Faith facts

Hi friends, it’s been one of those weeks! Suddenly so many things seem to be in turmoil and as a friend of mine said..the enemy is good at making even things that are blessings seem to be curses! When we face challenges, we may feel discouraged, we may feel overwhelmed but we must never ever let go of faith. Faith helps us meet life’s circumstances with certainty and affirmation that God has supreme control of the outcome..so let’s look at eight encouraging faith facts. I pray that this short study will encourage you as it has me.

1. Faith is the shield that protects us from the potentially damaging effects of the various onslaughts we face. Depression, anger, fear and anxiety come as a natural response to oppressive circumstances but we can flip the switch, pick up the shield of faith and push them back! Better yet, don’t ever put it down! Be always ready!2. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. You see it’s not about sheer willpower, if the Spirit of God lives in you Faith is already there ready for use! Oranges can’t come from apple trees. You’ve got faith!!!3. Faith must be nourished. How? By focusing on God’s word. If your soul is aching or burdened.. read and internalize faith-building scriptures each day. Doing this along with prayer, worship and fellowship..will be like medicine to remedy our aching souls. Ro 10:174. Workout your faith!! Exercise and build your faith muscles during hard times. Our actions should speak to the fact that we have faith. Don’t let apathy move in. Get up and work in Faith! No money for that big project yet? Start small with what you have. With prayer and faith, work your mustard seed and watch God grow it into a tree!5. Faith attracts God! While you’re dealing with a seemingly insurmountable task or challenge..work at it with all your heart towards God. God loves to see faith and He rewards it! 6. In the end you will shine!!! So work with endurance! Work through it knowing that whatever happens, God will bring you through as beautiful and refined like gold. Don’t let discouragement and depression win.  Job 23:107. Our faith is valuable! So much more than just temporal, so much more than just something to help us cope with circumstances this side of heaven. It is so valuable that it has eternal weight and glory! 

8. Faith leads us into to godly rest where even though we work, we do not strive to make things happen or to bring about the outcome we desire! When we believe, we can rest. Rest in the fact that God has this! He will provide, He will see that the outcome is for good. As the word says, let us make every effort to enter His rest! Faith leads us to rest! Heb 4I don’t know what you’re facing but God wants you to know that He sees and honors your faith. So be encouraged, surrender the outcome to God and raise up your shield of faith! Have a great weekend.

By Carol-angel Jackson

(Click photos for photo sources)

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8 Tips To Regaining Your Momentum

Greetings everyone!

Today we have a guest, Dave Cropper, contributing to the site and sharing with us a word of encouragment from the Lord.

Be blessed in knowing that God will never be far from your side.


Have you become discouraged or lost your way in your walk with the Lord? Similarly, have you been feeling burdened by the pursuit of obedience to what the Lord is requiring of you in this season?

I’ve been there and here’s some advice:

1. Get Help

You are not in this alone. All champions need help along the journey, maybe you think you can figure things out on your own but consider this. In the multitude of counsel there is safety.

2. It’s time for seeking prayer.

The Lord knows exactly what you need before you even approach him in prayer, however only those that seek will find, those that ask will be given and those that knock will doors be opened to.

3. Go back to your last instructions from the Lord.

Incomplete assignments have a way of tormenting your soul if you allow them to. If you know where you stopped along the way, get back in there. Be strong. Pick back up the plough and begin to push again. Remember that we earnestly contend for the faith.

4. Pluralize your battle strategy.

When Peter was locked in prison, the church was mobilized to come together to pray for his release. Find a community of believers in an assembly that will stand with you in prayer and that have your back in tough times. Also, where two or three are gathered, He is in the midst. We all need corporate prayer to multiply the power of our intercession.

5. Don’t forget that you have an enemy.

Our walk is a battle. It makes us tough when we fight and resilient when we overcome. No one ever became an overcomer without having an enemy to overcome. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. Overcome your failures and dispel that discouragement today.

6. Finish your race.

The race is not for the swift but for those that endure to the end. Remember this race is personalized; tailor made for you by the Lord. You are not in competition against anyone. You are racing against time. Though you do not know the moment of your last breath we can understand our times and seasons. So get back in the race, understand the specific urgency of the season and pace yourself accordingly.

