I actually experienced this earlier in the week. I considered this an everyday miracle in my life. Maybe your situation is different than the one I shared above, but I guarantee that if you look throughout your week, you too will find some everyday miracles; some situations in which you were spared and you knew it was only by the grace of God.

When we think about miracles, we think of some miraculous healing that opens the sky and beams down bright lights upon the miracle receiver. We think of images that we may have seen in movies and cartoons. We think of things like someone being cured from a disease or obtaining a large amount of money after living for so long being extremely poor. These too, my friends are miracles. However, we don’t have to look far to find miracles in our lives. God performs miracles daily. When He wakes us in the morning, He performs a miracle and a blessing. When your family has nothing to eat, or no money to buy anything, and God sends someone your way with a hot meal; that is a miracle! When you are driving around town on Wednesday with a handful of gas, and it miraculously lasts you for the rest of the week; that is a miracle! When Jesus manifests His glory upon you; that is a miracle!

John 2:11 states, This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on him.

The purpose of an everyday miracle is to give God the glory and praise for how He has moved in our life each day. We are to praise God for His everyday miracles, and not wait until something major occurs in our life. ANYTIME God moves in your life, it is MAJOR because He is not obligated to do anything for us. Lest we not forget, that we owe HIM!

Psalm 40:5 states, Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

This verse states that God works in our lives daily, and we are to praise HIM for these works! How many times have we taken the credit for the miracles that God has done for us? And, even though we take the credit from time to time, God still has enough grace and mercy upon us to keep performing miracles in our life every day! How blessed are we to have a Father whose love is so true and everlasting. What were your everyday miracles today? Share them with someone and give God the praise!

Lord, I thank you right now for your everyday miracles. All works that you do in my life are miracles and I realize that You deserve all of the honor and glory for Your works. Lord, teach me how to share the miracles that you have performed in my life with others. I will use them to glorify your name. It is in your name that all good things flow, and I thank You for flowing in my life. I ask You to continue to cover me and protect me from hurt, harm, and danger. Let me not exalt myself, but exalt You! Forgive me for times that I have stolen Your glory for works done in my life. I love You and praise Your holy name. Thank You for all of your works yesterday, today, and I praise you in advance for Your works on tomorrow. Amen.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pressing Through the Pain

Today was a rough day for me. My body has flair ups of pain. The pain is onset by weather, stress, and a few other uncontrollable factors. I began hurting last night. I had finally decided to lay down early last night and went to sleep with the hope that I would awake this morning ready for a new day. To my dismay, I awoke with more pain and stiffness in my legs than the night before. Despite the pain, I decided to go to work anyway and ask God to help me muster up the strength that I needed to tackle the day’s activities. I decided to press through the pain!

Pain is a difficult concept to deal with. Pain can be emotional, physical, or even mental. Pain can affect many aspects of our lives. It can affect our daily routine, relationships, and relevance in this world. Although my pain today was physical, I have experienced many different aspects of pain. Pain is a feeling that, unless you have experienced it first hand, it is difficult to place yourself in the mindset of someone who is operating under painful conditions. At some point in your life, you will experience some form of pain.

Pain is no new visitor of God’s children. Jesus experienced the different aspects of pain just as we do.
In Luke chapter 23, Jesus experienced physical pain just so we would have the opportunity to eternal life; physical pain. In John chapter 11, Jesus wept over Lazarus’ death; emotional pain. What kinds of pain have you experienced in your life?

Pain always has a purpose, even if it is simply for God to remind us who He is and that He is the source of all of our needs. Sometimes the pain we experience is because God will place someone in our life that will need us, and we will have had to gone through something in order to be empathetic to their needs and situations. What if Jesus had not pressed His way through the pain of the cross? Scary to think about, isn’t it?

As uncomfortable as pain is, we must continue to press through our pain! Pain is only temporary, for our Father is preparing a place for us in which pain is not a part of. The purpose of our life is so much larger than what we see. We cannot allow our pain to blind us of God’s divine purpose for our lives. If we ask, God can soothe or remove our pain in His time. If you are waiting for your pain to be removed, just keep holding on, God is on the way. He will arrive in His own time, and when He does, let us not forget the source of our soothing. Let’s praise God when He touches one finger on our bodies, hearts, and minds that may be plagued by pain. He loves us, and He knows how much we can bear.

