Tag Archive | Christianity

Looking For A Good Book? Give Patsy Clairmont’s “Twirl” a look-see


Patsy Clairmont shows just how artistic and humorous she truly is in the pages of “Twirl”. The simple fact that each chapter of this very easy, smooth, and gentle read stands alone makes this a book that can be enjoyed at any time and in any place. “Twirl” invites you to look to find enjoyment of life in the simplest of things as Patsy reminds you just how much fun twirling used to be. As you spend time among the pages of this wonderfully uplifting volume, you will realize that some of the things in your life that you allow to cause you tension can be made much more tolerable, if you simply think of them as you twirl around. The words on these pages will bring you many moments of unadulterated joy. So much so, you will find yourself with highlighter in hand, marking favorite passages for future reference. As you spend time among the beautifully written words of Patsy Clairmont, an original “Women of Faith” speaker, you will notice increasing numbers of people coming to mind that you want to give a copy of “Twirl” as a gift. You can rest assured, “Twirl” will be a gift very well received. This is a book that you will retrieve from your bookshelf many times over as you find yourself rereading it time and time again.

Why does God allow suffering?

These days it seems there are so many tragic stories, so much pain. Between school and mall shootings, children and babies suffering and dying, and currently the flu epidemic and the fear that goes with it. There’s illness, abuse, broken relationships, betrayal, sorrow, injuries, disappointment, heartache, crime and death. All of these leave many people asking the question, “Why? Why does God allow this?”

Just last night, a tiny, newborn baby girl, beautiful and precious, left the loving arms of her mother and father and went to be with Jesus. This little girl being so close to my family that she may as well of been. She is the daughter of my son-in-law’s cousin, a young man we have had to our house often, eaten many a meal with and shared holidays and family celebrations with. I’m sure there are several members of this family currently asking those questions, “Why? Why me? Why, God?”

That “why” question goes back thousands of years. It was asked in the Old Testament by Job and the writers of the Psalms, and it was especially relevant during the 20th century, where we witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust, genocides in the Soviet Union and China, devastating famines in Africa, the killing fields of Cambodia, the emergence of AIDS, the genocide in Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo.
Things didn’t get any better in the 21st century. There was 9/11 and now the Syrian slaughters, and on and on. Why is all of this happening if there’s a loving and powerful God? Why do bad things happen to good people?

Several years ago, a national survey asked people what question they’d ask if they could only ask God one thing. The Number One response? “Why is there suffering in the world?” Interestingly, married people were much more likely to want to know why there’s so much suffering.

But if you’ve never asked why our world is infected with pain and suffering, you will when you or someone you love is struck. And Jesus warned us those times would come. Unlike some other religious leaders who wrote off pain and suffering as just being imagined, Jesus was honest. He told us the truth. He said in John 16:33, “You will have suffering in this world.” He didn’t say you might – he assured us it would happen.

But, why? If you ask me point-blank, “Why did God allow that precious baby, and now her parents to suffer?”, the only answer I can honestly give consists of four words – “I do not know.”

I cannot stand in the shoes of God and give a complete answer to that question. I don’t have God’s mind. I don’t see with God’s eyes. 1st Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

So when you ask about specific individual events and want to know why this particular thing happened, we won’t get the full answer in this world. Someday, we’ll see with clarity, but for now things are foggy. We can’t understand everything from our finite perspective. And honestly, I don’t think any attempt at theological explanation is going to do anyone any good right now; any intellectual response is just going to seem rehearsed. What is desperately needed now is the very real and comforting presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. And I’m so grateful that this young family has a loving church and family helping them through this difficult time.

But for us, let’s focus on the big, overarching issue of why God generally allows suffering in our lives – your life and mine. People, this is important: even though we can’t understand everything about it, we can understand some things. So let’s try.

Imagine driving along a highway in the dark, when it starts to rain heavily and suddenly you hit dense fog. You can barely see the white stripe on the edge of the road and that is what you are using to attempt to stay on the road! You can’t stop because then someone might come along and rear-end you. Talk about scary!

Just as suddenly a truck appears in front of you. You can just make out his taillights through the fog. You guess he must have fog lamps in front, because he is traveling at a confident and deliberate pace, and somehow, you know if you can just follow those taillights, you’ll be okay, heading in the right direction.

