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Monthly Archives: July 2013

  • There's No Way

    Posted on July 25, 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst

    Lysa TerKeurst

    "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" John 14:6 (NIV)

    I wasn't in the mood to be messed up.

    I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, "There's no way." It was late summer of 2003 when my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.

    All the reasons why this wasn't a good idea tumbled before me. Honest reasons. Understandable reasons. Solid reasons.

    Missionaries would be much more qualified. Missionaries with grown kids and multi-cultural experience. People much more spiritual than me. People much more gentle and patient enough to do this sort of thing.

    Not this disorganized woman who originally thought Liberia was in South America.

    Not this mom who already felt overwhelmed with her three kids. How in heavens would we add two more?

    Not someone who couldn't find the video she rented a month ago and who paid so many late fees at the library they should have named a shelf after her. Maybe two.

    Definitely not me.

    But it was me.

    The invitation was mine.

    And I knew it.

    No matter how many times I whispered over and over, "There's no way," this nagging sense of possibility wouldn't leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weak whisper, "Yes."

    I can honestly say there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured I'd heard God right.

    But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were moments where I loved my five kids but I didn't like them very much. There were moments I wondered if I'd heard God wrong.

    And there were more times even after we adopted where I said, "There's no way."

    There was no way we could overcome a medical diagnosis one of my boys received. There was no way two teenage boys who tested at a kindergarten level could catch up in two years and be ready for middle school. There was no way I could be patient enough to educate them at home during those two years.

    But every time I said, "There's no way," I'd remember Jesus calling Himself, "The way ... " (John 14:6).

    John tells us that Jesus is the way to salvation. Through Him we have access to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18) who gives us patience, guidance, and peace. All of which I needed. Desperately.

    Yes, Jesus was the One to follow. He was the One who would guide me each day. He was the One I needed to pour out my heart to in prayer. He was the One to listen to. And He was the One who reassured me with many promises in the Bible. One of those promises was Isaiah 58:10-11:

    " ... If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

    I could be a light rising in the darkness. I could be full of life like a well-watered garden. I could be refreshing like a spring whose waters never fail. Me. Crazy, incapable, crying-in-my-closet me. If I let Jesus be my way and do what He was asking me to do, these things could be true for me.

    And they can be true for you as well.

    There might not be a way if you look at your situation with only human reasoning and calculation. But if you let Jesus' truth and promises fill you, you'll find a different way. A good way. A sure way. His way.

    Dear Lord, thank You for reminding me that You are the only true way. Help me to see this every day as the circumstances of life surround and sometimes overwhelm me. I desperately need Your help as I learn to say "yes" to Your calling on my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Learn more about walking in obedience and strengthening your faith in Lysa's new book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God Devotional, releasing August 1st! Click here to pre-order your copy.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Do you have a situation in your life where you are saying, "There's no way ... "? How does looking to Jesus to be the way change your perspective?

    Power Verse:
    Ephesians 3:20-21, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with John

  • Fruit of Pain

    Posted on July 24, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Someone may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in their bones, so that their body finds food repulsive and their soul loathes the choicest meal... Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright... let their flesh be renewed like a child's.. Job 33:19-20, 23, 25.

    A variety of fruits can be produced out of pain. One is the clear understanding of what breaks the heart of God. Sin may surface through the sift of suffering that invites genuine contrition, confession and repentance. Pain can be a symptom of a wound, self inflicted or inflicted from an unfair situation or an insensitive person. So, whether sin has entered the heart from the inside or out, it requires attention or it will erode the soul. Distress that draws us to God purifies our heart.

    Another fruit of pain is instruction from the Lord. It is an opportunity for God to instruct His children in a better way. A human being on his back is much more teachable than an individual running to and fro in frantic activity. We look up to heaven when we lie down face up, leveled by the forces of physical and/or emotional upheaval. Yes, our loving Heavenly Father whispers intimate instruction to His loved ones who listen to His voice. Pain gives insight into God.

    Jesus said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Matthew 26:38

    Our Heavenly Father’s comfort is yet another outcome of suffering under the yoke of pain. As we cry out in desperate dependence on Him He assures us of His presence. It may be our Savior’s silent reassurance: His speaking through another sincere saint, His  calming us with a change in circumstance or soothing our soul with Scripture. The Lord is not limited in His long arm of care and comfort. Our pain is His opportunity to apply His healing balm of love.