My pain had controlled my thoughts, and I had decided earlier today that I was not going to attend Bible study. My legs feel like a ton of bricks and all I really wanted to do after teaching third graders all day was to lie in bed. But, mentally, I desired to attend Bible study. “The devil is defeated and God be praised, I’ve got the victory!” Not only am I going to Bible study, but I am also determined to get a word on tonight! Philippians is my testimony on tonight.

Phil.3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ


Phil.4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Thank You LORD!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I'm Born to Win!

You have prayed. God has spoken. You know what to do and when to do it. You are so excited, and decide to share the vision and dream that God has placed within you with a close friend. Their response is surprisingly like a bucket of frigid ice water launched on top of the flaming fire that burns within you to surrender to God’s will for your life; now, your fire is simply smoke. This smoke is consuming you; causing you to feel silly for even being on fire, and causing you to second guess God’s instructions. Why did you share your vision, goal, or dream with them in the first place?

In an earlier post, I shared the fact that everyone around you will not be joining you on the journey to your destiny that God has ordained for your life. Remember, this does not mean that you no longer associate with these people or that person, but it simply means that your conversations and time spent with that person now have boundaries. When we share our visions and dreams with others, we must first assess to look for an understanding and supportive spirit within them. If the people around you, whether they are family or friends, are always negative when you share your goals and aspirations, it may be time to revamp your inner circle. Someone has got to go!

Everyone that is in our lives has a purpose, including our enemies. God strategically places people in our lives. It may seem that some of those people are in our lives to just sit around and watch our journey and enjoy when we find ourselves on the wrong path. Don’t be discouraged if you have people that seem to be supportive of you, but you discover that they are really just spectators, waiting to find out what your final destination is, and are using your journey mishaps for their personal entertainment and enjoyment. The joke is actually on them; for while they are so closely keeping tabs on you, they are actually stranded on the road to their own final destination. What these spectators did not know before they became so very attentive to your every turn on this journey was that as a child of God, you are born to win!

Psalm 37 declares that workers of iniquity shall be cut off from God and all of His riches in glory. We know that God is the owner of all things. His riches cannot be itemized and a price cannot be placed upon them. He is priceless! I am His child; therefore I am an heir to His throne! This is what makes me born to win!

Psalm 37:22 For such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off. (KJV)

The bottom line is, if someone is not supporting what God is doing in your life, and their lack of support or understanding in the change that is occurring within you is lacking, they may be keeping you from being all that God has called you to be. They may be working against God’s will, making them a worker of iniquity, and cut off from our Father.

Psalm 37:1 states, Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Psalm 37:5 states, Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.

In these two scriptures, we learn one important fact to remember when in this phase of our life; those that surround us may discourage us in our called work of the Lord, but we should not allow their negative thoughts and actions to consume our good works because they do not hold the power we need in order to accomplish the tasks that God has placed before us in the first place. Nor do they have the power to speak the two simple words that we want to hear when we reach our eternal home, “Well done! Only God has this power, and He also has the power to cut those people from your inner circle. And, I am a testimony that not only will He cut them out, but they may be replaced with someone who understands and supports your committed struggle to live your life for your Father.

Everyone around you does not understand that you were born to win; created for God to do marvelous works through. Who are you not to be what God has called you to be? Noah was an alcoholic. David was a murder and cheater. Naomi was not very easy on the eyes. Mary came from absolutely nothing, and look at what God did with her! These are just a few characters from the Bible that had “issues”. Do not allow those around you to control your thoughts and actions with their words! Why not use your past problems for your present purpose? After all, why allow someone around you to help you lose when you were born to win!