7. Unforgiveness and guilt are the heaviest burdens.

Forgive yourself for your mistakes and forgive those that have wronged you because He has and will forgive us if we fall. Remember there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus. You have been set free from the law of sin and death. The pity party of guilt has lost its DJ, so stop dancing to a tune that’s not playing.

8. Re-Activate your Praise.

Praise and worship change atmospheres and cause heavenly help to become mobilized. The Lord is waiting to hear you shout for joy, in the assembly and in your private time. Praise changes your sight and elevates your perspective. There are more working for us than those that are against us.

This post was not meant to identity with your sorrows but rather to equip you with the strategy and understanding of how to get moving again.
Please share this with those around you. You never know who might need this.

So get back in there champion!
Your victory matters.

‪#‎kingdomadvance‬ ‪#‎legacyworldwide‬

Who Are You???

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“God is not calling you to an uncertain future. Let the discovery of your identity be an adventure.”

If you were to try and imagine a stranger, someone that you had never met, you would not be able to do it. Too many unknown variables. Sounds strange right.

The person that God is calling you to be is someone that you have never met. Thus you have no frame of reference for imagining this person.

When you meet someone for the first time, more than likely, you put your best foot forward because you expect an amicable meeting. As you do not know the person, you are unable to judge them on an unknown past. It is a clean slate. You cannot form opinions based on who they are now or what they may have done in the past because you do not know.

For the new person that God wants us to become, we must also do just that. We tend to let past experiences or current actions taint the image of a future self. This results in the attitude of “Nope. Not me. I can’t do that.” or “Are you sure?”

Paul wrote that we are to forget the past and be drawn forward by the new future (Phil 3:13 -14); that higher calling.  Christ says that in Him we are a NEW creation (2 Cor 5:17): recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. (ALL WOW and ALL YOU!!!)

Let discovery of the new with God be an adventure. You CAN be what He wants you to be and do what He asks of you.

This new person is unveiled over time. It’s not like going from inside to outside. One minute here and the next, there. It is a journey. It may not happen as quickly as you might like. There will be struggles and tests and victories and the peace of God to over shadow it all.

Our cooperation is a determining factor in the length of the journey.

You may have heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, or have a strong sense from the Word or have been given a prophetic word regarding the plans that God has for you.

You may even have set out on this journey all bright eyed and bushy tailed only to face falls, failures, disappointments, and you have to believe that God still loves you and wants the best for you.

The thing is, God has already seen that new person. He knows what they look like. He sees the strength that has been built and the faith that has been cultivated and the gifts that have been discovered. He also sees where the chains were broken and where deliverance came and where burdens fell away.

So He is not calling you to an uncertain future. He is certain that you will be that person as long as you put your trust in and walk with Him. No matter how much like a fantasy it seems.

Remember, stop trying to picture this new person and giving definitions of what they are to resemble. You have NO frame of reference. You have no idea what God will do and how he will lovingly form and shape you, once you are in His hands.

Jump in!!! Feet first!!! You know He will catch you!!! Or fly with you. Or keep you afloat.

Ok God, so what now? Where do we go? What do we do next?

He is calling you forward but in all things be sure to count the cost. God wants all of you.

So be excited; not scared.

Don’t  imagine all the ways things could go wrong cause you are not God. There is no way that you could possibly know that.

I recently learned this saying: Stop borrowing trouble; which basically means stop worrying about something that you have no idea how it will turn out.

We can be quick with our ‘what ifs’. Just trust Him and be lead.

You are not your past. Your definition comes from your future. God’s future for you. His purpose for you.

Remember :

Don’t doubt Him. God knows the plans He has for you –  Jer 29:11

Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from moving. You may fall 7 times – Prov 24:16, Psa 37:23-24

Don’t think you know it all. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9

Don’t set limits. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or thinkEph 3:20, Isa 55:8-9

Don’t try to do it in your own strength. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and in due time He will lift you up – 1 Pet 5:6-7

 

My prayer for all of us, is that we believe the infallible Word of God. The Word that speaks of who we are to God and who God has called us to be in Him. That we know that He cannot lie and that if He says something about us, then it is so. That we know that His Words are meant to comfort and not condemn, to lift us up and not pull us down; to cause us to see the truth and to desire His truth in our lives. That I know and that you know, undoubtedly, unashamedly, that He loves us beyond all measure and will reach out to us and draw us to Him. Let God – not this world, ourselves, other people – define us.