    Above all, see pain as a pass through for the grace of God in your life. Your challenges become a conduit to care for other hurting hearts. Your energy is not consumed by your cares alone, but out of the depths of personal hurt you are able to bring the spirit of your sympathizing Savior Jesus to others. You consume the fruit of pain with your hungry heart and by faith your fruitful spirit feeds others who feel out of favor with God. Thus, out of your pain invite the Spirit to cleanse your heart, learn from the Lord’s instruction, enjoy Christ’s sweet comfort and comfort other hurting hearts.

    He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed. Genesis 5:29

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for meeting me in my pain with Your conviction, Your instruction and Your comfort. Use me to comfort others with Christ’s love.

    Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 6:29; Job 6:10; Psalm 38:6-8, 69:29; Hebrews 12:11; 1 Peter 2:19

    Post/Tweet today: Invite the Spirit to cleanse your heart,  and comfort other hurting hearts. #freedup

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Genesis

  • SHINE BRIGHT BABY DEBUTS ALBUM

    Posted on July 24, 2013 by Family Christian

    Following the success of their single “Beautiful Love,” which hit radio in May, Shine Bright Baby’s anticipated debut project is available now in stores and online.  Dreamers, created and produced by Matt Arcaini, Mike “X” O’Conner, Tofer Brown and Pete Kipley, is the debut LP belonging to the BEC Recordings quartet and consists of an inventive mixture of pop, rock, electronic and modern worship music.

    After just a few short weeks on radio, “Beautiful Love” has climbed to No. 8 on the Hot AC/CHR charts.  Recent press tout the debut including a “rock spotlight” in the current issue of CCM Magazine applauding Shine Bright Baby on “not being shy in allowing their faith to radiate boldly, all the while making apparent their musical commitment to excellence.”

    Comprised of four gifted musicians, each from Orville, Ohio, Shine Bright Baby features Emily Irene on vocals, guitarist Nathan Fertig, Joshua Fink on keys, guitars and vocals, and Karl Wendel on drums.  Friends before they were bandmates, Emily and Nathan began performing in 2007 amongst the local scene in both mainstream settings and Christian circles.  Soon after, Joshua and Karl joined Emily and Nathan to complete the quartet, whose unique band name comes from Philippians 2.


    “After realizing God’s plan for the band, we wanted to take what that verse said and apply it to the band’s mission and what we stood for,” shares Joshua.  “Emily wanted it to be more fun and playful, so she tacked ‘Baby’ on the end and it just stuck."

    “We all come from church backgrounds, all leading worship at church at various points of life,” says Karl.  “Anytime we’re on that stage, our goal is to glorify God and worship through our instruments and voices, and hopefully in turn, help others be able to draw closer to God.”

    One of the band’s personal favorites from Dreamers is “Made To Glow,” a song about letting God’s love shine in everyone’s daily actions, while the piano/acoustic ballad “Love Restores” was written in the wake of a highly publicized school shooting near the band’s hometown.  The group also shows its more aggressive side on “The Brave Ones,” a guitar-charged anthem centered on living a bold life of faith with a little help from Disciple front man Kevin Young.

    Shine Bright Baby is on an extensive tour in support of Dreamers, having wrapped up the Acquire The Fire Tour and Air1’s Club Awesome Tour.  The band will also perform at numerous festivals throughout the remainder of the summer and fall.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, Shine Bright Baby, Disciple

  • Extravagant Love

    Posted on July 24, 2013 by Sharon Glasgow

    Sharon Glasgow

    "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

    I was SO mad, I thought I would explode! The contents of that explosion would have been hazardous to anyone in my path—namely, my husband Dale!

    Anger was emanating from every pore of my being. What was he thinking? How could he not see the obvious? The more these thoughts swirled in my head, the madder I got. And he didn't seem to care about my feelings either! He just looked at me. That was it! I decided to pack up the kids and leave.

    And (the nerve of him) he didn't even ask where I was going! Apparently, the suitcases said it all. I stormed out.

    Oh, boy. Those were the days many years ago. I'm glad that was then and this is now. My husband said and did a lot of things I didn't understand. It was like we were from two different planets with totally opposite brain and emotional functions.

    All marriages will struggle at some point. Crisis in a marriage has the potential to make or break a marriage. It's tempting to harbor hurt, retaliate with spiteful words and focus on your spouse's faults. But experience has taught me those things do not add up to marital bliss.