Lord, I thank You right now that You have manifested Your will into my life. I realize that this life that I live does not belong to me; yet, this is your life that You created for Your purpose. For that reason, Lord, I know that I am born to win. Thank You for helping sustain me in this fight everyday. I thank You for those in my life that are traveling this journey with me and recognize the way you are using my life to help build Your kingdom. Lord, I will fret not because of evildoers, for I know that You have plans for them as well. I ask now that you allow them to see what it is that You created them for. Help them to understand Your plan for their lives. I ask that You forgive me for times when I may have been the cold water that put out someone else’s fire. Lord, teach Your children how to support and love one another in Your name. Lord, You are my joy even in the midst of my storms. Thank you Lord that I am born to win.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So LIttle Time!

Today is Monday; the beginning of a new work week; the day that many of us should be rested and ready to begin the start of a fresh week of tasks to accomplish on our jobs, and even in our homes. However, many of us dread to see Monday arrive. We may be more tired on Monday morning than any other day of the week. We dread to have new tasks to accomplish, because many of last week's tasks were left undone and the list seemed to grow to triple size overnight. So much to do, so little time. And, many of us did not take our "weekend off" to rest, but to do other "stuff".

Our society is so fast paced. Everything moves fast and if you're not on the fast track to success, you will definitely get left behind! We feel pressure to be doing something at all times. Many of us even feel that if we are not using every minute of the day, that we are wasting time being lazy, or not following God's plan that His people should be people of hard work. Let's not forget one important fact about God, He rested! Jesus rested as well!

I often find myself praying and asking God to help me to have enough strength to make it through another day; not mental strength, but physical strength. I have slowly come to realize that God does provide the opportunity for me to revive myself each day through rest. It is I who am not utilizing the opportunity that God provides for me. A question exploded in my mind. "How am I really spending my time?"

Time is precious. Think about it, we are not on this Earth forever. We are only here for an allotted amount of time. I began to rethink about how I spend my time in each day. I often overwork myself at school and at home because I don't like to leave things undone. However, many nights, things are done; I am tired, and have yet to work on my personal relationship with Christ. I may be too tired from doing "stuff" that I fall asleep when I pray or begin reading my Bible. This is not of God!

God has blessed us with all that we have, and it is our duty to take care of our blessings. We should spend some time taking care of things that need to be done in our homes and on our jobs, but this time should not take precedence over spending time with our Father each day.

So, I am not good with time management anyway. This has always been a weakness for me. I am a one task person who becomes consumed in the one thing that I am working on at the moment. Others can get much more accomplished in a day because they are wonderful multi taskers. Whatever your personality considering how you work is, ask God to show you how you truly use your time.

I wanted to know why I felt so overworked and tired, and still did not get everything that I wanted to accomplish for the day done. My answer, I sometimes put those things before God! How convicting! If God holds my strength and I am not spending time with Him, how am I to receive the strength he has for me?

I have decided to revamp how I spend the time in my life. I am choosing to spend an allotted amount of time on certain tasks each work day. For example, last night I allotted only thirty minutes of time towards putting up laundry. I thought I would not get much accomplished on this task in only thirty minutes, but because I placed a time limit on it, I worked a little harder and got most of it put away. I would normally have taken an hour because I would have stopped to do something else or watched T.V. Thank God for helping me focus on one task at a time. At the end of the day, I was less tired and had time to rest. When you are rested, you can really bask in your alone time with God You don't have as many distractions, and you can really hear and see what He wants to share with you. What an awesome time in the Lord!

I challenge you today to think about how you spend your time and how that affects your relationship with God. We are not perfect and can only grow closer in and to Him! I hope you enjoy your quiet time with Him today!

Lord, I thank you right now for the time that you provide in my day. I know that I would be able to accomplish nothing without you. Lord, I ask that you help me organize my life and my priorities, with You as number one. Lord, I ask that You continue to show me ways that I can grow closer to You. Please forgive me when I have placed other things before spending time with You. I realize that my time here is short, and I ask that all things in which I put my effort are drawing me closer to You and Your plan for my life and the lives of my husband and children. Lord I love you today, and I am looking forward to our quiet time together. Please help me to rest so that I am able to give all of myself during our time together. Show me what You want me to see and tell me what You want me to hear. Bless this day, Father.