Spoken Word


From the Phoenix Dream Center:

Spoken Word on Sex Trafficking

 

Cyber-Sex Trafficking


I had drafted another post for today, until this hit my e-mail. Please read this article on Cyber-Sex Trafficking. The story itself is incredible. It is unbelievable what is happening all over the globe – and down our very streets.

Be a voice this week!

#31DaysofFreedom

 

 

Leader in the Making


Life isn’t always easy and sometimes you fail. The thing with failing not everyone seems to understand is this:

1) Failing doesn’t mean your a FAILURE

2) FAILURE can’t be blamed on someone else because even though circumstantially it can be due to someone else, but you have a choice to get back up again.

The greatest glory is not never falling but in getting up when you do.

Sometimes it is people that bring us down who try to disqualify us based on where we’ve been, our circumstances or who we are. But they aren’t the ones who can call us out. The only person who can take you out of running your race is YOU.

History belongs to the people who don’t disqualify themselves.

History

 

Don’t disqualify yourself before you start the race. You are destined for greatness! Don’t let circumstances and situations make you think you aren’t qualified. God’s call and anointing on your life is what qualifies you – NOT what you can do in your own strength.

God’s been teaching me so much about trusting in Him and not in my own strength. Things don’t always makes sense, but He orchestrates everything so beautifully! He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! Trust him. Keep running and don’t quit.

The Heart of the Psalms


The book of Psalms exhibits this beautiful form of writing and expresses the deepest feelings and thoughts of its authors. The Psalms are a unique collection of prayers or hymns to or about God written mainly by King David, however there are also some written by the Sons of Korah, Asaph, and some anonymous writers. There is not any one theme to Psalms, but the majority can fall into the categories of prayers and praises. There are 7 different types of psalms, they are: Laments, thanksgiving, hymns of praise, salvation-history, celebration and affirmation, wisdom and songs of trust.

Impressively, a majority of the psalms are laments. The author is so open and honest and true to the heart. The psalmist expressed completely everything they were feeling and it basically is a full vent to God without masking their personal feelings – yet they always come back to the truth of who God is and declare their trust in Him. That is something today’s church should come to recognize. It seems too often that believers hold back their deepest feelings when they cry out to God as if He doesn’t already see their heart and know the innermost parts of them. More-so, the heart-felt declaration of trust in God’s sovereignty over their current situation is amiss.  This was a personal challenge for me as to how much my trust is in God, and if there is a consistent knowing and realization of His hand in every area of my life.

As with the way that the Psalms are written, it is hard to choose just any one as a favorite, let alone a favorite verse. It is so easy to change your favorite psalm based on which you can currently relate your feelings and your heart’s cry to. Those are often the ones that stand out the most and what we gravitate toward. The Psalms can be a comfort and a reassurance as they generally fall back into a declaration of trust in God. Some of my personal favorites are Psalm 13:5-6: “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation 6 I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me.”(NIV) Seeing this line starts with a conjunction, it shows that up to this point, everything that said before that may be true, however what comes after – the declaration of trust and the acknowledgement of who God is takes the focus of the psalmist.

There is also Psalm 46:10 which says:

Be Still

This is a call to throw away the distractions and to know and be known at the deepest level by God. This psalm shows the intimacy available to us and His power and place, authority and worthiness. The greatest power in the psalms is the recognition of who God is.

Psalm 103 is a favorite of mine and holds a lot of significance for me. It is a Psalm of David written praising God for His mercies and blessing His name. It is praise to God who forgives and heals and redeems and who satisfies. This psalm proclaims not just his mercy, but his graciousness and his worthiness to be praised. The imagery it creates is so beautiful – especially in verses 11-12 where it says:

Forgiven

“As far as the east is from the west…” can raise the question as to just how far the east is from the west – eternally far! How beautiful the picture those verses create.

This psalm continues describing the fragility of man and ends with the establishment of the power of God and blessing Him for all He is, for all He has done and with everything that is in you. Bless the Lord, indeed!

Another favorite, also written by David is Psalm 139. This psalm describes so well God’s deep-knowing of you and how He is ever-present in your life – even before you were conceived. It contains an invitation for God to come and search the heart and asks for guidance. Verses 7-10 show so well just how present God is in our lives:

“7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 if I ascend into the heaven, You are there;

If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning,

And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,

And Your right hand shall hold me.”

Those verses also show the value that God places on our lives. Continuing through the psalm we read how He formed us, and before we were born He had our days written – He had a purpose for us. It is awe-inspiring reading and really recognizing how precious we are to God. What a wonder to think about!

The heart of the psalmist is pure, honest, fragrant and poured out into these psalms. Especially those of David, who was called a man after God’s own heart, to read the words that He had written is to see a glimpse of His heart for God and even through that – to catch the slightest hint of the very heart of God. The psalms are very powerful and beautiful. They show a pattern that we should recognize and be in today – a place where we recognize our circumstances, but choose to dwell on who God is and his mercy, goodness, and loving-kindness. 

Where does your heart relate to the psalms today?