    After being gone from Dale for 24 hours, I couldn't stand it any longer. I came home and we made up. Because this wasn't something I wanted to become a pattern, I decided to look carefully at my actions and change the way I loved my husband.

    Turns out there were things I could do differently. Through a lot of prayer and focused choices, I found there were several key things that radically changed my marriage for the better: an attitude of oneness, extravagant acts of love and turning intimacy into a flame of passion, not duty.

    I didn't always feel like doing these three things. As a matter of a fact, many days I didn't have any desire to do them. I knew I needed to draw love out of a deeper well than my own. So I kept Colossians 3:12-17 close at hand and followed it as a way to love Dale. These verses describe a sacrificial and extravagant love, showing compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

    They also encourage us to show love in the name of Jesus, which is a way to honor Him. That was my focus as I re-trained my thought pattern not to emphasize the negatives or the momentary stresses. But instead, to keep my eyes on God. It got easier, knowing that by loving my husband well, I was pleasing God.

    I've seen many struggling marriages ignite with passion when one spouse pours out extravagant love on the other. Sadly, I've also seen times when it didn't work. In those instances, we can take heart in knowing that Christ rewards us for how we live our lives wholeheartedly for Him. You may not be rewarded on earth, but you will be in heaven.

    Extravagant love can transform an ordinary marriage into an extraordinary one, induce greater love, ignite intimacy, help us live above our weaknesses and spend less time quarreling. For over twenty years, I've been putting Colossians 3 love into action in my marriage. From watching the movie my husband picks even when I don't like it, to saying "yes" instead of "I have a headache," to caring for him when he's sick, every little act of love adds up to a big reward. It blesses my husband and honors God!

    Jesus, help me love my husband extravagantly! Sharpen my marriage into a beautiful display of Your glory! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Ask the Lord for His help and for His love to overwhelm you so you can love like Colossians 3 tells us to.

    Journal what He is speaking to your heart today and continue on this course to victory.

    Power Verse:
    Colossians 3:12-14, 17, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. ... And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (NIV)

    © 2013 by Sharon Glasgow. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Colossians

  • Competing Attachments

    Posted on July 23, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2

    Competing attachments distract disciples of Christ from growing in intimacy with Him. Yes, followers of Jesus can voluntarily let go of attachments or they can be forced to release them by their Heavenly Father. What is an attachment? It is anything that competes with our affection with Christ. It can be a material fondness like a car, house or hobby. And, attachments disguise themselves in emotional bondage like anger, unforgiveness or regret. Thus, live disentangled.

    Moreover, too many commitments can compete with our commitment to Christ. Debt can be a snare that limits our choices. Unresolved conflict consumes our mind, so much that we have no mental margin for our Lord’s thoughts. Pride and anger dig in their heels and demand ongoing attention. Attachments keep us controlled by people, places and things, instead of God. Yes, what we nurture is who we become. So, lay aside all competing loyalties and focus on Christ alone. My biggest weakness is the latent desire to have my way; only true humility and grace free me up.

    You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions. Mark 7:8

    Are you entangled by earthly allurements or are you devoted to the Lord and His divine agenda? Does your obedience to Christ’s commands trump all other sirens that constantly call for your time, energy and money? Like a scuba diver’s weight belt takes him to the bottom, so any worldly trappings strapped around your waist will bring you down. But, as you persevere in prayer the Holy Spirit with help you unhook unhealthy habits and relationships from your faith.

    Yes, make it a priority to obey God, especially when situations scream differently. Just because everyone else is doing it, or it has always been done that way, doesn’t require your response. In fact, blind allegiance attracts attachments. Examine your motives and make sure you are led by trust in the Lord and not fear of man. Detach yourself from any competing emotion, relationship or behavior that strives for your devotion to Christ. Run your spiritual race freed up by faith!

    My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:15

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, by Your Holy Spirit detach me from any competitors who vie for my devotion to You.

    Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 10:36; Philippians 2:8; Revelation 2:3-5

    Post/Tweet today: Detach yourself from any competing emotion or relationship that strives for your devotion to Christ. #freedup

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Hebrews

  • Encouragement for the Daily Grind

    Posted on July 23, 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer

    Samantha Evilsizer

    "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer." 1 Peter 3:12a (ESV)

    It's common, everyday stuff. She tells me it's nothing, but I know better.