I think the same is true in understanding why there is tragedy and suffering in our lives and in our world. We may not be able to make out all the peripheral details of why — they may be obscured from our view — but there are some key Biblical truths that can illuminate some points of light for us. And if we follow those lights, they will lead us in the right direction, toward some conclusions that I believe can help satisfy our hearts and souls.

What are those points of light? Let’s take a look at some that people have found helpful whenever they have felt prompted to ask the question, “Why?”
The first point would be that God is not the creator of evil and suffering.

This answers the question you hear so often: “Why didn’t God merely create a world where tragedy and suffering didn’t exist?” The answer is: He did! Genesis 1:31 says: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

But if God is not the author of tragedy or evil or death, where did those things come from? Well, God has existed from eternity past as the Father, Son and Spirit, together in a relationship of perfect love. So, I think we can agree love is the highest value in the universe. And when God decided to create human beings, he wanted us to experience love. But to give us the ability to love, God had to give us free will to choose whether to love or not. Why? Well, because love always involves a choice.

If we were programmed to say, “I love you,” it wouldn’t really be love. Think of those dolls with a string in the back, and when you pull that string the doll says, “I love you.” Does that doll love the string puller? Of course not. It is programmed to say those words. To really experience love, that doll would need to be able to choose to love or not to love. Again – real love always involves a choice.

So in order for us to experience love, God bestowed on us free will. But unfortunately, we humans have abused our free will by rejecting God and walking away from Him. And that has resulted in the introduction of two kinds of evil into the world: moral evil and natural evil.

Moral evil is the immorality and pain and suffering and tragedy that come because we choose to be selfish, arrogant, uncaring, hateful and abusive. Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So much of the world’s suffering results from the sinful action or inaction of ourselves and others. For example, people look at a famine and wonder where God is. When in reality the world produces enough food for each person to have 3,000 calories a day. It’s our own irresponsibility and self-centeredness that prevents people from getting fed.

In other words: look at your hand. You can choose to use that hand to hold a gun and shoot someone, or you can use it to feed hungry people. It’s your choice. But it’s unfair to shoot someone and then blame God for the existence of evil and suffering. Like that old saying, “We have seen the enemy, and he is us.”

The second kind of evil is called natural evil. These are things like wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes that cause suffering for people. But these, too, are the indirect result of sin being allowed into the world. As one author explained: “When we humans told God to shove off, He partially honored our request. Nature began to revolt. The earth was cursed. Genetic breakdown and disease began. Pain and death became part of the human experience.”

The Bible says it’s because of sin that nature was corrupted and “thorns and thistles” entered the world. Romans 8:22 says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” In other words, nature longs for redemption to come and for things to be set right. That’s the source of disorder and chaos.

To be perfectly clear, God did not create evil and suffering. However, He did create the potential for evil to enter the world, because that was the only way to create the potential for genuine goodness and love. But it was us, human beings, in our free will, who brought that potential evil into reality.

Some people may ask, “Doesn’t God have a plan? Couldn’t He have foreseen all of this?” And I have no doubt He did. But look at it this way: many of you are parents. Even before you had children, couldn’t you foresee that there was the very real possibility they may suffer disappointment or pain or heartache in life, or that they might even hurt you and walk away from you? Of course — but you still had kids. Why? Because you knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning.

God undoubtedly knew we’d rebel against Him, but He also knew many people would choose to follow Him and have a relationship with Him and spend eternity in heaven with Him. He must have thought it was all worth it for that, even though it would cost His own Son great pain and suffering to achieve their redemption.

In my next post, I’ll look at another ‘point of light’, the fact that God can use suffering to accomplish good.