By Marisse Cropper

Choices determine destinies 

Hi readers, this has been one of the longest SK hiatuses as God has been taking us through changes and expanding us in different ways. We’ve certainly missed you and are back! 

There will be a few changes in the way we post to the SK blog. Instead of weekly, we will post as we have content. This means that you may receive something weekly, bi-monthly or once a month. If once a month, we promise it will be worth the wait 😀. 

We will also be adding short motivational videos from time to time as well as content from some of our male leaders. Thanks for sticking with us! 

So today..here’s a repost from Girlfriends in God that’s a kick in the rear for those of us who let fear hold us back from using the gifts God has given us and multiplying it for His Glory!! 

Sometimes God will put you in a dry place to expand your faith and cause you to use what He has placed in your hands to produce something wonderful, life changing and even income earning   to serve your family and others! So let’s go! Let’s become producers, Not just consumers!! 

Reposted from Sharon Jaynes of GiG

Friend to Friend

One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus was explaining what the kingdom of heaven would be like in common terms.

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. (Matthew 25:14-18)

When the master returned home, he was well please with the two servants who had invested and doubled their talents, but he was furious with the one who hid his one talent in the ground.

You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents’ (Matt. 25:26).

This story gives me chills every time I read it. For you see, God has given each and every one of us gifts . . . gifts that He has purposed for us to use, invest, and multiply. And I’m not just talking about money, but gifts in our inner being. He has given you talents and abilities that He expects you to use to further the kingdom and minister to others.

So what kept the servant with one talent from doing so? Fear. Giving into fear prevented him from investing what he had. I think the master would have been more pleased if the servant had said, “Lord, I invested the talent and unfortunately lost it all.” At least he would have tried. At least he would have made some effort. But the master saw him as evil and lazy.Fear makes us lazy. Think about that a minute. A fearful person does little.

Moving forward despite the fear gets the spiritual couch potato out from under the afghan and into the life she was meant to live.

So here’s what I want us to think about today: Are we investing the gifts and talents that God has given us, or are we hiding them because of fear.
I don’t know about you, but I want to invest all I have and live bold. We’re going to pick back up on this in my next devotion, but for now, let’s ponder which servant we want to be.

Let’s Pray: Lord, thank You for entrusting me with gifts and talents. Sometimes I’m not sure what they are, but I pray that You will make them clear to me. Help me to be brave and share the talents that You have given me with others. I want to invest in other people and multiply the fruit in Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Read Matthew 25:14-30 in your own Bible. Which servant do you resemble the most? Which servant do you want to resemble most? How did the servants’ choices determine their destinies?

Here is a quote from Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: You either show fear the door, or it will bolt the lock to keep you out of the places God has prepared for you to go and do all that He has planned for you to do. Fear has no choice but to leave the premises when you stand on the promises of God and say, “You are not welcome here.”

What area of your life do you need to “show fear the door?”

Have a great, productive day all!! Your friends at Sisters’ Keeper! 

Becoming the Kind of Women God Has Called Us to Be

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Today we share an article from Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA). The article featured on FaithGateway.

Yes, it is a bit lengthy but well worth the read.

Enjoy. Share with others. Continue to grow as God pours out to you, His love and wisdom.


We Must Hold Ourselves to a Higher Standard

We are God’s masterpieces. That’s the most important truth to get across to women in our culture today. But we must also realize that as God’s masterpieces, we are meant for more. He created us for his glory, not for our own pleasure. The reason to abstain from pornography, promiscuous sexuality, or anything else that demeans the masterpiece God made is because we are not our own. Paul told the Corinthians,

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Wow. As a believer, I need to remind myself that it’s not just about me. I belong to God, and therefore how I treat my body, what I choose to say, and the media I consume matters. Any trash I put into my mind that demeans me is an affront to my Maker.

Okay, so most of us church ladies don’t dabble in visual or written porn, but what about those cable shows? You know the ones I’m talking about, those series that we compulsively binge-watch despite the fact that they’ve got enough sexual innuendo and risqué bedroom scenes to make us cringe. Paul told the Philippians,

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.Philippians 4:8

Uh-oh. Now I’m starting to squirm. What about those magnificently entertaining cable series? One of my good friends recently confessed to me that she felt so convicted she had to stop watching a really good one—one that I watched as well. I felt sick. I knew that I had heard the same still voice, and I ignored it. I fall short every day; we all do. This doesn’t mean we give up the quest to please God in every area of our lives and to free ourselves of negative messages that harm.