    This solo parent single-handedly holds each strand of her small daughter's hair. It's getting late, but she must continue ridding the unwelcome "guests." Comb, wash and comb again, fingers exhausted as the clock strikes midnight.

    I send her this text message, You're doing great. She writes me back, telling of her doubt. What's so special about picking out lice? she wonders as she finally collapses in bed, daughter enfolded under her mama's wings. Will this little girl remember her mother's sacrifices? Most likely not. But she will remember the safety and care of her mother's nest.

    And my friend? What will she remember? Shins kicked big by tiny feet, sleepy breath in her face, and trudging through the daily grind. These are what she believes she'll remember, and no one else will ever see or know. These exhausting moments when she wishes she were doing something more noble or noteworthy.

    But I know better. I know I'm not the only one who sees her sacrifices of love. I know that these common moments, built one upon the other, create great lifetimes. These moments are mostly free, yet they cost quite a bit, don't they? Their currency? Time, energy, selflessness, dreams and yes, sleep. All these investments build a life of loving high and deep.

    I'm reminded of a story I read years ago of a woman who opened the front cover of a coffee table book about magnificent cathedrals. She paused to soak in the inscription of this book that had been gifted to her: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.

    A story, hidden in the pages of her book, is recounted: A rich man came to visit the cathedral while it was being built ... he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

    And the workman replied, "Because God sees."*

    Though my friend's efforts were unseen by the rest of the world, they were not unnoticed by the Lord. Her late-night labor of love was building something beautiful in the eyes of God. He saw her just as He promises in 1 Peter 3:12a, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer."

    He watches over us as a mother bird keeps watch on her chicks. God's eyes of love, care and protection see each of our everyday efforts that can bring discouragement in the daily grind. Folding the 11th basket of clothes ... today. Cooking dinner with no "thank you" given. Stripping bed sheets in the middle of the night when kids get sick.

    Whether you are investing in your own children, or someone else's, keep up the greatness in the common moments. It may seem like nothing, but you matter. You're building. You're seen.

    Dear Lord, I can get so weary and tired of persisting in building greatness in the everyday moments of life. It often feels like no one notices or appreciates me. Thank You for confirming that YOU see me. That is more than enough. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Be affirmed of who you are, why you are here and how much you are loved in His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sherri Rose Shepherd.

    Our Facebook page offers daily encouragement for the daily grind. Join us by clicking here.

    Reflect and Respond:
    We need to replenish ourselves as we pour out love, energy, and prayer on others. Determine now to set aside time each day to spend with God and notice how He replenishes you.

    Power Verse:
    Psalm 33:18, "Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love ... " (ESV)

    *The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

    © 2013 by Samantha Evilsizer. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with 1 Peter

  • Spiritual Formation

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd Bailey

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us, With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. Ephesians 1:7-10

    Spiritual formation is the process of Christ conforming us into His image with the ultimate goal of perfect unity with Him. At conversion a new believer is an infant in the faith; totally needy and totally dependent. They grow from the milk of God’s word to ingesting and digesting the meat of Holy Scripture. Salvation to service is a common step in spiritual formation, but there is much more. Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him.

    So we grow past adding on the next volunteer opportunity and take the time to get quiet before our Heavenly Father. The spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation and contemplation become a regular part of our routine as we wrestle with God’s will. We learn to love the Lord, others and ourselves in an unselfish way. We grow to know Jesus as a friend and a lover. Humility and grace begin to govern our every thought and action as we become more like Christ. Maturity grows up.

    But when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
    1 Corinthians 13:10-12

    Furthermore, there are days of darkness on our spiritual formation path leading to oneness with our groom, Jesus Christ. As in marriage, what is sometimes painful can be the most productive. What feels bad to the body and emotions can be good for the soul. Communication with Christ in prayer may seem suspended, but this season of silent suffering is meant to strip away all our attachments. Our lover Jesus is jealous for 100% of our affection. Spouses grow old together, looking increasingly like each other in appearance. Thus, by grace, we grow to look like Jesus.

    It is comfortable to cease growing spiritually and settle into a service mindset. However, your Father desires for you to do like Martha and to be like Mary (Luke 10:38-42). Progression in your spiritual formation requires both works and faith. It is a matter of emphasis and motivation. You are a branch in God’s garden who produces fruit because of the Gardner, the Vine and the Rain. The Father, the Son and the Spirit. You remain in Christ and the Trinity spiritually forms you into a fruit bearer. So, stay engaged in the growth process with God; you become better!

    Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, use the process of spiritual formation to make me more like Jesus.

    Related Readings: Jeremiah 29:11-14; Matthew 5:6, 48, 7:13-14; Romans 7:15-16; Philippians 3:14

    Post/Tweet today: Beyond doing for the Lord is being who we are in Christ. To be is to know Him. #beinginChrist

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Wisdom Hunters and was tagged with Ephesians

  • The Message for the Dominican Republic: GOD IS ABLE

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Family Christian


    This is where the Gospel is lived. Where redemption is real. And where we need you.

    Good Goers is a mission adventure travel group founded by Family Christian. The mission is caring for orphans and widows in the U.S. and around the world. The adventure is living out this calling – with you – in broken places and broken hearts, because that’s where the good work of building the Kingdom begins.

    We’ll also take you off the beaten path to experience the excitement of white water rapids, a ropes course, a zip line or hiking local sites.

    Recently a team went to the Dominican Republic to offer care. What follows is a report of God working in an amazing way:

    It is Wednesday and our team of nine GoodGoers has just finished our fourth day in the Dominican Republic.  We have been incredibly BLESSED to have visited two widows as well as a school for children from very poor families.

    The needs are great, but God is able.

    We found that the widows had no beds to sleep on, and one widow had two sons and a grandson living with her.  They had gathered large leaves to lay on the floor to sleep on.  We purchased lumber and materials to build beds as well as mattresses for two sets of bunk beds and one single bed.

    The needs are great, but GOD is able.

    We typically have mission staff to lead us out in building projects but this time no one was on campus for us and no one on our mission team was a construction "leader." [So] another mission team on the campus wanted to help with a building project so they joined us, and, in very GOD fashion, the beds were built in an afternoon and that team included two men with engineering and building skills!!!  By the way, that team also had additional funds they wanted to contribute!!  MAN!!!  When God is involved, He does a PERFECT JOB!

    The needs are great, but GOD IS able!
    The widows were so thrilled to see us that they ran to meet our bus!  About 40 neighbors and children spent the afternoon with us and we were able to also share the gospel with them.

    The needs are great, but GOD IS ABLE!
    What a blessing to join God on Mission and watch Him work through common folks as well as challenging situations.  We have seen many God-moments throughout every single day!

    The needs are great, but GOD IS ABLE!!! God is EXACTLY who He says He is!


    This post was posted in Missions and was tagged with Featured, Good Goers

  • Check Out New Artist Soulfire Revolution

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Family Christian

    Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) announces the signing of Soulfire Revolution, a worship band hailing from Bogota, Colombia, to its list of acclaimed artists.  Soulfire Revolution’s title track – featuring Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture – goes by the same name as their first project, Revival.  Proof that their music and scope of ministry extends beyond just one language, Revival is set to release on August 13.
    Soulfire Revolution primarily serves as a worship band born out of Mision Carismatica Interncional (MCI) in Bogota, a church originated by husband and wife team Cesar and Claudia Castellanos.  Currently, MCI averages 70,000 people in attendance on Sunday mornings in Bogota, growing from the group of eight that first began gathering in the Castellanos’ living room nearly 30 years ago.

    Cesar and Claudia have always been focused on raising a family who loves and serves God, a primary goal that ultimately would pave the way for Soulfire Revolution.  Feeling the call to ministry following a three-day MCI retreat known as “Encounter” just a few years ago, the Castellanos’ daughter Lorena, now the lead singer for Soulfire Revolution, first felt God’s call to ministry.

    “I was 12 when I went to my first Encounter, and up until that point, I wasn’t really interested in church.  I just went because I was the pastor’s daughter, and my parents were there,” Lorena shares.  “But it was during those three days when I truly had an encounter with God.  I had the conviction that God could really use me, and I never turned back.”

    Now comprised of two married couples, Lorena Castellanos (vocals) and her husband Julian Gamba (bass), and Paola Sanchez (drums) and husband Jose Anthony Catacoli (lead guitar), plus Lorena’s brother-in-law Richard Harding (lead vocals and guitar), Soulfire Revolution was started out of a mutual love of music that points people toward the one true Hope.