Joel Osteen is pastor of one of the largest churches in our country, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. He has written numerous books, travels all over the world speaking and ‘preaching’. There is a website for his church, as well as his personal blog/web page. Whomever his publicist is, is a creative, blinded, genius! Osteen has been marketed in such a way that he has become a multi-millionaire while preaching the ‘prosperity’ message.
According to http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/3059879/posts … Osteen has recently decided that the Bible has errors in it and that the apostles Paul, Peter, and John are mistaken about some things, and they should be corrected and rebuked! I will let you read the article for yourself! When you finish reading it, please leave a comment sharing your thoughts on this article. I am very interested to see how others interpret what has been said by Osteen.
HERE IS THE ARTICLE….
Joel Osteen Rebukes Apostles Paul, Peter, and John
United for Awakening ^ | 8/27/13 | Peter Michael Martinez
Posted on 8/28/2013 2:22:54 PM by Sopater
According to Joel Osteen – Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, these first century apostles are wrong and outdated and he has come out boldly to infer indirectly that Apostles Paul, Peter, and John whom wrote much of the New Testament were wrong and need to be corrected and rebuked.
When asked directly if people whom are openly practicing homosexuals are accepted into the Kingdom, Joel Osteen responded with “Absolutely, anybody is.”
We all need to listen carefully to the words that this “man of God” speaks as he goes on interviews so we too can find the errors in the preaching of the first century apostles.
Joel does acknowledge that some things are “sin” but says, “I don’t address these things from the pulpit. They only come up in interviews.” When asked if openly practicing gay/homosexual people will be accepted into heaven, Joel Osteen responded, “I believe they will.”
He makes no mention of the need for repentance.
Joel Osteen Brings Us Universalism

The doctrine of universalism is the belief that all people are “saved” no matter who you are or what you’ve done.
This is a new version of the “good news” that is MUCH BETTER than the message the Jesus and the Apostles preached 2,ooo years ago which was far too narrow according to the way Joel Osteen explains his “message.”
“I’m for everybody” says Joel Osteen, “I’m not into excluding people. Jesus can reveal himself to anybody.”
The idea is that since no one would be accepted if we are called to be “holy” then all have to be accepted. So goes this logic. This doctrine also believes that all roads lead to heaven so there is no one “way, truth, and life that leads to the father.”
According to Joel, “sin means to miss the mark” which, while technically correct, stands in contrast to the teachings of many writers of the Bible that teach that sin is violation of God’s Holy Laws so if by missing the mark Joel means violating God’s ways, then yes, sin is missing the mark.
According to the out of date writers of the Bible, the “wages of sin is death” for which blood is required and for which a sacrifice was presented.
It sounds a lot more harsh to say SIN is TREASON punishable by death than to say it is “missing the mark” which is a bit incomplete. Sin is also “to incur guilt, incur penalty” which according to the scripture is death.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
When asked about people who live in open sin, Joel smilingly said, “I’m not going to bash those people. I’m not going to be against those people. They’re good people.”
So by contrast, Apostle Jude is “bashing people” when he said:
Jude 1:14-16 “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.”
Joel’s wife recently said to Piers Morgan. “It’s the people that we’re after. We’re not trying to judge their sin. We want to encourage them and love them. You’re only going to win people by reaching out to them.”
Isn’t that so awesome! They are all about the people! They want you and I be accepted without having to discuss anything like repentance or righteousness. These are “judgmental” subjects that we just don’t need.
These modern day ministry giants have gone on national television to essentially correct Apostles Peter, John, and Paul to say … they are wrong … if you listen to Joel Osteen. So many across the nation are so proud of this Pastor and his courage in confronting the church fathers!
According to Joel Osteen, Apostle Paul erroneously stated to the Corinthians …
1 Corinthians 6:8-10 “Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
In saying this, according to Joel Osteen, Apostle Paul is being “exclusionary” and should be rebuked and corrected. He is obviously wrong and should never have said these things to the Corinthian church.
Corinth was known for its sexual openness and promiscuity so for Paul to “condemn” all these “good people” was completely out of order and he needs to be rebuked.
When Paul wrote to the Romans he also was in complete error in stating the following in the first chapter of his letter, according to Joel Osteen.
“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
According to Joel Osteen, Paul was absolutely incorrect and to state that being a homosexual is a sin is being “judgmental” and should not be tolerated. It is just wrong according to Joel Osteen. Many people agree with Joel Osteen today and so, Apostle Paul is apparently misguided and incorrect in his letter.
Joel goes on to point out the additional errors in the words Apostle Paul wrote.
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Paul went on to write in the first chapter of Romans, which according to the words of Joel Osteen, he is deeply misguided and mistaken.
Apostle Paul should repent for saying such things according to Joel Osteen. A growing number of people in America agree with Joel that Apostle Paul should be rebuked for ever saying such things because Paul isn’t accepting of people like Joel Osteen is.
Equally misguided and incorrect according to Joel Osteen is Paul’s words to the Galatian church. In his writings, Apostle Paul made stunning comments that were clearly exclusionary statements concerning the Kingdom and those whom are accepted, and in so doing has made grave error according to Joel Osteen.
See if you can detect the absolutely false statements that Apostle Paul made to the Galatian church according to the stated doctrine of Joel Osteen.
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.“
You can clearly see what has Joel Osteen so unhappy that he’s gone on national television to correct this! It is this type of rhetoric, according to Joel Osteen, that is completely false and misrepresents the God he serves.
Joel Osteen’s God loves everybody and there are no exclusions because then, according to Joel, “none of us would be saved.” So again, Apostle Paul was completely incorrect and should never have written such harsh and insensitive words to the Galatian church according to Joel.
I imagine Joel Osteen would say “shame on Apostle Paul for ever writing such hateful words!”
Now, not only is Joel out to correct the misguided Apostle Paul, but Apostle Peter was also brought into serious question for clearly being exclusionary when he wrote these words.
1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
According to the doctrine Joel Osteen has now shared with us all as “his message,” being clearly more evolved and enlightened than the archaic Apostle Peter, no one can be holy. We are left to conclude that Peter is misguided and is being judgmental. What a terrible yoke and condemnation Apostle Peter is trying to put on the good people he is writing to.
Additionally, Apostle Peter goes on to say things that are completely against the Lakewood Church Pastor’s God when he stated the following.
2 Peter 2:6-8 “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”
According to Joel Osteen’s public comments, one could conclude that Apostle Peter was in complete error and deceived when he wrote such things. What a terrible condemnation. He clearly did not know the doctrine that Joel Osteen preaches or he would never have said such awful and critical things.
Joel Osteen indirectly implies (subtly) that these apostles were false and were critical and judgmental and should NOT be listened to in America today. We all need to listen instead to Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey.
Now Apostle John made even greater errors if the benchmark is Joel Osteen’s “message” when he stated some of the thing that he wrote which, according to Joel Osteen, is just plain and simply not true.
It takes a lot of courage for Joel to stand against these writings but he believes strongly in his “uplifting and encouraging” doctrine that does not endorse such harsh and judgmental statements as written by these ancient Apostles.