We must be ever vigilant to protect our hearts and minds, and in today’s world, that’s not easy. Our culture has pitted men against women, women against men, and even women against one another, and boiled down our relationships to their most base and selfish versions.

We must be the ones to raise the bar. We must be the ones to declare truth and exhort beauty because we know what real Truth and true beauty look like.

We can’t settle for a world of men versus women or accept that women will always be demeaned as objects for sexual use and subsequently discarded. No, together we must demand something different. Together we are a living testament to God’s love for the church and Christ’s sacrifice for her. Together we are more, not less, and we must insist on that principle and embrace it ourselves.

Consider Jesus’ prayer for all believers:

I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me — so that they may be brought to complete unity.John 17:22-23

We are called to unity, and when we embrace this call, God can and will work through us for His glory.

Point Out What Doesn’t Work, and Offer Alternatives Worth Emulating

As we work together to proclaim the truth of God’s love for us, we can also gently point out that the truths by which many people order their lives today simply don’t satisfy. For instance, in our hyper-sexualized society, women are promised more — more sexual empowerment, more freedom, more love or attention from men, more satisfaction. But in reality, we feel like we have a lot less. We aren’t happier or more fulfilled; we’re the opposite. Rates of depression and anxiety are on the rise; one in four women today take antidepressant medications. And a 2009 study by Wharton professors Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers found that over the past thirty-five years, women’s happiness has steadily declined — both in comparison to where we were thirty-five years ago and in comparison to men. Clearly, something isn’t working.

Part of our role in discussing these issues is to help women recognize that the world’s lies are just that — lies. But more important is that we offer them an alternative, a redemptive message that speaks of their own unique value. What does work is a life where God’s view of women takes center stage.

When we embrace the truth about who God says we are, we find a lot more contentment than when we’re trying to live up to all of the wild expectations of the media or society.

We were meant for more. We need to encourage each other to stop looking at the Kardashians as role models and look to our grandparents, our mentors, real-life women who embody the kind of love that does satisfy. All around us, especially in our churches, we have beautiful examples of true women and true love — lasting and agape (God-sized) love. There are beautiful couples who have loved and sacrificed for each other for more than fifty years, not fifty shades.

I witnessed this kind of love up close in the lives of my great-uncle Robert and his wife, Carolyn Young. Robert was a part-time pastor, and they owned a small country store in the mountains of North Carolina. They persevered as life partners through infertility, war, illness, and even the Great Depression. Carolyn’s health was fragile for decades, but Robert lovingly cared for her even when he was elderly. Finally one day she became so ill that she lapsed into a coma. He took her to the hospital and stayed until the staff made him take a break and go home. While at home, he sat down and simply died. I believe it was because he couldn’t face life without her. A few hours later she too was gone. The homecoming in Heaven must have been glorious and unexpected. What a gift. They are strolling the golden streets arm in arm as they did on earth.

We need to celebrate relationships like theirs, ones that value women as treasures and view true love as a reality, not an unrealistic or outdated trope.

One last point. It is crucial that we speak about these issues from a place of humility. Whether speaking with our Christian sisters or non-Christian friends, the only way we’re going to get anywhere is if we remember that we are all sinners, and that the reason Christ died was to redeem us all from our fallen state. The apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans should always be at the front of our minds:

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8

We aren’t arguing to score a point or prove ourselves right; we are speaking truth because God has called us to, and because through us, others can encounter the incredible message of redemptive love.

At the end of the day, we are surrounded by a world that embraces promiscuity, violence, self-degradation, vulgarity, and shallow, materialistic definitions of beauty. Too many women have fallen prey to this culture, attempting to embrace it as a way of self-empowerment or self-protection — but as we’ve seen, it doesn’t work.

We need to realign our perspective with reality and focus our efforts on becoming the kind of women God has called us to be. Let’s work together to become brave women whose primary aim is to glorify God, who recognize that our femaleness is a unique gift, who speak wisdom and truth, who enjoy sex in a way that honors the Lord, and who know that we are perfectly made in the image of God. When we align ourselves with this image of womanhood, we will be truly empowered — able to stand up as role models for the young women around us, able to speak truth to the lies that come from every level of society and government, able to give women a voice that demands respect and has the power to bring about change. As Erick Erickson has written, “a Christian on the sidelines is a Christian not going forth.”