Pray to Seek or Pray to Be?



pray

 

I felt convicted in my prayer time the other day. Here I was asking for God to work and move in a situation for someone I know, and then He shows me how I can be an answer to their situation. That is not often something that comes to mind. So often, I think we believe that asking God to do means it will be done (or won’t be done…we say it depends on what His will is…).

But here is the deal:

God chooses to use people.

I often hear Pastor Thomas tell us that, “without God, we cannot; without us, God will not.” 

How humbling is that.

God wants to use you!

Sometimes, we have to pray for the answer, but sometimes we have to pray to BE the answer. 

Do you really want God to move? Ask Him what He would have you do?

Someone spoke at our school last year and shared with us this statement:

 “Don’t pray prayers you aren’t willing to be the answer to.” 

God wants us to co-labor with Him. How can you be an answer to the prayers you pray? How can you be an answer to somebody else’s prayers?

21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 20


photoAs I have been studying the Proverbs 31 woman verse by verse, I will admit, I cannot read that passage and not think of my mother.

Two verses that I really want to highlight on are 27-28:

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” (NIV)

My momma is always doing something. She is actively involved in our lives on a consistent basis (that includes even my brother and I who are away at school). With 5 kids that cannot always be easy, but she does an amazing job.

My momma has many fine qualities and is a woman of character. When I think of my mother, the first thing that comes to mind is her strength. She is always like a rock in the storm. She has a strength about her in all she does. She tells you like it is. And she’s grounded. Momma is solid and is a woman of virtue.

Something that really blesses me about my mother, is the love that she and my dad have for each other. There is no better team, and no greater gift that my siblings and I could be given than that.

Even this being said, I feel like I cannot adequately describe my mother. I can never thank her enough for everything she’s done and for everything she is.

The worth of a mother goes beyond what words can describe. 

I am beyond blessed with the mother that God has given to me. I am proud to be my mother’s daughter.

Beyond that, as I have grown, my relationship with my mother has changed in many ways…it has had its stages, but what comes out of it is more than my mother being my mother –  my mother has become a friend. And I am so amazingly blessed to have her.

Thank you, Momma for all you do and all you are to me. Your worth is far above what can be expressed. I love you dearly.

 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all…” (Prov. 31:29)

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21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 11


7 Quotes that revolutionized my thinking over the years:

Jesus is being lost in a religion bearing His name. People are being lost because they cannot reconcile Jesus’ association with Christianity. Christianity has become docile, domesticated, civilized. We have forgotten there is a kingdom of darkness stealing the hopes and dreams and souls of a humanity without God.” – The Barbarian Way

This is a reminder to be radical!

“Often times exploration and seeking gets left behind because it’s interpreted as a weakness. But it feels right to write about that because that’s where I am. Questioning is such a prerequisite to growth. If you’re not asking hard questions, how can you be taking a journey to the answers?” – Nichole Nordeman

Never stop seeking. There is always more.

“The sufficiency of Christ is more than enough for you.” – Pastor Ben

This might seem so simple. But this truth is what I remind myself of every day. That from where I’m at, everything that I have ever been through was preparation for going through today. What God has done in my life, and the essence of who He is, is more than enough for me live strong today.

“Call on the promise.” – Lisa Greathouse

My dance teacher told me this years ago. To me it is a constant reminder of the faithfulness of God and that when He gives me a promise, I have a promise and it’s not my job to see that it is made. He is faithful to complete it.

“An attitude of expectancy is the breeding ground of miracles” – Pastor Jeff

Expect God to move. He longs to intervene in our lives. Believe He will and do what He tells you to do. You will see the supernatural when you take that step of obedience to partner with Him.

“It is not the bad things in life that keep us from the best things of God. It is the good things that keep us from the best.” – Joanie Jarrett, Missionary to Scotland

Just because something is “good”, doesn’t mean that it is of God. Staying connected with Holy Spirit is key.

“…before the Lord’s sword will come through your mouth, it must first pass through your heart…” – The 3 Battlegrounds

Without having a revelation of His Word and Truth, it’s just empty words. Develop a love for the Word of God. There is power in the revelation of Truth!

What are some of your favorite quotes? Why?

21 Days of Never the Same – Day 2


PrintFor the last few weeks God has really been reminding me and deepening my revelation of His faithfulness. I remember when I first got that revelation of how faithful He really is.

A few years ago at my church’s Women’s Winter Enrichment Weekend, the speaker, Rev. Sue Willis spoke on the faithfulness and promises of God. I can’t say that I remember everything she taught on, but there were some truths taught that day that found their way to my heart.

The first of those being what is to this day one of my favorite verses: Hebrews 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

This was the first revelation I received of God’s faithfulness in my life. And since, year after year I have seen it increasingly more and more.

Then today my school had the honor of ministering at Agape A/G in Weedville, PA. One of my dear friends Olivia was preaching and go figure, preaching on the promises and faithfulness of God. She did such an incredible job. Something that I really took from her sermon is when you doubt and don’t have that trust that God will fulfill the promise He has given you, then it can put you in a place where your trust isn’t strong enough to hold the promise when He gives it. Sometimes God is waiting on you to just trust Him and trust in His timing to fulfill it.