We should all pray for Joel Osteen because he needs our prayers if he’s going to continue to champion the cause of those oppressed and condemned by the writings and statements of Apostles like Paul, Peter and John.
Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
You see, according to Joel Osteen in a recent interview, “God doesn’t see any sin as worse than another” and all are going to heaven. Apparently in Joel Osteen’s bible, he has redacted the unpardonable sin. So if you’re a follower of Joel Osteen’s then this statement by Apostle John must seem just plain wrong.
Apostle John doesn’t know what he’s talking about and we need to listen to the wisdom of Joel Osteen. Apostle John clearly was in error and should be rebuked for suggesting that people who tell lies are going to have their part in the lake of fire.
What was Apostle John thinking writing such judgmental things???
That’s a terrible thing to say and no one, certainly not Apostle John, should be allowed to say such things. As Joel says, “there’s enough condemnation in the world” and we don’t need anymore.
Additionally, in his letter, Apostle John says things like …
1 John 3:8-10 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
Now according to Joel Osteen and the thousands that agree with his “message,” this entire passage should be removed from the pages of the bible and no one should be saying such things. In fact, Joel goes on to share that it is this exact kind of preaching that will hinder “church growth.”
Apostles Paul, Peter, and John listen up. Joel Osteen rebukes you all.
Now listen, Joel Osteen and his ministry in Houston are all about people. He is standing up for your rights! He is taking a REALLY BIG RISK because … if he’s wrong, and Apostle Paul is right … then he stands to be cursed! So he needs your support in prayer NOW!
Galatians 1:9 “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Instead, you all need to listen to his message of universal acceptance and lawless living without any condemnation so we can all “lift our spirits” and be “encouraging and loving” to all people no matter what lifestyle or choices they make. After all, according to Joel, God loves us all and everyone is going to heaven so lighten up!
There is no exclusive path to the Kingdom. According to Joel Osteen, we need to hear this message because it’s the right message and anyone that says that there is an exclusive path to God is wrong.
Joel would know, look at the size of his church! He is clearly telling you the truth more than anyone in history.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Exactly how much error is too much?
Sources:

Overview of Joel Osteen/Oprah deceptions:http://youtu.be/weEWl52wevI
Joel Osteen meets with Larry King … Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/KwL1DThtxYg
Joel Osteen meets with Piers Morgan … Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/tgCpRNfBzys
To his credit, in this interview Joel does call out sin, however, he softens it and backs away from talking about repentance … and when he is asked “what would you say” his comment is that he doesn’t understand. You’re leading the largest church in America and you don’t understand REPENTANCE?
The quotes are taken right from what Joel himself has spoken. He positions himself on his own without being told how to answer. On the one hand he wants to appease his Christian followers by saying “the bible says” but on the other he clearly fellowships with darkness and facilitates those whom deny the power thereof.
2 Timothy 3:1-7 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

As I said I am very interested in your opinions of what you have just read. So please, leave a comment and let’s have a calm and focused discussion!
To be fair, I did go to Osteen’s webpage and do a little reading. I don’t know if the website just needs to be updated to correlate with what Osteen has said he believes, or if the article above is completely false. I do know that something is stinky in Houston though!!
I will let you discern for yourself. Here is a link to Osteen’s webpage and a description of what their beliefs are, or were! http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WhatWeBelieve.aspx

So I guess my question comes down to, just what is Joel Osteen up to?

YOU MUST TRUST GOD!! ALWAYS…

There are so many things going on in my life right now, thank you Jesus! So many different aspects that can go so many different ways. The only way I can get through these next few months is to totally trust in God! I know He has everything under control. I know He has a plan for how everything is going to work out. I don’t have to understand it. I just have to have faith that what God is doing is what is best for me and my family.

Some happenings of the past 15 months are about to come to a boiling point. Either things will boil over and go downhill very fast, which will make my and my husbands lives very difficult for another 12-24 months, OR things will finally start to get back to normal as the fire gets turned down. I am praying for normalcy finally!

I always thought that I wanted things to go a certain way and if they didn’t go that way then people just didn’t know what they were missing out on. But, I have found that people appreciate a good, honest person no matter what. When you go through a difficult time, as we have recently, you find out who truly cares about you.

We have had more phone calls, messages, hugs, offers and promises of prayer, handshakes, smiles, and encouraging words over these past many months than we have had our entire lives! I cannot even begin to thank everyone for their continued support. Simple words just cannot express my gratitude.

Mostly though, I thank my wonderful, awesome, almighty and sovereign God for getting us through this rough time, and for teaching us the things that we have learned over the past year. God has shown us where we need to be, changes we need to make in our thinking, and how to prioritize things in our lives.  In all things, HE is first!!

No matter what path we take, we must always ask God to lead the way. If we have to take a detour, we have to realize that God has already take that detour and He knows where it is going to lead us! We just have to trust Him. If we have an opportunity to leap off a cliff, we must ask God is this is His will for us, and then listen very carefully for His response. If He says jump, then we must jump! If He says turn around, then we must turn around. If He says wait just a little while, then we must wait! In all things, we must seek His guidance and wisdom.

We pray for peace, comfort, understanding, when what we really want is control over a situation. We want things to go the way we think they should go, whether it is the right or wrong way, whether it is what is best for us or not. We can’t see the actual end result of what we want. We only see what we THINK the end result will be. God KNOWS what the end result will be whether we choose option a, option b, option c, or all of the above! And even better, He knows what we are going to choose so He is already there!

We harm ourselves and those we love more by trying to do things ourselves, by trying to prove that we are strong, or smart, or the best for the job, or the best choice for the task. When we do that, we fail to allow God to show others that we are strong, or smart, or the best choice! God wants to be the one that shows people just how wonderful we can be, by allowing God to shine through us! When we allow His glory to shine through us, we are unstoppable!

All things work together for good to those who love God!” “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Why don’t we listen more closely to these words? Why don’t we live our lives as if we TRULY believe these words? We always question if this is what we should do, is this what God wants me to do? Simple way to find out the answer is to read His word!! He has given us this instruction book for life, yet we ignore it! Sure, we read a little from time to time, or we might even take it to church with us and open it while the preacher is talking, but how often do you truly read and STUDY God’s word? How often do you truly apply the lessons He gives us to your own life? That’s not often enough! We should be living each moment of each day to accomplish one simple task….to honor and glorify God! If everything we do is to bring Him honor and glory, we cannot fail.

Go out and do something today that brings honor and glory to God. Leave no doubt to others as to whether you love God or not. Share the peace you have in your heart and show someone how they too can have that peace! Pray without ceasing!!!