    Produced by The Myriad frontman and longtime Jesus Culture producer Jeremy Edwardson, and recorded in his studio in northern California, Revival not only celebrates the beauty of God’s creation in the anthemic standout “Count the Stars,” which features a guest appearance from the band’s friend Martin Smith (Delirious) but digs deep into truly leaning on God for everything in “Place of Surrender,” where Soulfire Revolution collaborated with noted songwriter Jason Ingram (Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman).  With “Spirit Break Out,” the band displays a different side of worship with a rap interlude from none other than TobyMac.  This cover of the United Kingdom-based group Worship Central is a moment where substance and style blend seamlessly.

    Revival is only the beginning of what will continue to be a busy season for Soulfire Revolution.  In addition to touring on their own and continuing to minister at their home churches, Soulfire Revolution looks forward to partnering with other artists in sharing a message of salvation and hope that comes in a thriving relationship with Jesus.


    This post was posted in Music and was tagged with Featured, TobyMac, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman, Jesus Culture, Delirious, Soulfire Revolution, Kim Walker-Smith, The Myriad, Martin Smith, Worship Central

  • Progress or Procrastination?

    Posted on July 22, 2013 by Lisa Allen

    Lisa Allen

    "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)

    Unhealthy habits had crept their way into my life. At first it was only occasionally, but then it became easier to stay home rather than head to the gym. I turned a blind eye to how much sugar I was eating. And dinner from a drive-through became more convenient when I was in a rush.

    After a few months in this downward spiral, I knew it was time to reintroduce healthy habits. But then the excuses started: I know I should work out, but this just isn't a good time for me ... I have two trips coming up and then there's that birthday dinner for my friend this weekend. And everyone knows that Mondays are the best day to start a good habit!

    This pattern of thinking gives me permission to eat unhealthy foods and put off exercise. Somehow I justify that I will ultimately be more successful if all the conditions are perfect for me to improve my health. Perhaps it's my selfish nature that screams, "I want what I want when I want it." The truth is, if I know I should take steps toward healthier choices, then my response should simply be to ask myself, "What can I do today?" and then do it. I don't have to have a plan for a month or even a week ... only today.

    As I've observed this pattern of procrastination within myself, I find when faced with a desire and necessity to make a change for the better, sometimes I wait until I can do it perfectly before I'm willing to begin. Scripture tells us though "If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" (Ecclesiastes 11:4).

    I don't know about you, but I struggle with feeling that perfection is unreachable, so I push my goals to the back burner.

    We wait to start consistent quiet times until we feel like getting up earlier. We wait to clean our house until there is a convenient weekend. We wait to join a small group until our schedules open up. We wait to begin a healthier lifestyle until the holidays are over.

    Taking that first step is the hardest and yet most important step. Even a baby step toward a goal is better than staying in place. Aiming for progress rather than perfection can be quite freeing. So, I can't run a marathon. But I can lace up my sneakers and go for a walk. And while my home isn't in spotless, I can wipe down the counters and put away the piles of laundry around my living room. Yes, there are still dishes in the sink, but I have to start somewhere, right?

    God is teaching me that I can make progress in the midst of less-than-perfect circumstances. While I still want to do things with excellence, a friend once told me I need to be willing to "take a B instead of an A+" on some things in life, and that helps bring perspective when excuses start to rise up. Plus, I'm learning to overcome my tendency for excuses by telling myself imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination.

    There may never be a perfect time to get organized, eat less sugar, and workout more. However, we have to begin somewhere. The perfect place to start is where we are today.

    Father, You know me so well, and I confess to You I've been avoiding obedience by waiting for things to be easier, better and more convenient. I recognize this as disobedience and ask You to forgive me. Give me the strength to focus today on this area of obedience. Let me know that You are providing all I need to take this step today and tomorrow, as I continue this journey with You. Amen.

    Related Resources:
    Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

    Reflect and Respond:
    What area of procrastination are you wrestling with? Whatever it is, choose to take one step toward your goal. Share it with your spouse, friend or mom and ask them to help you live this truth: "Imperfect progress is better than perfect procrastination."

    Power Verses:
    Ecclesiastes 7:8, "The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride." (NIV)

    Proverbs 31:27, "She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness." (ESV)

    © 2013 by Lisa Allen. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org


    This post was posted in Daily Devotion, Proverbs 31 and was tagged with Ecclesiastes

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