It is time for us to get off the sidelines. It is our time to stand up to a world gone crazy. Will you join me?

By Penny Young Nance

 

In Christ alone!!!

  
Life is so beautiful! Yes, there are peaks and valleys, losses and gains and often many hard knocks. These experiences may try to lead us down a path of worry and fear..but when we wrap it all up in Christ, we can win over worry and have perfect peace. 
Here are four common road blocks that can cause us to stumble and how we can kick them to the curb through the power of Christ in us!

The waiting game –

You may be praying for healing for yourself, a loved one or a relationship. Financial breakthrough may be long in coming. A business idea or a dream you have may not yet be fulfilled..and it’s been yearrrrrs. Or maybe you don’t think you are making sufficient progress in your Christian walk. 

Sometimes it feels as if nothing is happening but take heart..Christ is always working and He always finishes what he starts. He is the Alpha and Omega, He’s at the beginning and sees things through to the end so we need not worry when things seem to be at a standstill. We can lay hold of peace knowing that Christ in us began a good work and He will be faithful to complete it!

Lack –

Don’t look at what you don’t have in the natural..set your spiritual eyes on all that you have in Christ!!! 

The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands John 3:35 

When we are in Christ we have all things because He has all things. We can have access to His all-sufficiency through prayer and relationship with Him. Let’s read His words daily and let them sink into our hearts..then ask according to His word and see great things happen!!!

John 15:7(NKJV) If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Relationship difficultiesProv 16:7 The Message (MSG) When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Don’t you just love this promise? When we dwell in Christ and seek to do His will daily, God will make even our enemies live at peace with us. Many of us can testify to this!! God is a peace-maker. He can either change that spouse or difficult boss or relative..or change us, giving us such love for them that they are converted by our love. Christ in us is the one who at the height of His pain said ..”Father forgive them.” As we do His will, He will bring peace to our relationships!! 

Fear of the unknown –

Regardless of what our past experiences have been…when we are in Christ we can settle in ourselves that everything that comes our way is filtered through Christ first. We are completely hidden in Him and covered in His love, wisdom and power. While we physically live in this world, we dwell in Christ’s world! He holds, keeps and shields us!

Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 

So let’s do a little word maths here?  Being in Christ = perfect love = no fear = perfect peace! 

Whether or not you’re a huge maths brain, that equation is one we can all definitely grasp!!!  So if you’re stuck in a pit of fear and worry we want to invite you to pursue these truth with us daily.

Let’s pray together: Lord I ask you to dwell in me so that all that you are and all that you have is mine! I want to dwell in your perfect love which casts out all fear. I want to win over worry and have your perfect peace so that others may see you in me and be changed, glorifying our Father in heaven. In Jesus’ name..Amen!

Click to enjoy this beautiful worship song In Christ Alone
Have a great week everyone!

By Carol-angel Jackson & Adrian Reid.

In Times Of Sorrow

In a world filled with war, death,disease, terroism, lack of morals and integrity, we find that many around us are losing hope and we may even feel our hope slipping at times.

But…He is Risen.

That is the source of our hope.

Not that men would change their ways but that the ultimate and perfect plan of God will always prevail.

Today’s post is taken from Faith Gateway and written by Sarah Young.

May we always know His voice in times of sorrow and know that His is the hope to which we hold fast.


Sarah Young

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Trust in Me at all times.

I know the pain and sorrow you are feeling, and I want you to pour out your heart in My Presence. You need to release all those emotions in a safe place. Demonstrate your trust in Me by opening your heart to Me; as you do so, I promise to keep you safe.

Remember that I am a Man of sorrows, fully acquainted with grief.

Because of all I suffered, I can empathize with you and share your pain.

As you pour out your emotions in My Presence, your heavy burden grows lighter. You no longer carry your sorrows alone. You release them to Me, and I then relieve and refresh your soul. Moreover, as your heavy heart grows lighter, you are freed to learn more of Me: who I really am.

Come to Me and get to know Me in ever-increasing depth and breadth. You will find that I am indeed a Refuge — a safe place flooded with eternal Love. Linger a while in My Presence, letting My Love soak into your soul.

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. — Psalm 62:8 NKJV

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. —Proverbs 29:25

He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. — Isaiah 53:3 NASB

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]—  Matthew 11:28 AMP