East Texas Pregnancy Help Center Scrapbooking Class – donation request

WHAT:     Scrapbooking Class for ETPHC Clients

WHEN:    June 14-July 26, 2012

WHY:       Mothers who have limited resources deserve the opportunity to showcase their memories. The clients of ETPHC work very hard to earn points to obtain necessities for their new babies. I would like to provide them with something fun to do, that costs them nothing. This will also be a wonderful opportunity to share the love of Jesus with them in such a way that they are not being pressured to make a decision right at that moment. I believe that if someone sees and feels the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as the gift of a memory album in which they are also taught how to create such an album on a shoestring budget, they will see that Jesus, nor His followers, is not something or someone to be frightened of, or resistant to. When presented in a loving, non-judgmental manner, the Good News of Jesus Christ is much more readily accepted!

You can help me to share Christ and His love with these young mothers by helping with the expense of supplies. This initial class will be offered for 10 participants at an estimated cost of $50-$75 per person, for a total cost of $500-$750. I realize that sounds expensive, but the cost includes an album and all supplies to complete a minimum of 20 pages in that album. Also, if donations exceed total cost of materials for this class, anything extra will be donated directly to ETPHC for other programs.

If you, or someone you know, would like to assist with the cost of this class, please contact myself, Judy Hall @ 409-382-2775 – jlhall1107@gmail.comFacebook @ scrappinmama2533; OR you can contact East Texas Pregnancy Help Center @ 409-381-8600. If you cannot assist with the cost of the class, please keep myself and the clients and staff of ETPHC in your prayers.

Thank you so much for considering this request!

Prayerful thoughts

Yesterday I posted the following on Facebook. I am pleased that it has had a good response thus far. These are thoughts/feelings from my heart and I just felt like I needed to get these words out to as many people as possible. There are so many suffering in some way right now and they just need our prayers. Please join me in praying for all those suffering.

As I sit here and read over different peoples status’ I am so humbled, and thankful. I read of various difficulties and personal issues going on in peoples lives, and I realize just how blessed I am. I could so easily find something to complain about, can’t we all? But, are my ‘problems’ really as bad as what I see so many others dealing with? No! My concerns are SO minor compared to those of so many others. I see those dealing with health issues of their children, parents, spouses, and various other family members. Or there are those dealing with lengthy, ongoing health issues, or personal issues that are just totally devastating to them! Thank you God, that my concerns pale in contrast. I ask you dear Lord to bless each of these people with whatever is needed in their life at this time, as only you can. I pray that You give them peace, comfort, strength, wisdom, whatever it is that is needed in their particular situation. I just ask you wonderful, almighty God, to bless them. Let them feel Your presence. Let them feel your comfort. Let them feel your peace that surpasses ALL understanding. Help them with the decisions they have to make. I praise you Lord for all you have done for me, for my family, for my friends, and for all those who call on You. I thank you for the wonderful, blessed relationships you have given me thus far, and for those yet to come! I ask you Lord, to help me to realize the things I need to do or say to someone to help them to see or feel your presence and your love. Thank you Lord Jesus for your promise to never leave nor forsake us. All this I ask in the precious name of Jesus…..amen

I know in my heart that God will answer this prayer. It may not be in the way desired or expected, but He has an answer for all of us, we just have to ask.

Something I have come to realize just recently is that I so often choose to go to God with my “laundry list” of things I believe I need or want. That’s not what God wants for me. Yes, I can still take those desires to Him, but I should be taking the more important things to Him first. Things like health and well being of others, happiness of others, SALVATION of others. Those are the truly important things. Not whether I am granted an item from my list of wants!

I am so thankful that God forgives us for our selfish ways, among other things.

Friday, the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. To many people that is a very bad thing! It is a Friday and to be the 13th, OH NO!!! Bad things will happen to all who are not VERY careful and do not fear the unknown!! HAHAHAHA!!!

Friday the 13th is just a day that follows the 12th and comes before the 14th. It is a day that God has made just for us! If we truly believe bad things are going to happen, then there is that possibility; but if you go into this day expecting great things, appreciative to God for this glorious day, then guess what? Great things can happen!! You do not have to fear the unknown when you ask God to walk beside you through your day!