Something that God has been showing me and what I want to remind you of today is this:

When God gives you a promise, you have a promise and it’s not your job to see that it is made.

Sometimes it might seem like that promise will never be fulfilled. When that happens we can’t tend to take matters into our own hands. (Abraham & Sarah anyone? – Hagar, Ishmael…you get the idea. You want the Isaac. Not the Ishmael.)

God’s delays are not denials.

 Trust in His goodness to do what He has promised.

Hold fast. He who promised is faithful!

 

21 Days of Never-the-Same – Day 1


As hard as it is for even me to believe this much time has passed, I am 21 today! (I feel like I just turned 18 yesterday though. Time flies.)

Starting today for the next 21 days I will be posting about someone who influenced my life in such a way that I am who I am today, events that changed me, and times that God spoke to me and made me who I am today. It is my hope and prayer that as you read, you will be share in these revelations that made me who I am today. Blessings to you all!

~~~~~

Last February I went to a conference called “In the Presence of Jehovah”. There is so much that I learned there, but one revelation I took to was when I was brought to a recognition of position.

“Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.” (NKJV)

 Proverbs 31:25

In reading Proverbs 31, I feel like I can almost picture this woman in my head. And at times, I have somebody in mind when I read the verse. This one is no different. When I read verse 25, I could practically see in front of me a woman sitting tall with a quiet strength and confidence. She has the posture of one who is very well-respected and you can tell she carries wisdom before she even speaks a word. Perhaps you have someone in mind as well.

It has come to my attention that this verse does not mean what we think it does. It may seem very forthright, however, when you look deeper, you see that there is so much more to it. Reading that single verse we could conclude that this woman is strong and a woman of character and therefore her life is wonderful and she can rejoice in those times that will come! Everything will be just perfect! If only we could live this life!

No.

This is not at all what that verse means.

That word “rejoice” in this verse in the Hebrew is the word sachaq which means to laugh mockingly (Strongs, H7832).

You got that right. She is mocking the days that are to come. She knows very well that it will not always be an easy life. She knows that trials come. She does not know what the future will hold, and yet she can laugh at the days that are to come.

This same word sachaq, is seen in other parts of scripture. You see it in psalm 2:4 where it says, ”He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.”

And again in Psalms 37:12-13: “The wicked plots against the just. And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.” 

You might wonder how this woman can mock the days to come. You may wonder how she has the boldness to taunt the enemy.  This comes back to much of what Proverbs 31 shows evidence of: this woman knows who she is and more importantly, she knows  whose she is. She knows who her king is. Everything that describes the “Proverbs 31 Woman” comes back to one thing; everything that is part of who this woman is, is the fruit that is produced out of her fear of the Lord. Coming to that point of truly  knowing God is so crucial to embracing this life. This life is so much a process. It does not happen all at once. But it begins with the fear of the Lord. And with the fear of the Lord, comes a knowing of who He is. And when you know who He is, you come to a place of security in who and whose you are. When you become rooted and secure in the Father – you can laugh at the days that are to come, you can have that boldness to taunt the enemy because you know who your king is and your security is found in Him.

Your security is not based on your circumstances. It is based on your position. When you recognize the position you have as a daughter of the king of kings it changes everything.

I want to challenge you to learn to recognize the position that you walk in.

I bless you to be a woman who has no fear of the future because you are a woman who fears the Lord. And may you walk in the recognition of not only who you are, but whose you are. May you recognize that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world and with that recognition laugh and rejoice in the days that are to come!

Everything it Takes to Move Foward


I feel like so often we hear that in order to move forward, we have to forget the past and let it go. I do not believe that is always true. Sometimes you have to go back in order to move forward.

An example of this is found in the Old Testament in the calling of Elisha. God sent Elijah to pass his mantle to Elisha. In 1 Kings 19:19-21 we read:

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

Elisha was called out of where He was for the purposes of God.

But before Elisha could walk out in that anointing and in that calling, he knew he first had to go back and burn the things that would be a temptation for him to go back. Take note of verse 21.

He went back.

He burned his past.

And then he set out to follow the call.

In Everything, Mary DeMuth writes:

“Whether our past was amazing or tragic, God calls us onward and upward, beckoning us away from past tense to present tense.”

Burn the things that weigh you down from going forward. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Sometimes, its not the bad things in life that keep us from the good things of God. It’s the good things in life that keep us from God’s best.

But for those of you who have a hard past of which you have to let go:

Sometimes we have to go back in order to move forward.

What in your life do you need to burn to move forward and embrace everything that God has for you?

Until Tuesday, October 23rd, Mary is offering a bonus gift of up to $246.90 with the purchase of her book.
Here are some online places to purchase:

Or stop by at your favorite book store!

Then just send the receipt to EverythingPromo@ThomasNelson.com for the bonus materials.

Keep up with the Everything Blog Tour! Check out the daily posts about the book October 16-31st! Find the blogs here: http://www.marydemuth.com/everythingthebook/blog-tour/


 

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