Such a simple thought, yet so many ignore it! WHY? Why do so many professed christians fail to begin their day with a simple conversation with our wonderful, almighty God? There are several reasons that I know of…

1. They forget— Now, how do you forget if you are truly a faithful follower of Jesus Christ? Easy,  you aren’t as faithful as you should be. You have not taken the time or made the committment to make your day begin and end with a conversation with our Lord! It takes approximately 21 days to create a habit according to some researchers. So here is challenge #1 for you. If you do not already, make it a point of talking to God EVERY SINGLE DAY, BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED!!! And then talk to Him again, every night, BEFORE LAYING DOWN TO SLEEP! EVERY DAY for 21 days. Then see what happens on the 22nd day. I bet you don’t even think about it. You will just lay there awake and have your morning conversation with God.

2. Laziness — We are too afraid of getting lazy by sitting for any amount of time and praying, talking to God, so we get busy with our day and tell ourselves that we will pray later. RIGHT!!! Usually does not happen. Again, start your day with a conversation with God!! HE WANTS YOU TO!! 21 days…..

3. Too busy — We jump out of bed and get our day started and before you know it, supper time has come and gone, you are exhausted from all you have done in the course of your day, and you have not once spoken with God. Stop right there. Consider this. How would you feel, if someone you loved dearly, spouse, child, friend, etc., went an entire day without speaking to you, AT ALL!! Not very good huh? Maybe like they didn’t really love you so much after all? Well, how do you think God feels when we don’t take the time to spend with Him? We leave Him out of everything! He is like the poor little wallflower at the school dance, just standing off to theirself, noone paying them any attention. And they go home feeling lonely and unwanted. Let God know you love Him!! TALK TO HIM!! 21 days….

4. Your afraid — Either you are afraid of not saying the right things, or you don’t know how to pray or you are afraid of what your family might think of you if they hear you praying. First of all, your family should KNOW you pray!! You should be praying WITH your family!! Not always, you need that alone prayer time with God, but you should definitely involve your family in your prayer life. Afraid of not saying the right things or how to pray? It’s simple. Just start talking to God, just like you would your best friend. After all, isn’t He your best friend? He should be. As you start talking to Him about what you expect from your day, ask God to lead you through this day. Thank Him for what He did for you yesterday and last night, (you slept didn’t you?) Thank Him for waking you up this morning. Thank Him for any and all things in your life, even the BAD things! Yes, I said even the bad things. Because those bad things, those trials and tribulations that we go through, are being used by God to teach us. There is always a lesson in what God takes us through. Notice I said TAKES us through and not PUTS us through. Because, everything we go through, if we ask Him, God is right there with us. But He wants you to invite Him. 21 days…

5. “I tried and nothing changed” — The problem there is that we expect immediate results. We have become a society of instant gratification. We want warm food, zap it in the microwave; need to get a message to someone, send them an IM or text message. Need to know some facts about something, google it! God doesn’t work that way! He does everything in His own time and we have to be patient and wait upon the Lord! That in itself is a lesson on patience, something we can all use a bit more of! Keep talking to Him. He is there and listening. God always answers prayer. His answers are either, yes, no, or not right now! 21 days….

Talk to your Father in heaven, about anything and everything. He already knows, but He wants to hear from you!

Thank you Lord for another beautiful day you have given us! Father you give us so much that we fail to thank you for. You are so good to us, much better than we deserve. Father I thank you for the continued blessings you give me and my family. You bless us each day with food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our heads, and other material things that are above and beyond what we really need. Father, YOU are my hearts desire! I pray for your guidance throughout each and every step I take. I ask you to lead me and keep me from all temptation. Forgive me Father, for the things I may have said or done that were disappointing to you. Help me Lord to forgive those who I feel have treated me badly. Help me to be the loving and forgiving person you want me to be. Lord, it is my desire to be the representative for you that you would have me to be. I want there to be no doubt when someone sees or speaks to me, that I am YOUR CHILD!! I love you Lord God, my wonderful heavenly Father! I love you so much and I thank you for all the wonderful things you have planned for me in the future. I thank you for taking me and my family through the trials of the past year and helping us to see You, Lord, at work in those trying times. I see you still working on those things and I know that all things come together for good for those who love the Lord. I know that good things are coming for my family and I thank you so very much for that! I ask you again Father to forgive me where I have failed you. Help me to be a good disciple for  you and to give you all the honor and glory Lord. Thank you Father, I love you. I pray all these things in Jesus precious name, AMEN.

21 days….. Not as difficult as you think.